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  • Geebo 8:58 am on September 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Carolina Panthers, , football, , ,   

    New football season brings about old ticket scams 

    New football season brings about old ticket scams

    This past weekend, or this past Thursday if you want to be pedantic, was the start of the NFL pro football season. And with the start of the new season comes the mad scramble for tickets to see the games live. If you’re not a season ticket holder, good tickets can be hard to come by sometimes. In days gone by this would lead you to enlist the services of a ticket scalper. While the tickets were inordinately expensive, they were more often than not the genuine article. In today’s electronic world, tickets have become easier to fake and have led to an increase in ticket scams.

    For example, a woman in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area recently lost almost $1800 to a craigslist ticket scammer. The victim, a real estate agent, wanted tickets to yesterday’s Carolina Panthers home opener against the Dallas Cowboys. She had sent the money to the scammer after communicating with the alleged scammer over the phone and friending him on professional social networks. After she sent the money the scammer stopped taking her calls and never sent the tickets. This particular scammer is said to be so prolific that even the Panthers organization is familiar with him. The victim herself is said to be no stranger to craigslist scams since she deals with them in her day job but sadly fell for one anyway. This is even after the Panthers and many NFL teams limited customers in the way many of them receive electronic or paper tickets.

    If you’re looking to attend a football game this season, try to avoid places like craigslist for buying tickets. You may think you’re saving money or buying a hard to get ticket, but in the long run, you could end up losing your money and not being able to attend the game. While the prices for NFL tickets may be exorbitant these days, we do recommend that you only buy them from either the team themselves, licensed retailers, or authorized resellers. This way you can assure yourself that you and your family won’t be turned away from the gate on game day.

     
  • Geebo 11:16 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: football, ,   

    The Raiders’ move to Las Vegas is a losing gamble 

    The Raiders' move to Las Vegas is a losing gamble

    Very few teams in the NFL have a history as storied as the Raiders. Between their origins and history in Oakland and their 12-year stint in Los Angeles, the Raiders are synonymous with football in California. That’s why it came as a shock to many that the NFL owners almost unanimously approved the Raiders’ request to move to Las Vegas. While Raiders ownership may be dazzled by the promise of a $1.9 billion brand new stadium in Las Vegas, this move may be a losing bet not only for the Raiders but for Sin City as well.

    Las Vegas has been unsuccessfully trying to get a pro franchise for decades. They had a CFL team during the American Expansion period of the 1990s, which only lasted a single season. Similarly the city had the Las Vegas Outlaws of the ill-fated XFL. Las Vegas also has a similar problem to that of Los Angeles. While LA now has the Rams again and the incoming Chargers, most Southern California football fans spend their entertainment dollars on the established USC Trojans. Currently in Las Vegas, the big football ticket is the UNLV Rebels. The NFL will have a hard time pulling Las Vegas diehards away from the Rebels to see the Raiders.

    Las Vegas is paying for the new stadium with a hotel tax. That amount represents their contribution of a much larger price tag. You’d think that if any town could pull that off, it’s Las Vegas due to the fact that they are a top travel destination in the US. The problem is that hotel tax is also used for things like schools and public transportation. You could raise the hotel tax but that could start making hotels more expensive than your average traveler is willing to pay, and with gambling legal in many states now, Las Vegas doesn’t have the must see appeal that it used to. Combine that with the fact that Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson pulled out of his part of the deal, the Raiders have to pony up $650 million of their own money.

    This also isn’t taking into account that the Raiders will only be using the new stadium for 8 days out of the year without counting preseason games or possible playoff appearances. How is the city going to fill the stadium for the rest of the year as Las Vegas has no shortage of already established entertainment venues? As Stanford sports economist Roger Noll said to the Bay area media

    “It’s not in the casinos’ interest for you to fly into Vegas for the weekend and then have you spend half a day at the football stadium,” Noll said. “They attract you to gamble, go to the shows and eat at the expensive restaurants.

    He also added that “This is the worst deal for a city I have ever seen.”

