Unruly fans must pass code-of-conduct exam to return to games

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The NFL hatched during the 2011 playoffs the brilliant (and that’s not sarcastic . . . for a change) idea of putting undercover cops in the visiting team’s gear in order to catch those who would subject fans of the visiting team to mistreatment.  The NFL has a somewhat less brilliant idea for allowing unruly fans back into games.

According to Gary Buiso of the New York Post, the NFL will require ejected fans to pass an online code of conduct exam before they can return.

The test will be administered upon completion of a four-hour online course, which costs $75.  To pass the test, the fans must answer correctly at least 70 percent of the following brain-twisting (sarcasm) true-or-false questions:  “Every fan has a right to like any team they wish.  Using abusive language towards fans who support teams you don’t like will not be tolerated.”

The program was first used in 2010, at MetLife Stadium and Gillette Stadium.

It makes sense to give fans a second chance, especially at a time when the NFL desperately wants fans to choose to attend games.  But, again, a second chance gone bad can become the foundation of a lawsuit.  If the NFL allows a fan who has been flagged for abusive behavior back into the building based on the outcome of a least-common-denominator online test and the fan inflicts injury on another fan at some point in the future, the NFL, the team, and/or the stadium will face the argument that the powers-that-be negligently failed to protect the injured fan from someone they knew or should have known to be a potential source of violent behavior.

Of course, those claims will likely be covered by insurance.  And it’s far easier to pay the premiums if you let unruly fans buy tickets — especially after they fork over an extra $75 for the privilege of doing so.

105 responses to “Unruly fans must pass code-of-conduct exam to return to games

  1. Maybe I am naive but how can they stop a fan that was thrown out from attending future games? You go to ticketmaster and buy a ticket. How can they stop this? They must be reffering to season ticket holders only?

  2. im sure scalpers will carry a list of people who cant buy tickets because they haven’t taken the test yet

  3. If I am unruly, I am probably going to tell you where to put your $75, and your online test.

  4. So… I can be arrested for telling someone that the Bills suck horribly and that anyone who wears their jerseys should reevaluate their life and possibly consider ending it, as they pour their emotions into a blank pit of ineptitude?

    Man, that’s harsh, brah.

  5. Make em buy their own insurance and a 10,000 surety bond. Get a fan I’d insurance card and reduse any liquor sales with a 5,000 fine in violated 3rd offendees, gang plank em from the highest deck level at mid field. Gold ye Steeler Fans. Hahaha Just jerkjn your lends. Banns

  6. I had no idea they did this. I actually like this. Trash talking opposing fans is fun and part of the game, but alot of men become tough guy bullies when they have a 26 of whiskey in their gut and 5 of their best friends sitting beside them. I really like this because one dumb fans actions can make an entire fanbase and team look unclassy.

  7. There are people that shouldn’t be allowed into a NFL stadium in the first place, but Goodell and his little buddies should also bear in mind that it’s possible to get bounced from Seattle’s CLink (Seahawks) for as minor of an infraction as tossing an empty beer cup into a garbage receptacle. A member of Seattle’s media was told she’d have to leave a season ago after – horrors – disposing of her plastic cup points-style.

    Speaking of beer, I have a solution for the NFL: STOP SELLING ALCOHOL AT GAMES. Don’t let fans who are obviously intoxicated into the stadium in the first place. Imagine how well-behaved the crowd will be.

    Imagine how loud the wind whistling through that empty stadium will be, too.

    Perhaps the NFL needs to consider the fact that the increasingly draconian rules to attend a game are useless and annoying to fans. It’s possible to obtain a 42″ flat screen and a case of beer for what it costs the average family to attend one NFL game per season now.

  8. I think the tests should be administered in person by a team security official and broadcast live on the NFL Network.

  9. How can they screen 70,000 people coming into a stadium every sunday? Are they going to have pictures of unruly fans and not allow them into the stadium? Are they going to check everyones id? I highly doubt the people scanning tickets making 7.00 an hour are going to be able to pick the unruly fans out of a crowd.

    If I was an unruly fan, I wouldn’t pay the 75.00 for the test. I would have someone buy the tickets online and take my chances going to the game.

  10. It serves its purpose. You have to fork over some money and you’re forced to sit down for 4 hrs and focus on the wrongdoing you carried out.

    Busted again after that? Then you’re talking lifetime ban.

  11. “raginsgsea: So do you get a scarlet letter tattooed on your forehead so they can indentify the unruly fans at future games?”
    No need, they’re probably all wearing Oakland Raiders gear.

