When I was a sophomore in college, attending every football game of course, rushing the field was cool. Even when it was simply an individual rushing the field, I was acceptant. If there was a lull in the game, I would often wish that someone would rush the field just to break up the monotony. I even wrote earlier this year of my defense of collegiate student fan bases rushing the field/court after important victories. As that great philosopher Chef says "there's a time and place for everything; and it's called college." When you're young, you should be able to do stupid things. Of course, there are always consequences.
Which brings me to last night. During the Cardinals vs Phillies in Philadelphia last night, some amped up teenager decided it was his "once-in-a-lifetime" chance to run onto a major league field. The on-duty police officer, however, disagreed with his assessment and proceeded to chase the 17-yr old down, and tase him for his efforts.
Being a member of a fan base that has been collectively branded as miscreants because of the actions of a smack-head and his son, I think I ought to at least have an opinion on the matter; so here goes. There is an inherent, specific danger in the actions of an individual. One individual poses a security threat, which is why sports management takes field trespassing so seriously. There's really no way to determine whether an individual rushing onto the field is intending frivolity or harm. Compare this to a mass of students rushing onto the playing field. Obviously there is the risk of injury, both to the rushers and to the players on the field, but there is an obvious motive for the field invasion. We know why they are there, and what their purpose is. They just want to celebrate.
To simplify: Mob rushing is cool, individual rushing is dangerous.
Yes, tasing the kid may have been excessive, but it is unlawful trespassing to enter the playing field. At that point, it's up to the responding officers to determine how to best subdue the suspect. When you're in Philly, I wouldn't bet on the soft handed treatment that rushers at CU football games receive (It's a city that loves to throw batteries, after all). Of course, it is, shall I say, uncouth to tase a guy on national television (which is why the Phillies have asked to talk to police representative to discuss the use of tasers in the future), but the kid should've understood the potential consequences of his actions; and if he didn't, he certainly does now. Much like fear of fire only coming after you first get burned, I bet this kid won't make that mistake again.