Honolulu Lite
Charles Memminger

Sober fans ruin
sports for imbibers

Regarding the current puritanical proposal to ban drinking at Aloha Stadium, allow me to put forth an alternative plan: that alcohol consumption should be made mandatory.

It is generally recognized that the biggest troublemakers and party-poopers at live sporting events are the nondrinkers. If they would simply have a couple of toots, they wouldn't be so uptight when the guy behind them accidentally spills a little Budweiser down the back of their shorts. Most fights in the stands result when fans in rabid states of sobriety are unable to cope with minor beverage mishaps and "high fives" that miss their mark, resulting in slight contact with a sober spectator in an adjoining seat.

Were fans forced to consume even a small amount of alcohol, say, a Big Gulp of St. Paulie Girl, sporting events would be more enjoyable for everyone.

Drunken fans are the backbone of American sport. Where would professional football be without those 300-pound inebriated Green Bay spectators sitting in the stands with their shirts off during a sub-zero snowstorm? How many sober people could go naked in a blizzard and still root for the home team?

Aloha Stadium drunkards are pussycats compared with boozers at other stadiums. Remember when that father and son, well in their wine, stormed onto a mainland baseball field and began beating an umpire? Some behavior just cannot be tolerated, which is the point the father and son merely wanted to communicate to the official who made a clearly errant call.

Drinking and rabble rousing are so much a part of international soccer that foreign stadiums barb-wire off entire sections of the stands for "hooligans and louts."

Drinking sports fans at Aloha Stadium are much more subdued, rarely leaving their seats due to the extreme vertical nature of the seating design. It's hard to rush onto the field when the simple act of standing upright causes vertigo. After a rather lengthy bout of tailgating before a game (in which alcohol figured into the proceedings), there were people in our group who insisted on Sherpas to lead them to their seats.

Once seated, they were harassed by sober spectators just because a largish glob of nacho cheese had landed in someone's lap.

Had the mandatory alcohol rule been in effect, the guy with nacho cheese in his lap would have simply asked for a couple of chips.

Charles Memminger, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail cmemminger@starbulletin.com

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

| | |
E-mail to Features Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- https://archives.starbulletin.com