In what has to be an obvious attempt at entrapment, the Seattle Seahawks announced that they will have security personnel wearing the gear of the visiting San Francisco 49ers to patrol and observe fan behavior at this Sunday's game at CenturyLink Field.
I understand that the fans in Seattle are a lively bunch, making that building particularly difficult for visiting teams to play (something we're going to experience again in two weeks). But the idea that the team would attempt to curb unruly behavior by disguising security personnel as visiting fans smacks of a somewhat Orwellian way of keeping order. You know that at any NFL game, you're going to have your share of drunken, foul-mouthed, belligerent fans who will pick a fight with anyone who looks at them cross-eyed.
But to invite that behavior by setting the muscle up as a straw man goes a bit too far. As a plankowner of Jaguar season tickets, I've seen my share of idiots creating all kinds of havoc down at the Bank over the past 18+ years. And the security staff, who are obvious to everyone, usually do a pretty good job of getting people settled down, and in the extreme cases, removing them from the premises. I'm trying to imagine what would happen if some drunken Jaguars fan saw a security staffer coming after him wearing a Colts, Texans or Titans jersey. Hilarity ensues.
Even worse is the 'Hawks policy of making the season ticket holder responsible for the activities of someone who bought their tickets. Now if you sell your ducats to your alcoholic, 'roided-out UFC fan cousin Bob, knowing he's going to tie one on and start jawing with every opposing jersey he sees in his section, maybe you do have a modicum of responsibility before the fact. But what if you sell those tickets you can't use on some ticket resale site to some perfect stranger? How are their screw-ups your responsibility? Hey, Seahawks management, I'll go to the guy's house and kick his butt for a while...can I have my seats back now?
Look, it's a football game. Spying on your fans is a pretty crappy thing to do. Telling them you're going to do it is probably even worse.