The Buffalo Bills threw a yellow flag at their fans yesterday, banning beer sales for all Rich Stadium playoff games to head off another goalpost-wrecking outburst such as the one that followed Sunday's game.
The Bills will also beef up their security to stop the "thuggery" that followed the team's American Football Conference East-clinching 24-14 victory over Miami, said general manager Bill Polian.
"We had the worst situation in the stands that we've ever had since we've been here," Polian said at a news conference. "That situation will not be allowed to exist -- first of all, because it's dangerous.
"Second of all, because . . . it gives Buffalo and western New York a black eye. It tarnishes the image of the team and the 99 and nine-tenths percent of the good fans."
Polian refused to say what steps will be taken to beef up security. But he threatened to prosecute "anybody who does not act in a manner that is civil."
In addition to destroying the goalposts, which will cost an estimated $7,000 to replace, some fans may have used knives to tear up portions of the artificial turf, Polian said. He said several fans and security guards were injured in the melee.
The move was not unprecedented. The Philadelphia Eagles banned alcohol in their wild-card game against the Los Angeles Rams last year, and Dallas and Phoenix sell no alcohol at any of their games, said Peter Abitante, a National Football League spokesman.
* COWBOYS: Quarterback Troy Aikman says don't write him off just yet -- his separated right shoulder feels much better -- and he wants a second opinion about surgery.
Coach Jimmy Johnson, however, still expects to place Aikman on injured reserve today.
Aikman, who was hurt in Sunday's loss at Philadelphia, put off a decision Wednesday regarding surgery because he said the pain and swelling in the shoulder had subsided and its mobility had increased.
Aikman wants to get more medical opinions and be certain there are not other alternatives before agreeing to surgery.
* DOLPHINS: Brent Fullwood, the former Auburn star who did not carry the ball from scrimmage one time in 10 games with the Cleveland Browns, had a tryout yesterday with the Miami Dolphins.
Miami had an opening, because running back Troy Stradford was placed on injured reserve Wednesday and likely will miss the rest of the season with a torn hamstring. But his spot was filled by the signing of veteran running back Tony Collins, who was with Miami previously this season.
Dolphins spokesman Harvey Greene confirmed that Fullwood had a tryout, but Greene said it may be too late in the season to add a player not familiar with the Miami offense.
The Browns placed Fullwood on waivers Monday, freeing him to sign with another team.
* PATRIOTS: For the first time in a miserable season, New England will have a packed home stadium for Sunday's season finale. Most fans, however, are expected to be rooting for the New York Giants.
"We're going to be nothing but a visiting team in our own stadium," Patriots linebacker Andre Tippett said. "I think it's going to be ugly around here."
It has been all season.
The Patriots (1-14) have lost their past 13 games. They have 171 points and seem sure to break Buffalo's record of 200 in 1985 for the fewest points scored since the adoption of the 16-game schedule in 1978.