A passion overload can carry a heavy price tag. Just ask Rafael Diaz of Long Island, NY.
Rafael, a “die-hard Mets fan,” and a friend attended the baseball game Friday night between the NY Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field, the Mets’ home field. It was an historic night. Mets pitcher Johann Santana pitched a no-hitter against the Cardinals, the first no-hitter by a Mets pitcher in the history of the team.
Rafael confessed that he got such an adrenaline rush from the no-hitter that he couldn’t help himself and climbed over the barrier in front of his seat along the first base line and dashed onto the field to join the celebration. His friend followed him, but was knocked down by security personnel before reaching first base. Rafael, however, made it to the pitcher’s mound where the team was celebrating, and he launched himself into the pile of players in celebration.
“I was overcome with emotion, just being a die-hard Mets fan,” he told a NY Post reporter. “That’s all it was. I was overcome with emotion. I just wanted to be on the mound celebrating the no-hitter.”
I think it’s fair to say that the celebration didn’t turn out the way he might have envisioned it.
He was arrested for trespassing and spent two nights in jail before a judge ordered him released on Sunday. The Mets have banned him for life from Citi Field, and he could face a year in jail and a $25,000 fine. That’s the possible penalty under the New York City unruly fan law.
Plus, Rafael missed his son’s first birthday celebration. That was Saturday, and Rafael was cooling it in jail instead of being home for the celebration.
Rafael is not a pre-teen who might not know better than to let his passion run wild and override his common sense and behavioral control. He’s a 32-year-old adult with a family and a job. He has to know better.
But, by his own admission, he lost control of his emotion and himself. The result was an act of foolishness that made him a lawbreaker and an object of ridicule. How proud of him can his wife be—or his son someday when he is old enough to understand what happened?
Some may laugh at what he did, and in a perverse way perhaps there is humor in what happened. Ultimately, though, it is not a laughing matter when we allow our passion and emotion to cause us to lose control of our actions. Too often, the result is anything but humorous.