Cory’s Corner: It’s time to clean up NFL fan behavior

It’s one of the main reasons a lot of people don’t go to NFL games and it’s the reason people don’t bring their small children to NFL games.

During Monday night’s Falcons-Packers game at Lambeau Field, 36 people were ejected, with 11 more getting arrested. And if you think those numbers are high, there were 16 arrests when the Bears were in Green Bay on Nov. 9.

But this problem isn’t just confined to the smallest city in the NFL. You can cruise around Deadspin or YouTube and find videos of fans beating each other senseless in the stands or in the parking lots.

Or you can follow the scanner squawk on Twitter of intrepid Green Bay Press-Gazette reporter Doug Schneider during Packers home games. There you will learn new words like vomitorium, which is what a bathroom turns into after getting deposited with, well, vomit.

This is a serious problem in the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t want his product to be made for TV only but with pulsating violence coupled with frat party binge drinking, many folks choose not to bother.

I’ve been to a couple games at Lambeau this season and saw the Broncos-Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Even with a wind chill of 4 degrees in Kansas City, there were folks passed out in the warm bathrooms. And I’ve never had to walk very far at Lambeau to see a glassy-eyed person flirting with passing out for the evening.

This is such a huge problem that there is an organization to stop it. Fans Against Violence has started because the madness has gotten out-of-hand. The website gives a listing of NFL, MLB and MLS gameday hotlines that fans can call for unruly behavior.

Obviously they’re not going to get rid of the biggest cash cow for all sports, which happens to be alcohol. But Goodell can penalize teams that consistently have fans that get ejected or arrested.

They are two different games, played at two different speeds but the NFL game experience is much different from the MLB experience. At a baseball game, you have time to walk around, take in the aura of the stadium and soak in the atmosphere. At an NFL game, you are sequestered to your seat. It’s recommended to stay put or else you’ll probably miss something.

You can naïvely say that fights don’t happen at my stadium so we should be OK. But as long as alcohol is the fuel for the pregame, in-game and postgame experience, it doesn’t take long before a tiny spark can light a forest fire.

The NFL doesn’t just have a responsibility to its owners and players. The league has a responsibility to the fans that plunk down thousands of dollars in personal seat licenses, tickets, parking and food in order to enjoy pro football.

All that gets spoiled when fans take it upon themselves to fight or someone temporarily renders a bathroom useless because he did a few shots in the parking lot.

If the problem keeps persisting, more and more fans will continue to stay home. And eventually, network TV executives will bark at Goodell because his product doesn’t exactly look very good when stadiums aren’t full. Of course, it won’t matter to the TV viewer because the Federal Communications Commission has repealed the decades-old blackout rule.

A 49ers fan was knocked out last month in the men’s room because of impatience over an open bathroom stall and several Eagles fans punched each other out as the event staff employee was completely overmatched in September.

Goodell has failed with player misconduct. Let’s hope he gets it right with the mess in the stands.




Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn


17 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: It’s time to clean up NFL fan behavior

  1. Was at Lambeau for the falcons game with my 9 and 11 year old sons. Was very pleased with the fan behavior in our area. Yes there was some cursing, and that is to be expected and a point of discussion for me and my boys before the game. But there were no over the top F-bomb droppers around us which was good. The fans around us were very thoughtful in that way.– the police blotter was loaded with “passed out in the bathroom/ women vomiting on self on concourse” type stuff but there was little violence. Having experienced some different scenarios in different stadiums around the country, I thought Packer Nation did us proud on Monday evening. I won’t say “stay classy GB” because people vomiting all over themselves doesn’t qualify, but “stay civil and courteous GB” seems to ring true. GoPack!

  2. This kind of behavior has been going on since the first live event for sport took place…a million years ago when Cave person A challenged Cave person B as to how many rocks they can hit themselves in the head with before killing himself and the onlookers,fans of each cave habitat,hit each other with rocks while the test of stupidity waged on between the two starters of the head meets rock games.

    Even the fans at a gladiator fight viewing from the seats of the Arena stabbed and speared each other while those doing so for their entertainment wasn’t enough.

    I sincerely believe there is no way this behavior will ever cease….its called genetics.

    1. I agree Taryn. This type of behavior has been going on forever. The problem is everyone in the world has a effin video camera on their phone so nothing is private anymore and it just looks much worse today seeing a guy passed out on video vs remembering that vision in your head.

      I would venture to guess at least the behavior of Packers fans has gotten a lot better than say from the 70’s and 80’s when the only reason most people went to Packer’s games was to get drunk and or high because the teams were so bad. I wouldn’t be surprised 10 years from now they’ll be selling legalized marijuana at Lambeau.

      It’s all about the money which is why for now beer/alcohol is king. Football is a man’s sport. Feminizing it and making it weaker more wholesome/family oriented etc will eventually lead to it’s downfall and it will cease to exist if we continue down this goody goody path by Goodell. Give me a break.

      I’ll be honest, the older I get, I am losing more and more interest due to all these changes like celebrating, tackling, constant flags etc turning this game more and more into touch football. It’s getting boring. If I’m bored I can only imagine how a teenager would feel who would rather play a video game over watching football.

      I like the fact there’s possible fights going on and there’s a very very small element of danger if you attend. We need that in football, It keeps us fans on our toes and makes us feel alive and part of the game. I know George Carlin would agree with me.

