Throwing streamers on to the field started as a fad to add some color to Major League Soccer's fanscape, but it may be getting out of hand, writes Frank Dell'Apa, who feels that policing may be needed to prevent a player from getting hurt.
At the Columbus Crew this past Saturday, New England's Steve Ralston was the latest player to be showered by streamers every time he took a corner kick. Crew fans in one section "provided chanting, singing and color in the form of black-and-yellow scarves and streamers." But Ralston also spotted bananas, batteries and beer and also had to clear away a smoke bomb.
"The Crew, and Major League Soccer, want to encourage fan support but must draw the line," says Dell'Apa. Fans at Houston started the craze, then it was taken up with gusto at Toronto last year, with nearly every opposing corner kick 'streamered.' "A blend of Euro-Latin American sporting-event feel is developing at MLS games, less rowdy than in other countries but also unlike anything happening at other U.S. professional sporting events. The vast majority of supporters would be satisfied with streamer displays and a lot of noise. But they are going to need some help to stop a few more radical types from spoiling the fun."