Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Who Always Gets Screwed?

It's tough being a fan.  It's tough be a ticket subscriber. We, the fans, are always getting the short end of the stick, always!  We are the only people that are not part of a union.  We have no power.  If you are an athlete, you are backed by your teammates, your union, the owners or the coach.  The system is all slanted towards the good of the player and the owner.  Just look at the disastrous decade plus with the New York Knicks.  Since James Dolan purchased the Knicks, the fan has been left out of the cold, game after game, year after year.  If you are a season ticket holder, it's been worse.  The ticket prices have soared and the product has gotten worse.  The "renovation" to the Garden, shifted the seats and what were once fantastic, roomy seats are now closer together, further up, zero leg room.  The tickets?  More expensive.  Who wins?  The Garden and James Dolan.  This week, James Dolan chose to reply publicly to a fan that dared to complain and criticize his ownership, the Knicks, etc.  He is a disgrace, but we, the fans, are powerless.  

The owners in all the leagues continue to take down the fans.  There are die hard fans that return year in and year out.  They were raised fans by their parents, grandparents and friends.  It is a ritual to root for the hometown team, but in return, what do the fans get?  Nothing.  We don't get refunds for crappy years of play.  We don't get rebates for bad trades.  You may say, well stop going, stop buying tickets.  You're right. After more than 25 years, we had to give up our Knicks tickets.  You can't give them away and they went from $60/seat to over $300/seat.  No championship.  Once you give up your tickets, you can't get back in.  Corporations have taken over sports tickets.  They don't care if they spend a zillion on season tickets and no one sits in the seats.  Have you seen games on television?  Doesn't matter which sport, there are lots of empty seats; they're sold seats so owners don't care.

Long gone are the days when regular folk can take a family of four to the ballpark, stadium, arena.  The tickets are a fortune.  The food and beverage that much more.  If you think going to the movies is expensive....The food vendors are taking all the money you earn in a week or a month.  Let's not even talk about the jersey's being sold.  Gone are the days that teams are committed to the jerseys of last year.  They change styles and colors without thought to all the millions of people that bought and wear their team jerseys.  It's all about money.  It's not about the fans.  With all the television money, owners don't care, players don't care, coaches don't care.  As long as they can squeeze more money out of the working stiffs, they're good.  

What's the answer?  Not really sure.  Can fans unionize?  The only fans that seem happy and part of the system are the Green Bay Packers' fans.  That team is publicly owned by the townsfolk.  They are the owners.  There's no James Dolan or Robert Kraft.  And, let's not forget that championship owners throw crumbs to the fans with parades for thousands to line the streets while the owners pockets get lined.  If the fans, particularly individual season ticket sufferers, participated someway in the success of the team, maybe there would be some fairness, but as it stands now, ticket holders are at the mercy of the decision makers during strikes, "inflation," and egomaniacs.  

The other day, listening to Jeff Van Gundy announcing an NBA game, he said ticket buyers should know before the games who will be playing.  The new methodology is sitting out a game here or there.  Just don't feel like it or they're resting up for a bigger game.  He stood up for the fans.  There needs to be more of that.  The media talking heads should call out players and owners more, but they can't.  They are always kowtowing so they can get into locker rooms, get that all important interview, etc.  So?  Who gets screwed year in and year out?  You guessed it, the fans.  The loyal, hardworking fans.  Can we create a union?  A Fans Bill of Rights?  Adam Silver? Roger Goodell? Rob Manfred? Gary Bettman?  Anyone listening...?  I think not.

Sidebars:  Okay, too sad about Bobbi Kristina.  Pulling life support tomorrow on the same day that Whitney died.  Too sad.  Still pondering face down in the tub....---Poor Bruce Jenner.  Hounded by paparazzi, rumors, and innuendo and then part of a fatal car crash.  Bad week. --- Thrilled and sad that Joan Rivers won a Grammy.  She should've been there. ---  I think that the sports talking heads totally missed out on the interview about Bill Bellichik.  They still haven't interviewed Don Shula!  He called him Bill Bellicheat before deflate gate. --- A friend has really tried to get me to weigh in on Brian Williams.  I just can't.  I have to wait if this huge embellishment/lie is a one off or we find out that he lied about many more things.  The New York Post has pounced on this and hung him out.  Funny coming from the brotherhood of Fox News. They've never lied.  ---The Bachelor has hit new lows.  Chris Soules is a douche.  Thought he was better than he is.  Now we know it wasn't the town of 450 that turned Andi Dorfman off. --- Kanye West should never be given a microphone again.  I just started to soften on him and then he acts like an asshole again. True to form.  Grammys are always interesting. Best to watch it on DVR.  The interesting combinations of singers is fascinating. --- Can't get enough of Downton Abbey and I fear this season is almost over.... --- Colder and colder in NYC.  

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