Airwaves: Taser situation has reached new heights 

Is it me, or has this “Taser situation” gotten out of hand? This past week, some moron decided he was going to run on the field during the Philadelphia Phillies-St. Louis Cardinals game and make a spectacle of himself.

A security officer — instead of tackling him like they do at Yankee Stadium or grabbing him like they do in numerous places — whipped out his trusty Taser and brought the moron down. I do not know what is right or wrong here, but I am glad that the TV people do not show it, because that is why the moron cult does things like this.

The thing that struck me as odd was the moron called his dad and told him he was going to jump on the field. But true to moron form, father moron told junior moron: “You probably shouldn’t do it.” Very good fatherly advice. How about “if you do, don’t come home!”

What is wrong with people? Normally, conduct such as this is not talked about on a national scale. But because the Taser was used, it is now national news. I thought the way the security guard reacted was fine. Hopefully it will discourage this type of behavior. Maybe teams will employ Dobermans to patrol the field. That would be fun to watch!

Unbelievably, a different moron did the same thing the next night. However, no Taser this time.

In a nutshell, fans do not belong on the field in any sport during the game. It is not safe, and if this continues, some other moron will one day jump on the field with the intent to do bodily harm to a player.

On Dec. 11, 1971, a moron of another era swooped down on the field and picked up the football during a Baltimore Colts game. Colts middle linebacker and tough guy Mike Curtis saw it and reacted by racing over and decking the guy with his forearm. It was priceless.

I knew Curtis well back then because we both worked at offense-defense football camps in the summer. I ran the camps and he was a guest pro. That offseason I ran into him in Seattle, and of course I asked him why he did that. Said No. 32: “I just reacted, plus the fool did not belong on the field, my place of work.”

How refreshing. I can’t remember that ever happening again on an NFL field.

One of Michigan’s and baseball’s most beloved figures left us this past week for the broadcast booth in the sky. By now you all are aware that Detroit Tigers broadcaster of over four decades, Ernie Harwell, passed away at 92. He had been suffering from cancer.



Broadcasting icon Harwell will be missed


The tributes were flowing in all over ESPN and ESPN Radio on Wednesday, and it made the media world put into perspective that the moron and the Taser story are really insignificant.

However, an aspect of the passing of Mr. Harwell that came to light is how important baseball announcers can be to an area and their impact on the team and fans. Harwell, like the great Harry Caray, was bigger than life in the Midwest. Youngsters grew up with their transistor radios listening to games. You walk home from school listening to the game and the picture that is in your mind is created by the voice in the little box or the earphones you have on.

Baseball is a radio sport, obviously, due to the time of day the games are played as well as the number of games that are played. Many teams employ the same announcers for decades. The announcers have become almost more popular than the players.

Other than long-haired Tim Lincecum, is anyone with the Giants more well known than Kruk (Mike Krukow) and Kuip (Duane Kuiper)? John Sterling is as much a celeb in the Big Apple as some of the New York Yankees. Dick Enberg, who now does the San Diego Padres games, needs no introduction anywhere in America.

People remember them as part of their growing up process. Growing up in the greatest area of the United Sates — the New York-New Jersey land of “The Sopranos” — I had the thrill of listening to Mel Allen, Red Barber and the Scooter, Phil Rizzuto. I can still recall their voices and mannerisms as clear as I can listening to KNBR this morning or Doug Harvill’s KCBS.
Harwell had a great impact on the Tigers and the proud state of Michigan.

Who said it?


Brett Favre


“I might never put on a football uniform again,” said the yo-yo quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings. It is the offseason, so it is time for this ageless wonder to create speculation about his future. One thing you’ve got to give him credit for, he is good at it.


Charles Barkley


“Two things I am getting sick and tired of hearing about is LeBron’s elbow and Brett Favre’s retirement plans,” seethed the opinionated TNT NBA analyst during a recent broadcast. Amen, amen, amen! The bald one has been fabulous, as usual, during the entire playoffs to date.


One to watch


Island fever While a lot of the talk at this week’s Players Championship surrounded Tiger Woods trying to rebound after missing the cut last weekend and Phil Mickelson’s attempt to reach No. 1 in the World Golf Ranking, the real story of the tournament could be determined today on the 17th hole. The water that engulfs the famous island green is sure to claim a number of balls today and could determine the evenutal winner. CBS (KPIX, Ch. 5) will carry all the action today at 11 a.m.


Sports by numbers


TV Rating NBC had for the Kentucky Derby last weekend


TV Rating Fox had for the NASCAR race last weekend


TV rating CBS had for the final round of the Tiger-less Quail Hollow Championship  last weekend



Off Target


Danny Ainge was a great hoopster in his days at BYU and with the Boston Celtics. He is a competitive guy that you either loved or hated. But, as the Celtics general manager, he pulled a real bonehead move this week. While sitting under the basket during the Boston-Cleveland game on Tuesday night, the cameras caught him tossing a white towel in the air to distract Cavaliers forward J.J. Hickson’s free-throw attempt. I am glad Hickson made it. Doesn’t the GM have better things to do during an NBA game?

Artie Gigantino spent 25 years as a coach at the major-college and NFL levels, was lead college football analyst for Fox Sports Net for seven years, was with CBS for one year and was an executive with the Raiders for three years. E-mail him at

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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