Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Fans need to calm down

During the Badger football game this past weekend, I started to contemplate what in the world I could write my column about this week.

I began to discuss different topics in the sports world with my roommate’s brother, Jeff, and he brought up an interesting yet disturbing new story I had not yet heard.

He told me about how a Chicago fan had attacked Kansas City Royals’ first-base coach Tom Gamboa.

I was stunned, but after hearing about the story, I was inclined to do some further research.

It was the ninth inning at Comiskey Park, where the Royals were taking their last at bats against the White Sox. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a bare-chested father and son burst out of the stands and ambushed Gamboa from behind.

Gamboa, taken by extreme surprise, was knocked to the ground where the father — later identified as William Ligue, Jr., 34, of Alsip, Ill. — and his 15-year-old son started to punch and slap him.

“I had my hands on my hips, and I was looking at the next batter,” Gamboa said. “I felt like a football team had hit me from behind. Next thing I knew, I’m on the ground trying to defend myself.”

Luckily for Gamboa, his team was in the first-base dugout, which is unusual, as the home team usually resides in the first-base dugout. The Royals’ dugout cleared, along with their bullpen from right field, to help rescue Gamboa from his attackers.

As a result of his team’s speedy support, Gamboa only suffered several cuts and a large bruise on his forehead.

After the attack Gamboa told reporters he has no idea why he was attacked.

According to Ligue, his attacker, Gamboa had taunted him and that “deserved” the attack.

White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko was the closest person to Gamboa during the game and said he did not hear anything unusual during the course of the game.

So, now many are wondering, as I am, why the heck did this attack take place, and better yet, if Gamboa had taunted the fan, would that have even been justification for a crazed fan to leap out of his seat and jump on the field to pummel a first-base coach?

Seriously, what is the sports’ world coming to if coaches, players and even umpires can’t play a game in front of thousands of people without wondering if some angry person might react violently to a missed shot or to a innocent glance into the stands?

Violence in this country has been on the rise for many years, if not for decades, but until recently most of the violence has stayed out on the streets. Now, is seems that is also changing, like many other parts of our society, and that even professional and college athletes have to wonder if they are safe on the field.

Events like this are not happening everyday, but it seems like now even sports cannot hide from random acts of violence.

Even though most fans are able to put sports into perspective, it seems like there are quite a few fans out there that need to step back from the game and take a deep breath.

In all honesty, the outcome of a game, or even a season, does not physically impact most of our lives unless we are playing on the team, have a family member on the team or have a business interest in the team.

Fans may become sad or bitter after a game or season does not go the way they would have liked to see it go, but in the end, is there a reason to physically hurt someone or become enraged?

The answer is a big N-O.

Sports are meant to provide entertainment and enjoyment. When a person begins to forget this, the problem begins.

I’m not going to lie — I have occasionally been known to yell at a referee for making a bad call or boo a player who commits an error, but that is as far as I would, or even should, take it. The occasional criticism or boo is totally appropriate, but fans coming onto a field to take up an issue with a player or coach are inappropriate in any way, shape or form.

Let us just hope this recent attack on Tom Gamboa is only an isolated event, but in the case that it is not, the sports world definitely needs to make some adjustments, fans and players alike.

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