Fan Power

October 28, 2002

There's a Bill of Rights for U.S. citizens, children, taxpayers,
consumers, home owners, travelers, mental patients and animals.
Which leaves only one important group without one: sports fans.

Until now.

Amendment I
Owners shall make no seat in a stadium narrower than John
Madden's butt; nor name said stadium after some soulless
brokerage house; nor install trough-style urinals in said
stadium without little shelves to set cold beers upon.

Amendment II
A good seat being necessary to the pursuit of happiness, any fan
may move down to a better one after halftime, including
courtside, and not get the hook from a 17-year-old,
$5.15-an-hour-making, Clearasil-jonesing usher who thinks a
spiffy jacket suddenly makes him a member of the Marines
Security Guard.

Amendment III
No fan shall suffer strikes, lockouts, seat licensing fees, male
cheerleaders, ticket-price hikes after losing seasons, drastic
last-minute changes in starting times to accommodate ESPN3,
team-logo changes within one year after said fan has plunked
down $75 for a jersey with the old logo, mascot arrests, vendors
handing over lukewarm beers with thumbs in them, 6'10" yokels
wearing novelty cowboy hats in the seat in front of said fan,
drunk carnies constantly screaming "Run the flea-flicker!" in
said fan's ear, or ejection from the arena or stadium by a
security guard because of said fan's T-shirt, even if it says
POHLAD DATES FARM ANIMALS.

Amendment IV
The right of the fan to a short national anthem shall not be
violated; nor shall the anthem be "personalized" to hell and
back; nor shall said singer be the owner's niece; nor shall the
guy in the music booth continue to play Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him
Goodbye or We Will Rock You year after year after year.

Amendment V
No fan shall be required to answer questions from spouses, such
as why the garbage disposal is still stopped up, during crucial
situations, such as the second half; nor shall said spouse
interrupt at such times to get a pickle jar opened or to
"mention" a "little, teeny-weeny nothing accident" with the new
Mustang knowing full well that said fan is only pretending to
listen in such crucial situations, such as SportsCenter.

Amendment VI
The fan shall be afforded a fair and speedy baseball game and
not suffer through human glaciers like Nomar Garciaparra
stepping out of the batter's box to readjust his hat, sleeves,
gloves, groin and stirrups after every pitch; nor shall the fan
suffer TV camera closeups so tight that said fan can see the
piece of spinach on a pitcher's tooth, all the while leaving
said fan no idea that the infield has shifted and the first base
coach is on fire.

Amendment VII
In lawsuits it shall be judged that any ball, bat or muffler
that ends up in the seats shall be permanently the property of
the fan who first comes into possession of it, not the meathead
who wrestles it away. In case of said wrestling away, said
meathead will be subdued, stripped, wrapped in the Iraqi flag
and dropped off at the nearest Harley bar.

Amendment VIII
There shall be no such thing as a traffic lane between the TV
and the fan watching the game. Use the off-ramp behind the sofa.
In addition chips, wings and cold beer shall be readily
available to said fan, though rising to get said items shall not
constitute an offer by said fan to get same for lard-ass
brothers-in-law in close proximity.

Amendment IX
No fan shall be made to feel like a jerk just for wanting to
shake the hand of an athlete said fan has spent all his time and
money idolizing, just because said athlete happens to be 7'1"
and 325 pounds with footwork Baryshnikov would've guzzled
turpentine for.

Amendment X
The fan shall not suffer parking places that are $4 cab rides to
the arena door; nor shall the cost of four tickets, four hot
dogs, four sodas, four programs and four souvenir hats to any
game exceed that of a 2003 Ford Focus; nor shall old phone
books, sliced diagonally, slathered in picante sauce and topped
with green goo, be sold as a $9.95 Fiesta Mexicana; nor shall
the beer be anything but very, very cold.

It would also be nice if somebody explained the Davis Cup to the
fan, preferably Anna Kournikova.

These powers delegated to the fan shall not be construed to mean
that said fan can streak, holler "You da Man!", participate in
Father-Son Night pummelings, ask for autographs if over the age
of 12, or wear those hideous striped Zubaz pants.

Ever.

COLOR PHOTO: DANA FINEMAN/SYGMA

No fan shall suffer strikes, seat licensing fees, male
cheerleaders or ticket-price hikes after losing seasons.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)