Test required for rowdy NFL fans
Unruly football fans booted from NFL stadiums this year will be required to pass a code-of-conduct exam, or they will not be allowed back in for another game.
The idea was hatched by Dr. Ari Novick, a licensed psychotherapist.
"We're not trying to squash anyone's passion," the Californian said. "We're just trying to say don't be violent."
Requirements will vary depending on the stadium, but most of the time the stadium louts will have to pass the test before being allowed back in, he said.
The classes are an effort to stem the rising tide of ugly stadium behavior that has included everything from bare-knuckle brawls to lewd Jets fans who screamed obscenities at women until they exposed their breasts in a rude Gate D tradition at the old Giants Stadium.
At the new MetLife Stadium, security chief Daniel DeLorenzi said about 25 fans are ejected from every Jet and Giant game, about 500 rowdies a year.
In 2010, the stadium was the first, along with the New England Patriots' Gillette Stadium, to employ Novick's classes.
Fans who get the boot must write DeLorenzi a letter of apology and take the four-hour, $75 online course, available at fanconductclass.com. To pass, they have to get at least 70 percent of the questions correct.
One true-or-false question asks, "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." (The answer, believe it or not, is true.)
Novick takes in $55 for each test he certifies. Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers split the remainder of the money.
About 25 percent of those bounced do not bother to take the course, DeLorenzi noted. Incorrigible wrongoers wind up on the "unforgiven" list, a book containing the name, photo and seat number of every booted fan.
A roving band of security guards monitors the stands each game for the unforgiven. If they are nabbed -- and 10 have been over the past three years -- they are arrested on a charge of trespassing.
Most bounced fans grovel to get back in, especially season-ticket holders who could lose their ducats -- even if it means lying on the cyber-couch. "Most of the time, they apologize for their behavior," DeLorenzi noted.
One remorseful fan wrote in November, "I am really sorry for my actions. I really do like the new stadium. I love going to football games and to concerts, and I really want to make sure I'm able to go back to future events."