Why I Gave Up My NFL Season Tickets

No, it has nothing to do with my team’s name. It’s the increasingly unpleasant stadium experience—a profanity-laced keg party in the upper deck—that drove me back to the couch

fedex-full-2-800
( Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

By Joel Fowler

It’s a question that haunts me to this day: “So, Mr. Fowler, how can the Washington Redskins retain you as a season-ticket holder?”

I had missed the renewal deadline following the end of the 2010 NFL season, but I didn’t think anything of it. I made my decision based on my game-day experiences over the previous four seasons. How do I summarize to this ticket agent that the NFL I assumed I was going to experience compared miserably to the product I actually received?

I have loved professional football for as long as I can remember. Growing up in central Kentucky in the 1980s, I developed a bond with the Cincinnati Bengals. My father’s company had season tickets, and if a prospective client had a kid who wanted to go, I got to tag along. Whether the Bengals won or lost, I always had a great time at those games because I was there with my dad. I just remember the smile on his face. If I ever had a son, I knew I would want to share this same experience with him.

Flash forward to 2000. My wife and I have moved to Alexandria, Va., for my job. A co-worker asks me if I’d like to attend Washington Redskins’ training camp. Sure—why not? I still love the NFL. At the camp they have a table promoting their season-ticket waitlist, so I sign up.

Years pass. In October 2006 our son, Brandish, is born. Ten months later I get the phone call I’d hoped to receive one day: “Mr. Fowler, your wait is over! We have general admission seating for you.”

Dad and son.
Dad and son, preparing for their first game.

Since signing up, I had started to dread the sight of the Redskins’ ticket-office number on my caller ID, fearing that they would only be offering the über-expensive club-level seating that we simply could not afford. But that was not the case. In fact, the agent wasn’t even offering nose-bleed end zone seats. This pair of tickets was located in Section 424, on the 20-yard-line. I can only sum up my feelings at that moment in one word. Perfect.

My son is born in the middle of a NFL season—during the Redskins’ bye week no less—and the very next season I get the tickets I’d always wanted to have for him? It was kismet.

*  *  *

Unfortunately, our actual game-day experiences were far from perfect. In that first year things were fun and exciting, but we faced two sunk costs that no NFL fan can escape: time and money.

With attendance creeping over 80,000, our drive to Landover, Md., normally a half-hour, could take between two and three hours before we got to a parking spot. The Metro train would be quicker, but hauling an infant and all of his necessities the one mile from the closest station to the upper-deck seats was impractical. (Side note: When informed of the league’s new “clear bags only” policy for this season, my wife’s reaction was, “Well, that stops new moms from going to games. How are you gonna fit all the stuff you need for your baby in that small bag?”)

The tickets were not cheap, with a pair of upper-level seats running me more than $1,500 for the season. While that can be a manageable cost for a family with two incomes, the Redskins don’t make it easy, offering payment plans only for their premium tickets. If you don’t have the extra cash lying around, your credit card company will get that interest.

Game-day expenses can add up too: $30 for parking, $10 for a small pizza, $5 for a soda. But for parents like me, the real expense comes with late games, when you need to hire a babysitter at $15 an hour. Not only do these Sunday, Monday, and now Thursday nighters rob my son of the chance to attend the game, but they take an extra $100 from my wallet. Numerous times, my wife and I decided that we would be more fiscally responsible by skipping the fourth quarter than by waiting until end of the game, then sitting in three hours of traffic as the babysitting meter ticked.

In the 400 section.
In the 400 section.

Still, I expected sacrifices of time and money when signing up for season tickets, and was willing to live with them. What I did not plan for was the lack of civility in my upper-deck section.

For me, the problem began to get serious in Week 3 of the 2008 season. The Arizona Cardinals came to town, and with them a small group of Cardinals fans for whom I’m guessing over-intoxication was a competition. They were loud and obnoxious the entire time. Thankfully my wife and son could not attend this game. I just remember the grimace that crossed the face of the father whose season tickets were next to mine with every vulgarity that his eight-year-old son had to hear. Would that be the look on my face when my son was that old?

The ensuing games were often just as bad. Home and visiting fans alike made my seats more like prime viewing at a keg party than the NFL experience of my youth. There was absolutely no filter to the profanity they were using. Believe me, I’m no prude, but around my children and other people’s kids, I strive to be. It’s my belief that children should learn cursing the old-fashioned way—on the playground from their friends.

