It’s the 77th minute of the Galaxy Crew match, moments before Baggio Husidic’s screamer from distance, when a familiar voice begins speaking: Galaxy PA announcer Michael Araujo warmly reminds the StubHub Center crowd that coming onto the field is illegal and punishable by arrest.
Five minutes later, Giovani dos Santos ices the match for LA and heads to the corner before being mobbed by his teammates.
And a pitch invader.
Gio doing what Gio should do, and a fan doing what a fan shouldn't do. pic.twitter.com/q0V2lFOVeY— LA Riot Squad (@LARiotSquad) September 5, 2016
If you’re wondering why an announcement was made, its not the first time this has happened. The weekend before vs. the Colorado Rapids, another fan ran onto the field to try and get a hold of Tim Howard.
Pitch invaders might seem harmless, but as Stars and Stripes explains, they disrupt the match, scare the bejesus out of security and annoy fans and players alike. (Gio for one didn’t look too pleased) All in the pursuit of a blurry selfie.
You have to commend the Galaxy organization for proactively tackling the issue. That being said, an PA announcement could be problematic for two reasons.
First of all (and I suspect I’m not alone here), I don’t want to live in a world where we need to actively remind people not to be morons. I get it; we have to keep society moving and all, but c’mon. We can do better.
Second, put yourself in the mind of the average buffoon, and add human nature into the equation. Imagine if you were in the crowd and on the stroke of halftime, an announcement was made that beer sales would be prohibited during the break. So basically, right before the whistle you aren’t allowed to wet your whistle.
Don’t you automatically kind of want a cold one? You might not be heading to the concession stand, but at least you’re thinking about beer. And therein lies the problem. You’re putting the idea in the listener’s head. And if said person is inebriated beyond comprehension, like the gentleman in the clip above, that can spell trouble.
Which leads us back to our original question: How do you keep the pitch invaders off the field?
You do have to wonder: With all the security personnel around, how are people getting on the field in the first place? Could security be doing a better job of preventing fans from entering the pitch? I don’t think this is an issue of negligence, but security could probably do a better job of keeping the troublemakers away from the players.
The problem isn’t that pitch invaders are trying, but they are succeeding. When adults of questionable athletic prowess are able to stumble their way over to Giovani dos Santos, even the briefest of interactions is what makes it “worth it” for them.
Making sure these guys are stopped well before they come anywhere near the players would go a long way towards eliminating the problem. Keep them away from Gio, and eventually they’ll stop trying.