NFL cracking down on rowdy behavior in 2012
Evidently, the NFL has heard rowdy fans loud and clear enough to determine that they don’t want to hear their rambunctious and obnoxious behavior anymore.
It’s true that stadium drunks are annoying but really this new rule is going a bit too far. Part of the atmosphere at football games is tailgating and drinking. Are we really ready for a rule that states if you are removed from a stadium for rowdy behavior that you have to take and pass an online code-of-conduct test that costs $75 or else be banned from future NFL games? Further, if you are discovered at a game after banishment and you haven’t passed the test, you will be arrested for trespassing.
This seems a bit extreme, but it’s true. My imagination is that somehow the religious right has infiltrated the NFL front office, but that can’t be, because Commissioner Goodell is a level-headed and reasonable person, isn’t he?
Almost everybody has encountered a drunk at a stadium at some point in their lives. We all know they can be annoying and truly capable of making an ass of themselves. But surely we all know how to handle these people, don’t we? Are we going to ruin NFL events because of a few drunks?
Stadiums report that they remove between 25 and 40 people per game for unruly behavior. Fine, let them be removed, arrested, whatever. But to take it to the extreme and require an online visit to take a test on conduct or risk being arrested for trespassing is beyond the pale.
Dr. Ari Novick, a California psychotherapist, is the author of the test and in fact, developed this idea himself. He gets to pocket $55 of the $75, and sends the rest to MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the HERO campaign for Designated Drivers. If you are removed from a game, and later do not take the test, then stadium security will look for you, using video monitors, because they will have your picture, name and seat number. Once found, they will have you arrested.
So, what kinds of questions are on the test? Here are some examples:
1) Behaving badly toward other fans, such as fighting, swearing or threatening them, is OK as long as they deserve it. Answer: False
2) According to MetLife Stadium’s alcohol policies, four drinks is the maximum a person may purchase at a time. Answer: False, it’s two.
3) Every fan has a right to like any team they wish. Using abusive language towards fans that support teams you don’t like will not be tolerated. Answer: True
The website that hosts the test is here. At MetLife stadium, fans that are removed must also write a letter of apology to security Chief Daniel Delorenzi.
The NFL has the right intention but is being too heavy-handed with this policy. If you want to limit rowdy behavior, there are other ways of doing it than this.
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