Fans of divisional opponents were often the worst offenders, to the point where I didn’t even want to attend games against the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants. With the advent of StubHub, Craigslist and other resale sites, season ticketholders could easily double their money from visiting NFC East fans, and many in the cost-conscious upper sections took advantage of the opportunity.

The tipping point for my decision not to renew came in the opener of the 2010 season, a Sunday night game against the Cowboys. In the middle of the second quarter, nature called and I needed to visit the restroom. As I was walking down from my 15th row seat, a young lady pointing to her pink Tony Romo jersey was blocking the row as her team was driving down the field. I asked her nicely if I could get by, but that just made her clutch the jersey harder and push it toward my face. As I raised my voice in an effort to make her understand my situation, an extra from the cast of Swamp People in a Jason Witten jersey popped up.

“Hey, you gotta problem, buddy?” asked Mr. Bleary Eyes.

“Um… yeah… I want to get out.”

Home and visiting fans alike made my seats more like prime viewing at a keg party than the NFL experience of my youth.

Apparently to him, them’s fightin’ words. As he approached me in my burgundy LaRon Landry jersey, Ms. Pink Romo finally got out of the row to try to settle her man down, and I passed by.

“Stop! It’s not worth it!” I heard her say as I walked away.

But Swamp Witten kept following me. As I reached the mezzanine, his girlfriends’ clutching arms and desperate words finally registered in his addled brain, and they returned to their seats.

Now, I was not afraid. I stand over six feet and weigh 280 pounds. The guy was drunk, and a strong wind could have knocked him over. But I’m a 35-year-old adult, and this was ridiculous. I’ve never had to deal with a drunken fan harassing me in my own living room.

The images from that night flashed in my mind as the Redskins ticket agent asked what it would take for me to keep my season tickets.

“Do you have a family-only or alcohol-free section?” I asked.

“Umm… no.”

“Then I guess you don’t have what it takes.”

Click.

*  *  *

Older, and wiser, at the Wizards.
Older, and wiser, at the Wizards.

I wondered how many other NFL-loving fathers have to deal with this problem, so I recently called or web-chatted with the ticket offices of all 32 teams to find out. As with many issues in the NFL, this one revolves squarely around money. A vast majority (71%) of NFL teams that have above-average attendance (like the Redskins) do not have family seating sections. A vast majority (73%) of NFL teams with below-average attendance have such sections—presumably to help boost ticket sales.

There are some friends who question my reason for not renewing my tickets. They point out that the Redskins weren’t very good at the time, finishing fourth in the NFC East in each of the final three seasons I had my tickets.

My reply is direct and persuasive: I have also been a loyal season-ticket holder of the Washington Wizards for the past three years. In that time the Wiz went 72-158, a winning percentage of .313, and my son and I couldn’t be happier. Our half-hour Metro ride stops right at the Verizon Center. I pay for our general admission tickets over 10 interest-free months. This coming season the team will host more than 20 games on Friday and Saturday nights, allowing a first-grader to stay up a little past his bedtime while not disrupting school the next day.  Most importantly, we’re in a good section with other polite but passionate fans, many of whom consume alcohol but not to excess.

My family still loves the Redskins, and we’re following them through their ups and downs this season. But as far as sporting events go, we give our game-day experiences to the Washington Wizards, and our NFL experience to Panasonic.

Joel Fowler and his wife, Casandra, have three children—Brandish, age 6, Veronica, age 3, and Dax, who was introduced to Redskins Nation on Sept. 16. Unfortunately it was not a Washington bye week.

100 comments
OctavioM
OctavioM

I've got this awesomely massive HD TV, which cost less than one nose-bleed season ticket...

I own the comfiest couch on the planet...

A 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke costs $1 at the store...

No lines for bathrooms...

The only person cursing is my wife (and it is oddly kind of hot when she does)...


You could not PAY me to attend an NFL game.

lisamarquez1004
lisamarquez1004

I live in San Diego, home of my beloved Chargers and fortunately, we have a Tamil no alcohol tailgate which is across from our stadium and we have a no alcohol family only section. For the most part they're safe. My kids have both gone to games with their dad but it all depends on the visiting team. If the Raiders are in town forget it! It attracts all sorts of thugs and ignorance. People forget civility& that it really is only a game! Overall I would like to see the NFL do more for safety. Look at the shootings in SF or recent stabbings in Denver. It's sad that a sport is being changed into some sort of gang.

