You had better be on your best behavior at football games, or else the folks at the NFL just might send you to therapy.
Let’s face it, America. We’re competitive. Heck, it’s one of our finest qualities as a culture. The problem is, sports can often bring out the worst in us, as fans can not infrequently become quite heated with the competitive spirit. Rational thinking goes out the window, and the blissful self-awareness that might prevent you from sinking your fist into another human being’s teeth might graciously step out of the building for a spell. But fear not, sports fans. The NFL has a remedy for the belligerent fan: therapy.
According to Time, the NFL has instituted a new rule, requiring fans who are ejected from the bleachers for fighting to attend a four-hour, online psychological class before they’re allowed back to games. The virtual padded-chair session is comprised of 12 chapters, including “Communication is King,” “Skills in Stress Management,” and “The Cost of Alcohol Abuse in America.”
It’s not free, either. The required course, and the price of admission back into the NFL’s good graces is $100.
Sounds boring, doesn’t it? Sure does, but don’t let that temptation cause you to try and skirt the course. There are frequent pop quizzes and a final exam, reports Newser, and you need to make at least 70% to pass, lest you take the entire course over again.
“At first glance, this new policy seems a bit controlling,” writes Sean Gregory. “Isn’t getting kicked out humiliation enough? And now, the NFL—whose product, by the way, consists of men mauling each other—is going to send me to my room for a four-hour lecture. … Still, the fan conduct class is worth rooting for. Because it can only help deter fan foolishness.”
So next time you get heated at an NFL game and decide to take your aggression out on an opposing fan, remember: It’s just a game.