The Top 20 Drunken Fan Incidents Ever (With Video)

Geremy GrahamCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2010

The Top 20 Drunken Fan Incidents Ever (With Video)

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    When you stick thousands of fans right next to each other during sporting events, there is bound to be trouble.

    When you serve alcohol to these fans, there is almost always going to be trouble.

    You can always bank on having an interesting time when you attend a massive sporting event, but sometimes good times end up with police officers, arrests, and fans screaming for their lives running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

    Some of these events are from the modern era of sports and some of these are from back in the early 1900's when sports were becoming an essential part of society.

    The world of sports has evolved over the years, but one thing is for certain: there were always drunk fans causing scenes that will never be forgotten.

    Here are the top 20 drunken fan incidents in sports' history.

20. 1909: 6,000 Fans Brawl at the Scottish Cup Final Replay

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    At the end of the Scottish Cup Final between Rangers and Celtic, 6,000 fans stormed the field and began to fight with rival fans, as well as police officers and fire fighters.

    The fans destroyed the goals, lit many fires, and broke down the fencing surrounding the field.

    It took almost three hours for officials to break up the riots, which was already too late as thousands of dollars in damage had been done.

    In all, there were 118 people injured during the riots.

19. 1924: The French Boo "The Star-Spangled Banner"

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    During an Olympic Rugby Union Final between France and the United States, the French fans started to get a little rowdy after a big hit on French player Adolphe Juarraguy, which sent him off the field on a stretcher.

    Fights broke out in the stands while debris was thrown at US players and officials.

    USA reserve Gideon Nelson was knocked out after being hit in the face with a walking stick.

    During the medal ceremony, French fans booed "The Star Spangled Banner" and the USA team had to be escorted off the field under police protection.

18. 1949: The Start of the Philly Fan Reputation

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    During a Philadelphia Phillies' game against the New York Yankees, umpire George Barr made a bad call in the eyes of Philadelphia fans.

    And we all know what happens next.

    Philly fans started throwing glass bottles and debris onto the field, even with the broadcaster begging for the crazed fans to stop.

    Umpire Lee Ballanfant was hit in the mouth by a glass bottle and umpire Al Barlick was hit in the back of the head with a tomato.

    And so, the Philly fan reputation begins.

17. 1976: Drunk Fans Attack Referee and Overturn Scorer's Table

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    It's Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns.

    As time expired in double overtime, John Havlicek drove and put Boston ahead 111-110.

    As fans stormed the court in celebration, CBS broadcaster Rick Barry pointed out that there were still two seconds left on the clock and the referees quickly pointed the Boston players back onto the court.

    Before this could happen, however, fans attacked referee Richie Powers and other fans flipped over one of the scorer's tables.

    Boston went on to win the game in triple overtime 128-126, but the fan who attacked Powers was arrested and the fans who overturned the scorer's table were ejected.

16. 2007: Game Four of the NBA Western Conference Finals

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    Manu Ginobli got under the skin of Utah Jazz fans after he had a knack for committing flagrant fouls.

    Utah Jazz fans began pelting the Spurs' players with beer cups and debris, and even went after Spur coach, Gregg Popovich.

    Popovich was forced to evade the flying missiles of debris and escort his team quickly into the locker room to avoid any injury.

    Two fans were arrested.

15. 1982: In the Face, in the Face!

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    Cricket a non-violent sport?

    Yeah right.

    A group of drunk English fans invaded the cricket pitch after England had passed 400 in its first inning.

    A 19-year-old English fan, Gary Donnison, stormed the pitch and hit Australian fast bowler, Terry Alderman, in the face.

    In the end, Alderman had to be carried off the field on a stretcher.

    Donnison and 25 other fans were arrested, and 150 more fans were ejected from the match.

14. 1979: A Man's Shoe Is Used As a Weapon

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    Honestly, who throws a shoe?

    Just a little Austin Powers for you.

    But seriously, Boston Bruin player Mike Milbury will go down in history as the hockey player who took off a fan's own shoe and beat him with it.

