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July 20, 2004

The Latest: Auto-Collapsing Goal Posts

FROM THE PREVENTATIVE MAYHEM DEPARTMENT comes a first-ever initiative designed to protect rowdy football fans from themselves.

Clemson University has signed on to take delivery of a remote-controlled collapsible goal post.

Exuberant and energetic students at many schools have regularly overwhelmed security personnel and taken to the field. Once they get there, the only goal seems to be the goal (post) itself. And when the goal posts are felled, sometimes an unfortunate soul is standing in the wrong place. Serious injuries sometimes occur, and lawsuits follow.

Several schools have installed manually collapsible goal posts, but these require that security personnel be adjacent to the goal post, and therefore exposed to the chaotic crowds. Many security officials have been injured trying to protect the goalposts.

At the push of a button, a goalpost could come down in five or six seconds. The system, developed by S5 Sports, will cost approximately $50,000, including $20,000 to develop a new foundation for the posts.

Storming the field appears to be a uniquely college football phenomenon. No such shenanigans occur in the NFL. Plus, international football (soccer to us) games regularly attract over 100,000 frenzied fans, but their incursions onto the field are limited.

(this 199 word excerpt—with accompanying commentary—was extracted from a 512 word article from The State [SC].com of 7-20-04)