NFL's Drive for Security Continues

Security around the NFL is increasing. The Packers are putting up concrete barriers around Lambeau Field that will cost over $1 million taking "away 500 prime parking spots." I'm sure the "2½-foot-high concrete barriers" will surely be enough to prevent those that intend harm.

However, a more interesting update is the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to overturn the decision of pat-downs, on fans, that enter the stadium. A 61-year old teacher filed suit that the pat downs were unconstitutional. A federal court agreed that pat downs were not allowed.

The over-turned decision will likely resonate throughout other stadiums.

"Pat-downs are an important part of our comprehensive security procedures, including secure facility perimeters and bag searches," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. "These limited, consensual security screenings are designed to enhance the protection and safety of our fans."

I agree that pat downs have no bearing on your personal rights or violation of privacy. After all, if you go to the airport, you have to abide by security measures. And taking a flight from Cincinnati to Tampa Bay isn't a constitutional right. You could drive yourself or take the less secure passenger trains just like you could watch the game on television.

Is it inconvenient? Hell yes. Do I want some guy running his hands around my body? Hell no. Hot babe? Well... Will pat downs specifically stop a terrorist act? No, not likely. A terrorist, with full intentions of large scale harm, isn't going to strap a high explosive to his belt wearing an old Anthony Munoz Buccaneers jersey and risk getting caught. Even so, they'd likely fire the device outside the stadium rather than inside as we're seeing the recent attacks Londoners are experiencing. They could just as easily find a way to gain entry into the stadium as a "worker". And consider, if you have pat downs, and do it with the abdomen and legs as the target, are you doing a service towards security that you're intending?

There are some that are making the observation that the pat downs are not designed for security -- after all, it's nearly been six years since 9/11 that this will likely be implemented. Four years after the initial start of pat downs, in response to upgrading security, doesn't appear so. Some are making the point that pat downs are designed to remove items that could be bought inside the stadium. Of course, the league won't specifically come out and say that. But those that make that point, like updated security measures, have their own points.

Jerry provides his Buc's perspective.

Updating the SB Nation Small Market Roundtable file:

Around the AFC North

Chris (Browns blog) is wondering if the team will struggle to sign their draft picks -- especially with two first rounders and Brady Quinn -- although picked 22 -- possibly demanding top-five money.

Black Raven (Ravens blog) continues his positional breakdowns, as most blogs are doing in preparation towards training camp.

The Steelers signed their backup defensive tackle and their third draft pick.

SI's Top 200 Fantasy Picks

Sports Illustrated released their top 200 fantasy picks earlier this week. Of note, SI has Rudi Johnson as the 7th best. Why? Thirty-six touchdowns in the past three seasons, is my guess. Of their top 200, the Bengals are:

#7 - Rudi Johnson
#16 - Chad Johnson
#30 - Carson Palmer
#39 - T.J. Houshmandzadeh
#133 - Shayne Graham

The Bengals were listed as the 13th best defense -- in terms of fantasy value.

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