    The reality is that the City of Oakland needs the Raiders. Unfortunately, the Raiders were unimpressed with the offers made by the city, necessitating the move to Las Vegas. With the Raiders moving to Las Vegas and the Golden State Warriors of the NBA moving to San Francisco, not only is the city losing two major revenue streams but also the number of jobs that went along with both of those franchises. As a city, Oakland was on the upswing when it came to being a viable market as an alternative to the other much more expensive cities in the Bay Area. With the loss of the Raiders, not only has it lost one of its few major attractions, but it may have lost its ability to attract bigger financial opportunities for the city which in the long-term will see a decline in Oakland’s standard of living.

     
  • Greg Collier 3:28 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FIFA, football, futbol, New England Patriots, , , soccer, ,   

    Today’s state of sports: Kids could teach the pros a thing or two 

    Over a recent weekend, I spoke with a friend who had spent the past couple of months coaching a little league team of 8-year-old boys. The kids had a good season, he said, emphasizing that “good” didn’t necessarily mean “winning.” Sure, they won their share of games, he said. But they lost a couple of heartbreakers, too.

    Still, he said, all of the kids had a good season. Some really improved their skills. Others picked up some confidence in their abilities. And at the end-of-the-season party, the kids talked about great catches and good hits instead of victories or losses. For these little kids, the game was still just that – a game. And winning wasn’t everything.

    The grown-ups today sure could learn a thing or two from these kids.

    A few weeks ago, just after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down his punishments on the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady for their roles in the “deflategate” scandal at the end of last season, I started to write a blog post about my disgust with the whole episode. But what could I say that I hadn’t said in an earlier blog post?

    But then came the next scandal – corruption at the highest levels of FIFA, the organization behind professional soccer. I’m not as much of a soccer fan as I am of the NFL but you had to admit, this scandal had all of the juicy elements of any good scandal – charges of racketeering, bribery, money laundering and fraud, the organization’s president suddenly resigning and confessions starting to emerge.

    I’m not naive enough to think that corruption – whether bribery or cheating – is new to the world of sports. And I certainly recognize that the outrage over FIFA’s bribes and Brady’s deflated footballs will eventually fade, especially when the next not-yet-known point-shaving scandal or juicing-gate something or other surfaces.

    Already, the New England Patriots have said that the team won’t fight Goodell’s punishment, choosing instead to “move on” and focus on the upcoming season – without admitting any guilt, of course. But, still, I found myself searching for the right words to express the betrayal and disgust I had been feeling about all of this.

    That’s when I read a quote from Andrew Jennings, the journalist and author who, for years, has been crying “foul” about corruption at FIFA and is largely being credited for sparking the downfall of the FIFA leadership. Shortly after the headlines broke, Jennings spoke to the Washington Post about the FIFA executives. He said:

    “I know that they are criminal scum, and I’ve known it for years. And that is a thoughtful summation. That is not an insult. That is not throwing about wild words. These scum have stolen the people’s sport. They’ve stolen it, the cynical thieving bastards.”

    Finally, someone spoke the words that I’ve struggled to find for months. These grown-ups are stealing our sports – and not just from us. They’re stealing the game from little kids,too. I can’t help but think of those 8-year-old little-leaguers and how they were perfectly content with winning some and losing some this past season.

    I know a lot of young athletes look to the pros as role models and aspire to be like them some day. But for once, I wish the tables were turned. I wish the grown-ups would take a look at some of these kids and behave more like them. It might bring some of the integrity back to the game.

     
  • Greg Collier 8:33 am on January 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AFC Championship, Bill Belichick, Cheating, deflated, , football, New England, , Patriots, ,   

    Cheating in the NFL: Here’s One Simple, but Tough, Question for the New England Patriots 

    skirtingI have only one question for the person who deflated 11 of the 12 footballs for the New England Patriots when they played against the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC Championship earlier this month.

    Was it worth it?

