bill-swift - April 18, 2012
We've all seen him/her; that fan that seems to think that they have the right to yell and scream whatever they want at whomever they want just because they can breathe and bought a ticket to the game.
Security teams try to toss fans from the game before things get too far; sometimes they are more successful than others. The annual Oakland Raiders/San Francisco 49ers exhibition game is off due to the craziness that happened there last season (one man was beaten in the bathroom; two were shot in separate incidents in the parking lot).
Jerks like those ruin the fan experience for everybody. Fans should not have to worry about getting jumped in the bathroom or shot just because they cheer for the visiting team. Starting in 2012 the NFL is finally going to do something about it. They are going to make rowdy fans take a test.
Each city will have their own version of the test, but they will essentially be like the one that MetLife Stadium (home of the New York Jets and Giants) in 2010.
That year stadium security ejected close to 500 fans—about 25 a game. Those fans were given a choice. They could be banned for life from all events (football games, concerts, etc.) or they could write an apology letter to the stadium security director and take a four-hour online course followed by an exam (that costs $75). If they get at least a 70 they can come back.
Those that fail the test or refuse to the course will have their face and name placed in a little, black book of unforgiven fans that will be charged with trespassing if caught on stadium grounds.
It is nice to see the NFL try to do something to make the fan experience at stadiums a little bit safer. Maybe the hatred/fear that some thugs have of anything resembling school will keep some guys in check. Then again, when the Jets/Giants security staffs have only busted 10 fans for trespassing over the last few years (compared to the hundreds that get tossed each year) the thugs don't have much to fear.
Article by Travis Pulver
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