« Sports

How The (Expletive) Does This Happen?

by Nick Vitrano

April 30, 1993 – Gunter Parche descended through the crowd of the Citizen Cup in Germany, leaned over the wall, and stabbed the world’s top ranked women’s tennis player, Monica Seles, between the shoulder blades with a boning knife.

Fast forward almost 21 years to February 3, 2014 – an “independent journalist” and “9/11 truther,” Matthew Mills, crashes the Super Bowl MVP stage of Malcom Smith.

OK – now Mills didn’t stab anybody…thank goodness.  Mills didn’t commit his act with malicious intent…thank goodness.  But what if he did have knife?  What if he did have malice on the brain?  “That’s stupid, Nick…nothing happened.  You can’t live in fear of the ‘what ifs.’”  Right…except that that is precisely security’s job – to plan for every “what if” and be prepared to stop it or, at the very least, minimize its damage.  But here we are, 20+ years after the Seles incident, and we’ve apparently learned nothing, changed nothing of our thinking in terms of security and sports.

It’s 2014 – the biggest game in the world on as big a backdrop as exists in the world, New York/New Jersey.  How the (expletive) does this happen?

Now I’m not so naïve as to believe we can stop every crazy from enacting his even crazier schemes.  That’s the real beyatch of security – fighting an ideology.  But watch the two videos again.  Do you notice anything different?  At least in 1993 the perp was taken down.  Citizen Cup officials pummeled Parche almost immediately.  Mills?  Nah.  Not only was he able to mount the stage, he was permitted to get out his little conspiracy theory and EXIT THE STAGE WITHOUT INCIDENT!  Shoot, the dude walks…WALKS…to the back of the room while officials make sure Smith’s mic is reset.  Solid priorities there, security. 

This was said to be biggest and greatest security presence in the history of the big game.  Just remember that the next time you think it’s idiotic to have metal detecting wands at every entrance of your favorite team’s stadium.