We figured this was one that could go right at the heart of the most passionate and hearty of Eagles fans.
The NFL today announced a new code of conduct for fans in an effort to ban behavior that "detracts from the gameday experience," according to NFL commisioner Roger Goodell.
According to an NFL press release and the Associated Press, the new policy bans:
• Behavior that is unruly, disruptive, or illegal.
• Drunkenness and signs of alcohol impairment that result in irresponsible behavior.
• Foul or abusive language or obscene gestures.
• Interference with the progress of the game, including throwing objects onto the field.
• Failing to follow instructions of stadium personnel.
• Verbal or physical harassment of fans from the opposing team.
Teams also can add provisions based on circumstances in and around their particular stadiums.
On paper, it is hard to argue with any of these. The intent is admirable by the league, as anyone who has taken his kid to a game and been surrounded by drunken louts constantly cursing knows.
The problem is, how these rules are applied. "Unruly" beahvior might be defined one way by a particular stadium, or even particular stadium security personnel, and another way in another venue or by another stadium employee.
The terms are so broad and vague that in many ways they provide protections for teams to impose them in whatever fashion they choose. Bottom line, people should behave more respectfully to fellow fans, and they should know that, without an official code of conduct.