Book Excerpt: The Football Fan's Manifesto

Michael Tunison, aka Christmas Ape of Kissing Suzy Kolber, starts on TSB next Monday. However, today is the release day for his new book, The Football Fan's Manifesto. Ape was so kind as to drop as an excerpt from the book. Be sure to go over to Amazon and order the book today, because you have to leave TSB some time.
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Like All Extreme Sports, Running Onto The Playing Field Is Dumb And Wrong. And Irresistible. ↵

↵Sinister forces of temptation goad you toward the forbidden. Alcohol has done its part to convince you that it is doable. From your close-in seat in the fifth row, all that separates you from the stomping grounds of your beloved gladiators is a quick plunge over the wall and the swarming gauntlet of a couple dozen security guards and police officers. Nothing you can’t handle. It’s a scenario you’ve been turning over in your head for years, but never thought you’d find yourself in a mindset to act on it. If you can just bob and weave enough, make a few guys miss, you can be on the field long enough to steal a cheerleader grope or maybe even slap the smug clear off Jack Del Rio’s [expletive]. After that, who knows, the means for a daring escape should present itself. You can think on your feet. ↵But, wait, you’ve seen this before. All those arm-flailing [expletive] on SportsCenter reels and YouTube clips scurrying on the field for a few fleeting moments before getting ingloriously force fed some turf by security. Nah. You’re better than them. They looked so…so loutish. You’re above all that, someone who can sprinkle Gallicisms in their inner monologues, far above such gutter exploits and…and you’ve already gone, haven’t you? It sucks being a drunk person’s conscience. Always being on a five-second delay, like a network television live broadcast. Instead of filtering out swearing, it keeps out reason. ↵

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↵Streaking is not advocated, mostly because you’re almost certainly going to get gang tackled by mouth-breathing rent-a-cops, arrested and banned from the stadium for life, in the process making a public jackass of yourself and your family. ↵

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↵Finding yourself unable to quell the demons that compel you to rush the field? At least try to keep them at bay until an opportune moment. Or get some cash out of the deal. At the very least, only make an attempt if you know you’re slippery enough to evade capture for a solid minute or so. Nothing is quite as sad as something who wastes their one big chance at public [expletive] with the epic fail of immediate apprehension. If you do, despite all the logical reasons that say you shouldn’t, decide to take a shot, here are some sound suggestions: ↵

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↵Get an unscrupulous company to sponsor you. -- That’s what serial streaker Mark Roberts did when he ran out onto the field during Super Bowl XXXVIII. Hopping a knee-high barrier at Reliant Stadium, he stripped down to a G-string and shoes with a plug for gambling site GoldenPalace.com scrawled on his chest. For this, he got slapped with a $1,000 fine yet avoided any jail time. And that was during the [expletive] Super Bowl. That’s like calling in a bomb threat to the White House and getting a point on your driver’s license. The terms of the sponsorship were never disclosed, but even if it was a financial wash, he got to streak during the Super Bowl with little or no consequence. That’s more than a little awesome. ↵

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↵If you’re going naked, be sure to wave your junk at the opposing team. -- It’ll not only assert dominance, but remind them of the days when Charles Haley was in the league. ↵

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↵If you’re a woman and going naked, be sure to wave your junk at the camera. -- It’s just common courtesy. Unless you’re a Packers fan. Then please disregard. And put on four more layers. ↵

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↵Have a sympathetic angle ready. -- In 2005, a 44-year-old man ran onto the field in Philadelphia holding a plastic bag emitting a cloud of dust from his outstretched arm before dropping to his knees on the 30-yard line and making the sign of the cross. Was he trying to be the next Johnny Anthraxseed? Nope. Turns out he was spreading the ashes of his recently deceased mother, who was an avid Eagles fan. Sure, it didn’t stop kneejerk security storm troopers from detaining him, but you bet your beer-battered ass it inspired some clemency. ↵

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↵Remember that the players have bottled up fan animosity. -- It can’t be stressed too much that the yellow jacketed Gestapo are not your only obstacles during your jaunts onto the playing field. The players themselves will be all too happy to assist in your undoing. It’s not that they’re upset to have a stoppage in play. Most of them are probably exhausted and glad to have the brief respite. However, after years of having to hold back from lashing out at fans in the face of intense personal criticism on things beyond viewers’ comprehension, the chance to clothesline a fan with impunity is an opportunity a player cannot soon pass up. So resist the urge to pat a linebacker on the shoulder lest you feel like getting speared in the ribs. ↵

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↵Disrupt the game (only if it helps your team). -- In October 2005, a fan in Cincinnati rushed the field in the final minute of a Bengals-Packers game, snatching the ball from then-Packers QB Brett Favre and causing the play to be blown dead. At the time, the Packers were trailing 21-14 and trying to drive for a tying score, with the ball inside Bengals’ territory. The five-minute break the incident caused allowed the Bengals’ winded defense to regroup. Favre was then sacked on the following play, which contributed heavily to sealing the win for Cincy. As you can see, it’s the opportunistic and savvy disruptive fan who wins the day. That he ends up getting buried alive hours later by guys who put money on the game is another matter entirely. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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