Crashing the field is a time-honored tradition in sports, particularly in baseball and soccer. There's something about a long, drawn-out, low-scoring event that serves as fertilizer for the irrational thoughts of drunk fans.
The fact that the vast majority of these romps end with a brutal bulldozing by armed security guards, not to mention at least a few hours in jail, is enough to prevent most people from jumping the wall.
However, there will always exist a very small population for which the lure of potential fame proves so enticing, that it overrules any potential repercussions. Sometimes they're helped along by alcohol, but many field crashers are stone sober.
Anyone who jumps a wall and storms a field with the assumption they'll escape has to be drunk. In 99.9 percent of these cases, the offending fan is taken down without mercy by someone and led away in handcuffs—usually to a squad car and a local jail.
That's not to say they don't achieve their goal of fleeting fame and YouTube immortalization. For the most part, people seem to enjoy field crashers. We like to see them running rampant on the field, and we like seeing them clotheslined by police even more.
Here are some epic videos of awesomely brazen field crashers getting tackled!
In June 2012 Mets pitcher Johan Santana tossed the first no-hitter in franchise history. A no-hitter is always a big deal, but being the first in franchise history is a really big freaking deal. Rafael Diaz, a fan on hand at Citi Field that night, certainly thought so.
He was so overcome with jubilation that he couldn't resist charging the field and celebrating along with the team. Decked out in his Mets jersey, at first glance Dias is almost unnoticeable in the chaos. However, a quick glance down and his baggy knee-length jorts are a dead giveaway.
Diaz was eventually spotted by security and, like most field crashers, was taken down with impressive force. He missed his son's first birthday because he spent the night in jail and was ultimately fined $5,000, sentenced to 100 hours of community service and banned from Citi Field for life. Hope it was worth it, dude.
In April 2012 a 17-year-old went to a Blue Jays game with explicit purpose to crash the field at Rogers Centre in Toronto. Inspired by the idiot teenager battle cry YOLO, which Yannis Carayannopoulos had painted on his chest at the time, hit the field and quickly stripped down to his briefs.
Carayannopoulos had a pretty good run out there before being cornered and taken down by event security. He was still gleeful about crossing something off his bucket list while being led away in handcuffs as he headed for an outfield exit.
Obviously this kid is an idiot—a charge he's already copped to—but at least he came in with a plan and he wasn't drunk or on drugs. Carayannopoulos walked away with some minor scrapes and bruises and, despite a few hours in jail and some very angry parents, exactly zero regrets.
In October 2011 Arizona was leading UCLA 42-7 as time was winding down in the second quarter. Perhaps the hometown fans were bored by the blowout because that's when things got pretty interesting.
With two seconds left in the half a fan decked out in a referee uniform ran out onto the field with a whistle, blew the play dead, and tried to grab the ball at the 40-yard line before taking off down field while ripping off his clothes.
He was quickly subdued by event security and then immediately overshadowed by a sideline-clearing brawl his presence seemed to have incited. Two players—one from each team—were ejected as a result.
And this is why you shouldn't bother crashing the field at a football game.
Things got off to an excellent start for the Orioles in 2012 when a judgement-impaired fan by the name of Mark Harvey crashed the field dressed as the Caped Crusader on opening day at Camden Yards.
Well, he was sorta dressed like him. A shirtless Harvey was rocking Batman's cape and underwear—the superhero wears that outfit when he collects the morning paper after a night of drunken debauchery in Gotham City.
Security let Harvey tire himself out for awhile by running circles before they made their move and hurled him to the ground after securing him by the neck. Maybe they just wanted to let the birthday boy have a little fun first!
Unfortunately this is the last bit of fun he will ever have at an Orioles home game—Harvey has been banned for life. On the bright side, all charges against him were dropped due to a "miscommunication" between the team and police.
In May 2013 a fearless fan crashed the field at a Canadian soccer game by way of the sky! I wasn't able to find much information about the dramatic parachute stunt, which just adds to the awesome.
The skydiver landed without incident, but he never had a chance of escaping with a parachute still strapped to his back. He was quickly nabbed by police and led off the pitch.
If anyone knows who this guy is—tell him that I like his style.
In the 9th inning of a Yankees game back in May 2007, one fan in the home crowd was apparently feeling restless as Mariano Rivera was closing out another impressive win.
Perhaps not wanted the night to end so soon, the young man decided to crash the field and extend the festivities. And extend the festivities he did! He got in a pretty solid run while being chased down by security.
