In regards to the team's struggles with selling out games -- remember that they needed strong days last week against Atlanta and "great" days this week inside the team's ticket office -- one segment on Lance McAlister's show got me... Because it's a perspective that I can understand. If you have children, why would you take them to an NFL game? An email from a fan that went to Sunday's game against the Falcons wrote... via Lance's blog.
I decided to take my son (9 years old) to his first Bengals game at PBS. My son is a huge football fan who plays in 3 fantasy leagues in his own right. Although, he roots for some other teams, the Bengals are one of his favorites. He was excited out of his mind to go to the game and I was looking forward to the experience.
However, after two fights and more expletives than I have ever heard in my life, I don't think we will be attending another game any time soon, even with free tickets. When we got to the game and got to our seats as kickoff happened, an already drunk fan was trying to lead our section in a "F**K the Falcons" tirade. By the end of the first quarter, the police had been summoned to the section one section over from ours. There had been a huge altercation and the police ended up leading someone from the stands.
We were sitting pretty high up in the stands and the beer vendor finally came up to the seats 10 rows from the top. This obviously drunk fan tore this vendor a new one with more F bombs and other things about why it took so long for the vendor to get up there. Instead of refusing to serve, the beer vendor gave him two more tall boy BUDs. The vendor then figured out what a gold mine he had and stayed in our section for the next two quarters. He only left to refill his case and hurried to get back up there.
And then, when he saw the third quarter was almost over, the beer vendor announced beer sales were about to be done. You should have seen the money flowing. I don't know where all these twenty-somethings get their disposable cash, but I swear the beer vendor sold 30 beers at 8.50 a shot in under ten minutes.
Anyway, there was another altercation between two fans in the beginning of the fourth qtr. The only reason that it did not come to blows is that someone with some sense stepped in to separate the two who were about to go at it right in the stands.
It was not all bad. We did get to see some great moments on the field. However, the fights and the cussing and all that constantly drew my attention from the field. It was hard to follow. After the game, my son said he has a better time sitting at home with DirecTV and our HD. I have to agree with him. I asked if he wanted to go to any more games, and he said only the Reds, not the Bengals.
It's a telling fact when there is a constant sign on the scoreboard for the JERK line. But what was I going to do, call about every person in my section? I would have cleaned out at least 3 complete rows. There were others like me who just wanted to watch the game and were frustrated with all this crap surrounding us. The only thing I had over them is that I went for free where they had to pay. That has to suck.
I have rethought my position on the blackouts. I used to be mad about them. However, if that is the NFL policy - then fine. I know what the alternative is and there is no way I would pay to go have the experience I had today. I may be an overprotective parent, but my son did not even know how to react to the constant bombardment of expletives and drunkenness. Going to an NFL game at a stadium is way over-rated. Sorry for the long email, but just wanted to share.