I hate to do it, because I feel it’s a non-issue, but I have to address the Chiefs‘ “Fan Code of Conduct”. Everyone from Mike Florio to MJD–don’t get me wrong, I like and read both–has chimed in on this topic. The popular interpretation of this code of conduct is that Carl Peterson, Mr. Consecutive Sellouts Streak himself, has suddenly decided that he needs to alter his winning two-decade fan formula. Really?
I love MJD’s convenient quotation of the actual rule:
“Standing and/or obstructing the view of other fans.”
Um, actually, MJD, here is the rule verbatim:
“Continual standing and/or obstructing the view of other fans.”
Is it just me, or does one word make all the difference in the world?
Zach, my old man and I have been going to Chiefs games at Arrowhead since the two of us were little boys. And, yes, we are the type of Chiefs fans who wouldn’t be caught dead sitting on 3rd and 4 late in the fourth quarter when our defense desperately needs a stop. Have we heard some grumbling about standing up or crowd noise? Once in a blue moon, maybe. But we’ve never, ever been asked to sit down or shut up when cheering. I have never even seen such a request at Arrowhead, even from staff.
The only times I’ve ever seen any intervention: A.) Someone is ridiculously intoxicated or rude, usually both; B.) An opposing fan or fan group is getting lynched or is about to. I will be the first to say that intervention is sometimes needed. I’ve seen Chiefs fans remove a Broncos fan’s hat and light it on fire. I’ve seen Philly fans nearly get murdered by a blood-thirsty Red mob. It gets a little too crazy up there in the stands sometimes.
At the same time, Chiefs fans are generally just as knowledgable and considerate as they are passionate. 99 times out of 100 they will stand at the appropriate times and consider the viewing experience of those around them, even fans of opposing teams. Chiefs fans know how to keep the NFL’s loudest stadium’s reputation intact without destroying the live experience for other fans.
I realize that the “Fan Code of Conduct” makes for good, humorous watercooler talk around the blogosphere, but it’s a non-issue. Trust me, neither Cheifs fans nor the front office want to change the atmosphere of Arrowhead. The Chiefs organization is actually just trying to protect that atmosphere.