By now we have all seen the video , be it on your sports highlight show of choice or YouTube, of the Phillies fan doing his best Keystone Kops impression for all of about 30 seconds before landing in the "Don't Tase Me Bro!" hall of shame.
Ashamedly, I laughed at the images (just as many of you probably did). Make no mistake, however, there is nothing funny about incidents such as these .
Monica Seles was once stabbed in the back during a changeover in a match. Randy Myers was attacked on the mound at Wrigley Field. And Royals first base coach Tommy Gamboa was once assaulted by a father and son combo in the midst of an alcohol-fueled "family bonding experience."
We live in an era where the powers that be have recognized a direct correlation between a fans proximity/accessibility to the players and a growth in revenue.
Seats are closer to the field than ever before. Players are being immersed into our lives increasingly through new media. And our society at-large is cultivating a bloated sense of self-entitlement in regard to our celebrities.
Add that to the fact that we live in the "YouTube era," where infamy and notoriety are mistaken for some form of genuine fame. It's like dumping turpentine on a brush fire.
Did the Officer take it too far with the taser action?
It's those misguided beliefs that lead to moments like the one in Philly.
Yes, we do spend our hard-earned money to make everyone associated millionaires. Yes, players, owners, and the leagues themselves have thrived during this renaissance period. But sports invoke passion and we live in violent times. As Fire Marshall Bill would say, "This could be dangerous!"
In regard to this specific incident, the use of a taser was most likely unwarranted. The whole scene was calling far louder for an overdub of "Yakety Sax" than the use of high voltage force.
Personally, the only thing I take away from this display is that the field should be secured more effectively. That, and some people should not be allowed to have children.
But don't let that distract you from the larger issue at hand. Players have no business going into the stands (yeah, I'm looking at you, Milton Bradley) and fans should, under no circumstances, ever go out onto the field of play.
Nothing good can or ever will come from it.
This article is also featured on You're Killin' Me, Smalls!