I heard an interesting segment on the Effectively Wild podcast the other day (starts at 23:00). It was about how fan-on-the-field incidents in baseball are a lot like national security leaks.
In both cases, the authority figure (being the baseball team, or the government) must appear to strongly disapprove of X. Behind closed doors though, they probably don’t mind the occasional X all that much, since it benefits them in some other way.
In the government’s case, this other benefit is that it helps maintain their ability to purposefully leak things to the media, which will then be reported on. In the baseball team’s case, the benefits are more vague, but are still there: it’s just plain fun (for the spectators at least), it can vicariously exercise some frustration if the fan’s team is losing, and it can also connect spectators to the game by reminding them that they are in the same physical space as the players themselves.
Anyway, I have nothing to add to Ben and Sam’s segment really, I just though it was interesting and wanted to mention it here. 🙂