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Report: NFL looking into fan behavior at NFC Championship Game

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My shocked face, let me see if I can find it

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Not from these folks, obviously, but I’m damn sure not putting a picture of Eagles fans up here.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

You know, we were really going to make a real effort to not talk any more about this sort of thing, but a story just came across that would appear to be of interest to fans of the Minnesota Vikings.

According to Mike McFeely of the Fargo Forum, the National Football League is looking into the conduct of fans in Philadelphia at January’s NFC Championship Game. According to McFeely’s article, the investigation has been going on for several weeks, and that the NFL’s chief security officer has sent out an e-mail that says that the league “will publicly announce changes that will be implemented going forward.”

The notoriously rough Eagles fans, fueled by alcohol during hours of tailgating, infamously acted like thugs to Vikings fans in parking lots before the game and inside the stadium during it. They threw full beer cans, threatened to rape some female fans and unleashed a verbal, vulgar assault on anybody wearing purple or cheering for the Vikings.

Most of the Vikings fans who experienced the ugliness felt the Philadelphia police and stadium security did little to protect them.

Well, in their defense, they probably only felt that Philadelphia police and stadium security did little to protect them because Philadelphia police and stadium security didn’t actually do anything to protect them. If you read McFeely’s story, you’ll see that they weren’t terribly helpful in the investigation, either.

Now, I want to emphasize something that I’ve said numerous times in this space before but has been conveniently ignored by trolls to continue to justify the behavior that’s talked about above.

The vast, overwhelming majority of Minnesota Vikings fans stopped being angry about the game portion of the 2017 NFC Championship Game about two hours after the final gun sounded. The Vikings went out onto the field that night and got their asses kicked. We’ve acknowledged that, and there’s really no way of disputing that. Seriously. Everyone gets it, and we were largely at peace with that within hours.

In the days and weeks that followed, we did spend a decent amount of time complaining about the conduct of the Philadelphia fans, whether it was cursing out a 99-year old grandmother who had never harmed anyone in her life or the throwing of the beer cans that we’ve all seen video of or Eagles fans telling Pat Elflein’s parents that they should “drag his fat ass off the field” after the rookie center injured his ankle.

Those complaints were met with “blah blah 38-7 blah blah soft blah blah weak blah blah shouldn’t have put clothes on the Rocky statue blah blah.” Anything that could be used to either blame the victims or justify the behavior in some way, shape, or form. As it turns out, perhaps Vikings fans were on to something and not just complaining for the sake of complaining. I mean, some of the stuff mentioned in the previous paragraph is mild compared to some of the other things that apparently happened, but there was quite a lot going on that night, apparently.

“Well, this sort of stuff happens at every NFL stadium.” Actually, no. No, it does not. I’ve been to enough NFL stadiums to tell you with relative certainty that threatening to rape female fans because they’re wearing the other team’s colors is not a common occurrence at every NFL stadium. You have to be a special kind of garbage to think that sort of thing is normal or acceptable, and an even more special kind of garbage to justify it under the guise of people being bitter over the result of the game itself.

“Hey, not all of our fans act this way!” Well, obviously, not all of the fans that attended the game acted that way.

But, apparently, it was a large enough number for the National Football League to put forth several weeks of effort to do an investigation into it. And apparently the results of that investigation are sufficient for the National Football League to make changes going forward. But, hey, I’m sure the poor Eagles fans are just “being singled out again” for being “too passionate” or “too awesome” or some other such nonsense. That’s the sort of garbage we’ve been hearing for about two months now, at any rate.

So, don’t tell me that Vikings fans are still “bitter” or “angry” or whatever other stupidity you’ve got about the actual game. Because, obviously, that’s not what it’s about, and that never was what it was about. This is about the jackass-to-fan ratio in Philadelphia on 21 January being off the freaking scale, according to the findings of neutral observers. Now those particular jackasses are going to have the league slapping new rules on fans of the 31 other teams, too. Awesome.

It will be interesting to see what the rule changes are. Maybe there will be a provision in there that requires local police departments and stadium security workers to actually perform the tasks they’re being paid to perform. Wouldn’t that be pretty sweet?