    Bruin players went up into the stands and started fighting with the fans after Stan Johnathon was hit across the face with a rolled up program and Terry O'Reilly had his stick stolen.

    All three players were fined $500.

    After this incident, the NHL installed higher glass panels that enclosed the ice rinks.

13. 2002: Rugby Fan Tackles Referee

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    Pieter Van Zyl, a South African rugby fan, stormed the field at a Tri-Nations Cup game between South Africa and New Zealand.

    He tackled referee David McHugh, leaving McHugh with a dislocated shoulder and a trip off the field on a stretcher.

    Van Zyl got the whole package against him.

    He was banned for life from rugby games in South Africa, fine $275, and was convicted of trespassing and assault, resulting in a three month jail sentence. 

12. 1989: Bounty Bowl II Disaster

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    At Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia Eagle fans started throwing ice, snowballs, and beer at Dallas Cowboy players and head coach Jimmy Johnson.

    Johnson had made accusations that Philadelphia head coach Buddy Ryan put a "bounty" on the head of Cowboys' placekicker, Luis Zendejas.

    Even CBS broadcasters Verne Lundquist and Terry Bradshaw were dodging debris aimed at their broadcast booth.

    Jimmy Johnson was pelted with all sorts of debris as he was escorted out of Veterans Stadium by police.

    Not surprisingly, Veterans Stadium upgraded security and banned the sale of alcohol at the last home game of the season.

11. 1995: Never Give Out Baseballs to Fans During the Game

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    The Los Angeles Dodgers decided it was a good idea to hand out free baseballs to fans during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Once fans had a few rounds in them and their team was down 2-1, they started pelting players with the free baseballs.

    Let's just say that after this incident, free baseballs were not given out to fans until after the game.

10. 1999: Scottish Premier League Final

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    Obviously a Celtic fan was not happy with the result of a 3-0 loss to the Rangers in a Scottish Premier League Final.

    The fan threw an object with such force that, when it struck referee Hugh Dallas, it split open the top of his head.

    Another Celtic fan fell from the top tier of the stadium down to the lower tier.

    Ranger players were booed and pelted with objects as they attempted to leave the stadium in victory over Celtic.

    Four Celtic fans invaded the field and tried to attack the Ranger players, which led the the four fans being arrested and banned from Celtic Park for life.

    What made this fan riot even more shocking was the fact that it was aired live on Sky Sports.

9. 1984: Fan Slams Beer Mug on Kurt Bevacqua's Head

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    In a game between the San Diego Padres and the Atlanta Braves, the players were fighting amongst themselves, which led to 12 ejections.

    The fans decided to join the fight and one of the fans slammed a beer mug over San Diego Padre Kurt Bevacqua's head.

    Another fan attempted to steal a helmet, but was tackled to the ground by Braves' players.

8. 1986: Fan Throws Bowie Hunting Knife

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    This would only happen at Yankee Stadium.

    California Angels rookie, Wally Joyner, luckily escaped serious injury after a fan threw a hunting knife at him.

    Luckily the butt of the knife hit Joyner and not the tip of the blade.

    Let's just review. a fan threw a bowie hunting knife at a baseball player.

    Full cavity searches were implemented at Yankee Stadium after this event.

    No, not really, but after a fan was admitted to the stadium with a hunting knife, I'm sure it crossed the minds of stadium management.

7. 2003: Missouri Fans Invade Field

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    After a game between the Nebraska Corhuskers and Missouri Tigers, Missouri fans stormed the field.

    Nebraska cornerback, Kelley Houston, punched a fan in the face, leaving him unconscious and needing a stretcher to get him off the field.

    Matthew Scott, the fan who was punched, needed surgery to fix a broken nose, and Houston was fined $500 and pleaded guilty to a Class B misdemeanor charge and public fighting.

6. 1979: "Disco Demolition Night" Pretty Much Explains Itself

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    From the title, and the picture, I really don't have to say much more.

    "Disco Demolition Night" was one of the largest riots in sports history.

