Attending a sporting event or even a town hall meeting or other entertainment venue actually puts us in the arena or stage of that event. Some get so involved and revved up that they feel as though they are the stars and athletes and the entertainment, and must reveal themselves in many ways. Sometimes they go much too far and become unruly spectators.
This seems so common lately and hard to control. Can we say that unruly spectators are downright stupid? Yes! Do they have a need for attention? Yes! It's so good to cheer for the home team and let your team hear your support. I love going to Boston's Fenway Park, where the fans are so enthusiastic and truly love their Red Sox. It is a lot of fun. Fun turns into a nightmare though, when drunken fans storm out onto the field and have to be chased and even Tasered by security. How stupid!
We all witnessed last year's political town hall meetings on health care. Instead of the audience trying to listen to their representative explain different parts of the bill, the audience just had to get into the face of the representative and shout and scream, while the cameras are rolling ... naturally. You can be in total disagreement to the objective of that representative, but must you be rude and loud and vulgar?
We probably all have seen the commercial on TV where the fans at a tennis match storm the field and get right into the tennis match. Is that what it's all coming to? Did you know that during the very violent Roman gladiator period, the spectators were closely supervised and rarely rioted? The sport of soccer in Europe comes to mind where spectator violence has prevailed. Lives have even been lost as fans stampeded the soccer fields. How foolish! This is called soccer "hooliganism" and is really a worldwide phenomenon.
Should we even think of tasering unruly spectators as a last resort, even though the unruly spectator has caused delay and has refused to give up? Can they be controlled otherwise? Should there be more specific warnings at stadiums, town halls and entertainment centers?
Heckling at night clubs is a centuries-old common practice and is tolerated to a point. If a standup comedian fails his audience, heckling is expected. That also can go too far.
Drinking always has been and always will be a big problem in producing unruly spectators. Some can handle a drink or two, while others cannot. A cold beer is enjoyed very much on a hot humid evening at the ball park. Only you know whether you can handle it.
We all love to boo a pitcher, an umpire, a politician, a quarterback or an entertainer when their performance is sub-par. We also must know our limits and stay out of the unruliness mode and be a good spectator. Those professional sports figures are truly all trying to be winners, but cannot achieve each and every time. Entertainers are truly trying to entertain you, but sometimes come up short. The politician can have a different viewpoint, and they sometimes weave distrust and untruths for their own gains and a vote, but they still should have your respect, not unruliness.
The baseball umpires and basketball and football referees will always appear to some as villains and are targeted even before the game begins. There should never be a bad call for the home team but if there is, all hell will break loose. How far you go with a bad call depends on completely on you. Do you know when to stop?
When we hear the old phrase "Throw the bum out!" it may not be the athlete or entertainer or politician. It just might be me or you if we are an unruly spectator.