Being a sports fan is one of the everyday pleasures in life that many of us take for granted. Sports give fans an opportunity to relax and cut loose, temporarily forgetting about the stresses of everyday life to singularly focus on cheering on your favorite athletes. Many fans also choose to maximize their enjoyment by supplementing their game day diets with a healthy intake of alcohol, which can lead to some poor decision making. While there is no harm in having a good time, the fans on this list decided to take things too far and ultimately they ended up getting what they deserved.
People gathered in large numbers tend to have at least a few people behaving poorly and one crazed fan has a tendency to entice others to act irrationally. When enough fans of a certain team engage in this alcohol fueled foolishness, fan bases can develop a reputation for debauchery. A certain amount of folly can be encouraged within these rankings, but when fans attempt to harm other fans, themselves, or the athletes on the field, action must be taken to stop them. Sometimes this is handled by the forces of gravity or law enforcement, but some of these fans found poetic justice dealt to them in unexpected ways.
Part of the appeal of attending a live sporting event is being a part of the atmosphere. While the roar of the crowd sounds great on your television, nothing can replace the feeling of being a part of that roar. However, as these moments demonstrate, the desire to participate in the action on the field should be resisted at all times. When fans decide to play a role in the game beyond cheering, it is unacceptable. These fans decided to act in a manner that many fans would not tolerate among their friends. Thankfully, they ended up receiving their just rewards.
15 Buffalo Bills Fan Falls and Injures Others
Buffalo Bills fans have developed a reputation over the last decade as the hardest drinking fan base in the National Football League. Robert Hopkins is partially responsible for that reputation because of his actions during a game against the New York Jets in November 2013. Hopkins slid down the railing of the Ralph Wilson Stadium's Section 339 five times before falling about 25 feet onto Mark Bratcher, severely injuring Bratcher in the process. Hopkins was arrested for the incident and eventually found guilty of second-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree assault. Hopkins was also fired from his job as a digital art director with Eric Mower and Associates.
14 Fan Taunts Injured Player, Hit in Head with Puck
After receiving a high stick to the face, Steve Sullivan began skating to the Chicago Blackhawks bench to receive treatment, when a particularly rude fan decided to mock Sullivan's injury. After harsh words were exchanged between the two, Sullivan was able to recover and return to the ice. Later in the game, Patrick Roy attempted to clear the puck, which went over the glass and struck the very same fan that taunted Sullivan. Teammates alerted Sullivan of the situation, who seized the opportunity and returned the favor. The cosmic retribution was even approved by the female companion of the now taunted fan.
13 James Harrison Suplexes Fan
Interfering with the work of a football player is typically never a good idea. Interfering with the work of James Harrison is a potentially fatal one as he demonstrated to one fan during a game against the Cleveland Browns. Nate Mallett was backpedaling after an encounter with several Browns players when James Harrison approached him from behind, wrapped his arms around Mallett, and lifted him fully off the ground before slamming him to the turf. Harrison then held Mallett down until he could be restrained by stadium security, putting a decisive end to this fan's jaunt around the field.
12 Newcastle Fan Punches Horse
There are a few rational actions that an individual can take when being confronted with police forces mounted on horseback. One option would be to run away, but Newcastle fan Barry Rogerson decided to take a different approach. Barry squared up with the charging horse and proceeded to deliver a couple of punches to the animal before being tackled by police. For his troubles, Barry received a 12-month sentence and the derision of the internet as his stunt was quickly broadcast to millions of fans around the world. Rogerson may have been part of a larger rioting group, but he certainly forced police to take notice of his individual actions and he has paid the price for it.
11 Tie Domi Beats Up Flyers Fan
Flyers fans are notorious for being abusive of visiting opponents and also love overindulgence with the occasional fight. These three elements combined in one stunning display of poetic justice on March 29th, 2001. While serving a minor penalty, Tie Domi took offense to some of the Flyers fans and sprayed them with water. Chris Falcone then leapt over a row of seats to let Domi know how he felt about that, only to have the glass separating the stands and penalty box give way. Once he found himself in the penalty box with one of the toughest enforcers in NHL history, things proceeded as expected, with Domi delivering a bevy of punches to Falcone. Justice was served out by Domi, while Falcone has his moment of fame and the fight remains in Philly hockey lore to this day.
10 Dodgers Fans Get Swarmed by Police
Many harsh words were exchanged between a pair of Los Angeles Dodgers fans and the event security at Dodgers Stadium. Dodgers fans have developed a reputation for violence in the wake of the attack on Bryan Stow, but these two fans were unable to make good on any of their threats. After angrily kicking the barricade several times and shouting a challenge, we see our pair of fans briefly retreat before being completely overwhelmed by a security force of at least a dozen security officers. The pair are wrestled to the ground, handcuffed, and led away without further incident. They may have talked a big game, but they were no match for the resources of Dodgers Stadium security.