      1. You like the fact that people get brain damage, waiting in line to use the urinal???? Did you watch the video’s? do you know what you are advocating? So football games can no longer be viewed by parents and their kids, only drunk, violent dumbasses?. Ted, I hope you wrote that as some kind of misguided attempt at humor, because that last paragraph is so over-the-top stupid, I can’t believe you would actually type it.

        1. I have to admit Scheny, I didn’t watch the video and I didn’t read the article. I just responded to the headline. So my thought process was based on the headline only. I didn’t have time to read it. I don’t advocate people getting brain damage if that’s what it showed.

          A simple scuffle between two people is ok in my book. I’ve been wtiness to a ton of them in the 80’s in Green Bay when Chicago was at it’s height. I never got involved but it was always kind of exciting and funny to watch. Made the rivalry fun from a short distance.

          I also feel the game of football should only be for adults only not children. Children can attend preseason games though. I look at football as a three hour tour for adults to take a vacation from the daily stresses of life. Yelling, screaming, swearing and yes an occasional scuffle.

          Football should not be a game of family fun. That’s what board games like Candyland are for. If they continue to weaken this game Scheny it’s going to go away like the dinosaur mark my words.

          1. I am speechless, Ted. Suffice to say that I disagree.

            As a note, IIRC from taking four years of Latin many years ago, vomitorium meant the passages that served as the entrances and exits for a coliseum. It did not mean a place where Romans went to throw up so as to consume more food and or beverages.

            1. No problem disagreeing with me. I love a good disagreement. It promotes people to come out of the shadows and get involved and voice their opinion.
              I just don’t like where this game is headed. It’s changing more and more due to political correctness and social media pressures and in 20 years I predict this game will no longer exist. It will be deemed a brutal barbaric sport.
              First we weaken the game with more rules and less physicality and next we work on the taming the fans. The wheels are already in motion and most people can’t see it because they are too busy staring into their little phones.

              1. Man, talk about a target-rich environment. Ted, where have you been for the last 40 years? The feminization of American social fabric has been going on at least that long, and you think that in 20 years the last bastion of male barbarism is going to perish? There’s no way Roger and Co. fail to cultivate a market segment that’s more than half of the population with a rising earning and buying power.

                Put on your water wings and start conditioning because you are in for long, upstream swim. Either that or become a UFC or MMA devotee.

      2. I’m in no way condoning any of the goings on at games.Do things need to be addressed and possibly handled to better levels than they are now…absolutely.

        But if anyone believes such things will disappear or these things should simply be allowed to run amok as purposed through fear of feminizing of the game as mentioned by whom I am replying…’NUTS’.

      3. Ted: I’m guessing here, but the cell phone camera as cause idea probably looked like a hanging curve up in the strike zone, but it’s a swinging strike. I’d venture that the advent of everyone having an effin video camera serves as a deterrent, not an incentive to increased unruly behavior.

        And as to the weed thing? We can only hope that marijuana is legalized and available at games. Ask yourself this: When was the last time you saw a guy that was high get belligerent and pick a fight? That’s right, pretty much never. Now ask yourself that same question only change the subject’s condition from ‘was high’ to ‘was drunk’.

        1. Cameras do serve as a deterrent no doubt but back in the day before cameras the same things were going on it’s just that they weren’t for view to everyone in the world two seconds after it happened. As Taryn says these type of things won’t be stopped despite the cries from some people.

          The best way to prevent this is to outlaw alcohol but we all know that’s not going to happen because that is the no. 1 reason people attend the games. The NFL knows this. I also agree with you that marijuana would also help. I don’t smoke it and have no desire to do so but based on the research and where we are going I would not be surprised to see it at Lambeau in 10 years from now.

  3. Fortunately, I have never had a problem at Lambeau but I have been to other venues for Packer road games and some of the fan behavior is very disturbing and in some cases actually criminal. I won’t go back to Philly unless the Packers play an NFC championship game there. I’ll take the risk for a game at that level. MetLife Stadium has been good and bad for me. I have not been a victim but I have seen the fights and beer thrown at fans as well as other food items and articles. Parking lots are treacherous after a game especially if the home team is defeated and you are obviously a fan of the visiting team. Been to Packers games in Tampa, New Orleans, Baltimore and Washington. They were all OK. Foxboro back in the Holmgren days. Behavior has also become worse at MLB and NHL games over the years. Eliminating alcohol would help a lot but none of the leagues will give up the revenue, at least not yet. Sadly, it may take an extreme tragedy for people and the leagues to wake up. It’s all unnecessary. Thanks, Since ’61

  4. As far as Eagles fans beating each other up, they should condone that. Let them kill each other off, the world would be a better place. They have no respect for life and have nothing to lose. The idiots in the first video look like they just broke out of prison. Put them away for life and the world is a better place. Throwing up all over from drinking too much is not cool, but beating another person until death or close to it, is unacceptable. Time to take out the trash and clean up the gene pool a little bit.

    1. Kind of what I was getting at Big T. Most of these fights are by brainless morons who drink too much. You can’t stop stupid. Stupid is and always is going to exist in any society. Use common sense when you see these type of morons (example: don’t wear a Packers jersey in Phil stadium or better yet don’t go) and most of these problems don’t happen. If you still insist on going and insist you have a right to cheer for the Packers in Philadelphia than expect trouble and don’t complain when you get your ass kicked in. Again, common sense.

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