  12. Great, so the drunken fool that still lives with his mom and starts every morning off with an egg, toast and shot of vodka in his OJ gets to come back to the stadium to roust some more people!

    Great job Goodell, put more people in the line of danger! How about you come and sit in the 300 section at the top of the bowl with your son or daughter. Lets see you refrain yourself from cracking the jaw of the drunk jerk that uses more profanity than normal words from the english dictionary. The same guy you let back in after he verbally assaulted a father and his 10 year old child for rooting for their favorite team. Do you think you can hold yourself back while this poster child for Jim Beam teaches your kid things he shouldn’t learn before he’s in his twenties? Money really isn’t everything Rodger.

    I’ve watched good people get kicked out of the stadium for sticking up for themselves or others from these type of people you are letting back in.
    Maybe the NFL should re-think this whole thing?

  13. The only reason for this is so they can charge $75. They’re essentially fining them. $75 to take an ONLINE test is absurd. What came first, the idea for the test or the idea to get the money? My bet is on the money.

  14. Now the nfl is becoming communist just like our country. Can we do anything anymore without the fear of law enforcement?

  15. Uh Oh-
    There goes the entire population of the 700 level at the old Veterans Stadium. :mrgreen:

  16. $75 and a movie? Are you kidding?

    How about for the first time violator, a $2500.oo fine and pressing charges of assault and NOT dropping the charges?

  17. The real problem is they have people who just dont care who work at the facilities. I was at the Eagles at falcons game this past year in the georgia dome. I had been receiving verbal threats and abuse from some falcons fans for wearing my eagles gear. I informed some of the security at the georgia dome what was going on and they basically said, “Thats not really our problem you shouldnt have come cheering for the other team.”

    I walked away and went back to my seat and just tried to tune everyone out and enjoy myself at the game (In which I paid a lot of money for my tickets). When Michael Vick fumbled and it was getting returned I had my hat snatched from my head and I was pushed down. I got up and was legitimately afraid of what might happen because I had heard all of the reports of opposing fans being brutally assaulted at various stadiums. I looked and saw it was one of the same guys who had been harassing me all game. I quickly punched him in the face and grabbed my hat and left.

    I paid good money for those tickets and stuff like that could just be avoided by having security personnel that actually gave a damn….but that would be too hard wouldnt it?!

  18. I may have to take that class/test due to some of my comments/actions as I watch games on my 65′ flat screen in glorious HD.

  19. 9 out of 10 problems at these games are all alcohol related. It’s not hard to figure out how to end it. Of couse being a money hungry world, they also realize how much money is made by selling booze at games so ending it won’t happen.

    I personally would rather just watch the games on tv. I get a better view, food whenever I want, no standing in line to use the bathroom and no loud annoying drunks screaming behind me. Sporting events aren’t quite the family outting like they use to be.

  20. NFL thought police looking to re-train the mind numbed drones? Wtf?

    I have a better solution. Arrest the a-holes who disturb the peace, have them pay a significant fine(u know they will all be found guilty) and use a facial recognition program within the stadium grounds to prevent them from ever entering the premises again.

  21. Is it possible to take this during the offseason, so when I am escorted out, I can just show them the paper that says I passed, go back in, and not miss any of the game?

  22. I have to admit I don’t understand a lot of human behavior. One of the things I really don’t understand is shelling out $80-150 for ticket to a game, then getting so hammered on $7 beers (plus whatever you guzzle in the parking lot beforehand) you have no idea what actually happened during the game.

  23. Ha. These idiots already have a hard enough time filling the stadiums. They keep coming up with these stupid rules and fines. No one will be there. Most people go there to have a few beers and enjoy themselves. I don’t go to games in Philly or new York or Dallas. You know why? I don’t want to get beat up. It’s simple. Whichever team you like, go I their home games. I don’t feel bad for idiots who get beat up for wearing another teams jersey and running their mouth. Deal with it.


    hey now sir i beg to differ


    excuse me sir stop that you are being unruly


    lol ur under arrest sir

  25. Ultimately people are responsible for their own actions….alcohol or not. Everyone should be able to attend a game and enjoy it without a fight. Good fun is one thing, but people do cross the line at times. People just need to mature and all will be good. I think it was a god idea by the NFL.

  26. So… I can be arrested for telling someone that the Bills suck horribly and that anyone who wears their jerseys should reevaluate their life and possibly consider ending it, as they pour their emotions into a blank pit of ineptitude?

    Man, that’s harsh, brah.

    Come to buffalo and say that brah…. I’d gladly pay the 75 bones and pass the test for you. As would 70,000 others.

  27. This must be for season ticket holders only? I mean if I get ejected from a game, how do they know I wont just go to a game the next week, especially if I am in different seats. I feel like I must be missing something here.

