As you leave your tailgate party and head into an NFL stadium this season it may be advantageous to leave that last drink behind, unless you want to attend the NFL's version of traffic school.
America's most popular sports league has decided to extend its regulatory power to the stands, requiring any fan who gets ejected from an NFL stadium to take a four-hour online course before they are permitted to come back into the facility again, according to ESPN.
The online course, designed by psychotherapist Dr. Ari Novick and the MetLife Stadium security director Daniel DeLorenzi, focuses primarily on alcohol abuse, anger management and inappropriate behavior.
The system has been used by a few teams in the past, but this season all of the 32 teams decided to individually institute the disciplinary policy in their stadiums.
"For decades, some fans have believed that when they put on the jersey of their favorite player on their favorite team and they enter a stadium, they can behave any way they want," Novick said. "This program was designed to say to people, 'We want you to have fun when you come to a game, but you have to understand that your actions can affect people and there are rules to abide by.' "
Instituting this policy makes sense as NFL owner's face potential liability every time a drunk or overzealous fan enters the stands.
Yet, despite good intentions it is unclear as to whether this 4-hour online course will provide enough of a deterrent effect to prevent or more realistically reduce stadium misconduct in the future.
Well, the NFL owners thought of that, which is why they imposed additional measures to deter misbehavior. This includes the possibility that those ejected will be arrested for trespassing if they do not complete the course and apologize to the team.
I for one am skeptical as to how these teams are going to keep track of ejected fans from week to week.
Ray DiNunzio, the NFL's director of strategic security, told ESPN the monitoring will vary by team but could at some point involve facial recognition technology.
The facial recognition technology seems to be a rather excessive expense, but I guess that these owners can spare a few pennies.
What do you think?
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