By: Chris O'Shea
We here at the Daily Lounge are sports fans, and as sports fans, we acknowledge that sometimes we get a little excited when we're watching games, be it at home or at the actual event. We've tossed things at our TVs and we've yelled at fans of the other team when they dare to step foot on our home turf. The former has never resulted in anything beyond us crying because we broke our TV. The latter could — in the future — get us arrested. According to The New York Post, some NFL stadiums are now trying to curtail rowdy fan behavior by having them see a shrink. At the shrink they must take a test, and if they fail to pass the test and show up at an event in the future, they will be arrested for trespassing.
The idea behind the program is to curtail bad fan behavior before it turns violent. Most stadiums will offer their own version of a test that detained fans must pass before being allowed back to another game. If the fans don't pass the test — created by Dr. Ari Novick — or if they fail to take the test online, they are put on a "banned list" at the venues. If they show up at another game and get nabbed by security, they are then arrested. If it all sounds a bit excessive, you haven't been paying attention to what happens in the stands enough.
The NFL was plagued by several violent incidents. James Mohr, a New York Jets fan, was beaten badly by several Kansas City Chiefs fans during a game at New York's MetLife Stadium. According to Mohr he was attacked when he took offense to the Chiefs' fans comments about New York "deserving" 9/11. Mohr was beaten so badly he suffered a fractured jaw, cheekbone and eye socket and bleeding on the brain, according to Yahoo Sports. That same Sunday, a Miami Dolphins fan was knocked out by a Philadelphia Eagles fan during a fight in the parking lot.
While those fights are bad enough, the worst violent incident came during a preseason game. In the parking lot prior to a San Francisco 49ers game, a 49ers fan was shot twice in the stomach by an Oakland Raiders fan. Another fan was also shot during that game, and another man was beaten badly in the bathroom. The incident was so bad that the NFL didn't schedule the two teams to play each other that season. The violence isn't restricted to just the NFL. Bryan Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan, was beaten so badly by Los Angeles Dodgers fans that he was in a coma. He is now wheelchair bound from the injuries. After a Stanley Cup loss, fans of the Vancouver Canucks turned violent and rioted...that's right: Canadians rioted.
As sports fans we have no choice but to endorse Dr. Novick's idea. While we would never get violent at a game, there are simply too many people who take things too far. And sure, the system isn't perfect. But if the test prevents even one incident of fan violence, it will be worth it.
[Pic via Flickr - Mr. Usaji]