Zero-tolerance for fool fans - NBC Sports

Zero-tolerance for fool fans
Interfering spectators must be banned, or else the next item thrown might not be a hot dog
Security officials remove one of two men who jumped from the stands and attacked Kansas City Royals first base coach Tom Gamboa in the ninth inningÿon Sept. 19, 2002, at Comiskey Park in Chicago.
October 11, 2011, 3:10 pm

It's going to happen. I'll be walking into a stadium, wearing someone else's last name screenprinted across my shoulder blades and clutching a creased print-at-home ticket when a security guard with a part-time paycheck and a full-time attitude problem will stop me.

He'll call me ma'am. I'll make a mental note to start using an undereye cream. "Ma'am," he'll repeat. "We're going to need to check that bag for weapons, for glass containers ... and for pork products."

There has to be some kind of fallout, doesn't there, after an unidentified spectator threw a hot dog at Tiger Woods during the Open on Sunday? That was one of the more ridiculous things I've seen on a golf course - not counting John Daly's pants - and one of the most disappointing, because he didn't shout "HEY TIGER, DO YOU WANT FRYS WITH THAT?" as he ran toward the seventh green.

"I guess he wanted to be in the news," Woods said in his post-round press conference. "And he will be."

He was. He is. And eventual winner Bryce Molder has been largely ignored in favor of stock photos of beef byproducts, making this the most overexposed weiner since that Congressman stopped using Twitter.

I do not understand the urge to throw foods or drinks or other nouns at athletes, whether it's to be an idiot like that frank flinger, to express your displeasure or just to remind the visiting team that yes, they're in Philadelphia, where the Doppler radar still shows a slight chance of D-cell batteries.

Image: Security officer chases fan
Matt Slocum / AP

A security officer chases on-field trespasser Steve Consalvi with a Taser on May 3, 2010 during a Cardinals-Phillies game in Philadelphia.

It's scary any time spectators get involved, whether they're pelting Shane Victorino with a beer cup, drilling Thierry Henry with a launched cigarette lighter, or literally facemasking a visiting Arena league player. After the trash is collected - whether from the field or out of their front row seat - I always wonder what ramifications there will be for the other ticket holders. At the next game or match or tournament, what kind of restrictions will be placed on me and the other casual fans, the ones who aren't wired to throw seven ounces of mechanically separated meat at a professional golfer.

PGA tournaments are awesome to attend, if only because they're one of the only sporting events where you're allowed to stand right beside the playing surface. If you're lucky, you'll just be a club-length away from the guys whose names are on the leaderboard every Sunday.

The anonymous weiner launcher could wreck that.

Because I guarantee that even though flying hot dogs are hilarious and possibly the plot of the next Kevin James movie, more than one tournament official was thinking to themselves, "What if that had been a golf ball or a tree branch or a more unforgiving food?" Seriously. That went through my mind, and I'm not paid to wear a dark sportscoat and study security tapes.

I know it sounds ridiculous. But, several years ago, so did walking through metal detectors to get into a college football stadium.

"OH, LIGHTEN UP," you're shouting at your monitor, your eyes rolling toward the back of your brain. "GO BACK TO YOUR WERTHER'S ORIGINALS AND YOUR MALL WALKING AND YOUR EASY SPIRIT SHOES."

Whatever. I'm serious AND MY SENSIBLE SHOES ARE COMFORTABLE. No one should mess with these guys while they're out there doing their jobs, whether it's Tiger Woods or Arjun Atwal or any player between them in the alphabet. (No, that doesn't mean you can throw the rest of your Funyuns at Brad Adamonis ... what's wrong with you people?)

If you're caught launching something onto the field or the green or the pitch at a player, that player should be allowed to come to your job and pelt you with debris. Good luck collating those spreadsheets while J.D. Drew tries to bounce an Energizer off your forehead.

The problem is we don't yet know who the Hot Dogger was. The broadcast crew didn't air his face; that's protocol for field invaders or streakers or any other unscheduled interruption. We don't need to make him famous, but I am curious who'd throw food they bought at a sporting event. That hot dog probably cost AT LEAST eight bucks. There are plates of Presidents Cup nachos that will retail for more than my living room furniture.

I'm totally OK with the last approach. If you throw something at a player or run onto the field, you should be removed from the stadium and not allowed to see it again unless you buy a commemorative plate. I'm all for making examples of these losers. By the time you add the cost of tickets, parking and concessions, it's beyond expensive to go to a pro sporting event and I'll be damned if I'll let some Amstel-lubricated asshat ruin it for me SO DON'T MAKE ME TURN THIS PGA TOUR AROUND.

Maybe each league could borrow a page from the British government, which has no problem removing "potential troublemakers" from the stands. Their officially sanctioned Football Banning Order isn't just a clever name; if a spectator launches anything onto the pitch, vocalizes indecent or racist chants or runs onto the playing area, they can face a ban of up to 10 years. That means for up to a decade, the closest they could get to a soccer match is a bank of TVs at their local Best Buy.

("OOH, NO SOCCER! SOME PUNISHMENT," you're saying, because you're all jerks in my head.)

If the NHL adopted that kind of zero-tolerance approach, the ultra-moronic Chris Moorhouse wouldn't be anywhere near a rink for several years. Moorhouse, 26, is the guy who threw a banana at Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds, who is black. Moorhouse claimed ignorance to the racial implications of his actions ... shortly after he hired an attorney.

At least Sunday's hot dog toss wasn't racially motivated, not unless the thrower was implying that Tiger is full of nitrates and other preservatives. And hopefully this is the last time we'll read "Tiger" and "hot dog" in the same sentence, unless you're scanning the menu at Somewhere in Augusta, the Georgia sports bar where they already offer a Woods-themed dog. The Tiger Homewrecker is served with chili, diced onions and cheddar cheese and should probably be taken off the menu before next April.

Augusta National is just a well-thrown weiner away.

Jelisa Castrodale has learned a lot about life by making a mess of her own. Read more at , follow her on twitter at, or contact her at


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