July 12, 2018
After watching the entirety of Wednesday night's Phillies game against the Mets at Citi Field, I could feel my eyes starting to get heavy as the game headed into the bottom of the ninth inning with the score tied at nothing apiece.
That's when Tom McCarthy almost begrudgingly noted that a fan had run onto the field. Oh boy! Aside from Vince Velasquez's brilliant performance coming off the DL against Mets ace Jacob deGrom, this was the most exciting thing that had happened all night.
Well, the cameras did not show the fan (more on that in a bit), but New York Daily News reporter Daniel Popper was at the game and recorded the chase that ensued.
As you can see in Popper's video, Phillies shortstop Scott Kingery tried to trip the fan, but failed. The fan is then quickly tackled by security guards:
Idiot on the field! Scott Kingery with a nifty trip attempt. Good body slam form from the security guard. pic.twitter.com/pdwrFMKT7C— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) July 12, 2018
The Phillies went on to lose the game via a walk-off home run from Brandon Nimmo in the bottom of the 10th. Boo.
Anyway, back to the important question: Why didn't NBC Sports Philadelphia show the fan? Aside from the pitching performances — and an unusual double play — that had to be the most entertaining moment of the game.
NBC Sports didn't immediately return a request for comment Thursday morning. We'll update this if they do. But I can imagine their response. A 2016 Slate article noted that most American television networks have a policy of not showing morons who decide to join the field of play, mainly so it doesn't encourage similar behavior.
Per that article:
The general refusal to televise on-field interruptions isn’t the result of some dictum from sports leagues or a written rule enforced by network executives. It’s more of an “unwritten policy everywhere,” says Fred Gaudelli, the executive producer of NBC’s Sunday Night Football. When it comes to field crashers, Gaudelli says, “Why give them what they’re looking for when all they’re doing is creating an unwanted interruption?” Neal Pilson, the former president of CBS Sports, concurs with his NBC counterpart: “The decisions are made individually by the TV carriers but all seem to have come to the same conclusion: Don’t show it.”
I mean, I get it. Especially with local networks that have stronger relationships with the teams they broadcast on a regular basis. This was at Citi Field, but if you're the Phillies, would you want to give every drunk doofus who sends security guards on a wild chase around the diamond that kind of platform? Of course not.
That being said, I really wanted to see that fan last night. The best I can do for you is the above video and these hilarious action photos from USA Today Sports: