Here’s an idea: Don’t enter the stadium until after kick-off on Thursday night

September 25, 2012 | Drew Forrester

As fate would have it, the next game on the NFL schedule takes place in Baltimore this Thursday night.

That means, of course, the national spotlight will center on M&T Bank Stadium when the Ravens take on the Cleveland Browns.

In the aftermath of Monday night’s thievery in Seattle, where the Seahawks (now 2-1*) were gifted a game by the replacement officials, I’m suggesting that Baltimore stand up and make a statement this Thursday night.

This will never happen, of course, because people by nature are afraid to be daring, but I think the ultimate kick-to-the-family jewels for the NFL would be to have their own TV network be forced to show the opening kick-off with NO ONE in the stadium.

That’s right — I’m suggesting all 70,000 fans do not enter the seating section of the stadium until after the ball has been kicked-off.

I’ll hear all of your silly complaints about “not hurting the Ravens” and all that other malarkey, but none of that stuff is as important as the real meat of the issue:  the NFL is not a legitimate sporting league right now.

If you’re attending Thursday’s game, you have the chance to be part of a peaceful demonstration of sorts.  You can file in quietly and safely after the kick-off.  No need to rush to your seats.  No running.  No pushing, no shoving (don’t worry, that stuff wouldn’t be called by the refs anyway.)  Just hang around in the concourse, drink a beer, have a burger, and when the ball gets kicked-off, make your way to your seat.

I would absolutely love to see the NFL Network be forced to show — even by accident — an empty stadium to start Thursday night’s game.

And please, please, please don’t tell me how this could “hurt” the Ravens.  They’re playing the freakin’ Browns.  They could spot them a 16-point lead and beat them by 10 if they want.

Stand up and be counted.

Don’t be a pansy.

If you have a ticket to the game on Thursday night, don’t enter the seating area until the game has started.

And for the 3rd time, I completely understand how some of you will throw the “this hurts the Ravens” comment at me.  Save your breath and your typing energy.  If the Ravens can’t beat the Browns simply because the fans didn’t enter the stadium until three minutes elapsed in the game, something is really wrong with the Ravens, not with the fans.

Stand up for the Packers, who were completely cheated out of a win on Monday night.

Stand up for yourself, the people buying tickets and jerseys and supporting the sponsors of NFL programming on television.

Stand up, frankly, for the Ravens, who might be the next team to get jobbed out of a game in a couple of weeks when some goof calls a touchdown in Kansas City on the final play when Ed Reed clearly had the ball before Dwayne Bowe.

Or you can just continue to let the league punch you in the face and head to the stadium early and get to your seat in plenty of time for kick-off, which is precisely what the NFL expects you will do on Thursday night.

They know you all too well.  They know you don’t have the balls to do something about the referee fiasco.  If you did, you’d help make the place empty at kick-off on Thursday night.

Send a message.

Make it peaceful.

Just walk in late and say to Roger Goodell and the rest of the people around the country watching the game on the NFL Network, “Baltimore will stand up and be counted.”



13 Comments For This Post

  1. Ron Cogar Says:

    I like your suggestion Drew, but we all know these Baltimore fans will all be in their seats like a bunch of do goods.Its sad the NFL doesn’t pay their refs what they deserve since the NFL makes billions a year.

  2. notbill Says:

    i like

  3. chris Says:

    Agreed. I will not show up until midway through the 1st quarter. granted, i will probably be the only one (since most people are pussies and afraid of making a statement thee days), but something should be done. Maybe Nestor can create a “Free the Refs” walkout midway in the second quarter of another game as well. Again, I doubt he would do it but its a nice thought.

    These games are Awful. because of all the penalties, I didnt get home until 2am monday morning. thankfully we’re playing the browns so i doubt it will come down to the wire, but i cannot take another game with 25-30 penalties in it. Mark my words, these refs will cost at least one team a post season spot.

  4. unitastoberry Says:

    The drunks already don’t come in until the kickoff.

  5. tsnamm Says:

    Its a great idea Drew, lets see if even a portion of the fans do it…Lets face it the NFL is so successful that they feel they can do anything and get away with it. The fans need to send a message that the integrity of the game matters. Its our money that makes them so successful and that they’re too cheap to give to the real refs. Apparently money and/or the loss of it, is the only thing they will understand. I would make another suggestion, and that is send emails, tweets, phone calls etc. to the Ravens, care of Steve Bisciotti. And implore him to get together with the other owners and force Roger Goodell to end this stalemate. Goodell carries the water for the owners and I’m sure that in this instance the owners are insisting on a hard line,and Goodell is simply doing what they want. For a league that generates almost $10 BILLION a year, this is chump change to fix the issue.

  6. Diablo Says:

    Drew that will not do a damn thing. First of all, the game, since its on the NFL’s “Beta testing of Pay per View” aka NFL network, most people aren’t going to see it.

    The tickets are already sold. The way to really freak out the NFL is to contact the sponsors of the game. Tell them you will not purchase or use their products until the NFL settles with the officials. That will be WAY more effective than any attempt to motivate an entire stadium to act as one.

  7. Dan Says:

    Does anyone know why the Ref. Union does not like the owners attempt to improve officiating with the new contract ? Or is it just about money as usual.

  8. PghSteve Says:

    I agree with your protest, but for a different reason. Fans need to protest the very existence of these Thursday night games. No team should have to compete in a meaningful game with just 3 days of preparation/rest. 4 games in 17 days (as the Ravens and Eagles will do this year)! Really? In my view, this is a more critical issue than the refs. The refs will be back eventually, but these Thursday night games will go on. How about no football fan turns on the game until the 1st quarter is over? Of course, the players’ union could have fought to do away with these games, but chose not to.

    The issue with the refs is over pension payments. Most union employees in the USA have made pensions concessions in the past several years, so it is not surprising that the NFL would like the refs to do the same. I have no idea which side is on the right on this, but both sides need to come to an agreement. It is not just the NFL that needs to give in.

  9. Mike from Carney Says:

    They’ll be in their seats by gametime, but don’t rule out a few B.S. chants (more than one)

  10. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Nice try Drew, but you assume the NFL cares about the fans, wrong. The NFL probably has Peter Angelos’s law firm representing them and screw what the fan want’s, just like his team fans, screw all of us.

  11. Eddie Says:

    Do what ever makes you feel good fools , , they already have your money ., :)

  12. Eddie Says:

    How bout this , just buy ONE hot dog , and no beer , that’ll piss em off /

  13. barry Says:

    i like your blog as usual but it will not work
    1-the tickets are already sold so they got there money!!!2 i like the idea of calling or e-mailing the sponsers. that might work.
    but drew you have to remember the nfl’ITS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY’ and the the fans.

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