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Old 10-09-2008   #1
Mean Machine
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Default Incident in the stands, a True Story.

The following is a letter I sent on Monday, October 6 to the Texans, SMG and CSC:

"I need to inform you of a very troubling event that occurred in yesterday’s game(10/5/08) at Reliant Stadium that concerns me a great deal. With the start of the 4th quarter and the Texans playing great, a large number of us in Section 637, were doing our best to be the Homefield Advantage. Yes, we are all season ticket holders, myself driving in for every home game from Round Rock, TX since 2002.

We were yelling and screaming and were using the “bud” and bud light’ aluminum ‘bottles’ as noise makers. We were banging them together, banging them on the concrete and banging them on the heavy metal pipe rail in the aisle. At NO time were these aluminum bottles being used against the stadium seating nor were they being thrown or tossed in the air. We were doing this when the Colts offense was on the field and Manning was making his calls at the line. We were being fans.

With approximately 8 minutes remaining in the game, five(5)uniformed and armed Houston Police Department officers ran up the stairs and approached our group. They then began to question one of the folks in our section, asked for his ticket stub, and then wrote down his section row and seat. They said that any more banging of the cans would result in his revocation of his season ticket and removal from the premises. There was absolutely no previous warning whatsoever from anyone from Reliant, the Texans, HPD, or SMG.

I am not sure what exactly the Texans, the HPD and SMG is trying to accomplish with such a brute show of force for something as truly innocent as fans being fans. This group of fans was 100% appropriate, making noise, at the correct times, there was no illegal behavior, no irresponsible behavior, no cursing and bad language, no thrown objects, no failure to follow instructions and no inappropriate yelling at Colts fans. Nothing that could be seen as a violation of the new NFL Fan Code of Conduct:

Fan code of conduct

"The National Football League and its teams are committed to creating a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience for all fans, both in the stadium and in the parking lot. We want all fans attending our games to enjoy the experience in a responsible fashion. When attending a game, you are required to refrain from the following behaviors:
» Behavior that is unruly, disruptive, or illegal in nature.
» Intoxication or other signs of alcohol impairment that results in irresponsible behavior.
» Foul or abusive language or obscene gestures.
» Interference with the progress of the game (including throwing objects onto the field).
» Failing to follow instructions of stadium personnel.
» Verbal or physical harassment of opposing team fans.
"Event patrons are responsible for their conduct as well as the conduct of their guests and/or persons occupying their seats. Stadium staff will promptly intervene to support an environment where event patrons, their guests, and other fans can enjoy the event free from the above behavior. Event patrons and guests who violate these provisions will be subject to ejection without refund and loss of ticket privileges for future games."

At this time, I need clarification as to what exactly the Texans are wanting from their fans. We have and exciting group of folks up in section 637, so much so, that on several occasions, I know fans who join us from lower levels because of the fun and the ‘getting into the game’ we do in this section.
The threat imposed by five armed HPD officers is completely out of line and must be addressed. My 13 year old son, was absolutley horrified, as was I and the folks around us at such an extreme response to something as simple as supporting our team.
I am asking for you to please give me some clarity on this event and why the absolute over reaction, and to what type of recourse, we as fans have, as the paying customer should this situation ever again occur.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you."



I spoke today(Thu Oct 9) to Holly Schweitzer, the event service coordinator for the Texans. She explained to me that someone in our section, a season ticket holder, went down to the concourse and told the HPD about the noise we were making. Therefore, who knows what this fan told the police and therefore the response of 5 officers as they were not sure what they were getting into. That I can now understand. Obviously, the fan who complained could have gone to one of the guest relations folks stationed along the concourse but went straight for the HPD, and hence, the response. No fault for HPD on this.

Holly went on to say how much she appreciated our enthusiasm but the violation was that we interfered with the gameday experience of another 'fan' and that banging 2 empty beer cans together is considered a 'noise maker' and those are not allowed at NFL games.

So, what to make of this? Banging cans together is out. And just be aware of those around you at all times.....you just never know.....

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Old 10-09-2008   #2
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

This is pretty sad.

It reminds me of something that happened at a basketball game I went to last year.

It was UVa vs a division rival. I think Georgia Tech, but I'm not sure

Anyway, the team GAVE us banners made of thin aluminum that said "Go 'Hoos" or something like that on it. The other side was blank aluminum.

The fans were using the signs to make noise (it was metal) and were shaking them around a lot.

The stadium kicked out everyone who was using the sign as a "noisemaker" because they were illegal.

WTH?
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Old 10-09-2008   #3
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

Troublemaker!!!

Seriously, they should experience a soccer-match here in Europe... you guys are freaking kittens compared to us
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Old 10-09-2008   #4
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

I know a way to increase the Texans chances on the road now. Alls we need to do is get enough fans to go to every road game, strategically place them around the stadium and then complain to security that the loud home fans are ruining our "game day experience". We'll get the stadium as quiet as a library. What a crock.
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Old 10-09-2008   #5
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

You are just lucky it was the HPD and not the Galveston PD.

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Old 10-09-2008   #6
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

And this is why I really, for the most part, prefer to watch the games from home.

I'd love to come out and tailgate with y'all, put some faces with names and what not, but when I go to a game I like to make noise and yell myself hoarse. I cut my teeth on LSU football games and the whole point in that environment is to make noise and to truly be the 12th man. I'm not rude, I'm certainly not crude, but I think that fans need to know when to make noise and damn well do so when its appropriate.

I hit one game at Reliant but I don't get the feeling that my yelling was appreciated and I'd rather just watch from the house than have the "polite police" come by and harass me.

