When Joe Browns Fan yells things his mother didn’t teach him at visiting Steelers fans, or starts a fight after having one too many pops in the Muni Lot before the game, he might be arrested or escorted from the stadium, free to sober up and try again next week.
At least that’s how the treasured pastime of game-day degeneracy has gone in Cleveland for years. Starting next season, however, Joe might have to take an online “fan conduct” class before he’s allowed back in, according to The New York Post. It’s sort of like the weekend drunk tank at the hotel, but without the free HBO.
The $75, one-time test offered at fanconductclass.com is the brainchild of Dr. Ari Novick, a psychotherapist who specializes in the type of fan-friendly goofiness that makes NFL execs tinkle in their tailored suits. The Giants and Jets, who share a stadium, and the New England Patriots were the first to buy into Novick’s racket. Now the league has decided the program is “best practice” for all teams.
The test, which most Dawg Pounders’ toddler children could pass, features true-or-false questions that quite nearly provide their own answers. For example: “Every fan has a right to like any team they wish. Using abusive language towards fans who support teams you don’t like will not be tolerated.”
If you answered “true,” you have properly gamed the system.
“Every fan has the right to pour beer on and mock the mother of a person wearing a Steelers jersey if said Steelers fan refuses to remove the jersey and/or is breathing.”
Though the correct answer here is less clear, take heart that a 70 percent score gets you back in the bleachers on Sunday!
The Browns have yet to make a decision on whether to use the test, according to team spokesman Neal Gulkis. But a verdict one way or the other is expected soon. Gulkis was unable to provide specific numbers on how many fans were escorted from the stadium last year, but “I can tell you that the numbers have declined over the last several years,” he says.
Empty seats, after all, cannot scream four-letter words.