CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 11: Chris Crocker #42 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates with fans after the Bengals defeated the Cleveland Browns 27-17 at Cleveland Browns Stadium during a season opener on September 11, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bengals defeated the Browns 27-17. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
If there was a chance that Paul Brown Stadium would sellout after a surge in ticket sales due to the team's surprising start, we would have heard about it before the 1 p.m. deadline on Thursday that would have lifted the blackout. Obviously no story broke, no hopeful posting that the team is closing in or that they're requesting an extension from the league office; there's plenty of available tickets for Sunday's regular season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
Bengals starting safety Chris Crocker was asked about it on Thursday:
“(The fans) have a right to their opinion. They pay for the tickets. If they don’t see us putting our best foot forward, they won’t show up. It’s OK. We in this locker room don’t really worry who is in the stands or if it’s a packed house or not. We have to go out there and try and win ballgames.”
Don't tell me Crocker doesn't understand. Don't tell me our starting strong safety doesn't recognize the financial issues faced by many hard-working Cincinnatians, most of whom paid for the beautiful stadium by the river and won't have the opportunity to watch Sunday's game from their own living room. And you can thank the NFL for that, who helped establish a quality viewing experience from home, where it's become more practical and common sense financially.
Don't tell me Crocker doesn't understand that the price for a family of four (tickets, parking, concessions) is nearly the cost for a decent computer that could be used for the kids and their school work. Don't tell me he doesn't understand that some of us work 70-80 hours a week and a nice Sunday afternoon to relax in our living rooms while enjoying a Bengals game is something we actually look forward to.
It's not just a matter of opinion, it's a matter of being priced out of Paul Brown Stadium.