jrh2007
jrh2007

I did the exact same thing for my son, hoping for that "bonding over sports" thing.  After 5 years of witnessing some of the most incredibly bad behavior as a Detroit Lions season ticket holder (2004-2008, yes we experienced the 0-16 run of 2008), we bailed.  I grew up loving the Lions and so does my son.  The fact that he had to wear ear plugs to keep the modern football fan out of his head was enough for me and I will NEVER be back.  If you want a true family experience, take the wife and kids to any MLB spring training venue.  Its awesome.  Hang out with the 70 somethings and life will be good.  Haha.  I have met some of the best sports fans at those games, guys (and gals) that can still tell you the details of the 1945 World Series.  Go Tigers!

bafga
bafga

It's painful to go to just watch a game.  I went with my wife and 2 friends to see the Redskins game a few weeks ago.  Parking in the parking lot is painful, as the fans take 2-3 parking spaces for their tailgates.  You can almost guarantee your vehicle will have a door ding or some scratch on it after the game due to some A) stray football hitting your car, B) drunk fool falling on your car, C) angry fan of opposing team keys your car.  

The fan experience INSIDE the stadium is stale.  Everyone 18 and up has probably consumed some alcohol, and many of them are obnoxious.  A few years ago at a Redskins game, my wife and I were leaving, and we had to save this drunk Philly chick from falling down the escalator because she kept trash talking aver an Eagle victory. 

jjmmr2002
jjmmr2002

I had season tickets to the NY Giants from 1964-2010. I gave them up for many of the same reasons you mention. The commute to the game was 1.5 to 2 hours. The parking lot was a zoo. The PSL to keep seats I had paid for for 46 years was outrageous. I am still a die hard fan and watch every game from by couch or a sports bar. 

TommyMurphy
TommyMurphy

I am a season ticket holder for the Giants.  I am the 3rd generation to own these seats.   My Grandfather got them in the early 1950's.  Every home Sunday since the late 70's my Dad and I went to the games together.  We had the most incredible relationship enhanced by the ability to spend so much time together with family and friends tailgating.  He became very ill around the time the Giants asked the fans who built their franchise to spend thousands extra on PSL's.  I spent the money and the first season at the new stadium was his last.  The billion dollar stadium did not have adequate handicap access but we still went through the inconvenience and humiliation of waiting upwards of an hour for the press passes to go first on the one elevator that could go to our seats in the mezzanine.   To their credit the Giants were very accommodating in working with us through the issue but unfortunate for us my Dad passed away before the changes could be made.  Now my focus is on when I can start taking my children.   I am lucky to have 4 season tickets and a football loving wife.  We look forward to the day we can go as a family just as I did. 

 My daughter who is five already loves baseball.   Amazingly it is much more family friendly in NY to take a child to a Saturday afternoon Yankee game.  The difference is not in the fans - after all the Giants and Yankees pretty much pull from the same fan base.  The difference is in the presentation.  Go to a Yankee game and see who the Yankees employ - uniformed NYC police officers are paid OT by the Yankees to be security, stadium accessibility is the incredible for the handicapped or those with strollers, there is a small army of employees who only job is to answer questions and help you with any concerns.   The Giants have done some nice things with the new stadium.   We still like to grill and tailgate but with kids (I took a year old niece last week to the 1pm game vs the Eagles) the fan zones set up inside the gate with sponsors are fun and remind me of a scaled down NFL experience.  It is a perfect spot for a kid to experience the fun around football.   It all changes when you get to your seats.  Even at 1pm game people feel it is their right to be fall over drunk and ready for a fight.  The cursing is of course out of control and every fight usually involves someone who spent 3 quarters screaming every profanity in the book.  The yellow jacketed security guards are slow to react and not respected by those engaging in the poor behavior.  The only effective people I have seen are the NJ State troopers who have the power to arrest on the spot – not to mention the training and experience in dealing with violent people under the influence.  Unfortunately there are not that many troopers present in the stands to be an adequate deterrent.    My suggestion is the NFL mandates that their teams expand their security budgets and ALL security officers are actually police officers in uniform with guns and cuffs in full view.   If the NFL is so concerned about terrorists that they made rules on bag sizes then the presence of large scale professional law enforcement contingent gives a double benefit.   If teams like the Yankees and Mets can budget for uniformed police officers over 81 games then a league so flush with cash as the NFL could for their 10 home games without issue?

  NFL security is getting the reputation amongst season ticket holders that the most effective way to protect the fans is to inconvenience the fans with long waits to get in and small bags.  Perhaps they need to look at actually enforcing the rules that will protect the fans with real measures to make everyone safer. 

packerbacker1967
packerbacker1967

I can write something similar about my experience in San Diego last year at the Chargers-Falcons game. I took my nine year old. That is the first, and last, professional football game he will see while he is living at home. Several fights, and lots of drunk people. 

bhayes420
bhayes420

Same thing happened to me and the Titans.  Too many lewd and obnoxious drunks, and not just drunk, but sloppy, falling down drunk.  I'm  not a prude, but I don't like to be around people like that.  I cancelled my tickets last year.  The game experience is much better sitting at home in front of my hi-def big screen and not worrying about having a beer spilled down my back, or catching the people behind me when they fall over on my family.  The NFL doesn't need to look very hard when the look for reasons attendance is down.

andyleee04
andyleee04

All Washington Redskins Fans to be proude The Washington Redskins are a professional American football team based in Washington, DC The team belongs to the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League.

Mike26
Mike26

Football fans are still better than baseball fans.  At least at this point, fans haven't taken their rivalries to the street and committed murder, life-threatening beatings, etc. like the Dodger and Giants fans.

Cheese or Mini-Me
Cheese or Mini-Me

This guys mistake is trying to make his kids Redskins fans.  He should have stayed in Cincinnati where some civility still exists.  I used to have upper deck season tickets ($650 at the time) and did experience some of the issues he referenced (although not at those extreme levels).  Can't say I've ever seen a fan of the opposing team try to stand in the aisles talking trash.  The other home fans or security would quickly take care of that.  

But a couple years back we got upgraded to field level seats ($850) and the experience is significantly better!  The fans are friendlier even when a little intoxicated.  There are a few kids around our section and I don't have to feel sorry for the parents because the surrounding fans are actually respectful.  

If you park in the tailgate lots surrounding the stadium then you'll probably sit in traffic for an hour to get on the highway (most of the people who park in those lots could use the extra hour to sober up).  But if you park a couple blocks away you'll have no trouble getting out and getting home.  Usually I like to do a little tailgating but there have been Sundays where I arrived downtown a little after noon and was home by 5pm while not missing a single second of the game.  

Point is I enjoy Bengals games.  Tickets aren't as expensive as other markets, fans are generally more civil, and getting to and from the stadium isn't too big of a pain.  But if I lived in one of the larger markets and had to put up with the expense and crap that the author did, I would sit at home too and just use the ticket money to build an awesome entertainment center.

stucgray
stucgray

Enjoyed this. This really is (or should be) an important issue for all of sport.

I can sit at home with surround sound,  a 30/50/70" HD TV, warm, doing other things if i want (work, looking after kids etc.)..........so what are you going to do to convince me to spend my time and money on a live sport experience? ESPECIALLY regular season games. 

Tickets ($), parking ($), food ($), drunk fans, weather conditions, travel time, restricted view, rising prices. Why? It's on the NFL (or indeed NBA/NHL/MLB) to make it a worthwhile option for us the fan, and frankly right now, it isn't. 

Jon8
Jon8

A lot of bad experiences recorded herein:

I have been to NFL games in NYC, Washington, San Francisco, Denver, LA, San Diego, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Baltimore, Chicago and London!

Traffic and commuting is a hassle for ANY public event.

That aside, I have never had a bad moment at any stadium other than the food, at some stadiums, and being on the wrong end of the score or the spread!!!

And the above doesn't even include the NBA, MLB, NHL and college games, all of which were great experiences!

Jon8
Jon8

Where to begin?

Did you ever contact security? No!

Did you ever contact the Redskins front office on Monday? No!

Your wife hit the nail on the head: With the bag ban: Well that stops new mom's from going to the games!! PRECISELY, no one wants to sit next to wailing infants and toddlers at a game! It is rude and self-indulgent!

I would think that your row is celebrating your departure!!!

couldgoalltheway
couldgoalltheway

I agree with the general point of the article and many of the comments below.  I've gone to several Bears games in the past 5 years and have never taken my kids and never will. Too many drunk, obnoxious wannabes in the stands trying to live vicariously through the team by threatening to pummel anyone wearing an opposing jersey, and each other after enough beers. I take my kids to the Cubs and Bulls instead and we have a great time, friendly atmosphere, no problems. The NFL has a big issue with fan conduct during games and you better believe Goodell is sweating it -- tell me the new clear bag policy for NFL games isn't designed at least in part to prevent people from bringing hard liquor into games.

jojo37
jojo37

Welcome to the real world of true sports fans: it's not easy, it's uncomfortable, game is always at the wrong time, family hates it, it's damn expensive and it makes absolutely no sense to go! But it's live and nothing beats the atmosphere of a live game, your team winning a close one! And end of the day that is the reason to come back on any given sunday. 

