Not that I consider myself to be an expert in the field of crowd control, but I'd say that we've become a little more efficient (read: uptight) over the course of the past 24 years. I have to tell you, I was absolutely blown away by the clip of the last few seconds of the Celtics-Lakers game (and the clip of the last minute before, where you literally have players politely herding overzealous fans off the court). Because forget about the fans rushing onto the court with time still remaining; what are the chances we see a fat drunk guy without a shirt on dancing on top of the basket (3:23) at the conclusion of this year's NBA finals? A billion-to-one?
Rest assured, anyone trying to get onto the court this year will be given the business, just like the old fat guy did at Fenway this past week. Which is a damn shame, because when done right (read: naked), rushing the field can be the highlight of any given sporting event.
By the way, if you're wondering why security is a little tighter than it was back in '84, check out this story from yesterday's Boston Herald about what happened to one of the fans while running onto the court in the mob scene in the aftermath of the aforementioned Game 7. Apparently, trying to steal the jersey off the back of Kurt Rambis only seconds after his losing out on the Larry O'Brien trophy isn't the best life decisoin one can make.
Bonus coverage: Just in case you are planning on rushing the court/field/ice surface anytime soon, this is how it's done: