“Going through folding tables is definitely a thing, and we all know Buffalo loves its things.”
That’s how the Buffalo News responded to a statement released by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office in advance of Sunday’s season home opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.
At issue is the following line in the Sheriff’s announcement on its Facebook page.
“Table Slamming is not permitted and violators will be ejected and could face criminal charges.”
According to ESPN, table slamming is the action of breaking a plastic folding table by jumping on it from a height. Fan videos like the one below have gone viral on YouTube, making it the “thing” referred to the Buffalo News quote above. BuffaloNews weighed in on table slamming in its “[BN]Blitz” newsletter column.
“Table slamming may seem stupid, but a subset of people take enjoyment from it, and they’re not really hurting anyone but themselves. Anyway, the Bills and the county want fewer stunts like this. If table slamming is your thing, you’ll have to risk ejection or take your tailgate to a privately owned lot.”
Fans were so passionate about the practice that they took their own tables to the Wild Card Playoff Game against Jacksonville — in Florida. One Bills fan I spoke to in Denver had the following to say.
“Honestly Bills fans are awesome. They have such a cool camaraderie. I love going to the games in Buffalo; [there] are no fans like Bills fans. So passionate about the team. If you’re a Bills fan, you’re family.”
It’s clear that the sheriff’s department and the Buffalo Bills are acting in the interest of fan safety. The Bills stated to ESPN that last season set a record for lowest number of fan-related incidents, so perhaps they are trying to continue that trend. If the video above is to be believed, excessive drinking is a factor in table slamming, and law enforcement and New Era Field employees will be on the lookout for that, as well as any other activities that violate the team’s Fan Code of Conduct.
Bills’ Vice President of Operations and Guest Experience Andy Major stated to ESPN that Bills fans, in general, are “very good,… responsible, and have a good time.” He notes that safety is important to maintain that environment, though, and says that in the relatively few circumstances where individuals engage in unsafe activity, security teams will be available to take care of the situation.