adBlockCheck

16,000 Diamondbacks Fans Killed On Complimentary Rattlesnake Night

Top Headlines

Sports

Rest Of Nation To Penn State: ‘Something Is Very Wrong With All Of You’

WASHINGTON—Stating they felt deeply unnerved by the community’s unwavering and impassioned defense of a football program and administration that enabled child sexual abuse over the course of several decades, the rest of the country informed Penn State University Friday that there is clearly something very wrong with all of them.

Strongside/Weakside: Lamar Jackson

After passing for eight touchdowns and rushing for another 10 in just the first three weeks of the season, Louisville Cardinals sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson has quickly become the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy. Is he any good?

Strongside/Weakside: Carson Wentz

After being selected second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz opened the season with a nearly flawless performance in a victory over the Cleveland Browns. Is he any good?

Former WWE Wrestler Found Alive At 44

PHOENIX—In a revelation that has sent shockwaves through the wrestling world, sources confirmed that former WWE wrestler Freddy Hendricks, better known as his in-ring persona “Time Bomb,” was discovered alive Friday at the age of 44.

Strongside/Weakside: Dak Prescott

Having assumed the role after Tony Romo’s injury during the preseason, Dak Prescott is expected to open the NFL regular season as the first rookie quarterback to start for the Dallas Cowboys since 2004. Is he any good?

Study: 96% Of Pickup Games Decided By Next Score

PRINCETON, NJ—Noting that none of the game’s earlier events factored into the final outcome in any way whatsoever, a study released Wednesday by researchers at Princeton University revealed that 96 percent of all pickup games are decided by the next score.

Kevin Durant Wins Gold In Men’s Individual Basketball

RIO DE JANEIRO—Beating out Serbian Nikola Jokic by .87 points in order to claim the all-around title, U.S. forward Kevin Durant won Olympic gold Friday in men’s individual basketball, becoming the first man to win consecutive golds in the competition since Gary Payton at the 1996 and 2000 Games.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

16,000 Diamondbacks Fans Killed On Complimentary Rattlesnake Night

PHOENIX—The Arizona Diamondbacks organization apologized to fans, their families, and the community at large Thursday after more than 16,000 people attending the previous night's game were killed by the poisonous Western diamondback rattlesnakes given out as part of Complimentary Rattlesnake Night.

"I feel terrible," Diamondbacks general manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters as emergency personnel working out of temporary triage stations around Chase Field injected antivenom into the estimated 23,000 victims who survived the initial wave of snakebites. "All we wanted to do was give people something that was symbolic of the Diamondbacks, something they could take home and keep to remember the team by."

"I don't think they'll be taking their rattlesnakes home after this, though," Dipoto said. "They probably won't want them now that all those people are dead."

The rattlesnakes, which average 4 feet in length, weigh about 10 pounds, and account for the second-highest number of snakebite fatalities in the United States, were given out to the first 20,000 ticket holders who entered the stadium. While some volunteers initially suffered bites that destroyed their muscle tissue and caused major paralysis, event organizers said the promotion seemed to go smoothly at first.

"Other than a few hundred fans who complained of swelling, dry mouth, and blurred vision, most seemed to really like their rattlesnakes," said promotions manager Dustin Payne, who doctors believe will make a full recovery after the loss of his left arm due to venom-induced cytotoxic tissue necrosis. "They were twirling them around by their tails, you know, sort of like a Terrible Towel thing, and we were all thinking we had maybe started a great stadium tradition."

"But then that little girl died," Payne continued, "which was pretty sudden and sad. And then her mom died. And her little brother died, too, after he got bit in the throat by a rattlesnake."

Observers said that even prior to the initial deaths, a number of isolated incidents seemed to indicate that the night was headed for disaster. One particularly rowdy fan had to be escorted from the game after waving his rattlesnake in a female attendee's face, and later, outfielder Gerardo Parra was poisoned and had to be carried off the field after a fan asked the hard-hitting lefty to autograph his rattlesnake.

When Diamondbacks reliever Blaine Boyer was spotted in the bullpen wildly convulsing in a writhing knot of rattlesnakes, the stadium grew quiet, save for a steady undercurrent of rattling.

Videotape of the event later showed thousands of fans toppling over and clutching their chests as the snakes' neurotoxic venom caused massive respiratory malfunctions and heart failure. Though most of the Western diamondbacks ultimately sought refuge underneath the stadium seats, by the seventh inning half the people in the stands were dead.

"Everywhere you looked, snakes were lashing out and biting people. I saw a man get bit in his calf, reach down to grab his leg, get bit in his face by another snake, fall down, and then get bit several more times on the top of his head," said Graham Rossini, the Diamondbacks' director of Special Projects and Fan Experience. "It's weird because they were such beautiful snakes, too. I think the problem was that we gave out a lot of older rattlesnakes, and apparently they can deliver much more venom."

"We probably should have given out baby rattlesnakes," he added.

The Diamondbacks organization has announced that it will donate all unclaimed rattlesnakes to a local children's charity next week. Until then, ticket holders who did not receive their rattlesnake may do so by sending the team a self-addressed stamped envelope and $8 to cover shipping and handling.

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE ONION

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close