NEW YORK — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell today wasted no time in enforcing the league’s new fan conduct policy by issuing a four-game suspension to the entire fanbase of the St. Louis Rams.
According to the terms of the suspension, fans of the franchise may not attend any of the Rams’ games during the months of September, be it the two home contests against the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills or the road games at Seattle and Philadelphia. In addition, Rams fans are prohibited from watching any live telecast of the games, though they are free to liberally patronize league sponsors.
“League officials and myself have concluded that Rams fans have, in multiple instances, been in violation of the league’s personal fan conduct policy,” Goodell said from NFL headquarters in Manhattan. “Rather than a more lenient penalty which might promote a perception of permissiveness among the league’s fanbases, I have decided to levy a particularly harsh ruling in this case in the hopes that it will send a message to the rest of the league.”
He added, “I CAN IMPOSE MY WILL AS FAR AS MY ARMY CAN REACH! AND MY ARMY CAN REACH ANYWHERE! YOU HEAR? ANYWHERE! YOU WILL OBEY OR BE CRUSHED UNDERFOOT!”
Goodell said a few recent incidents had forced his hand on the matter. During a Week 13 game last season in the Edward Jones Dome between the Rams and the Atlanta Falcons, officials observed home fans standing in their seats during moments other than during the performance of the National Anthem, buying alcoholic products that sponsor the league and actually consuming them, and creating a sign taunting the Falcons that featured a cartoon devil.
Worst of all, Goodell said officials noticed numerous fans who violated the new policy by “detracting from the gameday experience,” a term so vague as to be useless except for when the NFL head office needs to punish someone arbitrarily, a quality Goodell particularly enjoys about it.
“That’s just the sort of unacceptable behavior that we’re trying to stamp out,” he said. “You there, reporter, what sound are you making?” he continued. “Breathing? I’m not familiar. Anyway, I find it distasteful. Please stop.”
NFL Fan Union president Catman pronounced the move a dramatic overreach. “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” he said by phone from his home in Greensboro, NC. “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! BULL-SHIT! BULL-SHIT! BULL-SHIT!”
The reaction among Rams fans was a subdued one. “That’s too bad,” said Wayne Holbert, 43, of Kirkwood, MO. “Cardinals season’ll still be going on then, right? Ah, okay. Well then fuck the Rams.”