Column: The Super Troll

Katie Dalton, Video Editor & Sports Editor

Growing up as an athlete, I have experienced some on-field distractions, or fan interferences, as one might say. There is the occasional dog off the leash, little brother or sister running onto the field, or even a gaggle of geese. These are incidents that happen to be mistakes or accidents, but it is the incidents of fans interrupting games purposefully where it becomes a different issue. 

If you watched the Super Bowl this year, you know that it looked pretty much like a circus. The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense drew a flag almost every play and their offensive line was anything but a brick wall for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Also, Mahomes looked like a chicken with his head cut off trying to escape the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. Long story short, it was not a very entertaining Super Bowl this year. 

To make things even worse, a fan ran onto the field in the fourth quarter wearing a neon pink swimsuit with shorts as he sprinted across the field. He was eventually tackled in the Buccaneers’ endzone by security. Fans watching started to create memes such as that the man had run more yards than the Chiefs had run all game. For me, it was one of the most memorable moments of the game and it wasn’t even football. 

There was more to the story than just a crazy fan running onto the field. Yuri Andrade, the man behind the madness, placed $50,000 on a bet that a fan would run onto the field during the Super Bowl. Andrade was either very smart or wanted publicity. Either way, he still ran onto the field earning $375,000 from the bet he placed $50,000 on. Andrade was charged with trespassing and was released from jail after posting a $500 cash bond. It really was a mastermind plan in my eyes because he made $374,500 in profit.   

On the other hand, it was rude, disrespectful and made him seem like a crazy person. I’m sure I wouldn’t sacrifice that for a large amount of money like he had made or for the 10 seconds of fame. The players do not like it at all especially because they could feel like their lives are at risk when they are close to crazy fans.

Originally the first fans who ran onto the field came from overseas football which is known as soccer in the United States of America. The incidents of fans running onto the field happened to be so common that they were given the name of pitch invasion. The culture of football in England and surrounding European countries is like no other country. Football serves as their American football in many countries and is seen as the biggest sport across the world. But, that comes with more crazy fans who will do anything for attention and to see their favorite players. 

This doesn’t just happen overseas at football games, but also happens in the U.S., in pretty much every single sport, the most common being American football and baseball, because security has a harder time trying to cover the larger fields. Yet again, let me emphasize that this is not a rare thing; it is actually very common. 

This is so common that it even happened at Naperville Central High School a few years ago at a varsity football game. A student ran across the field while exposing himself to all the fans and players. He was then tackled by staff and received punishment. Was this an idiotic senior prank or was it solely for attention? Either way, it was disrespectful to fans, parents, coaches, and staff at the school.

As I grew older I understood that these people only wanted attention and realized how naïve I was to laugh or even find it entertaining (with the exception of the man at the Super Bowl). I never really noticed that there was a motive behind some of these like Andrade had at the Super Bowl, but still, he probably wanted some sort of attention as well. Almost everyone wants some sort of attention, but please do not get it from running out onto a field naked.