    I mean, here we are, counting down the days until the Super Bowl, the biggest game of the year, and instead of listening to radio hosts and TV analysts talk about the strengths of a running game or weaknesses in the defense, I’m listening to questions about quarterback Tom Brady’s integrity and suggestions that Coach Bill Belichick be suspended from the Super Bowl.

    Was it worth all of this just to gain an advantage that the Patriots really didn’t need? After all, what were the chances that the Patriots were going to lose to the Colts – at home, in 50-degree (instead of 15-degree) weather? They were the better team going into that game – and everyone knew it. The fans knew it. The pundits knew it. Even the Las Vegas oddsmakers knew it. And you know what? The Patriots played like the better team. They played hard. The executed plays. They earned that win, fair and squ… er, wait. Well, maybe not fair and square.

    And therein lies the problem. I’ve read blog comments from those who say this is a silly debate, that the deflating of the balls didn’t even make a difference in the outcome of the game. But they’re missing the bigger point. Every game – whether football, baseball, Checkers or Tic-Tac-Toe – has a set of rules. That’s how the integrity of every game is maintained, knowing that even though there is always a winner and always a loser, no one side had an unfair advantage going into the matchup.

    When you try to skirt the rules, you’re labeled a cheater. And, as we’re rediscovering in the aftermath of this particular NFL game, no one likes a cheater.

    Sure, the NFL has promised a thorough investigation and the Patriots have offered their full cooperation – but does it really matter? Even if the truth never comes out, there will always be an asterisk next to that win and next to the Super Bowl score if the Patriots win it. Their wins are tainted because trust has been lost. When the Patriots take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, plenty of people tuned in to the biggest sporting event of the year will have an opinion on the integrity of the Patriots.

    It won’t be a very nice opinion, I suspect.

    Let’s face it. The New England Patriots have betrayed the trust of sports fans everywhere and now have to work extra hard to shake that perception of being a team of cheaters. Did you see how that works? The perception of being cheaters is how the court of public opinion works. The court of public opinion isn’t always fair and rarely does it wait for investigations to be completed before it issues its own ruling. That puts the NFL and the Patriots in the uncomfortable position of trying to restore trust to a public audience that has already reached a conclusion. .

    So, again, was it worth it to deflate those balls – or have them deflated? Is it ever worth it when the risk is being labeled a cheater?

    That’s actually a question for life, not just sports. Is it ever worth it when you try to rig the game, when you try to cut corners or take advantage of others, just to get an edge that you really didn’t deserve? Is there ever a way to justify deception? Is there a way to move past it quickly?

    Look at the examples that are taking place in everyday life.

    One of the most divisive issues that the country is facing right now is income inequality – not because some people have or make more money than others, but because of allegations that the playing field isn’t fair. Some argue that the wealthy are unfairly given the advantage of tax loopholes that help them to acquire even more wealth at the expense of the middle class. What about the arguments about people who unfairly get government handouts that others don’t get? In both examples, it comes down to a fairness issue, the feeling that someone else is cheating the system to get ahead.

    And what about the ongoing fury over policing in America? Some communities argue that police unfairly treat some groups of people better than others, that they are quicker to shoot in some communities than in others. Are people upset because they feel they’re being unfairly profiled and targeted by police? Or are they upset that the rules aren’t being applied fairly, that police treat one community different than others? In the end, it’s all about fairness – and when one group cheats for their own advantage, it really makes others angry.

    Whether government or business or sports or just life in general, no one wants to feel that they’ve been cheated because someone else was given an unfair advantage. We’re a country of equal opportunities, right? That’s what we’re taught as children – work hard, do your best and play by the rules and you can succeed.

    But when cheating leads to winning or when winners turn to cheating, it ruins the whole “game” for everyone, whether that game is football or business or taxes or even a relationship. Getting that trust back, clearing your reputation or just trying to shake that stupid asterisk from the final score of your victory seems to be so much harder than just playing by the rules in the first place.

    So, again, I ask the question to those behind this deflating: Was it worth it?

    I suspect it wasn’t.

     
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