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Couch: Bad Fan Behavior Isn’t Going Away Any Time Soon

Welcome back, sports fans! Fans are finally getting to go see their favorite teams and athletes again. They are so grateful that, in the NBA, they spit on players, throw bottles or popcorn at them, yell racist taunts and run onto the court. At the bucolic PGA Championship, fans engulf Brooks Koepka, attack his surgically repaired knee and grab Phil Mickelson’s head in celebration, forcing him to make a pretty impressive swim move before reaching the 18th green and making his last few shots. “Slightly unnerving,’’ Mickelson called it. “But exceptionally awesome.’’ Meanwhile, the Chicago White Sox finally have a World Series-ready team and are in first place, so the fans erupt in the bleachers with women brawling and throwing punches. Is this the new normal everyone was talking about? That’s the big question. I’m going to go with no, at least not to this extent. But yes, things have changed for good. Maybe “for good’’ is the wrong word. Let’s go with “permanently.” Did you really expect the return to go smoothly? This was just so predictable, as our collective psyche has been pent up for a year in COVID isolation. What the hell is happening here? The temperature […]

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Written by Greg Couch

Greg earned the 2007 Peter Lisagor Award as the best sports columnist in the Chicagoland area for his work with the Chicago Sun-Times, where he started as a college football writer in 1997 before becoming a general columnist in 2003. He also won a Lisagor in 2016 for his commentary in RollingStone.com and The Guardian.

Couch penned articles and columns for CNN.com/Bleacher Report, AOL Fanhouse, and The Sporting News and contributed as a writer and on-air analyst for FoxSports.com and Fox Sports 1 TV. In his journalistic roles, Couch has covered the grandest stages of tennis from Wimbledon to the Olympics, among numerous national and international sporting spectacles. He also won first place awards from the U.S. Tennis Writers Association for his event coverage and column writing on the sport in 2010.