Now, this probably isn’t going to be your typical sports blog. In fact, this will probably at least somewhat venture into the area for which this blog was originally created (i.e., politics.) And I’ll tell you right now – my view probably won’t be “politically correct” by any stretch of the imagination. Now if that isn’t incentive for you to read on, I don’t know what is.
For those of you who are still unfamiliar with the story or haven’t seen the video, this is what happened: a 17 year-old Phillies fan (whose name I will not print just so the idiot doesn’t get one more hit in a Google search) thought it would be a good idea to jump over the fencing and run around in the field of play. And as it was reported today, he thought it was such a good idea that he would call his dad to double-check the awesomeness of the idea. His dad’s succinct reply was: “I don’t think you should, son.” Well, Boy Wonder did it anyway. After eluding an increasingly winded cop for a few seconds, the cop went to his last resort (well, second-t0-last resort if you count the gun he was almost assuredly carrying) and pulled out his taser. He shot it, or did whatever you do with tasers, and the kid went face-first into the outfield turf.
My first thought was this: this s— is hilarious!
My second thought was: what the hell is wrong with Phillies fans, and Philadelphia fans in general? Not even a month ago there was an incident at Citizens Bank Park where a drunkard intentionally made himself vomit on a cop and his two young girls. And, of course, who can forget the fans booing and/or throwing snowballs at Santa Claus at an Eagles game decades ago.
My third thought: what is the appropriate verbiage here? Tasered or tased? I’ll go with tased.
My fourth and final thought and the subject of this post; was tasering the idiot the correct move to make? In recent years, there have been studies that have shown that tasers are, in fact, much more dangerous than originally believed. There have been several causes of taser-related deaths, none of which which is more notable than the case of a Louisiana man, Baron “Scooter” Pikes, who was killed by a policeman wielding a taser in a case with purported racial undertones.
So yes, tasers are dangerous, and yes, they have been known to kill people. You know what? I’m okay with this. For one, in the Louisiana case, the victim was said to have been tased nine times. This idiot from Philly was tased once. I’m no taser expert, but I’m pretty sure that the number of times a person is tased probably makes a difference in the likelihood of death. Secondly, in my opinion (and I must stress, this is just an opinion) the taser was an object of last resort for the officer. He tried to catch him and pummel him into the ground the old-fashioned way, and the kid wasn’t going to give it up. I’m sure it wasn’t the way he wanted to do it, but the kid pretty much left him no choice.
And I’m sorry, but I’m proud of this officer for drawing a line in the sand. You can’t jump a fence at a professional sporting event and expect there to be no repercussions (the teen reportedly told his dad that it would be “a once in a lifetime experience.”) This officer sent a message to all the other numskulls out there thinking of doing the same thing: think before you act, and if you act like this, you’re going to pay.
And who’s to say what this kid was going to do? I mean, it’s easy to look at this after the fact and say “Well, it was just some harmless kid, he didn’t have a weapon or anything.” Yeah, okay, that’s nice. Was that apparent at the time that he rushed into the outfield? Not quite. I mean, have we already forgotten what happened at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago in 2002? For those of us that forgot (or just want to be enlightened), two drunken bums and excuses for baseball fans bum-rushed the first base coach for the Kansas City Royals with the intent of beating the crap out of him (or worse, a folded-up pocket knife was found at the scene as well.) A taser would have probably been an appropriate action there, would it have not? And lest we forget tennis star Monica Seles, and how she was stabbed in the back while ON THE COURT in a 1993 match. You just don’t know.
This is obviously going to be a pretty polarizing debate. People are going to get worked up about civil liberties and all that. I’m not going to waste the effort. The kid was a dope. I liked the comment from his dad where he said that “he wasn’t drinking… he wasn’t on drugs.” There goes the kid’s only possible excuse.
Here’s a final bit of advice for the moron: SIT IN THE STANDS AND ENJOY THE GAME! You’ve got one of the best teams in baseball to root for, for crying out loud. And for all you’ve done, please be a man and accept the punishment. You deserved the fine and the community service that will come your way, just as you deserved getting tased, or tasered.
Whatever the proper verbiage is.