    It all started when a fans were allowed to get into the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers doubleheader for 98 cents—if they brought a disco record to be blown up between games.

    Yes, let's blow up disco records between games.

    That's some good, clean family fun, don't you think?

    Fans threw records, beer, and even fireworks onto the field, which led to a big hole being torn in the middle of the field.

    If that wasn't bad enough, thousands of fans stormed the field, which led to 37 arrests and the second game of the doubleheader being forfeited.

5. 2010: Phillies Fan Throws Up on Little Girl

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    There's no way a kid actually intentionally threw up on a little girl, right?


    He also threw up on an off-duty police officer?

    It really couldn't get much worse than that.

    Luckily, the police officer decided to keep his cool and didn't beat up the kid too badly.

    Matthew Clemens of Cherry Hill was identified as the unruly fan that decided to stick his fingers down his throat to vomit on the police officer and his daughter.

    He then proceeded to hit the police officer in the back of the head before he and another group of fans started wailing on Clemens to get him to stop.

    Way to use your head, Clemens. You'll go down in history as the kid who thought it was a good idea to vomit on a little girl and a cop.

    In that same month, a kid decided to run onto the field at Citizens Bank Park, and was tasered.

    The 17-year-old was the first person to get the taser treatment from the Phillies' security.

    However controversial it was, the kid had it coming.

    Here's the video of the tasering, although I'm sure you've all seen this already.

4. 1995: Eric Cantona Drop-Kicks Fan

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    Even though this was one of the most impressive things I've seen, I still rank this event fairly high on this list.

    After Eric Cantona was ejected from a game for supposedly kicking a Crystal Palace player, he was already angry enough.

    Cantona, who was known for his "no nonsense" mentality on the field, was being harassed by a fan with racist comments being hollered from the sideline.

    He sprinted over to the fan a dropkicked him in the chest and landed a few punches before the police and security could get him off the fan.

    The fan was sentenced to one day in jail and fined 200 Euros for offensive behavior.

3. 1968: Philly Fans Throw Snowballs at Santa Claus

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    This is probably the most infamous event of drunken fans acting ridiculously.

    When the Philadelphia Eagles fans decided to throw snowballs at Old Saint Nick, they cemented themselves as some of the most passionate, or worst (depends who you ask), fans in sports.

    "There's nothing that sounds worse than throwing snowballs at Santa," said sports radio host Glen Macnow of WIP-AM in Philadelphia. "It's like spitting on Miss America."

    Macnow pretty much sums up the situation perfectly. This was quite possibly one of the worst things in sports fan history.


2. 1974: How Did "10 Cent Beer Night" Ever Sound Like a Good Idea?

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    "Hey, I have a great idea. Let's have a night at the ballpark where every beer is only 10 cents."

    This way, we can be assured to have complete control over the fans actions, and there definitely won't be a problem with riots or fans throwing everything in sight.

    For a game between the Cleveland Indians and the Texas Rangers at the Cleveland Municipal Stadium, fans were allowed as many 10 ounce cups of beer as they wanted, only for the price of 10 cents.

    This proved to be one of the worst decisions by stadium management, as the night turned out to be one of the worst fan riots in American sports' history.

    Debris was thrown, fans streaked across the field, and one fan even stole a player's hat and glove and began running around the stadium.

    One player and a manager was hit in the head with a metal chair, leading to nine arrests and a forfeit of the game.

1. 2004: Ron Artest and Indiana Pacers Vs. Drunk Fan

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    This was the most infamous brawl involving drunken fans.

    During a Pistons-Pacers game, the two teams started to get into a fight on the court when suddenly a cup of beer flew down and hit Ron Artest.

    Artest did not take it lightly, and neither did his two teammates, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal.

    The three players ran into the stands and started fighting with the spectators.

    Two fans were banned from attending Palace Sports and Entertainment for life.

    Five Indiana players and five fans were charged with assault and battery.

    This incident was covered relentlessly by the media, and will be remembered forever as one of the worst moments in American sports.


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