When fandom goes too far

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You see them at every sporting event, the loud, borderline psychotic fans covered head to toe in face paint. The kind of fans that don’t seem to realize how intense they are.

They yell with furious passion when their team scores or recovers a dropped pass from the opposing team.

They howl with equal intensity when a referee makes a “bad” call.

These are loyal, die-hard sports fans, who take their love of the team well past the confines of the stadium.

Chances are you actually know people like this. Chances are you’ve lived with people like this.

In recent years, some of these fans have taken their passions too far —  resulting in injury or death.

While sports often ignite frenzy in people, not all fans are of such a rabid nature.

“It’s alright to express passion to a certain extent, but fighting and rioting is bad for the team and bad for sports,” said Paul Samara, a Delta student.

Many sports teams appreciate loyal fans, but in some cases the passion is taken too far.

Consider the case of Bryan Stow.

On Major League Baseball’s opening day in 2011, two Los Angeles Dodgers’ fans beat Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan outside of Dodgers Stadium.

Stow now has permanent brain damage from the attack.

The attackers were caught and are still awaiting trial.

This tragic event hasn’t stopped violent attacks from occurring at sporting events.

On Sept. 25, Dodgers fan Jonathan Denver was stabbed and killed near AT&T Park after leaving the stadium.

A moment of silence took place at Dodgers Stadium the Friday after the attack took place.

Due to the violence that occurs at many games many fans chose not to attend games and would rather watch from home.

“I understand violence taking place during the game, but violence should only occur between players and not the fans,” said Josh Wilkinson, a Delta student.

Passionate fans are an important part of every sport.

They act as morale booster to their teams.

As such, many players encourage fans to express their enthusiasm during the game.

But when friendly rivalries is replaced by legitimate violence — will we be able to call it a game anymore?