ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!
(And beatings, fights, rapes, riots, drug dealing, public exposure, and the threat of terrorism)
Protecting Yourself at a Football Game
As the cool winds of autumn blow in the distance the start to another National Football League season is fast approaching, and while the NFL goes to great lengths to enhance the fan experience at stadiums around the league they have done little to protect fans from other fans.
Multiple news reports from local stations to the largest media outlets have covered the seemingly growing problem with crime at NFL events over the past few years. Youtube.com is littered with videos of drunken fan altercations, and other nefarious activities in the parking lots and inside the stadiums of virtually every NFL team. Even the massively popular Oscar Winning movie “The Silver Lining’s Playbook” depicted a fan fight in the tailgating lot of a Philadelphia Eagles game.
Statistics reviewed by media from all over the country revealed thousands of incidents and arrest reports for offenses ranging from rape to kidnapping to aggravated assault, in addition to the usual arrests for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.
So how does a law abiding fan protect themselves from the drunken menacing masses that populate NFL stadiums? Everyday Security recommends the following self-protection tips:
The advertisements you see on television and in the stadium aren’t just for your personal amusement. They are public service announcements designed to protect you and those around you. Do not consume an excessive amount of alcohol prior to, or during the game. The majority of fan fueled brawls and other criminal acts revolve around alcohol. If you are intoxicated you may lack the ability to defend yourself, or recognize when any given situation at a stadium is about to devolve into mayhem.
Fight or Flight?
When entering a stadium you should always be mindful of where the nearest exits are in the event of trouble, as well as locating where the nearest ushers or police officers should an incident occur. Pay attention to the public service announcements about how to report unruly behavior by your fellow fans, as well as suspicious activity. Many stadiums now have text-a-tip platforms for your cellular device that allow you to report poor behavior , criminal acts, or suspicious behavior without becoming personally involved.
Know Your Surroundings
In addition to knowing the quickest route of out the stands and the stadium, also remember where you are if you are traveling to watch your team play in another city. While fans in opposing stadiums may be gracious and good natured, the chances of you being assaulted or involved in an altercation greatly increase if you are the lone fan in a group of the opposing team’s fans. Especially if you decide to loudly voice your opinion. Remember, sometimes your own mouth is your biggest enemy!
Recognize Suspicious Indicators
The threat of terrorism is not going away any time soon, and an NFL game is a very appealing target for those groups that seek to harm the citizens of the United States. Whether in the tailgating lots or other public gathering places before and after the game, or inside the stadium, you should always be mindful of suspicious behavior and immediately report to the proper authorities. Suspicious indicators could include unattended bags, suspicious packages, individuals that look out of place or are wearing clothing that is inappropriate for game day weather. Always error on the side of caution, and as noted by the Department of Homeland Security “If you see something — say something!”
Enjoy the season! — Brought to your by your friends at EveryDay Security