Last Night's Pitch Invasion at the Cotton Bowl Was an Embarrassment to Dallas

Categories: Sports

fan-gets-selfie-with-real-madrid-player-isco.jpg
Pictured: Idiot with $30m asset. Also pictured: indifferent policing.

We've written elsewhere about what transpired at the Cotton Bowl last night. In short, at some point during a pre-season exhibition game that was charging $50 a head and up, one fan decided to charge the pitch.

This happens a lot in sporting events around the world. People run onto the pitch. They are pursued by authorities and caught, then hauled from the field to what I assume is a jail cell much like the one Homer Simpson ends up in in the episode where he goes to the Super Bowl.

Only this time no one bothered pursuing the pitch invader. When the aforementioned invader realized not a single piece of the stadium's security apparatus was stopping him from doing exactly what he wanted, confusion set in. This isn't how the game is played. I charge the field, you catch me, possibly after a lengthy, Benny Hill-style pursuit.

Instead, the invader wandered around the pitch at will, in a state of semi-confusion. The authorities presumably thought he'd get bored and leave the pitch eventually. What they didn't expect is that this lone vigilante would have ably demonstrated to similar miscreants in the crowd of 50,000 or so that they too could charge onto the field and meet their heroes with absolutely no intervention on the part of the authorities. And charge they did, with the game halted for a further five minutes while a good 30 or 40 idiots took to the field.

In short, the whole thing was a desperate embarrassment for the city. I know, everyone loves a good pitch invasion, especially in an exhibition game this monotonous, and no one likes a killjoy like me, but it's no exaggeration to say that some of the most expensive athletes in world sport were on that field last night, and that simple fact deserves basic security, not the Keystone Cops-style pursuit that we were treated to. It shows the city of Dallas in a terrible light for two reasons.

First, that we have people stupid enough to think that running onto a field to take a selfie with a player lying on the floor is at all acceptable. Fifty thousand people aren't here to watch you delay the event they paid a minimum of $50 to attend so you can act the idiot. Just because you can get away with something doesn't mean you're not an asshole for doing so.

Second, and more important because it's the reason we won't get any more events like this, you simply can't allow crowd members to run all over the field at will. I've never seen a mass pitch invasion like last night's. Usually they're for a reason like happiness, or fury. You know. Emotions. That's because people realize they can't get away with it but dammit they're so overjoyed/underjoyed they're going to do it anyway.

Not last night. Last night the security at the game was so hopeless that they brought the invasion on themselves, endangering the athletes in the process. Not only were they lazy, they were a little brutal, finally catching up to one guy who was just standing there, and tackling him from behind by the neck. The whole thing had a very amateur, not-at-all-bothered air to it that smacked of arrogance on the part of the authorities. As one security guard was quoted as saying "The boss came out after the game and was like, 'You let all those kids come down?'" He laughed. "I'm like, 'Yeah, I'm 54, they're 18. What do you expect?'" We expect someone who might make a competent security guard, buddy.

There were already plans next year for the city of Dallas to get Manchester United as part of this series. If Manchester United were watching last night, they're probably wondering as to the potential safety of their players, should they play a game inside the Cotton Bowl. If they decide that, actually, it probably wouldn't be great if Robin Van Persie or Wayne Rooney or other multi-million dollar investments got assaulted by a fan, I wouldn't think they'd want to come to Dallas. And if they don't, Dallas only has itself to blame.


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48 comments
Threeboys
Threeboys

Sounds like they somehow made soccer interesting.

roo_ster
roo_ster

The embarrassment is that Dallas can scrape up 60k humans willing to pay money to watch live soccer.  For shame!

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Big Kitty is planning a mass cat invasion of AT&T stadium sometime this fall.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Today's real story is the Rangers took a series--finally--from NY, and nobody stormed the infield to get a selfie with Jeter.

manpanties
manpanties

desperate embarrassment for the city?  good grief.  the embarrassment should be that turd of a stadium, the $6 dr. peppers, and that turd of a stadium.

NCzestochowa
NCzestochowa

Really? That's an embarrassment? There should have been a riot.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Dallas should be embarrassed, compared to other world cities, y'all are bloody Nancies.

-----

"Soccer fans storm field, clash with riot police

Poland's prime minister has threatened to make soccer teams play to empty stadiums to quell hooliganism at matches."

"ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — A game between Zenit St. Petersburg and Dynamo Moscow on Sunday was abandoned after Zenit fans ran onto the field and one of them attacked an opposition player."

"Chile fans are running wild in the bowels of the Maracana, trashing the media center... At some point, they figured out that it would be really easy to get by the small handful of stewards and no cops to get into the place."

And so on. I blame Coors Light.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

He's thick
He's Scouse
He's probably robbed your house
Robbie Fowwwwwler!
Robbie Fowwwwwler! 

or

Robbie Savage!
You're A W*nker!
You're A W*nker!

Robbie Savage!
You're A W*nker!
You're A W*nker!


(Does this work for you Gavin?)

TominAustin
TominAustin

Rent-a-cops or real cops?  In either case a disgrace.  Send them all home if they don't do anything but stand around and look fat.

Dubby
Dubby

Desperate embarrassment?! Please. A bunch of Mexican kids running around with their Iphones trying to get a pic.  Whoopee.  You'd be screaming 10x louder if a rent-a-cop would've clocked one of them.


