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Wednesday, November 27, 2002

continued from above

Perhaps, we should look at the law enforcement response in both of those towns. Buckeye cops sprayed fans with firehoses full of pepper spray. Clemson cops (actually many were Anderson County deputies) actually said, "We staged around the goalposts."

Smart. Very smart.

If you want to make a bunch of drunk college kids mad, what do you do? You spray them with pepper spray or stand in the way of the one goal they have for the day...tearing down the goalposts.

After a few days of thinking (and some damned good fever-induced hallucinations), I've come up with some solutions. First, don't try to stop people from coming on the field. All you have to do is take away their reason to come on the field. Many schools (including the Univeristy of Missouri) have employed the use of collapsible goalposts. Pull one pin and the big tubes tilt over and rest on the turf. It takes all the fun out of rushing the goalposts. Second, don't try to protect the field or the goalposts. Protect your people. Put your law enforcement officers around the teams and coaches and escort them off the field.

There is no defense for hurting a law enforcement officer. Nor is there any defense for burning a perfectly comfortable couch in the middle of the street.

At the same time, there is no defense for podunk law enforcement officers' complaints when their ill-conceived crowd control stategies fail so miserably on national TV.

I learned my lesson. When the goalposts toppled in Missouri, the base piece nearly took off my man parts. Lesson learned. Mobs are dangerous.

Now its time for the cops to learn the same lesson.

Or maybe they did this weekend.

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