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    NFL Ball Stolen Mid-air by Fan

    Published on January 27, 2021

    It is fair to say that sometimes sports fans do some crazy things to show their support for the team, take, for example, the case of the NFL Ball stolen right out of play! This is just one such strange event that happened while fans were supporting their team, so let’s have a look at this and other fan madness cases that have been documented over the last 30 to 40 years.

    A Stolen NFL Ball

    What would you do if your best friend happened to win a coveted signed ball from a game played by the Chicago Bears? Well, in 1995 one fan was somewhat jealous of his friend’s fantastic win. Now it would probably have been easier to steal this one being such a good friend he didn’t want to deprive his mate, so he decided to get his ball. He made a plan, and on the 11th of September at the Monday Night Football showdown he decided that he was going to claim a ball for himself. It helped that he actually played quite well in high school and still remembered a useful few techniques. He saw his opportunity when the Packers player Chris Jacke was getting ready to make a kick. Fan Mike Pantazis climbed up onto a wall and waited for the ball to sail over the goalposts at which point he leapt into the air grabbing the ball and heading swiftly away from any oncoming trouble. Thankfully, the teams were not too bothered by this, and he managed to keep the prize even though it’s not signed. Over 20 years later he still treasures his gameplay ball and is pleased he took the chance. 

    Four Nations

    Despite being an underdog, the Scottish football team performed better than anybody had hoped in the British home championships in the 1976 to 77 season. This was partly because the favourite team Wales lost their match against the Irish team creating a final between Ireland and either England or Scotland. No one had seen this coming as everyone expected Wales to be a sure thing. So, the fans were already slightly hyper at the thought that their team stood a chance at the final and the last semi-final match to play was England against Scotland at Wembley. Statistically, this was a game that England should probably win with some ease, but the whole tournament was going down a different path this year. With over 100,000 fans watching from the side-lines Scotland snatched the win with two goals to just one. The fans went ballistic, they were cheering and celebrating, and they stormed the pitch. Evidently, some were very keen to have some memorabilia from the event, and in the chaos, pieces of the pitch were cut out and stolen. Some overconfident fans even tried to leave with the goalposts, but of course, that was prevented. We can only wonder if the stolen turf survived and is still flourishing today. 

    Hey Dad…

    Storming the field of play happens from time to time but is generally not encouraged. Certainly not when the game is still active. In 2010 Philadelphia Phillies played the St Louis Cardinals, and a young fan decided that he fancied heading out onto the pitch while play was in progress. Give him his credit; he did have reasonably good manners as before doing so, he rang his father to ask his permission. Now his dad being quite a sensible chap said it wasn’t the best idea and hung up the phone assuming that his son would take his advice. But this wasn’t the case, and the fan decided that he would run onto the pitch during the eighth innings. He ran across the field with two police officers in hot pursuit two and sadly got himself tasered for his effort. The rather sheepish teenager then had to call his father once more but this time from a police cell to ask for some help!

    Authority Figures Should be Respected

    You would think that most people would understand that taking on an authority figure is not the best bet at a sports game. However, another fan who didn’t think his plan through very well was found in 2002 at a Tri-nations game where South Africa took on New Zealand. For reasons known only to himself, one South African supporter decided that he didn’t like the Irish referee, a chap by the name of David McHugh and decided to storm the pitch and have a go physically at the referee. The surprised players jumped into action to look after their ref, and security arrived to remove him from the field. Unsurprisingly he was arrested, and later charged and found guilty of assaulting a referee. Not the best fan behaviour we hope he also received a ban on attending live matches. 

    So, it is evident that supporting a sports team can come with a degree of passion that seems to cloud thinking. While we understand the desire to show your full support to your sports team, it is probably best to act within the law at all times. Getting yourself arrested and charged doesn’t seem like an excellent way to show that you really support the team and they certainly won’t be very pleased with you either. There are plenty of historical stories of fans misbehaving. However, thankfully these are interspersed with some hilarious tales, with all fans remaining inside the law and still doing some somewhat crazy stuff at games.