  28. I dont think this idea is dumb. But the only problem is…..how can you stop them from buying tickets?

    “Mr. Johnson, it’s come to my attention that you have not passed your code-of-conduct test, therefore I cannot sell you these tickets.”

  29. Ho the heck do you ban a fan? Do they have pictures of these guys at every gate of every stadium? Revoke their season tix. But really do we seriously think we will stop him from getting a single game seat on Ebay?

    Sure ban alcohol. 95% of the people or more can drink and not become a retard. So let’s punish the 95% because of a few idiots.

    If you seriously want to stop it. Enforce the violated laws and create one that makes it an unbareable fine for entering the field of play. How about $5000?
    You beat on someone because of the team he roots for…How about some jail tme, or massive community service in the unblemished team gear of your teams rival? If you want to prevent an activity, make the punishment a deterent. Not something convenient like an online class or something that can be paid out of petty cash.
    Let him tell his friends he can’t make it to the golf outing and to watch the game this weekend because one he cant afford it and two he has to pick up trash along route 46.

  30. It’s amazing how fast you can tame a drunken cheesehead by pointing a cell phone video camera at him and mentioning “filing charges”! Bring extra batteries ………you will need them at Lambeau.

  31. EJ says:Apr 15, 2012 12:14 PM

    Great, so the drunken fool that still lives with his mom and starts every morning off with an egg, toast and shot of vodka in his OJ gets to come back to the stadium to roust some more people!

    Sounds like Sunday morning to me…

    I don’t really “roust” anyone. I get drunk and I cheer for my team.

  32. I get kicked out of the game against the Broncs in week 1. I walk up to the gate in week 4 for the Patriots game Somehow they know I am the jackwad that got kicked out a few weeks ago.

    Now that “Person of Interest” show makes sense. The nerd with a stiff neck and walks funny is monitoring NFL games between thwarting terrorists plots.

  33. @trollhammer
    Couldn’t agree more, and I’m not anti drinking at all. It’s just stupid. It’s like buying a designer suit for a function then setting fire to it the day of the event.

    My team discontinues alcohol sales 15 min after the 2nd half starts. Between that & sitting in the parking lot for a bazillion years waiting to get out onto Rt1 after the game, you’re stone sober. 😛

  34. It’s a good policy if done right. If the offense is bad enough, or if it’s a repeat offender, kick the offender out for good.

  35. Nothing worse than loser unruly fans who can’t stop acting like idiots for 4 quarters in front of children and families. I send a big FU to anyone like that. If I have to give up my own beers at the game to not have to deal with one of you stupid F***in idiots at every game, so be it

  36. The NFL should just ban em for good>
    There are plenty of A hole jackwads in training to take their place.

  37. That’s just plain stupid. They should ban those people for life. Then again, the intelligence level of those unruly fans are so low, the test probably rules them out for returning to future games.

  38. In future news…”An undercover Oakland police officer was killed at the Raiders game today. Apparently he was wearing a Denver Broncos jersey”

  39. I decided years ago to stop attending NFL games because of the drunks. Going to a college game where alcohol is sneaked into the stadium reduces the overt consumption and is a much more enjoyable experience. I sit in a section where people share and pass you a flask to add a shot to your coffee. The games are much more sociable than the NFL experience.

    The extra television timeouts also disrupt the pace of the game for the live viewer (but are not noticeable at home). The NFL really caters to the lowest common denominator at the stadium and the resulting problems are not surprising.

  40. kevsright says:Apr 15, 2012 12:16 PM

    Uh Oh-
    There goes the entire population of the 700 level at the old Veterans Stadium.

    Don’t you mean just the entire population of the old Veterans Stadium?

  41. While banning alcohol and denying entry to those already tanked would improve the game day experience for the vast majority of fans, there’s one sentence that explains why it will never happen:

    “Bud Light – official beer sponsor of the NFL.”

    When you’ve got the Big 3 breweries (Anheuser-Busch, Miller, Coors) fighting over how much money to hand the league for that NFL shield in their commercials, the league isn’t going to then backstab them by banning beer in the building.

    As with everything else in big business and sports, follow the money.

  42. So now fans are getting fined, are we subjected to hgh and other drug test too? I guess that’s how the rich stays rich and the poor stays………..well u know where I’m going with this

  43. If they stop serving alcohol, it will not stop the fans from drinking. They will just sneak their own in. I live in Utah and it happens all the time here. I know, I’m sorry that I live here as well. In this state, you can not do anything at a public or most private venues. It still makes it’s way in though. How about a drink limit and stamp the back of the hand. This way they still have sales, people can enjoy a drink but keep within reason. I know people can still smuggle in but would be less prone to maybe.

