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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Browns Fan Rob Stipe Says He Was Kicked Out of Stadium for Standing

This is kind of a tough one. If nothing else, the story of Cleveland Browns fan Rob Stipe represents an alarming trend across NFL stadiums.  Players and coaches want fans to get off their iPads and make as much noise as possible during games.  Football is the only sport where the noise level of the fans can directly affect the outcome of the game.  If an offense can’t hear the plays that are being called, there is going to be trouble.

Enter Stipe — a rabid Browns fan and member of the infamous “Dawg Pound” bleacher section who was kicked out of Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday after he refused to sit down.  That, of course, raises the following question: When does standing become too much standing?

As Sports Grid shared with us, Stipe admits he had been warned that standing during a big third or fourth down play was permissible, but that standing during an entire game and blocking the view of other fans is not.  The Browns’ Fans Code of Conduct does outline the rules about standing, noting that “excessive standing” can hinder the view of those behind you and is not permitted if you are affecting the ability of others to enjoy the game.

Personally, I think this is ridiculous.  The guy has been going to Browns games for 25 years and sits in a section that is known for hardcore fandom and rowdiness.  I suppose security’s hands are tied once another paying customer complains that they cannot enjoy the game, but why go to the game if a guy standing up and cheering for his team in a tight game bothers you?  Chances are no one is going to stand in front of your couch at home while you watch the game.  Maybe an HD TV set would be more convenient on game day for the people who complained.



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