Saturday, September 06, 2008

NFL & Ravens look to silence M&T's 12th Man?

We hear about the 12th man often and the advantages the home town crowd can deliver for their team. Perhaps now we won’t actually hear the 12th man as often or as enthusiastically thanks to the Ravens and the NFL.

First there’s this new Fan Code of Conduct. Now I’m not here to say that in spirit such a code is a bad thing. Its intent is to help foster the most comfortable atmosphere possible for those paying a hefty sum for the privilege of sitting in M&T Bank Stadium on game day.

That said there are some small grey areas that might lead to some big problems.

Can anyone tell me exactly what “excessive standing” means? What exactly is excessive when it comes to NFL games? Does it mean you can only stand when the Ravens are on defense or does it mean you can only stand on third down? Or maybe it means you can only stand after a big sack or interception. Hey maybe you have to screw yourself to your seat until the Ravens score a touchdown and THAT could turn into excessive sitting.

What exactly is the league's definition of "excessive?"

Maybe S.A.F.E. Management thinks they know. Maybe the arrogant S.O.B. seven rows behind you knows. Said S.O.B. will undoubtedly test it with S.A.F.E. until everyone is a little more sure of what excessive standing means. But until we reach that understanding, tempers will be tested more than Frank Walker when he lines up at corner.

To make matters worse, the Ravens organization is about to play Big Brother and thousands of “brothers” will have their say. A “brother” could even be sitting next to you. Beginning tomorrow, the team will implement a text messaging system intended “to improve safety among fans attending games at M&T Bank Stadium.”

A Houston-based company known as Qtags will provide something called GuestAssist, a text messaging code to fans through stadium signage and public address announcements. According to a statement released by the team fans can, “text via their mobile phones any issues or security concerns they may have. The message will be received by members of M&T Bank Stadium’s gameday staff. The staff can also send reply messages to the fan.”

This has the potential to be one big pain in the ass to fans who support the team, are enthusiastic but perhaps a little too enthusiastic for the stick in the mud that sits to their right or behind them. It might even be an invitation for one season ticket holder who harbors a grudge against another to settle a score or be vindictive or for a fan of the visiting team to have a laugh at your expense and it could eventually cost you your tickets or PSL.

We are all familiar with the Ravens' fan credo:

Have fun, root hard, show respect for the fans around you, but… don’t be a jerk.

Maybe it should be:

Shut up, sit down, rat out the fans around...oh and have a good time!

I can hardly wait for the new M&T Bank experience. Relatively speaking it might make the press box feel like a frat party.

You know it makes me want to shout!


Harryos29 said...

... Having worked for S.A.F.E. I understand perfectly the delima the NFL has put them in. I can tell you from my work experience on the OTHER SIDE OF THE TABLE , most S.A.F.E. workers want to be as leinent as possible with these rules: Most are rabid RAVENS fans and want to see the fans enjoy the game.
...However, the NFL, in its efforts to be Politically-correct, has apparently responded to the few whiners who have complained about the jerk that sits 7 Seats behind you who has a big loud mouth.
...Again, I see and know both sides of this argument very well. But, anyone who goes to an NFL game should be prepared to deal with some noise and most of us shout our lungs out when the home team does something good! Its the AMERICAN WAY!
...The NFL extracts the maximum amount from each ticket holder and then attempts to legislate your behavior. One Reason I am no longer a ticket holder.
...I love Baltimore and I love the Ravens, but with all of this going on, I will root and rant as loud as I want to from my own Living room on "Gamedays"

Anonymous said...


Relax. I don't think anything is going to be any different than it has in the past. You seem to be worried about this "Excessive standing" rule. Obviously, it must pertain to you or your friends. Stand on third down, a big play, and stay in your seat the rest of the game and don't block someone's view. That is the general interpretation of the rule. Seats are for sitting, otherwise the stadium would have been built with standing room only.