  44. If a fan gets kicked out they should get a seconded chance,if they pay 75bucks you would think they’ll behave . great idea i think

  45. I just had an AWESOME idea for how the NFL can get all of its security staff to remember all of the offenders faces!

    Take any video or pictures, splice them up to funny music or movies and make them pretend to sing and dance or say funny phrases. Have all of the security staff watch the funny video before every game.

    If there is one thing ive learned from the internet, it is that stupid things people do on video or stupid videos people create to match with songs or quotes will never be forgotten specifically after you 1. Watch it a bunch of times and 2. Other people laugh at or trash the video with you.

  46. took my son to a game where we were rooting for the away team and we were wearing visiting team jerseys. my son was under 12 years old. he got cursed out by home team fans and had fans trying to intimidate him. people like that should be banned. football should be able to be attended by fans of all ages no matter what team is being rooted for.

  47. Based on the majority of the comments here it’s safe to say most here have very poor or lack critical thinking skills. This is so illogical that anyone with any intelligence would be insulted. How would they enforce this?

  48. When was going to see a game a family experience? Its these jackwagons who bring kids and wives to games that should be punished. Games used to be about male camaraderie. Now if you swear when your teams screws up you get ejected b/c some do gooder mom assumes that that is the first time little Jimmy ever heard a swear. Couple that with the banning of standing up to cheer as a violation and you might as well go to see a musical. Also, they want to keep the blackout rules? Really? I no longer go to games b/c its like a PTA meeting and not a football game. Those of you who thumbs down me can go enjoy a Mike’s hard feminaide.

  49. I totally agree there is a line that home fans should’t cross, but it also sucks to go to a game to root for your home team and be stuck with a bunch of hammered visting fans around you. It goes both ways.

    I guess the only way to fix it is to cut the drinking. That really sucks as someone who likes to drink a few beers while watching, but it certainly would work.

  50. Who said stop serving alcohol? Great idea. Convince billionaire owners to dump a huge revenue stream! Hey, let’s keep everyone safe; declare prohibition and change all speed limits to 25 mph!

  51. This seems completely unenforceable. There’s very little the NFL can do to prevent someone who’s “banned” from acquiring game tickets, and its infeasible to screen/ID every person who attends a game.

  52. noeffinway says: Apr 15, 2012 12:51 PM

    It’s amazing how fast you can tame a drunken cheesehead by pointing a cell phone video camera at him and mentioning “filing charges”! Bring extra batteries ………you will need them at Lambeau


    Not really. I’ve been to quite a few games at Lambeau and have had quite a few opposing teams’ fans sitting near me. It’s been all good natured banter with a nice amount of humor. The only bad behavior has been from some of the other team’s fans who were drunk and abusive. But even they were few and far between. Lambeau brings out the best in people. Except maybe you, noeffinway, who seems to be looking for trouble.

  53. I think The NFL has their job and the job of GOD confused! Who the hell is the NFL to tell people how to behave at a sporting event in their own hometown?!?! Seems they feel they possess waaaay to much power, they’re already working against the teams and players now they are attacking the fans?? WTF! It’s getting about time to knock Mara and Goodell of their high horse. Owners like Mara should not be allowed to hold ANY position at the league office due to conflict of interest. The same reason The President if the United States cannot be the CEO of any company while in office. Goodell and the league office are going to end up making such a mess that the government eventually will get involved.

  54. Obviously several people are not aware of facial recognition that can be used at major sporting events like it is in Las Vegas. Any banned person can be caught, arrested, and charged with trespassing.

  55. This would mean every fan in Minnesota would have to be kicked out & there is now way any of them will pass that exam. Looks like the Dome will be 100% Packer fans for the game in 2012.

  56. To all the idiots saying the solution is to stop selling beer at the stadiums and anywhere else, you obviously forgot America’s history with Prohibition. Abolishing alcohol from the public, solves…NOTHING!!!

  57. Wait let me get this correct: a fan pays their hard earned money to attend a sporting event. That fan gets a little heated and then has to use four hours of their time – as well as pay their hard earned money ($75.00) – in order to have the privilege of paying the NFL more of their hard earned money (on season tickets) in order to continue going to games? Who is responsible for this bright idea? Give me a break.

  58. bduncanscott says:
    Apr 15, 2012 3:17 PM
    I think The NFL has their job and the job of GOD confused! Who the hell is the NFL to tell people how to behave at a sporting event in their own hometown?!?!