9 Fan Fights Rob Ray and Sabres Bench
During a 1992 game between the Buffalo Sabres and Quebec Nordiques, one fan took offense to the display he was seeing on the ice and decided to interrupt a fight already in progress to initiate one of his own. The ensuing conflict saw the fan run over to the Sabres bench, pick out the toughest guy (Rob Ray), and start swinging. It went about as well as the fan could have expected, with several Sabres raining down blows upon the hapless fan before he was led away by security. Rob Ray got in more than a few punches, upholding his notoriety as one of the league's top enforcers and cementing his place in hockey fan fight history.
8 Mike Curtis Enforces City Ordinance
Mike Curtis was a hard hitting linebacker for the Baltimore Colts that nurtured a reputation of being one of the hardest hitting and toughest players in the NFL. He was renowned for his tackling ability and during a game against the Miami Dolphins, he used that prowess to punish a fan that stole the game ball. With the ball placed for the ensuing snap, the fan scooped it up and attempted to get away, but Curtis closed with the fury he was known for and destroyed that fan. The fan seemed to have a smile on his face despite taking the enormous hit, and Curtis cemented his legacy as one of the toughest players in Colts history.
7 Esteban Alvarado Smashes Would-Be Attacker
During the first half of a Cup tie between Ajax and AZ Alkmaar, a drunken hooligan ran onto the pitch and attempted to attack AZ goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado. Luckily, Esteban turned at the perfect moment and was able to dodge the attacker's kick and counter with a responding kick of his own. He managed to trip up his would-be attacker and then landed a few solid kicks of his own on the downed fan. Unfortunately, he was shown a red card from the match official and dismissed for his violent conduct, but that decision was reversed upon appeal.
6 Tennessee Vols Fan Gets Clotheslined
There are many ways to constructively entertain yourself during a rain delay, but running onto the field is not one of them. This fan found out the hard way when he ran onto the field at Nissan Stadium. As he crossed the 40-yard line, he raised his hand to point, but clearly did not see the security guard on his right ready to deliver a ferocious blow. The security guard smashed the runner with a clothesline that sent the fan to the turf, where he was corralled by other security officers.
5 Bruins Fight Madison Square Garden
During a 1979 game between rivals Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers, things got more than a little out of hand. After a scuffle occurred on the ice between the two teams, fans began taunting the Bruins. One fan allegedly hit Stan Jonathan in the face and stole his stick. This led to Terry O'Reilly leaping over the glass dividing the fans and the Bruins bench and proceeded to beat up everybody in sight. He was followed by Peter McNab, Mike Millbury, and eventually the entire Bruins team. The incident culminated in an all-out brawl with fans and Mike Millbury hitting a fan with a shoe. It remains one of the most bizarre incidents in the sport's history.
4 Jeff Kellogg Tackles Fan after Home Plate Dash
After a shirtless fan ran onto the field and eluded Baltimore Police for a few moments, he decided to call an end to his trot in style. As he rounded third base, the fan set his sights on home, took off down the third base line and slid headfirst into home plate to finish off his run. As he wheeled away to the cheers of the fans in attendance, home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg decided he had seen enough and took matters into his own hands. Kellogg tackled the fan and waited for Baltimore Police to show up and then restarted the game like a true professional.
3 Rockies Fan Embarassed By Batboy
In 2013, a fan took an opportunity to take a little stroll around the Coors Field infield. He began in the left field corner and almost managed to make it past second base before being caught thanks to the quick actions of one of the team's batboys. The batboy displayed impressive closing speed and pursuit tackling abilities as he tracked down the drunk runner and hauled him to the turf. Immediately after the takedown, another batboy helped the man to his feet and the trio were escorted off the field by security officials.
2 Eric Cantona's Kung Fu Kick
Eric Cantona is a living football legend and his most famous incident has nothing to do with his supreme skill on the pitch. Cantona has been dismissed for a red card offense for violent conduct and was departing the pitch when the incident with Matthew Simmons occurred. After Simmons allegedly threw a projectile and delivered racial insults, Eric Cantona responded with his famous flying kick delivered straight to the chest of the offending Crystal Palace fan. It was a moment of madness rarely seen in the sport and sent shockwaves through the football world. Cantona was stripped of his French captaincy, given a 9-month ban, and sentenced to community service. It was all made worthwhile in the ensuing press conference where he delivered the quote of a lifetime by saying, "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea."
1 The Play
The most improbable ending of a college football game also saw the most blatant display of pitch invasion in sports. On the final play of the rivalry matchup between Cal and Stanford in 1982, the Stanford Band decided that the game was over and entered the field of play while Cal amounted an incredible series of laterals that resulted in a touchdown. Cal had to contend with the band taking up the final quarter of the field, but continued on undeterred with Kevin Moen running into the end zone for a touchdown. In the process, Moen trucked hapless trombone player Gary Tyrrell. The play remains one of the most celebrated in football history and Tyrrell's smashed trombone now resides in the College Football Hall of Fame.