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Arena football fan penalized for grabbing kick returner

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Here’s one of the more bizarre things we’ve seen in a football game: A fan with front-row end zone seats at an Arena football game in Jacksonville grabbed the visiting team’s kick returner to prevent him from running the ball out of the end zone.

The fan of the Jacksonville Sharks got a 15-yard penalty on the home team for grabbing Georgia Force return man C.J. Johnson, and he was reportedly removed from his seat. But the fan also got high fives from Jacksonville Sharks players and was cheered by the fans around him. He celebrated and was clearly happy with himself.

Frankly, the incident was appalling: The fan interfered with the play and even grabbed at Johnson’s facemask, which could have caused an injury. The Arena league has always encouraged fans to feel like they’re part of the action, but here’s hoping the Arena league also makes it clear that grabbing a player on the field is totally out of bounds.

Video of the incident is here. Image via TotalProSports.com.

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62 Responses to “Arena football fan penalized for grabbing kick returner”
  1. notthekiller says: Aug 9, 2011 7:27 PM

    Dude, to be honest thats JUST FUNNY! LOL

  2. highpowered350 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:30 PM

    Looks like C.J. Johnson has zero foot pounds of torque

  3. bobulated says: Aug 9, 2011 7:31 PM

    What an idiot. The fact that the Shark players were congratulating made it even worse.

  4. painterdude says: Aug 9, 2011 7:32 PM

    This is stupid, that guy should be banned forever. And as far as the home team players high fiving him, ridiculous! They should be fined for promoting this crap. Just my opinion.

  5. herlies says: Aug 9, 2011 7:33 PM

    That idiot fan deserved to get pounded. Not crazy Ron Artest style, but he’s lucky he didn’t get a face full of fist.

  6. phillyraider says: Aug 9, 2011 7:33 PM

    If that Fan wants to punk a guy from behind, they should let him out on the field as the punt returner for the next kickoff. He wont do that again! what an ASS….Grow up Pal….

  7. benh999 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:33 PM

    It’s *arena football*. Who cares? This is probably the most interesting thing to ever happen at an arena game. I know I might actually watch a game if I thought fan interference was likely.

  8. rectumnearlykilledem says: Aug 9, 2011 7:34 PM

    The Jets just signed him to stand on their sidelines.

  9. offsideburns says: Aug 9, 2011 7:35 PM

    that’s just poor tackling

  10. FinFan68 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:37 PM

    Despicable. What the hell is wrong with people nowadays? The fact that this moron got high-fives from the players and cheers from the fans is sad. This guy should have been arrested and the league should ban him from all future events in any venue.

  11. beastofeden says: Aug 9, 2011 7:37 PM

    A lot of angry people in here. Tell me, are you the same fans who call the NFL the No Fun League?

  12. stackraider95 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:38 PM

    hahahaha looked at the vid, that shiiiiii was funny

  13. rolandsloan says: Aug 9, 2011 7:40 PM

    The guy is an absolute MORON! So are the players and fans who think this was a good thing.
    He looked like he had some beers in him. Too many for him I guess.

  14. kingjoe1 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:41 PM

    This screams white trash. I hope the kick returner finds him out at a bar; just look for dude drink a 16 oz Budweiser can.

  15. seabreezes51 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:41 PM

    Cops should be involved.

  16. jacunn2000 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:43 PM

    Are youguys sure this was not in Philly?

  17. satanphoenix says: Aug 9, 2011 7:44 PM

    The Jerk should be charged with Assault. Preferably of the Felonious type.

  18. fmwarner says: Aug 9, 2011 7:45 PM

    What? Fans do crazy dangerous stuff outside Philadelphia?

  19. enders9 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:48 PM

    CJ Johnson should have turned around and hit that fan in the jaw and put his ass to sleep.

  20. detroitrollin22 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:49 PM

    This is exactly what the XFL wanted to be like

  21. rando74 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:50 PM

    Res Ryan just googled this guys phone number

  22. sieg1234 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:52 PM

    Grow a pair. I’ve never seen anyone get hurt b/c their helmet was grabbed while the two were standing still…it was HILARIOUS and what’s appalling is that you said it was appalling.

  23. jbaxt says: Aug 9, 2011 7:54 PM

    Holy sh!t, lighten up. If you’re going to make your out of bounds area against the fans seats, AND the receiver can catch the ball against the fans, then blame yourself for dumbass rules.

    Do you not think some DA fan wouldn’t grab a player at some point?

    Every other sport has figured out that fans and players don’t mix.

    To the writer Smith; “appalling” is a bit strong. It was funny. You guys are just mad they made the news.

  24. gfan8611 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:57 PM

    Fans are idiots. That’s a given. For players to celebrate this is completely wrong. Not one of those players would be like being grabbed by a fan while they were trying to play.

