The most damaging interception during the New Orleans Saints’ loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday didn’t occur on the playing field. After Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham scored a touchdown in the third quarter, he tossed the ball toward a woman in the stands wearing a Bengals jersey. But a man in a gold Saints shirt and baseball cap snatched the ball away, roughly. His left elbow struck her in the chin, snapping her head back. Ill-gotten prize in hand, he sat down and smiled, ignoring the Bengals fan’s pleas for the return of the ball that was clearly intended for her. The Cincinnati Enquirer identified the Bengals fan as Christa Barrett, a Kentucky native who now lives in New Orleans, and the Saints fan as longtime season ticketholder Tony Williams. The mini-drama did not pass unnoticed in the CBS broadcast booth. As the network cut away to a commercial, a slow-motion replay of Gresham’s score also showed what happened when he threw the ball to the fan.

Coming back from the commercial, the CBS broadcast team analyzed not the touchdown itself, but the drama in the stands that followed. For the benefit of a national audience, they singled out the egregious elbow-to-the-face move. All in all, the guy’s actions looked pretty shameful. It was the NFL equivalent of snatching away a stuffed animal meant for a kid at a Mardi Gras parade. Saints fans showed that there sore loser. Eventually the guy gave up the ball to its original owner.


Story brought to you by Andre “Redd Drae” Ellis