Through the Checkpoint to the Information Cave

There was a lot to love in last night’s Saints win, but time for two non-game-related notes:

- I’ve vented before about my irritation with the information blackout in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but last night when Will Herring made the interception in the end zone, there was no replay. I remember it as an athletic play, but since it took place in the end zone below me and my view was partially obscured, I didn’t get a good look at it. Still haven’t.

Similarly, there were a number of melees, but we never knew what had happened to cause the Giants to start jawing. Clean hits or personal fouls? We only saw the replay of one of the hits. We saw replays of failed sweeps that only gained a yard, but often not the split-second plays that we needed a second look at. I’m not advocating violence porn or repeated replays of blown calls until the crowd’s going for pitchforks and torches, but information isn’t the enemy.

- In today’s Times-Picayune, there was a story about the equanimity with which people accepted the enhanced security measures to enter the Dome. This season, they’ve been stepped up after a fan brought a stun gun to a Cowboys/Jets game in September and used it, and the result in recent weeks has been lengthy waits to get into the game.

Leslie Williams wrote:

Louella Samuel of New Orleans had to temporarily get out of line because she had some snacks given to her for free by people marketing products on site. She said she didn’t see the wisdom of people handing out things that could not be brought inside, but she applauded the increased security.

“We need all that,” she said.

As kickoff neared, the lines reappeared and swelled the closer it got to 7:30 p.m. And the crowd at times seemed annoyed and playful.

“It’s cold,” said Tony Penick, a season-ticket holder from Metairie, who shouted jokingly after he was asked to open his coat at the Gate H entrance where hand-held, metal detecting wands were used. The lines offered flashes of airport check ins with people removing cellphones, keys and other items in their pockets that might set off the devices.

Penick said he welcomed “whatever it takes to keep us safe.”

“People should be checked,” said Timothy Travirca of Slidell as he waited for entry. “It’s fine. We don’t want any nonsense going on in the game.”

Because we’ve had nonsense…never. It’s really discouraging the degree to which we’ve come to accept and even rationalize time-consuming, unnecessary, sometimes comical searches. What kind of gun was the security guard looking for when he asked me to take my knit cap off? Wouldn’t a weapon worth a damn have shown? People seem to accept the necessity of these security measures even though we haven’t had gun violence in the Superdome. Or other NFL games. Or basketball games. Or baseball games. Or hockey games. Statistically, the number of games during which no weapon-oriented crime took place so absurdly outnumbers those when something happened that the odds before enhanced security were likely that you’d win the Power Ball before you’d be at a game with a gun crime. That people not only accept but welcome such measures scares me more than any weapon.