  25. tjacks7 says: Aug 9, 2011 8:00 PM

    You can’t do that..?

  26. phillyraider says: Aug 9, 2011 8:00 PM

    Did he get lessons from Asante Samuel in tackling!

  27. wardrivekeith says: Aug 9, 2011 8:01 PM

    So totally staged for pub. Otherwise, who even gives a look at an Arena League YouTube video ……… or knows there’s an Arena team in Jacksonville besides the Jaguars?

  28. skeeter1970 says: Aug 9, 2011 8:02 PM

    Not surprised really.

    Jacksonville is filled with gap-toothed hillbillys. On a Friday night it’s either roller derby, Arena Football or boinking your sister.

  29. croghan1919 says: Aug 9, 2011 8:04 PM

    I see plexiglass partitions in the AFL’s future.
    Heck, save the money and play it on hockey rinks.
    Instead of cleats the players could wear crampons.

  30. mempusa says: Aug 9, 2011 8:06 PM

    Blame it on The Arena Football League.
    They allow fans to be that close to the field. What do they expect to happen?

  31. tatum064 says: Aug 9, 2011 8:09 PM

    So what? 19 people watch the damn thing, and its a substitute for football in the spring…just something for pub. And “Whats wrong with people”?

    Get off your high horses, its a game, no one was hurt, its a bad economy, and people celebrated. Fan participation.

  32. Keyser Söze says: Aug 9, 2011 8:14 PM

    This is crazy. Thank goodness the NFL doesn’t play in this type of environment. Can you imagine if they let Philly fans that close to the game? 0_o

  33. broncobeta says: Aug 9, 2011 8:14 PM

    “but here’s hoping the Arena league also makes it clear that grabbing a player on the field is totally out of bounds.

    Video of the incident is here.”

    Any one else find that ironic?

  34. kepickle says: Aug 9, 2011 8:17 PM

    If i was the Player I’d Pulled the Fan over the wall & kicked his ass Until they pulled me off

    NO I don’t want to hear any BS if you think your a Bad ass get your Ass out there

  35. philwauke says: Aug 9, 2011 8:18 PM

    wardrivekeith says:
    Aug 9, 2011 8:01 PM
    So totally staged for pub. Otherwise, who even gives a look at an Arena League YouTube video ……… or knows there’s an Arena team in Jacksonville besides the Jaguars?
    —————————————————-

    That wasn’t the jaguars?

  36. enders9 says: Aug 9, 2011 8:27 PM

    sieg1234 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:52 PM

    Grow a pair. I’ve never seen anyone get hurt b/c their helmet was grabbed while the two were standing still…it was HILARIOUS and what’s appalling is that you said it was appalling.

    ————————————

    It was funny. But wtf are you talking about standing still? Neither of them were standing still. The fan was all over the place about to fall onto the field grabbing at Johnson, and Johnson was attempting to run forward

  37. tfbuckfutter says: Aug 9, 2011 8:31 PM

    I was going to say something mocking about the AFL….

    But then this happened:

    “rectumnearlykilledem says: Aug 9, 2011 7:34 PM
    The Jets just signed him to stand on their sidelines.”

    And now everyone should just give up trying to top it.

  38. beastofeden says: Aug 9, 2011 8:32 PM

    FANS WISH THEY COULD DO THIS IN THE NFL.

    Heck, fans get the short end of the stick every which way in the NFL. Tickets, Parking, Concession prices, teams with losing records year after year, lockout, etc etc.

    Plus, look what state this happened in. I bet he was on the jury…you know what jury

  39. trbowman says: Aug 9, 2011 8:39 PM

    He’s lucky the player didn’t punch him in the face.

  40. beastofeden says: Aug 9, 2011 8:40 PM

    The poor fan dropped his game day program! This video is hilarious. I love his bravado at the end; double arm pump, high fives, low fives, daps and pounds.

    Antonio Cromartie can learn something from this video on the true form of arm tackling

  41. cubano76 says: Aug 9, 2011 9:02 PM

    Jackass!

  42. hobartbaker says: Aug 9, 2011 9:13 PM

    12th man.

  43. kevinfromphilly says: Aug 9, 2011 9:16 PM

    Appalling? Absolutely – but not as bad as PFT giving the jerk another 15 seconds of fame.

  44. colts4fan says: Aug 9, 2011 9:19 PM

    I didn’t find any humor in it at all, and I used the word “appalling,” too, in my article about it on Yahoo! Sports. I’m mentally high-fiving Michael David Smith for sharing my opinion.

    The Arena Football League has been in existence for 24 years–with fans sitting right up against the boards–and this kind of “fan” behavior is neither normal or tolerated. CJ Johnson could have been badly injured. He was *not* standing still–he was trying to field a kickoff–and the “fan” grabbed him around the face, neck, and shoulders from behind.

