I went to the Broncos vs. Cardinals game yesterday here in Phoenix (Broncos won, in case you were wondering). On the way in we were subject to a pat down of the type I discussed here.

What a joke.

Basically, it looks like the employees at the gate were given strict, rote guidelines on how to search. Some of it good (no use of the palm of the hand, to limit accusations of groping), but most of it bad. I’m fairly certain that you don’t need to brush the entire length of someone’s arm when they’re wearing a t-shirt. Also, it’s probably kind of important to check someone’s coat pockets.

While an untrained observer might look at one of these searches next to one of the ones we used to perform and think they’re the same, a trained observer will pick up on a stark difference.

These guys moved their hands by rote on a pre-set pattern. The searchers never adjusted based on the person, and never used their eyes. It’s like they were magnetometers without brains.

Our teams, even the untrained temporary help, were instructed to use their eyes and heads. Don’t just follow the same pattern over and over (although we had a minimum pattern to start); use a little judgement. Most of the time it might look the same, but the odds of finding something are significantly higher.

Then again, maybe I’m just waxing nostalgic and we weren’t any better.

But seriously- if any of you are senior managers in the NFL give me a call- you’re wasting everyone’s time and increasing your risk of lawsuit with what I saw.