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Ben Smith

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Here’s my test for testy NFL fans

No one likes a skeptic. We’re serial balloon busters and no fun at parties, where we’re always saying off-putting stuff like, “That veggie dip looks a little sketchy to me.”

And then the NFL hatches its latest scheme, and our eyebrows really reach for the sky.

It seems the Shield has decided to start making fans who get thrown out of its stadiums go back to school, so to speak. In order to regain admittance to the land of the $8 beer and the Personal Seat Licenses, they must take, at their own expense, a four-hour online course dealing with issues such as anger management, crude behavior and alcohol use.

And here’s where the skeptic starts wondering a few things.

He wonders, first of all, how effective this is going to be with a student body that pretty much majored in Rage 101, Crude Behavior 205 and Sociology .10: A History Of Projectile Vomiting. He wonders how learning proper human behavior – or even basic human behavior – is going to fly for the guy who slams 87 beers, sheds his game-worn Jack Concannon jersey and runs out on the field screaming, “I’m open, Cutler! I’m open!”

At a Packers-Vikings game.

Chilling stuff. And can you imagine what the final will look like?

1. A fan wearing the jersey of the opposing team shows up in your section. You:

A) Buy him a beer, one fan to another.

B) Rib him good-naturedly.

C) Remove one of his ribs and beat him unconscious with it.

(Correct answer: “D,” Distract your buddy, who’s even more psychotic than you are, by pointing out the blonde two sections over.)

2. The referee has just overturned a crucial call in favor of your team. You:

A) Loudly impugn his eyesight.

B) Loudly impugn his family tree.

C) Look up the word “impugn.”

(Correct answer: “D,” Distract your psychotic buddy again while you hide anything that fits the definition of “thrown object.”)

3. It’s the third quarter and you’ve been out of beer for 30 seconds. You:

A) Flag down the beer man by waving politely and saying, “Might I have another libation, good sir?”

B) Send a note to the blonde two sections over so she can flag down the beer man for you.

C) Shed your game-worn Jack Concannon jersey, run out on the field and scream “I’m open, beer man! I’m open!”

(Correct answer: “D,” Distract your psychotic buddy, steal his beer and blame it on the fan wearing the opposing team’s jersey.)

4. Your quarterback has just thrown ANOTHER interception in the red zone. You:

A) Catch his eye and shout, “That’s OK, buddy!”

B) Catch his eye and pointedly Tebow.

C) Try to catch him in the eye with a “thrown object.”

(Correct answer: “D,” Follow him to the club, take a cellphone video of him hitting drunkenly on the blonde from two sections over, and then send it to TMZ.)

After which, you’ll be ready for another online course.

Gotcha 101: How Your Jackwagon QB Can Put Money In Your Pocket.

Ben Smith has been covering sports in Fort Wayne since 1986. His columns appear four times a week. He can be reached by email at bensmith@jg.net; phone, 461-8736; or fax 461-8648.

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