    The subsequent behavior by some of the Sharks players and the glorification of the incident throughout the remainder of the NFL Network broadcast by the announcers made it even worse.

    As for the snarky “who cares” comments about the AFL–at least 1,330,409 people care. That’s how many people attended AFL games in person this season. Don’t knock it if you’ve never given it a fair chance, and if you’ve tried the AFL and don’t like it, there’s really no need to mock it.

    It’s nice to see PFT give the AFL some attention. Hopefully next time, it will be for something impressive that happened on the field, rather than some asinine act by someone who is not a true AFL fan.

    Fans who’d like to see what the AFL is about should tune in to NFL Network on Friday (8/12) at 8:30pm for ArenaBowl XXIV. It’s the two best teams in the league and should be an entertaining game for the open-minded viewer.

  45. depotnator says: Aug 9, 2011 9:31 PM

    I can’t understand the humorless ppl on this site who don’t think that’s funny as hell. Yes it might have been staged – the announcers even were laughing.

  46. ampats says: Aug 9, 2011 10:03 PM

    rectumnearlykilledem,

    GREAT POST!

  47. rboyett says: Aug 9, 2011 10:06 PM

    I know its wrong. I totally agree that is is so so so wrong..

    But I can’t stop laughing at the whole thing.

  48. sieg1234 says: Aug 9, 2011 10:11 PM

    enders9 says:
    Aug 9, 2011 8:27 PM
    sieg1234 says: Aug 9, 2011 7:52 PM

    Grow a pair. I’ve never seen anyone get hurt b/c their helmet was grabbed while the two were standing still…it was HILARIOUS and what’s appalling is that you said it was appalling.

    ————————————

    It was funny. But wtf are you talking about standing still? Neither of them were standing still. The fan was all over the place about to fall onto the field grabbing at Johnson, and Johnson was attempting to run forward

    _______________________

    Standing still as in not running around, not moving THAT much. Of course there was movement btwn the 2, but it wasn’t enough to ever get hurt. The player didn’t move but maybe 3 inches forward and didn’t struggle that much to do so…and the fan was just draped on him, in no way could he have hurt the player unless he jumped on him.

  49. MichaelEdits says: Aug 9, 2011 10:14 PM

    Not funny. I’d arrest the guy for assault.

  50. b1rdbath says: Aug 9, 2011 10:23 PM

    Arena football has fans?

  51. t16rich says: Aug 9, 2011 11:39 PM

    Hahahahahaha. Where is Ron Artest when you need him. Probally changing his name or somthing.

  52. dgforreal says: Aug 9, 2011 11:46 PM

    Good to see CJ made it out of San Andreas.

  53. anhdazman says: Aug 9, 2011 11:46 PM

    Probably not the smartest human being alive, he’s just trying to get his 5 second of fame. I applaud the KR for not turning around and decking the fool.

  54. rolandsloan says: Aug 10, 2011 12:15 AM

    hobartbaker says:
    12th man.

    They don’t have eleven players on the field in
    Arena Football…..wouldn’t be 12th man.

  55. granadafan says: Aug 10, 2011 12:24 AM

    It’s sickening to read how many fans think it’s ok to interfere with the play on the field just because you bought ticket. You’re ruining the game for the rest of the civilized fans who have class and were raised right.

  56. funkydunkleman says: Aug 10, 2011 12:41 AM

    If this was the NFL or NBA this would be a disgrace. But this is Arena Football, which I believe just beats out the WNBA in popularity.

    At least they get free publicity. If it weren’t for the NFL Network clogging up their schedule with this garbage during the lockout, I wouldn’t have known the league still existed.

  57. mmmpieyummy says: Aug 10, 2011 1:56 AM

    It’s arena league…who the hell cares. This isn’t football.

  58. packmanfan says: Aug 10, 2011 7:27 AM

    I thought this was PRO football talk.
    Not amateur football talk.

  59. turbodog1027 says: Aug 10, 2011 7:48 AM

    This guy must have no life at all if he gets this excited during an Arena league game. I thought this league disbanded anyway?

  60. dan39564 says: Aug 10, 2011 8:19 AM

    A player on the field, like an actor on the stage, during the course of the game, should not be touched by a fan.

    This constitutes simple assault, and the Fan should be so charged!

  61. stanmackley says: Aug 10, 2011 8:30 AM

    this fan behavior is a disgrace. yes, you naysayers are right that he didnt endanger the player with the facemask grab, and yes the AFL isnt popular. but as a fan, if you think its ok to interfere in anysport you should be kicked out or banned from the event. would you run on the court and grab a wnba player? would you interfere at a amatuer golf tourny?
    if i was in the stands with him i would have pushed his fat a** over the railing and let him taste the field.

  62. phinfan says: Aug 10, 2011 3:09 PM

    We have a Sal Palosi sighting?!

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