WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg football fans have been put on notice: start a beer-cup snake, and you may be forced to slither out of the stadium.
The Canadian Football League club is clamping down after an incident last Friday that saw fans in one section stack thousands of used beer cups into a snake-like form that eventually stretched over dozens of rows. Others pitched in -- literally -- by tossing cups from behind and above, creating a sudsy plastic downpour.
"When the shower of cups came down, we know for a fact that some people were hit with them. Some cups were empty, maybe numerous cups together, some even had contents coming from the upper deck," Blue Bomber president Jim Bell said Wednesday.
Some fans were cut by the flying plastic.
As a result, the club is now adopting a zero-tolerance policy for thrown objects, drunken behaviour and boozy serpents.
"If there is any hint of the beer snake, for example, gaining momentum, we are going to ask our security people to have those fans please discontinue it and we expect that we will get their respect."
Fans who refuse will be escorted out of the building, Bell added.
But some fans want the snake to become a tradition. One fan set up a Facebook group called Save The Beer Cup Snake, and others have posted comments online saying the plastic beast is harmless.
"How can you be injured by plastic cups?," one person wrote. "The Bombers are trying to take the fun out of the game."
The club has already taken steps to curb rowdy behaviour, including setting up an alcohol-free "family-friendly" section of the stadium and limiting the number of drinks any one patron can order at a time.
People are also barred from leaving and re-entering the stadium during the game to stop fans from drinking in the parking lot or nearby bars.
The Bombers also added more police to the stands this year, and may further beef up security for the next home game, a July 24 matchup against the Edmonton Eskimos, Bell said.
"We want (fans) to continue to enjoy Blue Bomber football and the game-day experience, and simply not have to worry about a projectile or ... disrespectful behaviour of any kind."