Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rant #413: Sober vs. Drunk

A woman says two intoxicated fans at a Cincinnati Bengals game last year fell on her, breaking her nose and finger and causing other injuries.

The woman and her husband are suing the Bengals, the beer vendor and the county-owned football stadium for negligence, alleging they continued to serve alcohol to "noticeably intoxicated" fans at a 2009 NFL game.

The Bengals, through a spokesman, have declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

We have all been to sports events where fans get a bit unruly. I know I have been to several. The last one was at a Knicks-Nets contest earlier this year at Madison Square Garden, where, when the game was out of hand, some fans in the upper seats near me started to go at it. They were noticeably sloshy, let's say, and I was glad that the game ended quickly, because if it were longer, who knows what would have happened.

As a kid, one drunk challenged my friend's father to a fight during a Yankees-Red Sox game. My friend's father had just come out of the hospital after suffering a heart attack, but as a proud former Army service member, he was ready to go at it, although he was at least double the age of the drunk. Happily, my father talked him out of it.

So this stuff has been going on forever.

What can a team and a stadium do?

They have limited the availability of alcohol up to a certain point in the game. And they will get rid of boorish people who decide that the stadium is their living room.

But the only other option is to completely ban the sale of alcoholic beverages period, which I don't think they will ever do. It's just too much of loss of a revenue stream for them to do this.

So what else can you do? I just don't know, but again, it all adds up to what people can do to watch themselves.

There is nothing wrong with having a beer at a football game. Nothing at all.

However, having seven beers at a football game is wrong. Or coming to the game buzzed and then getting sloshed at the game is wrong too.

I don't understand how people can drink excessively at a game anyway. You are there to watch the game; how can you watch the game when you are drunk as a skunk?

People have to know their limits; you can't expect the team or arena to know every fan's alcohol limit.

Less a ban, I don't know what the solution is.

But like drinking when driving, drinking excessively when you are at a football game or any game, for that matter, is really stupid.

And during this time of year, when many people lose their minds anyway, is not the right time to drink excessively.

So if you have a beer or two, fine. But don't have seven or eight, especially if you are driving.

I mean, what's so fun about being drunk anyway?

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