When one of my favorite teams loses a big game, I’ve been known to do things I’m not proud of. I’ve cried. I’ve thrown remote controls and cell phones. I’ve even punched inanimate objects. But it’s never even crossed my mind to beat the hell out of a supporter of the opposing team.

 

I thought we had reached an all-time low as a nation of fans when that drunk jackass in Cleveland tackled the 8 year old kid in a Jets jersey after their overtime loss. To my amazement, the Dodgers took it to a whole new level last week by putting a Giants fan in a coma following a victory on opening day.

 

Having never traveled west of Las Vegas and suffering from a lifelong addiction to a show that may or may not be based out of Bristol, Connecticut, it’d be difficult for me to argue that I don’t have an East Coast bias. I’ve always been under the impression that the most heated rivalries in sports were those between the Yankees and Red Sox, Duke and North Carolina, Michigan and Ohio State, the Eagles and Giants, and the NHL’s everlasting struggle for TV ratings. Sure, I’ve heard tale of the Dodgers and the Giants hating each other, but until just recently, I didn’t realize that some of the fans were fanatic enough to enact their own rendition of the Green Street Hooligans in the parking lot.

 

During the NFL season, otherwise known as my Before Bleacher Report era, I wrote an article breaking down the seven types of sports fans and asked my readers to determine the category into which they fall. The seven types are: Know-Nothing Party, Eternal Optimist, Rational Realist, Uber-Pessimist, Superstitious Supporter, Conspiracy Theorist, and Loose Cannon. From season to season or even from minute to minute, most of us oscillate between any number of states of fandom; but the Loose Cannons are a “special” breed.

 

This is how I described the group:

 

“These are the fans that decide every September, “I’m going to allow 53 grown men to dictate what frame of mind I’ll be in on a week-to-week basis for the next 17-22 weeks.” If you’re reading this post, I think we can agree we all get a little too involved in something we ultimately have no control over, but I’m talking about the people who are still pissed off at the world on the Thursday following Week 4 for a bad call at the end of the 3rd quarter. I can’t believe we chastised Stevie Johnson for being upset about being the person who actually dropped that ball two weeks ago, but we won’t put people into rehab for some of the things they would do on a weekly basis if they rooted passionately for the Panthers this year. I’ll be the first to admit that I get fired up over sports and video games way more than I should, but give me five minutes and a beer to relax and I’ll do just that. Some of these fans literally terrify me.”

 

I think it’s pretty clear that we have a good number of loose cannons in Los Angeles. And ‘loose’ is the operative word right now, because seven days and a few hospital bills after Brian Stow suffered brain damage from a severe skull fracture, the MLB and police still don’t know who is responsible for the attack.

 

They’ve put up a $100,000 reward for anyone who can lead them to the attackers, but come on; that’s barely enough for good season tickets at Dodger Stadium for one year. We all know that once they find out who is responsible, the family is going to sue the attackers and the Dodgers organization for multiple million dollars, and yet the authorities are only willing to offer two Alex Rodriguez at-bats’ worth of reward money? The time for pinching pennies is not when you trying to find the people responsible for beating a stranger within an inch of his life. My opinion on the matter is that the Dodgers should take all their revenue from beer sales for the weekend and make that the bounty, but we all know that would never happen.

 

A vigil is being held today at the scene of the crime, and the real question in the aftermath of the attack is what can we possibly do to prevent this from happening again?

 

At least a significant percentage of people will argue that they should stop selling alcohol at professional sporting events. Anyone with any knowledge of the finances of baseball would tell you that you might as well just cancel the season if you eliminate revenue from alcohol, because they wouldn’t even be able to afford to pay half the players at that point. Besides, speaking from the experience of going to a college with a dry campus, people can always find ways to get alcohol to where they want it to be, so unless you plan on strip searching everyone in the stadium for flasks, cutting the fans off from $8 beers wouldn’t solve the problem.

 

Others would argue that people should know better than to wear opposing colors, so to speak. If you bring Giants gear to Dodger Stadium or Yankees jerseys to Fenway, you at least have an idea in the back of your mind of what you might be getting into, so it’s a somewhat valid argument. However, people change residences but keep their allegiances, so it isn’t always practical to go see your team play a home game. If you pay the money, you should be able to enjoy the game in support of whichever team you prefer. Unfortunately, some fans don’t see it that way.

 

The only surefire solution is to increase security/visibility in the parking lots. You’ve got probably ten thousand cars parking for $15 apiece. You’re telling me you can’t put some of that $150,000 per game towards paying a couple dozen guys to make sure this never happens again? It doesn’t even have to be every game, because I assure you no one is starting a fanatical altercation during the Nationals/Padres series. But for those ten or twenty games per season (or 81 games in Philadelphia) where you know the fans are going to be more fired up than usual, can we please see some preventive action? Fearing for my life isn’t supposed to be part of America’s National Pastime.

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