The thud you heard north of you was the other shoe hitting the floor in New York when the NFL made public its Fan Conduct Policy. They are warning spectators that anyone who becomes unruly will be ejected and not welcomed to come back.
The policy, first recommended by commissioner Roger Goodell at league meetings in April, is aimed at conduct that the league said “detracts from the gameday experience.”
We thought it would be interesting to break down these rules to get a better understanding of them. We need to know who and what will no longer be seen in NFL stadiums.
• Behavior that is unruly, disruptive, or illegal.
This one should be good! What is unruly, disruptive or illegal? Is it unruly to be a Cowboys fan at your opponent’s stadium? Does this mean no more road trips?
Can an Eagles fan go anywhere now? Man, they’ll be banned from the entire league! And you just know there is no way that Raiders fans will be tolerated to take road trips.
• Drunkenness and signs of alcohol impairment that result in irresponsible behavior.
I’ve met people who actually acted less impaired when they were under the influence! My brother-in-law wouldn’t accomplish a thing if he didn’t down a half case of Bud. What happens to him? Are you going to kick him out for being sober?
This is absolutely going to ruin tailgate parties. No longer will fans be able to drink up and then stagger into the stadium. That’s a shame! There’s nothing like having a guy throw up his brat on you in the first quarter. Sorry, Packers fans!
• Foul or abusive language.
It’s about time! The little old blue-haired ladies can now crochet in peace when attending a game! All those hellions and their foul language. Their mommas should have taught them some manners anyway!
My grandmother, God rest her soul, used to complain to me all the time how she was tired of sitting among a bunch of heathens who used all those four-letter words. Grandma, this one is for you! I know you’re smiling down on Roger Goodell. She’ll be glad to know that the ears of the innocent, fine, upstanding, non-cursing, virginal-eared crowd will be safe to attend. I’m sure Roger Goodell has never uttered a curse word in his life.
From now on, angry fans will sound like an R-rated movie on TNT only it won’t really sound like them but more like some dude who sort of sounds like them who was hired to help edit out their language. “You bunch of stinkin’ jerks!! Forget you!!! You’re playing like spit!! All that freakin’ money they pay you sorry classholes (sometimes they just don’t know how to edit one out)!!! You can’t play any darned better than that?? My dead grandmother could have made that mother stinkin’ catch!”
• Obscene gestures.
Imagine Commissioner Goodell sending word to the White House that the president can’t attend a Texans’ game! “We’re sorry, Mr. President, but we feel that your conduct is totally out of line and not in keeping with the spirit of the game. Your actions, especially giving the finger to that camera, are unruly and disruptive. You have been hearby banned from NFL games. We would also appreciate it if you would pass along this message to your friend Donald Rumsfeld. Sincerely, Roger Goodell.”
• Interference with the progress of the game, including throwing objects onto the field.
There it goes…one of the great traditions of the game gone! Cleveland fans will not be allowed to throw dog biscuits onto the field!
Even worse, Patriots fans may as well stay put in their homes and not drive their cars (pronouced Key-yahs) to the freakin’ stadium. All that Foxboro snow will just have to stay in your seats and can not be tossed onto the field while you’re playing the freakin’ Jets!
• Failing to follow instructions of stadium personnel.
And if a member of stadium personnel tells me to…forget it. This one just doesn’t sound right to me.
• Verbal or physical harassment of fans from the opposing team.
Does this protect the fans from the players? If the Buccaneers come to town does that mean that Jeff Garcia can’t throw a wobbly punch at an obviously sober, kind and gentle fan who might have said something bad about his mother? Of course, the fan never used any foul language while doing it.
Or does this protect the home fans from the visiting fans? Somebody please explain this one to me.
Oh! One more thing…Can we still punch our teammates in the nose while they are kneeling on the sidelines? I’d hate for Steve Smith to have to sit at home all season.
“The in-stadium experience is critically important to the NFL, our clubs and our fans and it will be a major focus this season,” Goodell said in a statement. “We are committed to improving the fan experience in every way we can — from the time fans arrive in the parking lot to when they depart the stadium.”
The fan experience is priority number one! You betcha! That $8 beer and that $200 ticket for a seat with no view is worth something! Who wants to come and curse at somebody after such a wonderful time?
Parking – $25
Hot Dog – $6
Souvenir – Enough to pay for half the space shuttle.
Watching the game without hearing anyone cursing – Priceless.
The league also left teams the option of adding additional provisions to the code based on local circumstances. It said the guidelines would be contained in mailings to fans and signs posted at stadiums.
And there it is! Now, we know. The Carolina Panthers will pass a rule barring moldy cheese and crappy $4 a bottle wine!