    Look at the back of your ticket. When you use the ticket, you agree to the code of conduct.

  59. So what if my teams owner and GM act like complete idiots (Dolphins), and ruin my game watching experience by putting an offensive product on the feild. Can we as fans force them to take a class on how to conduct yourself as an owner, and a GM, then force them to refund me for all the money I’ve given them over the last 4 years?

  60. Amazing. There are two positions expressed here that are both sad and pathetic. 1. That the NFL wants to prevent fans from being loud, enthusiastic or boisterous. Not True. Just be positive, root for your team, and don’t be physicially or verbally abusive to fans who are rooting for a different team than you are. 2. That it is expected and therefore acceptable that fans should defend their home turf. Get over yourselves. Fans are not competitors. They do not own their stadium and they do not win anything by harrassing visiting fans. Sad that people have trouble with this simple concept.

  61. As a man who has been ejected from sporting events in three different countries, I think this is a complete joke. I have been ejected from stadiums for the most minuet issues. I was ejected from a game in Cleveland for banging on a fiberglass sign during half time. I was ejected in Buffalo because my friends and I were chanting “FIRE DONAHOE” [former Buffalo GM]. You can be ejected from stadiums just because the security guard is having a bad day.

    Also, it will be impossible to enforce. Unless the NFL is going to require all fans to show proof of ID upon entry, they’ll never be able to enforce this rule. I went to a soccer game in Italy and the name on your ticket had to match your passport. With stubhub and other legal online resale sites, I don’t know how they could ever enforce this rule.

  62. I dont see why so many people are looking at this like 90% of the stadium including yourself will be ejected. Its for the overly unruly fan. The one threatening the 12 year old because of his jersey. The one cursing non stop. Not the guy who yells “Flacco you stink” once or twice.

    Its for the guy going 90 MPH in a school zone. Not the guy going 60 MPH in a 55 zone on an empty interstate.

    Its the jerk who runs on the field and the one who disrupts the games for others, and the bulk of his section wishes he would go away. If you have been to games and if you dont know who that guy is…Well than maybe you should be concerned because it’s probably you.

  63. The league needs to look into the continued bad behaviour of visiting Raider fans. They have to have portable jails in San Diego and Arizona. This is no joke. You can’t bring your kids to a Raider game for fear they’ll end up in the middle of some fight in the stands. I’ve been witness to a couple of stabbings, people thrown over rows of seats and little kids screaming because they’re so scared. How sad is that.

    It’s not always about the home fans causing chaos.

  64. Last time I checked identifications are not checked at the gates of NFL stadiums, so how will a ban be enforced?

  65. All that’s fine but when you get tossed from a game for a sign that just has the dolphins home record on and that it makes you sick and. O profanity on it the team should kiss your ass if they ever think you will support them again

  66. Is that guy in the pic Tim Tebow? I heard that he had to be forcibly removed from the Broncos locker room after hearing that he was traded to the Jets but I didn’t believe it till now.

  67. Hire suspended Saints defensive players to act as enforcers……..And Gregg Williams as Chief of Security !

  68. LOL at the people saying the NFL should stop selling alcohol at games. I guess they should stop playing football at the games too.

  69. The NFL is starting to think its the government. I don’t condone people harassing another teams fans to the extreme, but a “visiting fan” can make life miserable for a commited “homer” who just loves his team and wants to have a little fun with the opposition, but where do you draw the line?

  70. donnasaurus says: Apr 15, 2012 5:58 PM

    The league needs to look into the continued bad behaviour of visiting Raider fans. They have to have portable jails in San Diego and Arizona. This is no joke. You can’t bring your kids to a Raider game for fear they’ll end up in the middle of some fight in the stands. I’ve been witness to a couple of stabbings, people thrown over rows of seats and little kids screaming because they’re so scared. How sad is that.

    It’s not always about the home fans causing chaos.
    Here’s an idea, how about Charger fans actually buy tickets to the game, so there’s not so many Raider fans there?


  71. Is the definition of “unruly” the same for fans as it is for players? 2 murders – OK, 3 murders, is a bit much – is that where they draw the line Ray Lewis?

  72. how will the dirtbag philly fans ever get to go to another game….they will have an empty stadium and the fans are too dumb to even know that Kevin Kolb is no longer a beagle!

  73. Ha ha! Very very funny people on here especially Saints Fans commenting about the fans at the Stick. Yeah I forgot you guys can really talk can’t ya. Your whole city is corrupt, along with the football organization but you can talk crap about our fans…nice..cause I also forgot that NOTHING ever happens at the Superdome huh? Keep being delusional like you are already about your team…lol

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