Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Yes, the Numbers Matter

Every home Packers game there is a running debate on social media as to the "newsworthiness" of arrest and ejection numbers at Lambeau Field.  Those opposed to the publishing of those numbers the day after a game like to use the argument that "anytime you get 80-thousand people together in one place, there are bound to be a few bad actors in the mix."  They also wonder why we don't mention the total number of arrests every day in Green Bay and how they compare to what you see at Lambeau on an average gameday.

But what makes Green Bay police taking 13-people into custody last Sunday and telling another 35 to get out and never come back is the context in which these bad acts are taking place.  The 80-thousand at Lambeau are there for the singular purpose of watching a football game.  So beating each other up, consuming alcohol to the point of passing out in the opposite gender bathroom (unless you are "identifying" with that gender that day) and smoking pot in the open are well outside of the norm for behavior at a football game.  And things that happen outside of the norm are what make the news.

Add to that, the fact that those arrested inside the stadium actually paid for the experience of getting hauled downtown.  You don't see a lot of criminals ponying up $125 to commit misdemeanors and ordinance violations on the streets.  Of course, that assumes that our wrong-doers actually get inside the gate.  The Milwaukee County Parks Department Marketing Director didn't even make it that far for the Rams game--getting arrested after being ejected from the Tundra Tailgate Zone three times before getting physical with the security guards and the cops that came to take him away.  Three times is also the level of his blood alcohol concentration compared to what's legal to drive.  And that was for a game that kicked off at noon.

Speaking of BAC, perhaps the next numbers we should include in our news reports are those of people taken away from the stadium with dangerously high levels of intoxication.  Some might argue that it would make the Packers look bad--like it's the concession stands that are over-serving these people.  But given that many of these calls come early in games, it would almost be impossible (and incredibly expensive)  to drink that much beer after kickoff.  And again, many of those calls come outside the stadium gates before gametime.

So we will continue to report on the fighters, the profanity-yellers, the Pro Shop shoplifters and the gender-confused bathroom vomiters after every game at Lambeau--unless you think that type of activity is now to be expected.

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