Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Maybe this is why "Monday Night Football" avoided Buffalo for 13 years . . .

From a fascinating piece at OpinionJournal.com, about drunkenness and other bad behaviour at NFL games, and how teams are addressing it:

Walking through the parking lot before the game, I witnessed a scene all too common at NFL tailgates: home fans taunting the visitors with four-letter expletives. What made the scene here particularly appalling was the target--a family of Cowboys fans with two small children. And the taunt, repeated throughout the stadium by Bills fans, questioned Dallas quarterback Tony Romo’s sexual orientation (think of what rhymes with “Romo”). I wonder how the parents explained that one.

So what was the tally at the end of the first “Monday Night Football” game in Buffalo in 13 years? There were 58 arrests, 111 ejections and 46 turnarounds at the gate. The charges included three for assault, six for obstructing governmental administration, 17 for resisting arrest, two for criminal mischief, 31 for disorderly conduct, two for exposure, 14 for harassment, 19 for criminal trespass, one for criminal possession of marijuana, and one for unlawful possession of alcohol (underage drinking).

I saw no evidence of this on the game's broadcast, which I watched in its entirety. But reading about this behaviour makes me feel a little less guilty about the Bills' last-minute loss to my favourite team. I attended a Bills game last fall, at which I did not witness any rowdy or illegal behaviour. But then I wasn’t wearing any gear of the opposing team.


Anonymous said...

Then again, what the heck else is there to do in Buffalo?

Anonymous said...

The problem with the night games is that people have even longer to sit and get drunk in the parking lot. With the strong tailgating culture that exists in Buffalo, I'm surprised anyone walking into the stadium was sober. The 1 PM starts, OTOH, definitely encourage a much more "family friendly" environment.

As a sports fan, I am a little torn on the whole issue of wearing the opponent's colours in to the home team's stadium. In no way am I excusing this boorish behaviour, but OTOH I think everyone understands that if you do it, you are setting yourself up for some abuse, depending on your choice of stadiums. It shouldn't happen, but it does. (Question -- what was the family doing taking small children to a game that kicked off at 8:30 PM, and didn't end until nearly midnight?) My advice would be to either travel in a large pack of fellow fans, or keep a low profile.

In Oakland, of course, the abuse would be even worse. A Jets fan there was once beaten and urinated upon by the members of the Black Hole.