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NFL Fan Tailgating Conspiracy
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NFL Tailgating Conspiracy
After years of restrictive regulations
with designs on limiting every aspect of player behavior on and off
the field, Roger Goodell and the No-Fun League have turned its "Evil
Empire" gaze to it's fans. Player celebrations have been squashed,
individuality in the NFL is routinely punished, and even the
behavior of these prima donna athletes outside the game is
restricted by the NFL's over arching Personal Conduct Policy. So
with the game under control, our Dark Lord now looks to his
underlings to impose a new set of restrictions, and it appears his
focus has shifted to the American institution of Fan Tailgating. I
smell a conspiracy my friends. Now I'll be the first to admit that
NFL fan behavior can get out of line with that select few who are so
hopped up on liquid courage that they become very juvenile and
belligerent. The "accidental" spilling of beer on the guy in front
of you, the tirade of drunken sailor cursing that flows from the
main orifice, or the assertion of testosterone-infused physicality.
Believe me it's getting old. Grow up fellas, you're spoiling it for
the rest of us who know how to control ourselves.
The issue here goes directly to the heart of our right to freely assemble and consume game day foodstuffs and alcoholic beverages in a public environment, but therein lies the problem. Due to the fact some of the NFL's proletariat can't seem to hold their liquor, "for the betterment of the game", the NFL has decided to step in. The League is recommending that stadium lots open up a minimum of 3 1/12 hours prior to kickoff, thereby limiting fan consumption of alcoholic beverages before the game. The NFL's other recommendation is to restrict serving sizes in stadium concessions stands to no more than 20-ounces per beer. Both measures are deemed sufficient enough to curb excessive drinking and improve the fan experience inside the stadium. However, if the NFL is so concerned with excessive drinking, why do they continue to accept ten of millions of dollars in sponsorship deals from brewers like Budweiser and Coors? Why are beer company ads so prevalent throughout the NFL broadcasts on game day? Why are NFL players, Cheerleaders, and team logos so prominent in beer company displays, packaging, and promotions? I'll tell you exactly why, it's because the NFL is less concerned about the fan experience and more concerned about continuing to rake in record profits even in the midst of a global recession.
According to USAToday, "The league's overall attendance is off 2% through Nov. 16 compared to the same point last season. The average TV ratings and viewership for game telecasts were up 12% and 14% respectively through Nov. 9 compared to same period last year," so even with consumer spending down the NFL continues to remain healthy even as its fans lose their jobs and struggle to keep food on the table. If NFL fans are staying home and television viewership is up, why place restrictions on tailgating? Because there's more money to be made in the mark up of overpriced concessions and crappy beer to make up the 2% of lost revenue in ticket sales, that's why.
The NFL is fairly adept at recognizing another opportunity to squeeze their devotees for more money even in this economy. Limit serving sizes to 20 ounces? Okay, does that mean that concessioners will also be adjusting the price of this new smaller portion accordingly? Somehow my guess is no. They'll rationalize maintaining the same price by suggesting that this price point will force fans to be more responsible with their alcohol purchases. Limit Fan tailgating to 3 1/2 hours? Is that so fans will be forced to pay for overpriced stadium concessions, thereby further lining the pockets of our tyrannical franchise overseers. What choice does the average fan have? This is the greatest game on the planet and we are in the midst of tough times. Sometimes a little familiarity, a little recreation is the order of the day and now the NFL wants to take that from us too. Can I offer up a couple pints of blood as well?
If the NFL is truly serious about improving the fan experience in each stadium, my suggestion, instead of cracking down on fan tailgating, would be to strike at the heart of the problem. The issue is not with the fans as a whole, the issue is with the drunk knucklehead who's directly affecting the game day experience of those around him. That guy is going to drink his share of choice alcoholic beverage prior to entering the stadium regardless of when the NFL decides he can begin tailgating. Our esteemed commissioner needs to stay the course and take greater measures to strengthen the Fan Code of conduct Policy. Instead of hiring these rent-a-cop stadium security guards that are more interested in watching a free football game than controlling the crowd, try renting some real cops. Most of the current crop of stadium staffer are more concerned about not getting in the way, that they rarely enforce "stadium policies". Secondly, spent some money to educate fans on becoming more responsible for policing themselves. The text messaging system is a great start, but fans have to decide that unruly behavior is inappropriate. When it is reported, stadium staffers need to do actually do something about it. Snatch back season tickets, throw the drunks out. Let's crack some skulls America. We, are The Asterisk ...