Jewish World Review Sept. 27, 2009 / 9 Tishrei 5770
The Problem with Tailgating
By Mitch Albom
It ran on YouTube.
It was shot by an onlooker.
It was viewed thousands of times.
At this point, you're no doubt thinking "sex," so let me assure you the women kept their clothes on. Unfortunately, that was the only ladylike thing about them.
On the video, they appeared intoxicated, were swearing like sailors, got in fights, then pushed, shoved and cursed until security guards finally took them away, one in handcuffs.
This was not a women's penitentiary. It was a football game. A
Now, you can argue that watching the
And you could shoot a video like this every Sunday.
A GAME-DAY TRADITION
Look, it's bad enough that most
Make no mistake. The fists may fly in the stands. But they get lubricated in the parking lots. This will not make me popular with Budweiser, Miller, Coors or millions of drinkers, but what is the point of going to a football game for the express purpose of getting wasted? It's one thing to be out at night and one beer leads to another. But when you get up at
And it shouldn't be everyone else's problem.
Yet it is. And I blame the teams pro and college. By encouraging a seven-hour drinking day, football now sees its stadiums marred with behavior like last week's YouTube moment. When you watch this sad debacle, you see how two guards have to struggle to get one enraged woman under control. It's not easy. People are all around, getting bumped, getting angry, making threats. And that's just one woman! You can imagine when five or six burly guys are blitzed to the point of engagement. In stadiums with upper levels, railings and long steps, we flirt with disaster every week.
A call to action
But it never stops. You even think about cutting tailgating and the populace rises up in arms. Last year I read some angry letters to the editor when a
FIVE HOURS TO FOUR?
Now I'm not saying that some people maybe most don't handle tailgating well. They do. They eat, laugh, maybe drink, but keep it under control.
But if you've ever been in the stands especially with a child and heard the drunken swearing, the threats, the bellowing or worse, been doused with beer or sprinkled with vomit, then you know the minority very much ruin it for the majority.
Which is why the
Not so long ago, there used to be blue laws that outlawed alcohol on Sundays. I'm not saying everyone needs to be in church. But when loaded, wasted, hammered and blitzed are the words people now associate with Sunday mornings, there's a problem.
And when it winds up in the stands and then on YouTube it's everybody's problem.
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