DiCaro: Stop Running On The Field, Jerks

By Julie DiCaro–

(CBS) Hey you, yes you, the big Cubs fan. The biggest in the world, according to you.

No one loves the Cubs like you do. We get it. The rest of us are all just a bunch of poseurs who could never understand the depths of your adoration for a baseball team. Got it.

Here’s the thing, though: Stop running on the field.

I realize you think that running onto the field to celebrate a win you had no part in or dumping a beer on Shane Victorino is the highest evidence of your fandom, but mostly you just look stupid. There, I said it.

Oh, I know you think it was a cool thing to do, a misguided idea reinforced, no doubt, by the attention you may have garnered afterward. But guess who doesn’t think it’s such a cool thing to do? All of us who didn’t run on the field.

Oh, and the players.

Former Cub shortstop Ryan Theriot described fans running onto the field in one word: “scary!” (He added the exclamation mark.)

“You never know their intentions,” Theriot said. “There’s some pretty passionate fans out there, and that doesn’t always mean good things for the visiting team … hell maybe even the home team.”

Former MLB pitcher Dirk Hayhusrt added fans on the field can be a welcome injection of humor in an otherwise boring game but ultimately agreed with Theriot.

“The field is for the players,” Hayhurst said. “Eyes are meant to be on them. That’s why they’ve worked so hard to get where they are. That, and it’s their place of work.”

Imagine sitting at your desk at work, minding your own business, doing what you are paid to do. Suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you see someone running wildly toward you, limbs akimbo, desperately trying to evade security. That’s not a scenario most of us would welcome, and players shouldn’t have to deal with it in their workplace any more than the rest of us should.

Think it’s not a serious issue? Tell that to Tom Gamboa, the former first-base coach for the Royals who was attacked by two White Sox fans who sprinted onto the field in 2002. Gamboa permanently lost some hearing after the attack. It’s also worth mentioning the one of the men was armed with a knife.

“I don’t know what we can do to eliminate this,” Gamboa said in the afermath. “I’m grateful [the Royals) got there as quick as they could, especially when there was a knife involved. God forbid me or somebody else would get stabbed. That could have been really tragic.”

Safety concerns aside, Hayhurst said fans can upset the flow of the game.
“Some players are so locked in that they really hate being interrupted,” he said. “Especially if they’re in a groove. Or, if you hit a game-winning shot and suddenly you’re surrounded by fans who’ve stormed the field, this can be downright terrifying instead of exhilarating.”
I’ll admit, we’ve gotten a few good moments from fans on the field. Anyone who streaks on the field during Premier League games in British soccer automatically becomes hilarious. In a similar regard, we had a good run with the “Don’t tase me, bro!” guy. And who could forget George Costanza in his nude-colored body stocking?
But more regularly, fans who run on the field are just drunk dude bros who think they’re funny, such as Dylan Cressey, the 22-year-old who rushed the mound to crash the Cubs’ celebration of ace Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter last Thursday against the Reds at Great American Ball Park.

“I planned my route,” Cressey told the Tribune. “I accepted the fact that I was going to jail that night but I thought it would be worth it.”

Yeah, bro. It was like … totally worth it, I’m sure. Though at least Cressey comes by it honestly:

“Yes, that’s my son Dylan on the field in Cincy celebrating with Arrieta and the boys after the no-hitter! That’s my boy!” Cressey’s father posted on Facebook.

Cool story.

Look, fans who run on the field look like complete idiots. What’s worse, they make the rest of us look like idiots. Cubs fans are unfairly stereotyped across the baseball world as drunken frat boys, and those are inevitably the fans who manage to draw the most attention to themselves during games.

Stop it. It’s not fair to the players, it’s not fair to the rest of the fans who actually abided by the rules and it’s really not fair to the security guards, most of whom wind up looking like the police in a Benny Hill video.

Have some respect for the players, their families, the rest of the fans and yourself. Stay in your seat.

Julie DiCaro is an update anchor and columnist for 670 The Score. Follow her on Twitter @JulieDiCaro and like her Facebook page.

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