He was likely then treated to a nice long evening at Rikers while waiting for (what was likely) a very angry parent who took their time delivering the bail money in an attempt to teach this kid a lesson.
In April 2013 one awesome Blue Jays fan stormed the field at Rogers Centre on opening day, earning him the title "Season's First Idiot," which was bestowed upon him by Deadspin's Barry Petchesky.
Like Petchesky, I too was impressed by said idiot's plan. You can always tell these guys almost always decide to crash the field first and worry about the details second.
Learning from the mistakes of idiots before him, this idiot obviously thought things through. He hit the field with purpose; making a beeline for a slide into second before quickly redirecting and sprinting to freedom.
He had his sights set on a dramatic escape over the outfield wall—unfortunately he was thwarted by his lack of upper body strength. He beat security on the ground, but his struggle to get over the wall gave them enough time catch him.
Despite solid ratings, the NFL Pro Bowl is a notoriously dull event that usually ends in a lopsided blowout. Basically it's a guaranteed four hours of lackluster football that most people spend a lifetime wishing they could take back.
And yet we come back for more, year after year. Probably because of the potential for entertainment created by a couple of fans running onto the field like lunatics during the 2011 Pro Bowl. However unlikely it may be.
After the NFC extended their lead to 48-28 with a field goal, a few fans on hand for the boring spectacle decided to liven up the event, sacrificing their own bodies in the process. One shirtless fan was dragged from the field after being flattened, as Cardinals lineman Darnell Dockett giggled uncontrollably.
Ha. Athletes: They're just like us...only rich...with pet alligators.
Because the 2013 MLB All-Star game was hosted by the Mets at New York's Citi Field, tickets were reportedly going for no less than $800 a pop—assuming having a seat is important to you. Standing room only tickets were available $250, on average.
Unfortunately for Dylan McCue-Masone, an 18-year-old fan who was attending the game with his father, he let the size of the stage intoxicate his very dumb teenage mind. He tweeted: "100 RT's and ill run across the field… #ASG #CitiField," and then felt obligated to fulfill his promise to the online strangers.
The Long Island native was donning a Robinson Cano shersey as he made his way to second base, before surrendering to security. Masone was probably super surprised when security decided to throttle him anyway. Dude is now facing a year in jail and up to $6,000 in fines.
And if you think a year in jail is impossible for something like this, think again. If New York will put Plaxico Burress in jail for two years for shooting himself, anything can happen. They like making examples out of people in the Big Apple.
At an MLS game between Chivas USA and the Kansas City Wizards in July 2010, a very naked man named Jonnie Penn crashed the pitch wearing nothing but his birthday suit and a pair of shoes.
His naked ass was soon tackled by event security, who were likely not thrilled with the added bonus of a close encounter with his exposed man parts. By the time he's taken down, there's already another naked fan stealing his thunder just a few yards away.
Apparently Penn hoped to capitalize on his marginal YouTube fame, because he created a Facebook page called Jonnie Penn Streaks in September 2011. It has just 31 "Likes" to date.
In July 2010 an Orioles fan crashed the field at Camden Yards and ran in circles for a pretty substantial amount of time before getting bored and booking it back into the stands. Event security was stunningly unconcerned with his presence. They walked slowly in his direction, clearly favoring a "watch and wait" strategy, rather than a more proactive approach.
Dude wasn't but 10 yards into his race for freedom when he turned on a dime and hauled ass back on to the field, encouraged by the cheers of the hometown crowd. Who knows what he was thinking when he decided to turn it around and head back, perhaps he thought he could evade lollygagging authorities in an encore performance.
And he did! He probably could have run laps on the field all night. Ultimately he just surrendered though—either out of exhaustion, boredom or confusion.
In May 2011 drunken Red Sox fan Brandon Kalantzis decided to celebrate the home team's 9-5 victory over the Angels by running out onto the field like a buffoon. Now he will forever be known as:
"Drunk guy ran on the field during Red Sox game and gets drilled" or "Drunk Red Sox fan gets absolutely leveled". Two YouTube videos which have well over two million hits combined.
After being the test dummy demonstrating the perfect security tackle, Kalantzis was advised not to speak about the incident to the media. Not that he knows anything about following the rules…
Kalantzis felt compelled to tell his story, stating: I don't want people to take it the wrong way—I'm not a jerk. …I just wanted to be on the field with the players, obviously there was a better way to go about it." Uh...ya think?
As for all those lying liars who lie out there on YouTube? Kalantzis insisted he wasn't drunk at the time, but rather had just "a couple of beers." Take THAT all you mischaracterizers out there.
