The Breakdown: Fitting end | SummitDaily.com
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The Breakdown: Fitting end

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Sports editor Bryce Evans
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There are a lot of different ways a fan could get injured attending a Major League Baseball game. The threat of a hot-shot foul ball to the melon is always present; bats occasionally fly into the stands, and so do players, lunging after pop-ups in the first row. Heck, you could even fall down the stairs while awkwardly carrying a tray of beers and dogs.

Most of these potential problems are read off by a monotone-speaking announcer as fans enter stadiums. You know, that noise in the entry way that we ignore.

Getting hit with 50,000 volts of electricity isn’t usually on that list, though.

Then again, most fans don’t feel the need to spend the eighth inning jogging through the outfield a step ahead of a few police officers.

In case you missed it, here’s the story: A 17-year-old Phillies fan, Steve Consalvi, decided it would be neat to run out on the field as his hometown team took on the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizen’s Bank Park. He was chased briefly by security, ball boys and police officers before being Tasered and sent into a heap on the ground. In a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the kid reportedly wanted to do it because it would be a “once in a lifetime experience.”

Yeah, so is getting drilled by a stun gun in front of 40,000 people.

Since the incident on Monday night, many people have wondered if the officer used excessive force in getting the kid off his feet. Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey told a number of papers that his officers are allowed to use Tasers on fleeing suspects. So, at least legally, there isn’t much of a problem here.

Still, some people think that knocking out a 17-year-old fan for acting like an idiot may be a bit extreme.

Me? Not so much.

First, there’s no real way the police officer could have any idea that the kid was just that, a kid. And even that doesn’t mean he didn’t have any malicious intent. Remember back to 2002, when a pair of White Sox fans jumped Kansas City Royals’ first base coach Tom Gamboa at Cominsky Park in Chicago? Well, that was a 34-year-old and his 15-year-old son – and they proceeded to beat Gamboa to a pulp.

I can imagine, in the view of athletes, coaches and officials, someone jumping on the field can be a pretty scary thing, because, except for the guy doing it, who really knows the intentions?

Really, anyone dumb enough to jump on a field in today’s society – where people tend to fear the worst when it comes to personal safety in public – should expect the worst, and I don’t think a Taser even qualifies as that. This kid in Philly is actually pretty lucky that a cop knocked him down rather than, say, 255-pound Ryan Howard. If someone decided to interrupt an NFL game, they might be breathing through a tube for months. I mean, I’d doubt someone like Ray Lewis would take kindly to something like this.

Regardless of what eventually happens to the fan that does something like this, I never understand the reason anyone does this. Adrenaline, maybe? Wanting some attention? I don’t know; it doesn’t make much sense to me.

Sure, a lot of things can happen to you at a baseball game, but when you’re getting stuck in the rear end by an electric shock – while lying on the ground under security in right field – that’s one you probably deserved.

Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 668-4634 or at bevans@summitdaily.com.


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