Devil’s Advocate Wednesday will be Morning, Wood’s forced contrary position to the status quo. It will be controversial and probably a little crass, so take it with a grain of salt…and a shot of tequila.
Devil’s Advocate Wednesday: Arm the Fans
Fans should throw whatever they want onto the field. In fact, it should be organized.
I just got finished watching Sportscenter and listening to the righteous indignation of the anchors as Mississippi State fans threw a soda onto the court. They might as well have executed someone. Every time fans do this, the people on TV call the local fans “Barbarians,” “Classless,” and “Yankees fans.”
Well guess what? There’s no such thing as home field advantage anymore. Nowadays professional and college sports teams take chartered planes, stay overnight in hotels, and get ready for their game in locker rooms that look like the bridge of the USS Enterprise. Think about it: if you play the New York Football Giants, you’re getting ready in the Jets’ locker room.
Then we have owners, players, and coaches patronizing us, saying that fans are the 6th, 12th, whatever number teammate on the field. Our noise, our very presence is the difference. Yeah, about that…modern stadiums have been trading crowd noise and acoustics for expanded seating for the better part of two decades, and crowd noise is a regular part of practices before big games. Coaches routinely blare deafening cheers from speakers before games in big stadiums, preparing players for the only contribution fans can make: noise.
We’re asked to respect the game and the players by staying in our seats, watching out for errant foul balls, and just yelling as loud as we can to rattle players. Oh, wait, before you shout that curiously nasty insult at Arizona’s point guard, remember to be respectful. Decorum in your taunts, if you please. God forbid you lose your cool and pick up your cup of $14 coke and hurl it, enraged, in the direction of the court/field/marathoner. That brings shame not only on you, but your school/city/pee-wee football team.
I say we U-turn. Let’s crank the madness up to 11.
Ask yourselves this: what would happen if the entire lower section of a college basketball arena simultaneously threw small rocks ping pong balls at the opposing team? Consider how ESPN often just makes stories out of nothing and how flabbergasted they get when anyone throws anything onto the field and you might actually see Scott Van Pelt’s head explode. Tony Cornheiser and Michael Wilbon would probably stab each other live on air.
Phase two after the jump.
The school would be fined. The team would be punished. The fans would probably be locked out of the next game. Then the NCAA finally lets them come back and they do it again. And again. And again. And again.
If you were an opposing player/fan/coach, wouldn’t you be scared out of your mind to play there? Who knows what’s coming at you next? Those people are honest to God crazy! You’d feel like one of the ferry passengers in The Dark Knight.
No amount of crowd noise would more intimidating than thousands of people surrounding you, armed with vessels of who knows what, waiting for the signal to unleash Hell. You’d probably be pissed, you’d probably want nothing more than to shove it in the faces of those barbarians, and you’d definitely play your heart out to shut them up. Look, we just raised the intensity of every home game and it’s not even the playoffs. Don’t even get me started on the playoffs.
It’s not enough to say your fans are nuts just because they flip a car after a playoff game or they make opposing fans nervous to enter the stadium. You put the fear in that other team that you might be that crazy and you’re never going to stop, and suddenly the fans actually make a difference. That’s momentum money can’t buy and a road to the championship.
Don’t even get me started on the championship parade.
So what? Am I way off here? Challenge me in the comments, mortals.