In short, if I can't go and be loud then I'd rather just not go.
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Old 10-09-2008   #7
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

Quote:
Holly went on to say how much she appreciated our enthusiasm but the violation was that we interfered with the gameday experience of another 'fan' and that banging 2 empty beer cans together is considered a 'noise maker' and those are not allowed at NFL games.
This marketing company and their "gameday experience" blather is sterilizing what used to be a blue collar sport. Corporate types just looking for a nice day out with the family could be bothered by some rowdy football fans, so let's all sit on our hands and golf clap.

What a freakin' joke that they Texans actually advance this corporate garbage. They seemed like they were trying to phase out the Bull Pen until fans swamped the front office with mail, phone calls, and e-mail. This marketing company appears to care so much about our experience, but they are so out-of-touch with the average football fan sometimes.

This city will never have a "House of Pain" again if people are going to cry to the police about a few noisemakers. How sad that it's come to this, and now you have to worry about losing your seats if someone around you has noise "ruining" his gameday experience.
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Old 10-09-2008   #8
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

Maybe they should stop piping in crowd noise like they do every time before kick-off. Its sending the wrong message.
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Old 10-09-2008   #9
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwallaia View Post
Maybe they should stop piping in crowd noise like they do every time before kick-off. Its sending the wrong message.
That recorded crowd noise used to crack us up during the 2-14 season when there would only be 5,000-10,000 fans in the stadium, but it sounded like there were tens of thousands cheering. Matter-of-fact, it was the only source of entertainment at games that year.
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Old 10-09-2008   #10
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
This marketing company and their "gameday experience" blather is sterilizing what used to be a blue collar sport. Corporate types just looking for a nice day out with the family could be bothered by some rowdy football fans, so let's all sit on our hands and golf clap.

What a freakin' joke that they Texans actually advance this corporate garbage. They seemed like they were trying to phase out the Bull Pen until fans swamped the front office with mail, phone calls, and e-mail. This marketing company appears to care so much about our experience, but they are so out-of-touch with the average football fan sometimes.

This city will never have a "House of Pain" again if people are going to cry to the police about a few noisemakers. How sad that it's come to this, and now you have to worry about losing your seats if someone around you has noise "ruining" his gameday experience.
Seems like we need to change "Battle Red" to "Tattle Red".

disgusting.

I long for the days in the Temporary Pavillion back in the Dome. THAT was loud.
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Old 10-09-2008   #11
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Cool Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

Here's the deal, right or wrong, smart or stupid.

The ushers are supposed to issue warnings to anyone violating the code of conduct. Sadly, we NEVER see them doing it to any unruly, drunk, or otherwise problem causing people in the Bullpen.

The warning triggers a letter to the PSL holder saying you may lose your PSL if problems continue.

As for noisemakers, they are not allowed, including putting pennies in aluminum bottles.

I am sorry someone told on you, and instead of someone asking you to stop (or an usher asking you to stop) - they made a big deal out of it and for the first time I have heard of enforced the warning policy - against Texans fans, cheering for the team.
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Old 10-09-2008   #12
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

Stories like this make me glad I got out, which is sad.
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Old 10-09-2008   #13
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

Please, I got reported for screaming too much at the Saints game last year. Im too energetic of a fan, I guess. Damn club section.
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Old 10-09-2008   #14
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

Football games are for drinking beer, cheering, yelling and getting behind the team....a homefield advantage. Crap like this is just another example of the Wussification of America. Whomever the loser was that told on you...go watch tennis if you want quiet and sports.
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Old 10-09-2008   #15
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

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Originally Posted by HoustonFrog View Post
Football games are for drinking beer, cheering, yelling and getting behind the team....a homefielf advantage. Crap like this is just another example of the Wussification of America. Whomever the loser was that told on you...go watch tennis if you want quiet and sports.
Agreed....
I have only been to 1 game because I have been living out of the area (mainly out of state) for years now. I went to the 04 home game v. the tacks. If anyone remembers it was one of the few Texans comeback victories so it was pretty exiting. My old man stumbled upon a 10 pack of tickets so I got some friends together and we were standing up and cheering during the
2nd half comeback (seated about 12 rows up mid field). Sure enough some polo clad "fans" (using the term loosely) asked us in a not so polite ways to sit down, that they paid a lot of money to use those seats. We asked them semi politely to put down their PDA's and watch the game. Ruckus almost ensued until they noticed they we had 10 to their 4, plus I am sure they did not want to ruin the cornerstone of their wardrobe. Game was great, but my fan to fan experience was not.
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Old 10-09-2008   #16
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

I still want a clarification of what constitutes a "noisemaker".

If I blow across the top of that same bottle, would that qualify?

How about if I bring the Bright Red inflatable "bang sticks" that I have at home that were supplied BY THE TEXANS?

How about when I'm frustrated and pull my cap off and bang it on my seat....does THAT count?

When I clap my hands, can they come cut them off? Will they re-posess the seat in front of me when I bang on IT with my hands?


What a friggin load!
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Old 10-09-2008   #17
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

A case of minority rules...
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Old 10-09-2008   #18
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

I hate hearing things like this! I am suprised that i have not gotten any complaints considering i sit in club section where they dont even stand up after a TD!
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Old 10-09-2008   #19
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

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Originally Posted by imatexan View Post
I hate hearing things like this! I am suprised that i have not gotten any complaints considering i sit in club section where they dont even stand up after a TD!
Snob!!!


It's probably because the majority are inside standing around the bars or sitting in the loounge area watching on TV.
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Old 10-09-2008   #20
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Default Re: Incident in the stands, a True Story.

Clearly management wants to bring back the exciting crowds of yesteryear.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOyhKkAKOFk
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