And to me that's the difference between a real supporter and someone who's just looking for some sort of entertainment and calls himself a fan. 

NYCKING
NYCKING

Went to my first NFL game in August Eagles/Jets.  It was peaceful but wouldn't go back the time it takes to go by train is 2 hours from where I am and 2.5 hours after game.  Would rather watch from comforts of my TV.

lionsgab
lionsgab

Hey, but the NFL is listening to their fans concerns about in stadium experiences!!!  They are installing WiFi and showing NFL Red Zone on the scoreboards!!!

Those owners sure understand what we fans want!!!  A bunch out out of touch money mongers.

sulaxdad
sulaxdad

I completely agree with this father, and for the same reason, I also gave up my Redskins season tickets. In fact, after a Redskins-Jets game a few years back, my daughter cried and asked me never to take her to another Redskins game. I am now a Ravens season ticket holder, and while not perfect, the times I have taken my daughter to the games, the people have been civil. The only NFL team that I know that has a family friendly section is the Jets. I refuse to ever attend any event at FedEx field again after my daughter was kicked in the head by a bunch of drunks at a Kenney Chesney concert in 2011. As long as the owner can squeeze a few more bucks out of worthless drunks who are willing to spend $10 on beer all day, the situation will never change. And the Washington media that gives 24-7 coverage to the Redskins 12 months out of a year is a joke. I absolutely love it when the Redskins lose. I too agree that the Wizards offer a great family experience, and I agree that most of the Wizards fans are polite and well-mannered. Not so much for the Capitals, sadly. They too have very loose alcohol policies and lax security. I have never had a problem at a Nats game or an O's game. If any of these professional sports leagues were serious about addressing this problem, they would institute a mandatory 2 beer per adult limit and once and for all refuse to admit fans who show up to a game intoxicated. This is wishful thinking though because there never seem to be any consequences of significance when it comes to owners who are willing to sacrifice fan enjoyment and safety for a chance to make a quick $50,000 by catering to drunken, worthless, degenerates. 

juprock
juprock

I was raised at the Vet 700 level. Guys in twenty degree weather, drinking, smoking, and swearing. All in their bright bleached

tighty-whitees. I love you Philadelphia. I get what your saying, but I would pay anything for that old feeling in the Vet. :)

BY
BY

Great summary of how bad the NFL "experience" is. I had the same thing with my daughter and her friend a ta Raider game. When I pointed out that two 8 year old girls could hear the response I got was "You should not have brought them." At that point I;'m thinking "If I kick this guy's ass, how many of his friends will jump in?" I'll never go to another NFL game and I have coached HS football for most of my adult life.

Ciscos
Ciscos

My last NFL gameday attendance was when the Raiders were still in LA and losing to the Chiefs in the first round of the playoffs.  Todd Marinovich was the QB that day.  That should put a date stamp for everyone reviewing this post.  1. Of course, it was a Raider game. 2. It was at the Coliseum and for some reason (not related to the community mind you) the Raiders + Coli = Bad fan experience. 3. The cost of "stuff" (food, water, etc) rivaled a day at Disneyland. Add to it the fresh aroma of natural herbs being smoked and upfront seats for several boxing matches, that included two main events with the LAPD - there's been no need to go again.  From all reports, it's gotten worse.

The NFL not only has a PR problem over the range of injuries issues, but it has a PR problem with family attendance.  They've slowly priced themselves outside of the reach for John and Jane Q Citizen and their kids.  The long term ramifications of such will be felt during the next generation.

asudevil
asudevil

AMEN! This is a big problem. I dont want to be afraid to take my 5 yr old son to games. What if I am not 260 and over 6 foot? I choose to stay at home but the experience for a little guy to go to games is priceless and will ensure he is a fan for many years, similar to our generation when we went for the first time.

operadeltaco
operadeltaco

Same thing happened to me, I grew up in Mexico City, a fan of the Oakland Riders and of all teams the Pittsburgh Steelers, my brother and I loved the rivalry and my dream was one day to share it with a son or daughter. Finally after moving to Canada I had the opportunity of attending a few games in Buffalo and bring one of my daughters with me, what happened that very first day was beyond my imagination and resembled more a bad soccer day than what I imagine was going to be the perfect day of a father introducing his daughter to the sport I loved. 

