Watch for the Game Police

By now, we’re all used to having ourselves searched as we buy a ticket and enter sporting events. Authorities don’t want you bringing in your own alcohol or guns or laser pointers or strobe lights or other contraband. They’ve got plenty of rules about what you can do or not do as a fan at a game. We know what those rules are about.

But now we’re heading to a whole new level of policing, as Eric Crawford discovered when he read the fine print on the credentials package he received from the Southeastern Conference. It included some rules for people who get media credentials, and more rules for you as a ticket buyer.

Say you decide to go this year’s U of L-UK football game, and you take your iPhone. If you decide to post game updates on Twitter, during timeouts, you could get yourself kicked out of the stadium, according to the new guidelines sent out by the SEC. Want to post a photo of yourself from your seats via Facebook? Don’t let the SEC catch you.

It’ll be interesting to see how serious the SEC is about the enforcement of all this.

Let’s say I buy a ticket and live blog the game for The ‘Ville Voice from my seat. Will SEC officials see my posts, then seek me out in section 227 to oust me? Will I have to hide my gear when ushers walk by? Wear a disguise?

Apparently they also want to be able to make an on-the-spot determination about media types and what they can get away with, because they don’t want anybody giving real-time descriptions of what’s going on. It’s all about protecting the broadcast rights holders, you know.  This is from the fine print on media passes:

“. . .the determination of whether a blog is a real-time description or transmission shall be made by the SEC in its sole discretion.”

Looks like I might have to become an anonymous post-er at games, and hope that Kenny Klein’s crew doesn’t come up behind me to read what I’m doing over my shoulder.

Two years ago, we were busy defying the NCAA and its prohibition against live blogging. At an NCAA baseball game, the organization kicked a blogger out of the press box for providing semi-live reporting of the action.

Now the powers that be are after everybody in the whole stadium.