Seems like many people like looking at Charger Girl photos. On the first day, we received 1,244 hits to this web site and over 2,300 on the second. For this blog, that’s a lot of hits in one day. And I received many supportive message posts regarding my odyssey in trying to comply with the Chargers new, more restrictive camera policy.
I sincerely hope that the Chargers reconsiders their policy. I know another season ticket holder who likes to bring in a camera and a somewhat large telephoto lens to the games. She drives in from Idaho each game and part of her enjoyment is to photograph her game day experiences and share them with family, friends and Charger players. She tells me that it’s not only the camera policy, but other nitpicky stuff that she’s seen that makes it almost not worth the hassle for her.
The people who sit next to me, long time season ticket holders from Mexico (Tijuana and one from Monterrey) get hassled when they bring in banners that show their support for the Chargers and the Charger Girls. They have to go to Guest Services to get that banners approved so that they won’t be kicked out by some over zealous field security staff looking to strictly enforce the banner policy.
I don’t know what’s going on, but we all seem to agree that “the powers that be” are cracking down on the well behaved, financially supportive season ticket holders by taking away most of the enjoyment in coming to games. Yet in contrast, it appears that the organization, their security people and concessionaires seem to turn a blind eye to the real problem at NFL games…unruly drunken fans. You see, beer sales are big business for the NFL. It generates millions of dollars in sales and tens of millions of dollars in advertising revenue. And as a Real Sports documentary noted, excessive alcohol consumption and drunken fans have become an epidemic at NFL games. These intoxicated and often belligerent fans ruin the game day environment by subjecting well behaved fans to their profanity laced tirades and aggressive behavior.
Last Sunday (and I think a few Charger Girls bore witness to this), I was accosted by a drunken women who leaned on me to castigate fans on the other side of my seats for not cheering loud enough. Not only did she hit me several times with her wildly out of control arm pumps, she made the game day experience less pleasant for my neighbors with her drunken comments. At least she was a Charger fan. I can only imagine what type of behavior she would have exhibited if she was a fan of the other team, which was getting their asses kicked. And to add insult to injury, she sat in my other seat (vacant this day) and blocked my view of the game when she leaned over the railing and staggered half way into my seat.
That’s the unfortunate thing about my front row seats. It draws all the drunken fans like moths to the flame. It appears that they feel that their passion for their team, fueled by endless consumption of alcohol, is validated by leaning over the railing and shouting their slurred words of support. And not 15 feet away were three field security staff who did nothing to inoculate us from these drunken fools who made our game day, a profanity laced experience. Did they not see that these people were publicly intoxicated? These were the same security people who game me a hard time for not complying with their new, but unpublished camera policy. It seems like only the well behaved are singled out for “special attention”.
Yes, that’s the NFL’s dirty little secret…alcohol abuse by fans and the dangerous environment that they create. They do little to screen these people out from the game and yet seem to spend more time on policing guys like me who like to use a telephoto lens on a DSLR. Let me ask you, who do you think creates a more disruptive environment at a game? A guy with a camera and an 8″ lens or a drunken fan spewing obscenities and looking for a fight?
Hey NFL, get your priorities straight.
Okay, so I’m off my soap box. I apologize. I have little tolerance for hypocrisy, particularly on a corporate level, and lately my experiences at Charger games are becoming more of a nuisance than a pleasant Sunday outing. So, let us turn our attention to that which makes enduring such negative experiences bearable…your Charger Girls, the hottest dance team in the NFL.