There was so many men and women drunk that my daughter was worried for the 2 and half quarters we could stand the spectacle, at one point a girl that was way pass drunk emptied to glasses of beer on another persons back, there were so many fights that I realized a times people were not watching the game but the fights, and so so many f bombs directed towards the visiting team and their fans that it was impossible to enjoy the experience, I still love foot ball but i wouldn't want to be back in a stadium, too much money, too much time and to many drunks ruining the experience of the few that choose not to drink and behave.

DavidVogler
DavidVogler

This is an interesting piece, and I think the author makes some good points about what the environment is like at nfl stadiums these days. Contrary to what some of the other commenters have said here, the nfl DOES want families to come to the games, that's how new fans are developed. I predict in ten years all stadiums will have dry sections for families and those who want to avoid the drunk fans. Beer is just one of many concessions available, the stadiums can make plenty of money off non-drinking fans.

What I was surprised to see missing from this piece is all the reasons that watching football at home is simply better than attending live. No commute, no parking costs, no dealing with weather. And unless you can afford expensive seats inside the 40's the view is just better on the flat screen. You can pause the game at home, buy a case of beer for the price of 3 at the park, hell you can even sit on the couch in your underwear playing candy crush on the ipad if that's your thing.

The biggest reason of all, that $1500 for season tix easily pays for the Sunday ticket package with tons to spare, allowing you to watch every game, not just your local team. And if you want to to take the $1000 or so you have left after that, get some great tickets to ONE home game, sit in some great seats, bring your young kids, whatever you want to do.

For decades, going to the game live was, if not the ONLY way to see a game, the best way of experiencing sports. With the way technology has developed in the last decade or so that is simply not true anymore.

Speed-Racer
Speed-Racer

I think those Redskins fans were going easy on him b/c he had a baby.  It's worse than he writes.  No one understands that the game is played on the field. Something as basic and simple as trying to sit in our own seats nearly gets us into a brawl.   

hansen100357
hansen100357

My last NFL game was my LAST for exactly the reasons in this article.  I love football but spend my stadium visit money on MLB.

MarkCalasade
MarkCalasade

I no longer attend NFL games either. The cost is exuberant, the seating uncomfortable, and the fans rude and obnoxious. I went back to happily watching the games on TV until last year when the rule changes started seriously changing the game. Now I catch a game every once in a while to kill time more than anything else. Needless to say, I am no longer a passionate football fan. Give me baseball. I love going to baseball games. The cost is less and the fans generally more polite. Much more enjoyable experience.

cramit60
cramit60

I have experienced all of the bad things mentioned when attending NFL games. Two things for me make it even worse is the one and a half hour drive to the stadium, 45 minutes of which is when the stadium is actually in site. The drive home takes even longer. And since the home team is the buffalo bills, and 90% of the people there are obnoxious, rowdy, drunks, dodging mini riots throughout the game is necessary. Throw in the crappy weather and watching the game from home is the better thing to do.

Igrokspock
Igrokspock

Seems like a debate between "NFL crowds are intolerable" vs "some aspects of your article color you as a bit of a naive yuppie." I don't see that they're necessarily mutually exclusive. NFL crowds - especially the cheaper seats ($1,500 is not that expensive for season tickets, by the way) - are merely a reflection of a society that is rotting from within. Sad? Yes. But how can this behavior surprise you?!? At the same time, even the most well behaved fans would be annoyed as hell that you brought a super young child to the game, walked around during plays, etc. You do come off at least a little like you might be self-righteous and naive-about-the-real-world. (And that would explain your appearance on a Peter King-branded site.) "Woe is me! Life is so hard bc I might have to worry about a babysitter." Get real man, or stop complaining and enjoy the periphery you are blessed to live in. Some people have real obstacles in life - these are the ones who are notsomuch feeling sorry for you.

BobDavis1
BobDavis1

You're a fat joke. It takes a real moron to bring a baby to a sporting event, let alone a loud football game. I bet you're the type of inconsiderate idiot who stays at the restaurant when your child is crying outrageously the whole time. Having to read your complaints on costs of the games is laughable as well. Perhaps you should drop the Wizards tickets or force your wife to find work like everyone else. Anyone who can afford seasons tickets for ANY professional sport should just shut up about the financial burden of it all. Another reason you're a punk is that you leave the game in the fourth quarter. What is the point of even going then? Unless your team is getting beat by 50, their is hardly an excuse to ever leave a game still in regulation. Also, everyone knows the uncouth fans sit upstairs. Cheap seats often attract the junkyard dogs you've had encounters with. This is nothing new. Lower level has their animals as well, but not nearly as many. I am a Chiefs fan who travels to at least two away games per season and have never had a negative experience. That goes for Oakland, Denver, even Philly. Sure I get some verbal jabs and bit of heckling but that's all part of the experience when you enter enemy territory. The fact that you have so much trouble at home games is baffling to me. Perhaps the dogs just smell the wimp in you. You're hardly a fan and not much of a man. By the way, it's 2013 dude, ditch the Panasonic and upgrade to a Samsung.