Your weak attempt of trying to make this an issue is more of an embarrassment than what happened. Lighten up, Francis. Everything isn't a big deal.

tdkisok
tdkisok

Snipers. Problem solved. 

nico.martini
nico.martini

Dude. The event was planned by an outside company that curated a multi-city tournament. You said the reason this happened was lack of security reaction and that implies that if the reaction had be the typical one (keystone cops until they go to Simpsons jail) then the rest wouldn't have occurred. How about you blame the organizers and not those in the venue given tacit approval by lacking security to storm the field?


Last night's pitch invasion was an embarrassment to releventsports.com - Unless you want to make the argument that the same reaction by security in ANY OTHER CITY wouldn't have lead to the same reaction of the crowd. Tacit approval and mob mentality is human, not sole property of Dallasites.

paul.amiel
paul.amiel

While we are on the topic of embarrassments, lets not forget the Cotton Bowl.  I was stunned at how shabby the whole experience was from the ridiculous seating in the lower levels (cramped seating and zero leg room) to the lack of concessions stands and inability to even get a bottle of water and having to fight the crowds to get to a restroom.  Truly a miserable place.  Certainly the last time I'll go to a cotton bowl event.  And I do agree, the complete lack of interest on the part of the police and security guards was both shocking and irritating (as a spectator who wanted to see the game and not a bunch of clowns rushing the field),  It was not a bright moment for Dallas.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

If Dallas was world-class, there would have been a greater melee, maybe some tramplings and for good measure, some hooligans ravaging the immediate area.

Y'all need better booze.

AeroRazavi
AeroRazavi

Let's look at it another way.


What if DPD had been overly aggressive?  Then what?  Their would have been outrage about how cops beat up on selfie-obessed teens, and another lawsuit against DPD/City.


roo_ster
roo_ster

@Sharon_Moreanus 

I am glad I missed most of the last one I saw live, what with the kinetic adipose tissue heading off in unexpected directions.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

I do not believe a person can become inebriated drinking any quantity of Coors Light. More like Water Heavy.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@TominAustin

Both - in the photos, there were definitely green-tabbed DPD officers. I can see why you might have confused DPD with rent-a-cops, as both groups were at saunter speed.

tdkisok
tdkisok

@Dubby


Hey Dubby, this has made world news, even in Saudi Arabia. You better start hitting those comment sections of all the other news outlets on the globe to chastise them. You are going to be a little busy boy. 

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@tdkisok

On entering, fans fitted with electric collars.

gavin.cleaver
gavin.cleaver moderator

@nico.martini isn't it an embarrassment for local security firm Platinum Security? And my point was that I've never seen a pitch invasion like this, ever. Or heard of one. In any other city.

dingo
dingo

@paul.amiel 

'Certainly the last time I'll go to a cotton bowl event.'


Ouch. That sentiment is definitely going to put a crimp on this year's Texas-OU tickets where the highest level end zone seats are currently starting out at $240.00 a pop (on stubhub).

wcvemail
wcvemail

@paul.amiel

Apparently the promoters calculate that they can get 60,000 one-time customers every time, rather than providing a good experience so that, say, at least 30,000 would want to come back. Trouble is, eventually they'll run out of first-time crowds, and then they'll complain that Dallas doesn't support world football.

gavin.cleaver
gavin.cleaver moderator

@AeroRazavi missing the point. Proactive policing stops pitch invasions. Really inactive policing encourages it.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@primo_timpano

That was my point, Dallas soccer fans need to booze it up a bit more to be world-class.

Dubby
Dubby

@tdkisok @Dubby Sorry dude, I don't get my news from Saudi Arabia.

AeroRazavi
AeroRazavi

@gavin.cleaver @AeroRazavi I am sure Brazil was extremely proactive yet there managed to be pitch invaders.


Honestly the issue probably is not the policing itself. 


The issue was probably DPD did not think that nearly 60,000 people would show up to the Cotton Bowl on a weeknight to watch a friendly.

tdkisok
tdkisok

@Dubby


Dude, you were getting on this publication for sensationalizing the event. Don't change the subject......dude.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Who hired the company? Who owns the Cotton Bowl. Cotton Bowl should vet security. Every bar in Dallas has better security.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@nico.martini

C'mon, Nico, do you think the world audience cares about which security service was hired? No, they only know "Dallas." You're splitting hairs with a bald argument.

gavin.cleaver
gavin.cleaver moderator

@nico.martini That's not the same thing at all. Obviously I'm aware there are pitch invasions. I have seen a fair few in my time as a European soccer obsessive. I've never seen a weird sporadic one caused by a lack of authority. 


Your randomly chosen example is between sets of rival fans and shows a co-ordinated attack by several fans at once. How is that the same at all?

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

DPD should have physical fitness requirements.

mcdallas
mcdallas

@AeroRazavi seems like you're trying to justify: 

a) the idiots who stormed the field, AND

b) the cops/security who bungled the whole thing.


Trying to have cake and eat it, too?


monstruss
monstruss

@tdkisok @Dubby I love it when people get mad about the word "dude."

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

They do - ya gotta have the strength to lift that gun and turn that wheel.

tdkisok
tdkisok

@monstruss


Dude, who's getting mad? Oh....I get it, fantasy is your thing. Cool, dude.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

They should at least be able to qualify for the special Olympics.

AeroRazavi
AeroRazavi

@mcdallas @AeroRazavi Diversion, aside, this event was not embarrassing.  Embarrassing is what River Plate fans did when it was relegated, or what soccer fans did in Brazil to a referee (behead him). 

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