When a fan crashes the field, more often than not, he's likely most concerned about evading the grasp of uniformed security types. Those are the guys that usually put an end to party.
That being said, you never want to discount the possibility of an impatient athlete getting fed up and taking you down. Athlete tackles are generally pretty vicious.
That was certainly the case during this soccer game, which was uploaded to YouTube in November 2008. The fan on the field had his face treated like a soccer ball by one of the players.
Ouch. For real.
Of all the fans who have thrown caution to the wind and charged the field in pursuit of the proverbial 15 minutes of fame they believe is a basic human right (thanks Andy Warhol!), the infamous tasered Phillies fan is my favorite by far.
Philadelphia area teenager Steve Consalvi crashed the field during a home game in May 2010. There were a lot of questions about the police decision to subdue him with a taser, but elected officials were (predictably) outspoken in their support of the police decision to use excessive force.
For his part, Consalvi ran the idea up the flagpole before acting on his impulse. He actually called his dad to ask for permission before giving the idea an official green light, proving he wasn't drunk or in a drug-induced haze.
However, he did prove himself a terrible listener. Consalvi's father didn't give him his blessing. Instead he explicitly warned him against it and even called his son's friend, who was with him at the game, to implore him to stop the boy.
After the incident, his mother publicly apologized for the behavior of her baby boy. I'd like to publicly thank her for raising such a hilariously defiant young man!
The shapely woman in this video is every bit as guilty of crashing the field as all the male offenders on this list, but the way she is handled by security is comically different than the physical forced used on the boys.
The 2008 incident happened at a soccer match in Romania. The scantily clad woman, who was referred to as a "surprising presence" by the announcers, stormed the pitch with a large black banner—obviously an attempt to drum up publicity for something.
She bounced around for awhile happily before being politely escorted away by a smitten security guard. Instead of dragging her out, he put his arm around the small of her back and grinned right along with her as they joyfully exited.
Let that be a lesson to all you field crashing boys out there: Next time, be a hot woman.
In April 2012 MLB umpire Jeff Kellogg was hailed as a HERO by some media outlets for tackling a "half-naked" "streaker" at an Orioles game in Baltimore. The reports were ridiculous for many reasons.
First of all, a "streaker" is defined as someone purposefully appearing and running nude in public. 20-year-old Christopher Fatkin was wearing pants, shoes, socks, and a pair of very visible boxer shorts. Which means he wasn't "half-naked" either.
As for the very annoyed Kellogg being a hero? Well, perhaps if Fatkin had slid shirtless into home plate with a loaded weapon, that would be accurate. But he didn't. Kellogg dissed the hapless event security and advocated a more liberal taser policy for fans trespassing on "private property."
Someone get this guy a shirt that says, "GET OFF MY LAWN!!!" on the back and let's be done with this nonsense.
You'd think avoiding the wrath of former Steelers linebacker James Harrison, a well noted lunatic, would be enough to keep any fan in the NFL from crashing a field that he was on. But in December 2005 there was one brave Browns fan whose bitterness over an embarrassing 41-0 blowout superseded any fear of repercussions or better judgement.
Wooster, Ohio, native Nate Mallet evaded security early in the fourth quarter and quickly made his way out onto the field. His roommate, who was with him at the time, told the AP that they had been tailgating before the game and that "alcohol and a hatred for the Steelers probably both contributed to the act." Any excitement he experience was very short-lived.
Not only was he leveled by a beast of a man in Harrison, weeks later a judge handed down a pretty serious sentence for the offense. Mallet spent Super Bowl weekend in jail and was not allowed to watch the game or listen to it on the radio. He also was required to complete 150 hours of community service and barred from attending Browns games—home and away—for a period of five years.
Don't worry about Mallet though! Apparently he has since found Jesus...and sobriety.
Storming the field at a sporting event always seems like a great idea, but 99.9 percent of the time it's going to end poorly for the fan who does it. That being said, that leaves a remote chance of escape.
At an Astros game in May 2011 an elusive speedster crashed the field at Minute Made Park in Houston; he ran around for a bit before bailing on the adventure and descending back into the stands.
He managed to evade capture and escape the stadium without incident. That's were luck ran out for 27-year-old Michael Crabtree—I know his name because he was quickly identified by police and nabbed outside the stadium.
Not that it diminishes his epic escape. Let Crabtree be an inspiration to all you wannabe field crashers out there! Just don't forget that it's customary to leave the scene of the crime...
**Speaking of being awesome, you should follow me on Twitter: Follow @blamberr