There's an old joke about the last words of a redneck: "Hold my beer and watch this." While such beer-holding moments often lead to mayhem and the occasional grievous bodily injury, in many cases they're simply just matters of common courtesy ... until the cops get involved, that is.
Arizona Cardinals season-ticket holder John Coulter was at Saturday's game, and as one does, wanted to get a picture. Also as one does, he was holding a beer at the time. So he handed his beer to his 15-year-old son for temporary safekeeping. And shortly afterward, he received a visit from some undercover stadium police, who informed him that he had been serving alcohol to a minor and would be immediately escorted from the stadium and handed a citation for trespassing.
"I thought it was a candid camera joke, I really did,” Coulter told USA TODAY Sports. “We just watched the opening kickoff and I wanted to take a quick picture. I literally handed my son my cup and said hold my cup, I reached into my pocket, grabbed my cell phone, put it on camera mode and took a picture.”
"Providing alcohol to an underage person or an underage person in possession of alcohol is a Class 1 misdemeanor," Sgt. Wesley Kuhl of the Arizona Department of Liquor License and Control told USA Today. "The consequences could be up to, and this is a maximum, of two years in jail, $2,500 fine and three years probation."
Certainly, underage drinking is a problem, and not just within NFL stadiums. But Coulter claims he was the victim of "abuse and overzealous pursuing of the situation." If that's true — and, remember, we're only getting one side of the story here — perhaps a little more discretion in the exercise of power might be advisable. Either that or we cut right to the chase and treat NFL stadiums like libraries. Shhhh!