Friday, January 3, 2014

Roger Goodell -- the NFL's Luxury Box Commissioner

So the Packers finally sold out their Lambeau Field game for Wild Card Weekend.

Thank God. I am so tired of hearing media say "What?! Packers fans aren't selling out Lambeau? And here we thought Green Bay Packers fans the best fans in the league!!" Reference this comment from the Business Insider's Jay Yarow: The Green Bay Packers are struggling to sell out their playoff game. As are the Bengals and Colts. The only team that didn't have this problem? The Eagles. Philadelphia fans are the best sports fans in the country. They actually go and support the team. So, next time you hear some crap about them being jerks, or bad fans, remember the good people of Green Bay don't even want to watch their team.

Screw you, media, and you in particular, Jay Yarow.

We're fans, but we're not dumbasses. And, Roger Goodell and the NFL, I'm not so sure I can't say the same to you and your strong-arming tactics.

As I write this post I am in a perfect position to attend the game on Sunday. I live in Milwaukee, but I'm "up north" for the weekend and have to drive through Green Bay on Sunday. My mom lives one mile from Lambeau and would welcome me before and after the game, but let's break things down here:
  1. A playoff game is not an inexpensive proposition. I logged into Ticketmaster to look at the price of a pair of tickets, I was at $231 and change before Ticketmaster added their fees. And if you've ever purchased a ticket through Ticketmaster, you know these fees are not insignificant.
  2. Sunday night. Look, NFL, you like to market how Green Bay is the "smallest market in the NFL." We know what you're selling ... and we like it. But don't kid yourself, this is just as much Appleton's, Madison's, Wausau's, and, most importantly, metropolitan Milwaukee's team. Short notice arrangement of travel plans for fans in these cities is just not possible. Maybe it would be if we were granted a Saturday game or the Sunday early game, but we've got the last game of the weekend. Not exactly the easiest game for us to make arrangements to attend yet still get home at an hour reasonable for work on Monday morning.
  3. It's gonna be cold ... REALLY COLD. Again, NFL, I love the whole "Frozen Tundra" marketing scheme, but the forecast cold is serious business (schools are already cancelled throughout the state on Monday morning). I've gone to games down to zero degrees, but a high of zero frankly frightens me. I just don't have clothing that will allow me to sit in a stadium at 10 below for three and a half hours. I recall going to games at Lambeau as a youth. I had chopper mitts, ski mask, snowmobile boots and snowmobile suit ... I could handle temps down to zero for an hour or so, but sub-zero temps? No. I don't have the gear and it would cost me just as much as a pair of tickets to procure these duds.
  4. Are you sure you needed to sell 72,928 seats?! A quick Google search tells me that that is Lambeau's capacity. I bet that's the capacity for those sporting t-shirts and shorts in early September, not those garbed like Nanook of the North for a January 5th playoff game. Those that attend are going to be wrapped thickly in wool, cotton and blaze orange. It will have an affect on the seating capacity of a row. I don't know what the total number would be, but at least one seat should be eliminated per section/row to allow for bundled Packers patrons. That's likely to shave a thousand or more off the seating capacity right there. (Didn't think of that, did you? Trust me, it's real ... it's going to require more than those 16" per butt that you normally allow.)

Anyway, I'm very glad that Wisconsin corporations anteed up and bought the last remaining 3,000 tickets and put an end to those dubious accusations. I'd like to suggest, for the future, that any game subject to blackout in Wisconsin should be required attendance by the NFL's Commissioner. He or she should not be privileged to view the game from the confines of a luxury box or suite, but should be forced to enjoy the game from the stands ... with the real fans. If they can do that, then they'll have justification to blackout our team's game.

One last thing, Yarow. The metropolitan population of Philadelphia is 6,018,800; Green Bay's is 306,241. Philadelphia is nearly 20 times larger. You think Eagles fans would sell out Lincoln Financial field if it seated 20 times more than its current capacity (1,370,640)? 

Probably not, is my answer.

Go Packers! Beat the 49ers!!

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