lisamarquez1004
lisamarquez1004

That is shocking to me! I'm from San Diego and rarely see that. San Diego is very lax compared to other stadiums.

bafga
bafga

@Jon8 yes, let's keep the toddlers out of the game.  We need that space for more drunk fans who spew vomit

43Creative
43Creative

@sulaxdad So, Daniel Snyder is responsible for the conduct of some drunk fans at a Kenny Chesney concert. You have 80,000+ different people, each with differing levels of civility and the owner of the team is at fault if someone acts like a fool? Boy am I glad I don't own a football team.

leroyquimby
leroyquimby

@juprock I was raised in the same place(actually section 647).  Yes, all of that stuff happened but everyone in my section brought food to share and we ate and the adults drank all game long.  We were like a Sunday family.  I too miss the Vet.

asudevil
asudevil

I bet all of those drunks and fighters had a family who's dad took them to their first game to become a fan. I wonder if they had the same experience then (I doubt it)? It is just sad that the memory they have that hooked them to this sport is the same memory they are not allowing the other generation to have. A kid now remembers the fight, the words, the way their mom was treated or their dad threatened versus the game experience. It is like that radio ad where the kids memory is of the hot dog and how they had to get one at the one game and not the actual game.

haluska
haluska

@MarkCalasade I agree 100%. But baseball is getting worse now, too. At my office we joke about not wanting to get knifed at Dodgers games so we should go see the Angels. Dodgers games are getting terrible unless you sit behind home plate. I don't want to bring my family to Dodgers games. It's just sad.

jojomogir
jojomogir

@Igrokspock You sound exactly like the kind of person that the writer (and I) are trying to avoid.

XPurdue
XPurdue

@Igrokspock Occaisonally one ends up moving a time or two during the game.  I am sure he probably waited for a change of possession or something, but even if he didn't it wasn't a reason for a near-fight.  Go to a Nationals ball-game, the environment is friendly, even with lots of drinking the people are not trying to kill one another.  People end up moving many times back to their seats at the beginning of innings - no complaints.

BTW if you try going somewhere at the end of a quarter, chances are you are not back in your seat before the next one starts as the concourses are packed.

esgalan2
esgalan2

@Igrokspock  The guy might have been naive, but he wised-up, and  that is what the story is about. 

He just tells us this : "here is what the NFL experience costs me, all told, here is what I get in return" . And he rightly concludes that this is not for him. I don't see how making that point aoumnt to complaining and feeling sorry for himself.

Actually I find it an interesting point of view : While the NFL makes a big fuss saying our product is for everybody (i.e 'togheter we make football" PR campaign), the fact is that young children are not welcome, as yourself said.

I don't care much one way or the other but there is a incoherence in the NFL policies there that should be addressed.

evileyefleagle
evileyefleagle

@BobDavis1  

Yo, Bob, it's 2013, man, and the top rated flat screen by televisions reviewed.com is the Panasonic Viera TC-P65ZT60.

esgalan2
esgalan2

@BobDavis1 Whoah ! 

You ARE one obnoxious fellow, aren't you ? Starting with insults, finishing with insults, is that your standard way of communication ?  You fail to make any valid points. The whole point of the piece is to say : I don't get good value for my money, and if you indeed are the "typical NFL fan" I can't  agree more with him !!!


FranklinMint
FranklinMint

@BobDavis1 Wow, you're a real piece of work. 

BTW, from your post, the reason you've never had a negative experience at a game is likely because you're one of the ones causing it for others.

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

Talk about jokes, Bob, you write like you're hammered or barely past puberty, or both.

SpencerJ
SpencerJ

@43Creative @sulaxdad That wasn't the only event at Fed Ex Field he cited.

Did you ignore that on purpose or are you illiterate?

Igrokspock
Igrokspock

I guess anecdotally I don't see the NFL pushing the "family fun" vibe as heavily as you do, but that might just be my own perception/experience. Fair enough.

