NFL Rat Culture

by Tuesday Morning Tailback

It was reported last week that that undercover cops were going to planted at Century Link Field in Seattle wearing jerseys and paraphernalia of the opposing San Francisco 49ers. This is meant to monitor fan behavior and ensure “a safe environment for all in attendance, including visiting team fans”. According to Seahawks president Peter McLoughlin, if a fan does gets tossed out for unruly or disruptive behavior, intoxication, or verbal abuse, that person will have to complete a four-hour online educational course on fan behavior and pay $75 for the privilege of watching it.

Now I’m in no way condoning fans acting like assholes. Many times I’ve attended games with my sons where we were rooting for the visiting team and came across abhorrent animosity directed towards us. But at no point did I ever consider calling a cop. In fact, most of those situations were counter-balanced by decent fans of the home team who took it upon themselves to scold their fellow compatriots for being grossly inhospitable. And that’s the way it should be.

Passionate fans are part of what makes this game great and, as long as there is no violence or outright lewdness, passionate trash talk and verbal jabbing among fans SHOULD be tolerated. But in the era of Roger Goodell, it seems like anything politically incorrect is a mortal sin and this extends to the playing field.

In that same game Sunday night there were 12 penalties for 121 yards, all of which seemed to come at crucial points in the game. I don’t necessarily blame the refs for this as they were just doing their jobs and there seems to be more and more penalties encouraged each year. But much of the blame has to be spread to the teams, players, and yes, even the fans. I cannot count how many times on Sunday I saw a player get up after a play gesturing to the refs to throw a flag or a coach losing his mind on the sideline because a penalty wasn’t called on the other team. And the fans seem to encourage this (so long as it benefits their team), acting like a collective group of school children on recess pointing and yelling “Eeeeee” when a fellow classmate does something wrong. Really folks, do we want more penalties in the game? Is that entertaining to you?

I’ve never been to Seattle, but from all reports they have great and passionate fans and that “warning” issued by the team may have been just as a preemptive measure with no actual cops in 49ers gear (we can only hope so). On that same night, a fan group claims that the crowd in Seattle set a Guinness World Records mark for loudest stadium sound ever, measuring 136.6 decibels after a third quarter interception. If this is true, it is a real tribute to the fan base which has the number “12” retired in their honor (as the “12th Man”).

Perhaps Roger Goodell will next move to ban making noise at football games.

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Tuesday Morning TailbackTuesday Morning Tailback is a weekly article during football season which take a critical look at the NFL. We do this from the base belief that NFL football is the greatest game in the history of mankind, but some recent policies and the overall direction of the league has chipped away at this greatness. Our primary goal is to spark debate on these subjects, so please leave your own opinion on this article in the comment box below.

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