Every Season Ends At Dick'sA lifetime ban to a fan for swearing at a game is … bullshit
by Jeff Maurer | Friday, July 06, 2012
What is acceptable behavior in the stands of a soccer match? Well, certainly drinking beer, throwing beer (but only after a goal), and puking beer – all things involving beer, really – are acceptable, or at least unavoidable. Unacceptable behavior includes all things prohibited by state and federal law – mail fraud, racketeering, murder and the like – as well as a few things covered by international treaties. And swearing, or at least too much of it, is apparently unacceptable in Colorado, according to this story.
A Rapids fan has been banned for life for swearing in a move that on the face of it seems dickish at the least and total bullshit at the most.
As you can tell, I’m a big fan of swearing. I’m a standup comedian – in a sense, swearing puts bread on my table. I’m a black belt-level swearer; I work with profanity the way that Michelangelo worked with marble. But, maybe surprisingly, I don’t swear at soccer games. There are kids around. I respect a parent’s right to maintain their child’s innocence; the realization that the world is scary and unjust sinks in a lot deeper when it comes about slowly. So for that reason I don’t swear at games. And I think the Rapids are right to tell any fan who goes too far to stop. But a lifetime ban does seem – as I mentioned – like kind of an assbag punishment.
Maybe there were mitigating factors. Maybe Baldomero Toledo was refereeing the match. Maybe the fan in question felt he had more latitude because he was standing in a building called Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (aptly nicknamed “The Big Dick”). Maybe that fan was yelling Quebecois curse words and thought he was okay – there’s no harm in yelling out “calisse!” as long as you’re not playing Montreal. Whatever the situation, as long as he wasn’t yelling anything racial, which would both offend decent people and make pre-match anti-racism banners seem ineffective, then the ban is kind of shitty.
Of course, accounts of the incident are bound to differ. The match was not covered by Univision, so the incident was not captured by the Univision “honey shot” cameras that troll the crowd. Nor was the fan standing next to that hot blonde Irish lady who received more camera time at the Euros than Robbie Keane. So we are left to wonder what really happened. But if this fan did somehow unleash a torrent of profanity that warrants a lifetime ban, then I would like to hear it. Seriously: I want to hear it – I want to put it in my act. And also nominate this man for a Nobel Prize for swearing. But if there was no such cornucopia of swearing – if the profanity buffet I am engaging every neuron of my creative brain to imagine did not happen – then the Rapids should lessen the fan’s punishment. Because a lifetime ban is a total dickwad move.