I am not sure who coined the phrase that the National Football League stands for the “No Fun League” but it is getting more and more apparent they are living up to that moniker every day. Before, the “No Fun League” was used to describe the NFL’s over-the-top and oppressive rules and regulations regarding player touchdown celebrations or their uniform compliance. Washington Redskins Tight End Chris Cooley recently wrote on his blog a list of all the ridiculous fines the NFL will impose on a player for such infractions like wearing the wrong nasal strip or hand towel alterations. But now the No Fun League is recommending limiting tailgating for all 32 franchises. That’s right, the NFL is now coming for your tailgating time.
USA Today: NFL targeting binge drinking among fans in new season
Fox News Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld: No Fun League
The NFL is recommending that its 32 teams and 31 stadiums limit tailgating to 3½ hours before games and attempt to better monitor and enforce rules against excessive drinking in stadium parking lots. If this goes into effect, do you think they will be lowering parking fees because NFL fans will not get as much time in the tailgating lots? Yeah, me neither.
Sadly, the NFL is under the impression that drunk, unruly and obnoxious fans are only a result of long hours of tailgating. That’s simply a naive point of view. The fact is this recommendation will only hurt the responsible tailgaters. The tailgaters that arrive early and like to watch the early games on their portable TVs and grill will be hurt the most. Those that enjoy the entire tailgating experience are typically not the ones getting blind drunk and staggering into the game. Longer tailgating hours are not a crime of opportunity to get drunk and obnoxious. Sorry to burst your bubble but if NFL fans want to get drunk and act irresponsibly, they can do it in less than 3½ hours. Just having four or five or even six hours of tailgating will not make a person drink more or less. Responsible tailgaters know their limit yet with this time limitation recommendation the NFL seems to view us all as a bunch of drunken idiots.
My best suggestion to fight this tailgating restriction recommendation would be to get all your friends to email the NFL league offices and express your opinion on this matter. I would suggest mailing a letter to Milt Ahlerich, the NFL’s senior vice president of security, and let him know you are a responsible tailgater that will only be hurt by this recommendation. Make sure it is a well written and concise letter. Keep it brief and make sure to use proper grammar and spelling. (Poorly spelled and grammatically incorrect letters are usually discarded and ignored.) Mail it to:
Senior Vice President of Security
National Football League
280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
If you are not sure what you would like to write but still want to let the NFL know that limiting tailgating will only harm responsible tailgaters, you can send the following sample letter:
Dear Mr. Ahlerich,
I am writing to you today to express my opposition to the National Football League’s recommendation that all 31 stadiums limit tailgating to just three and a half hours. I am a responsible tailgater and this time limitation will only hurt those that tailgate responsibly. We understand that the excessive consumption of alcohol in the stadium parking lots is a problem but those that want to become intoxicated will do so in less than 3 1/2 hours.
As an NFL fan I want to enjoy the entire day I spend at the stadium. That includes tailgating in anticipation of seeing my team play. By decreasing the time stadium parking gates are open will only create traffic congestion and frustration. I believe that the number of intoxicated and unruly fans will remain unchanged if decreased tailgating is enacted across the league.
As an NFL fan I hope we can encourage responsible tailgating without limiting our time in the parking lots. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Will it cost you a first class stamp? Sure it will. But wouldn’t you rather invest the time and less than a dollar to preserve your tailgating time? Go ahead and ask a Jets or a Giants fan what they would have done to prevent their tailgating time from being reduced.