Fan safety is a huge issue at sporting events these days. The safety of the fan is commonly stressed at every event I have ever attended, but in spite of the warnings and apparent security all over these gigantic venues, fans are still being injured in terrible accidents every year. Last night, during the Yankees game at Atlanta, a man fell 50 feet from the upper decks while leaning over the railing to shout insults at players. Thankfully the man did not fall on anyone below, but sadly, he later passed away from his injuries. A tragic event like the fall of this man could have been prevented by an increased presence of security in his section, but events like this happen all of the time with less catastrophic results. I can’t blame every tragic event on security, since they have no control over the alcohol intake of fans, and all sports related fan injuries are not easily preventable, but I do think sporting venues can do more to keep fans safe. To be completely honest, I think the biggest risk to a fan at a sporting event is alcohol abuse. Most tragic events that take place in or around sporting events, have been alcohol related, and that is not just a coincidence. It is not really the team or the venue’s job to stop fans from drinking, but they have fruitlessly tried for years to curb fan alcohol abuse. It seems that the notices to “drink responsibly” are going largely unfollowed, and fans are getting more reckless with each passing season. I love going to sporting events, and I don’t think much needs to change in order to make a ballgame a safer place. I just think all fans need to understand that everyone at the venue wants to enjoy the game as they do, and that getting home safely is more important than getting overly drunk or “shaming” the visiting team and their fans.
Fantasy Football is a billion dollar enterprise, that may actually be more popular than the actual sport itself. In fantasy football, fans are asked to draft individual players from various teams, and build a team that can outperform their competition. The business of fantasy football has become huge these days, with several companies offering fantasy coaches millions of dollars to pick the right team, but in my opinion fantasy football is hurting the game. I am a big fan of fantasy football, and I understand that the NFL will continue to thrive because of it, but fantasy football has created a new generation of football viewers, who don’t care about teams or standings, all they care about is an individual’s stat line. In a sense it doesn’t seem too terrible for the league if people are watching at higher rates, but with the high interest in stats comes much lower interest in merchandise and actual game attendance. Fans go to games to watch their favorite teams play, so when fans begin rooting for players only, the lines of fandom begin to blur. I am a Giants fan, so I do get upset when I see other fans of my team rooting for rival players but I guess that is just the way of the future. Fantasy football is definitely here to stay, and though it is killing the way of the fan, I’m sure the NFL will gladly continue to capitalize on the money that is coming in and punch the fantasy football revolution.