Sunday, July 26, 2009

In the light of cowardice

We know that sports fans in Philadelphia have a reputation as the toughest in the country. They'll even boo Santa Claus if necessary. Heck, in the old ECW, they had someone dressed as Santa take a chokeslam, which the crowd applauded.

And, it seems, they're also willing to protect their own. Case in point, Saturday's Fox game of the week, Phillies-Cardinals. The defending World Champions had just taken the lead on back-to-back homers by Jimmy Rollins (a grand slam) and Shane Victorino. As St. Louis is at-bat the next inning, some jerk decides to have some fun at the expense of the Cardinals. Julio Lugo, who just came over from Boston earlier in the week via trade, suddenly had a green laser light show up, dancing around the top of his uniform shirt. Lugo ultimately struck out, but he had to be distracted by the laser light, which was exactly the goal of the fan using the laser pointer!

As All-Star slugger Albert Pujols digs in, the laser light shows up again. Umpire Jim Wolf, who'd just seen the same thing and got a complaint from Lugo, stops the game and walks in the direction of the home dugout. Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel tries to help, but it seems his own fans aren't willing to hand up the cowardly culprit. An obligatory announcement was made over the public address system, and the laser pointer was put away for the rest of the game. It's not as if the Phillies needed any additional help, as they went on to win the game, 14-6. It's the fact that this win, in which Philadelphia had to come from behind to win going away, was tainted because of one lone punk with a laser pointer. What if he'd blinded Lugo or Pujols? You know the Cardinals are going to complain----loudly----if that happened. That this jerk escaped unscathed and undetected speaks volumes to the contempt that certain Phillies fans have, a sense of entitlement that has them convinced they can do whatever they want because their team is the defending World Champion. If this slime tried the same stunt vs. the Mets, you know full well it's going to be played up huge in scandal-happy New York. So why pull it on national television against a team the Phillies may have to face in the post-season?

The simplest answer is that whomever this obviously inebriated dorkazoid is, he was looking to give his team an unnecessary extra advantage, not realizing that if he got caught, and he's a season ticket holder, he's losing his tickets for the rest of the season. The NY Giants of the NFL did that a few years ago when a drunken fan threw an ice ball at the San Diego Chargers' bench during a game, so there's precedent. But, drunk or otherwise, there's no excuse for infringing on a professional athlete competing against your team. It's not a twisted sense of entitlement, it's cowardice of the worst kind. Sadly, there's too many of these punks out there, and Mr. Laser will spawn the predictable copycats before the season is over. Count on it.

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