As a fan of the Oakland Raiders, I'm no stranger to fan violence. The team (and my fellow members of the Raider Nation) have a reputation that is not the most positive, and I think that reputation can also bring out the worst in opposing fans.
For the 2012 NFL season, Raider fans (and all fans at all NFL games) will be subject to "security screening of property and person, including metal detection, prior to entering the stadium" according to a news item posted August 9 on the Raiders website.
Even with the recent horrible tragedy inside the movie theater in Colorado and other incidents where crazy people just go off, I still believe NFL games are relatively safe, and the new rules are just too much. I feel there's a point where excessive security can ruin the game experience for fans.
How the rules will change the fan experience
It will make the slow process of just getting inside the stadium even slower. I've been to Oakland Raiders games at the O.co Coliseum, (which first hosted a Raider game in 1966) and the process of getting from your car to the stadium can be slow. The Raiders are advising fans to arrive two hours before kickoff time. Each fan will be searched, pockets will need to be emptied and all bags will be searched. Seems a lot like the process at the airport and given the lack of in-stadium gun (or knife) violence or terrorist incidents, I just think it's too much.
Recent Raiders fan violence
For example, the most recent gun incident involving Raiders fans was at a pre-season game in August 2011 against the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco. Two people were shot in the parking lot and another was beaten inside a stadium restroom. The new NFL rules would not have prevented either incident. The incident inside the stadium restroom involved fists, no weapon. And the shootings occurred in the stadium parking lot, which would have been before any screening.
In addition to the extra time and inconvenience to fans, there is also the cost issue. These new rules require teams to buy new equipment and to pay additional employees to do the screening, and I worry those costs will probably be passed along to the fans in the form of higher ticket prices.
Although born and raised with Eagles fans in Philadelphia, Freddy Sherman has always been a citizen of Raider Nation at heart. Since his dad got him a signed George Blanda football as child, to meeting Lyle Alzado in the 1980s, he hasn't looked back. Follow him on Twitter - @thefredsherman
More from this contributor: