Friday, August 26, 2011

The Worst Fan Behavior in America

The brawls that broke out during the 49rs-Raiders preseason game last week got me thinking about the worst cases of sports behavior by American sports fans.

A couple of notes about this list. First, I only counted cases that happened in the United States or had a United States team involved.  So things like the attack on Monica Seles and the Heysel Stadium Disaster were not included in this list.  Second, if an athlete played a major role in the altercation (other than innocent victim) then I didn't include them.  Sorry, Piston's fans.

5. September 16, 1940

George Magerkurth
On the surface, this looks like simple fan misbehavior, but this guy was actually running a business.  During a Brooklyn Dodgers game a fan rushed to umpire George Magerkurth, tackled him, and began pummeling him.  The attack was unprovoked, but while the beating was taking place the fan had a partner in the stands who began pickpocketing onlookers.

4. May 18, 1924

1924 U.S. Rugby team in happier days
During an Olympic rugby match between the United States and France, French fans booed the Americans after star Frenchman, Adolphe Jaureguy, was downed early in the game. leaving him unconscious.  The French fans threw bottles and rocks on the field and fights broke out in the stands.  A U.S. player was hit in the face by a walking stick and knocked out, and the French fans stormed the field after the game.  The French team had to act as bodyguards as the Americans made their way off the field when the game was over.

20 years later, those same fans would be begging us for liberation.  Scoreboard.

3. August 12, 1984

Baseball in the 1980s
Beanball wars are not that out-of-the ordinary  in Major League Baseball.  But what happened during a game in Atlanta on this date between the Padres and Braves took things to a new level.  The Padres' Kurt Bevacqua was hit over the head with a beer mug (the visual of this is what puts this in the #3 spot, although actual video is available), and another fan tried to steal a helmet.  Seven fans in all were arrested and riot police guarded the field at the end of the game.


2. Ten Cent Beer Night - June 4, 1974

I work out at the same gym as one of those guys.
I know we live in an overprotective age now, but c'mon, what were they thinking back then?  Ten Cent Beer Night was exactly what it sounded like.  All the beer you want for 10 cents a pop.  What could go wrong?

Well, a woman ran to the on-deck circle and flashed her breasts, a man streaked to second base during a Tom Grieve homerun trot, and a father and son team ran to the outfield and mooned the crowd.  But they were just getting started. 

The Rangers' Mike Hargrove had hot dogs thrown at him, was spit on, and finally had an empty jug of Thunderbird wine hurled at him.  Finally, in the bottom of the ninth, in a tie game, a fan decided now would be a great time to run and steal Jeff Burroughs' hat.  Rangers manager Billy Martin (a key ingredient to any baseball confrontation) stormed the field along with his bat-wielding team.  Cleveland manager Ken Aspromonte ordered his team to also grab bats and attack the team's own fans in order to protect the Rangers. 

Chairs were thrown, rocks were thrown, and all three bases were literally stolen, never to be returned.

1. August 20, 2011

No word yet on his involvement.
Hard to finish ahead of this one.  At the 49rs-Raiders PRESEASON game, fights broke out throughout the stadium for the entirety of the game, finally culminating in 2 fans being shot after the game and another being beaten unconscious in the bathroom.  In San Francisco you can't buy a Happy Meal but you can get so wasted at a football game that you start fighting anything that moves.  

So that's my list.  Any that should have made it?

1 comment:

  1. I am glad to see throwing snowballs at Santa didn't make the list.