CLEVELAND --- Another season. Another losing record. It's enough to drive Cleveland Browns fans crazy.
But a new game plan to control misbehaving fans appears to be working. Last year the Browns ejected 230 fans for disruptive behavior. This season, with only one home game remaining, 131 fans have been tossed out.
The Browns are still rolling out a program implemented by the NFL, which asks NFL teams to require rowdy fans arrested or ejected for bad behavior to attend a four-hour, on-line code of conduct course before they're allowed to return to a stadium.
Fans must pay the fee for the course, which is about $75 to $100.
"That's absurd. that's ridiculous. If they want us to take the course, they should pay for it, not us," said Browns fan Matthew Hauck.
The Browns don't require that an ejected fan take the course, but they ask them to take it. The code of conduct course is still a work in progress and it's still being rolled out," said Browns spokesman Zak Gilbert.
The NFL says more than 8,000 fans have been ejected from stadiums across the country last year. They won't release figures for this year until the season ends.
In Cleveland, police have responded to 28 reports of crimes during nine Browns game this season at First Energy Stadium.
The crimes include assaults, disorderly conduct, a riot, drug abuse, domestic violence, and auto theft. In addition, police have responded to 77 calls for service, which include some crimes like robbery and theft, but more often involve calls for traffic accidents, disputes, and assisting fans in non-emergencies.
The NFL explained that the on-line course is part of the league's ongoing effort to further improve the game-day experience for all fans.
Police are still investigating a homicide at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City this past Sunday. A man died following a struggle with other fans in the stadium's parking lot.