I do think there is a subtext of the author lamenting some of the costs (as he describes them in various forms) - I

BobDavis1
BobDavis1

So says the huggy bear. Kill yourself dude.

XPurdue
XPurdue

@esgalan2 @BobDavis1 Lets see my last NFL game.  Beer dumped on me?  Check.  Profanities yelled at me?  Check.  A fan of the rival team wanting to fight?  Check.  Profanities yelled during game?  Lost count.  Not a child friendly environment by any means.

Which begs a question - if children are not welcome at these venues, where will future fans come from?  The NFL is supposedly about tradition, but without children there is no tradition.

your 'chiefs' and NFC west just does not take rivalries seriously like the NFC east / AFC north / NFC north does.

His point was what starts out as a $1500 expense quickly becomes a $2.5-3k expense and is harming the product for future generations.

BobDavis1
BobDavis1

Perhaps you should read the article again. That is not at all the whole point of the story.

BobDavis1
BobDavis1

You base that off what? I don't even drink at sporting events. I like to remember them.

BobDavis1
BobDavis1

I didn't write anything. Good reply, you delusional hack.

Igrokspock
Igrokspock

I guess anecdotally I don't see the NFL pushing the "family fun" vibe as heavily as you do, but that might just be my own perception/experience. Fair enough.

I do think there is a subtext of the author lamenting some of the costs (as he describes them in various forms) - I call that feeling sorry for himself. But as someone else punted out, and despite the NFL pushing the all ages, family thing apparently to some extent or the other, his situation is, I would argue, in the minority as far as game attendees goes. Again - my perception, admittedly. It's hard to cater to everyone, and less likely when many teams are enjoying good attendance. Maybe he should move to JAX? Wait - they just offered free beer to buy tix; on second thought that would be a bad idea.

Last, and with respect, to suggest the NFL is inconsistent or disingenuous is sort of like saying politicians sometimes seem to be partisan. See: safety issues (esp concussions), calling penalties, assessing fines, enforcement of nebulous parts of rules...and so on and so on.

The NFL is run by owners looking to maximize profits, and administered by an army of big-shot attys like Goodell. When you come to this realization (apologies to the NFLPA, but you are just a once-per-five-year hurdle) things will make a lot more sense. The NFL doesn't do what's "right" on any moral, ethical or best-interests-of-fans basis. It does what it believes will provide the largest revenue, the most market share, and the least legal exposure.

CMFJ
CMFJ

@XPurdue

Well said.

However, the AFC West does take their rivalries seriously.  Raiders/Broncos has as much animosity as any other NFL matchup.  Broncos fans even care about the Chiefs twice a year - the rivalries are that important.

BobDavis1
BobDavis1

The Chiefs are in the AFC West, moron. Don't talk to me about rivalries when you clearly know nothing about football.

BobDavis1
BobDavis1

Wrong. Get back to me when you actually read the article.

esgalan2
esgalan2

@BobDavis1

OK let me make this easy for you.

That is a story about  VALUE FOR MONEY. Familiar with the concept ? 

The guy says :

 1°) "Yes I could afford the expense for NFL season seats"

but 

2°) "What I get in return was not a good experience"

Hence 

3°) "I found a product suited to my needs elsewhere (the NBA)"  that is the wisening up (e.g the caption under his last picture).

Let's me point out  that he recounts his experience with very little bitterness if any : 

doesn't  condemn the NFL or the redskins, doesn't call for any alcool prohibition measure , avoids any kind of  broad moralizing statement, keeps on supporting his team. 

BobDavis1
BobDavis1

You also said earlier this was about him wising-up. Which one is it?

BobDavis1
BobDavis1

This had nothing to do with value. He even said he got a fair deal on the tickets. This is about the NFL and fans not catering to his preferences.

esgalan2
esgalan2

@BobDavis1 really what else is there ? And anyway does the guy deserves the abuse you see fit to heap upon him ? How about a little civility for a change?

Honorarius
Honorarius

@BobDavis1 Writing is a medium of communication that represents language through the inscription of signs and symbols... Even if you are typing, you are still 'writing'...

davidwoodweb
davidwoodweb

@BobDavis1 There is also a difference between "There, Their, and They're," and you've already botched it twice. I think you're the one who needs a dictionary.

ianlinross
ianlinross

@BobDavis1 Wow, what a knuckle-dragging moron you are. You must sit on your girlfriend's lap during the games. You're the kind of dirt bag I signal to security to haul his butt out by the second quarter. 

BobDavis1
BobDavis1

Their is a difference between writing and typing. Go fetch a dictionary.

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