This past Saturday at the school I work for, we had our first home football game. On Saturdays in the fall, The University of Montana hosts the biggest event in the state, Griz Football. I am fortunate enough to play a role in this massive operation as I serve on the game production side of things. However, all of these details will be for another blog post. For tonight’s contribution, I want to talk about something that happened at the game this Saturday that has stirred up a lot of controversy.
The Griz play in Washington-Grizzly Stadium, a jewel in the state of Montana that hosts sellout crowds of 26,000+ every single game. It is the place to be in Montana during the autumn, nothing else remotely comes close in the state to comparing to the excitement and electricity that the place generates. Anyway, in the second quarter of an impressive Griz victory on Saturday, a streaker got onto the field. He was a nineteen year old student who climbed over the rail in the student section and stormed the field. He proceeded to dance around, slap his ass, make thrusting motions, yell into a megaphone he stole from our spirit squad, and do whatever he could to draw attention to himself. Interestingly, the security we hire for the games have implemented a policy where they let streakers tire themselves out on the field and finish their antics on their own power before arresting them. Because of this policy, this moron stumbled around the field for a good minute. Believe me, a minute is a loooong time when you have to watch something that disturbing in that type of setting. Our game production crew sits up in the control room of the press box. We call all the shots when it comes to the non-football aspect of the game. We were absolutely powerless as we watched this guy on the field. About half of us were laughing, the other half were not. I was not. Once the streaker realized that no one was making an attempt to restrain him and that the crowd was really not enjoying his show he literally walked off the field and was handcuffed. Security then took him from the ten yard line of the Griz sideline, across the back of the nearest end zone, down to the thirty yard line of the visiting team’s sideline, and then up the tunnel…while he was completely naked.
I am not here to talk about the security’s philosophy or how they handled the arrest, that is all up for interpretation. What I want to address is the debate going on in Missoula right now about whether it is a big deal or not.
Before I get into that though, how drunk must you be to do something like that? You mentally have to be on another planet millions of miles away from Earth to have the complete stupidity to pull that off. Even if you are completely blacked out drunk, most people still have a very dim light that is barely flickering inside of them that is able to prevent them from doing something like streaking in front of 26,000 people. It really does bewilder me. And did the dude have any friends at all who tried to convince him not to do that? Of course I know that if he did all of them had to have been completely bombed but you would think one of them would have had that little light flickering as well that would have made him/her tell the dude not to go onto that field. The streaker told the local news station that all he remembered was suddenly being on the field and people chanting “Dan the Man.” He was obviously blitzed beyond belief because I am pretty sure everyone was chanting “Dan the Perv.”
The debate is raging in Zoo Town right now about whether what that kid did was a harmless college rite of passage type prank or if it was a sexual felony that should stick with him for the rest of his life. The kid is basically in limbo right now as authorities are wrestling with the exact same question the public is debating. He could get off with a simple slap on the wrist or there is talk that he could be charged as a sex offender and have his whole life screwed up.
First off, if you run onto the field fully clothed at any sporting event you are an idiot. It means that you could care less about the event that you came to watch and it means that you are an attention seeking jerk. In this day and age, if I was a player and I saw some maniac sprinting onto the field I would be scared out of my mind. Who knows what that guy is carrying or what his intentions are. I fully support the use of force on any loser who runs onto the field….powerful force. Again, I don’t want to criticize how our security went about the situation because obviously it worked out but I just want it to be known what my first choice for dealing with the situation is.
Running onto the field clothed is a stupid thing to do. Running onto the field naked is a sickening thing to do. It can have a negative impact on a lot of people, especially children. When that fool was being hauled off the field, many kids got an up close view of something they should not have to see unless they were watching some Discovery Channel documentary on some aborigine tribe. I have heard that several parents are going to press sexual harassment charges against the streaker. To that I say amen.
When you do something in life that is stupid, there has to be consequences. When you do something in life that is stupid and you take absolute no regard for how you might affect children, there has to be severe consequences. I hope the streaker gets the book thrown at him. I really hope he gets expelled from school at the end of this week (supposedly when the decision is going to come) and then I hope thirty parents file against him. His name has been released to the public and I really have no idea if he is going to be a hero on campus or if he is going to be public enemy #1. I personally don’t care cause I knew what he did was wrong. I hate to keep repeating the same thing but you just can’t get away with crap like that.
I can’t help but wonder what must have been going through that kid’s head when he started to sober up. By the time he could actually feel his feet again I bet his youtube video had already been viewed a few thousand times. How is he going to explain that to his kids one of these days? What must his parents think? Do you think they will watch the youtube video? While he has local celebrity status right now, there is no way he is enjoying it. With his life in limbo and the biggest mistake of his existence on the internet for the whole world to see, it really would be hard to. Don’t Blink.
(I will not give a link to the video but if you so desire, type in “UM Streaker” on youtube).