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

    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 10:01 am on April 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: NFL, , , Stadiums   

    The Raiders moving to Vegas is a symptom of a much larger disease 

    The Raiders moving to Vegas is a symptom of a much larger disease

    When it came to the NFL, for many years the city of Los Angeles was always a bridesmaid but never a bride. Whenever an NFL team wanted their city to chip in public money for a new stadium, the team would always threaten to move to L.A. Two teams finally made good on those threats when St. Louis and San Diego told the Rams and Chargers respectively, to take a hike. L.A. went from being a the biggest major market without a football team, to having two teams in less than a year. At one time, the Raiders themselves were in an agreement with the Chargers to share a stadium in L.A. with their AFC West rivals.

    Now with the second largest media market out of reach, where could the Raiders threaten to go to try to get a new stadium out of Oak Town’s coffers? With Los Angeles being at capacity Las Vegas became the next logical market to court. While not as large a market as Los Angeles, or even Baltimore, Las Vegas does attract many travelers from across the country to its glitzy attractions.

    The problem here is that it seems more than likely that the Raiders had no intention of staying in Oakland. Former Raiders and 49ers Hall of Fame player Ronnie Lott headed a business consortium that not only would have created a smaller but more modern and lucrative stadium, but the City of Oakland itself agreed to the deal and had promised to kick in a share of the cost. It would have been a new stadium with luxury suites and plenty of space for concessions which the aging Oakland Coliseum is said to have lacked. It also would have kept the stadium in the same relative area as the Coliseum. However, Raiders owner Mark Davis, and his haircut, had been visiting Las Vegas for the past year, entering into talks with various businessmen including local billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Even when Adelson pulled out of helping the Raiders financially in their move to Vegas, Davis went full speed ahead with the move anyway. while it’s not the Colts moving out of Baltimore in the middle of the night, it’s still an egregious show of disrespect to the Raider faithful. To make matters worse, Davis has sent out e-mails to Raiders ticket holders to make their deposits now for their games in Vegas. That’s a 9 hour drive at over 500 miles, which basically shows that the Raiders don’t want the lunch pail fans, but more of the wine and cheese crowd which goes against everything the Raiders have stood for in the past.

    Therein lies the problem with the modern NFL, it hasn’t been about the fans for years now. It’s all about the owners and their greed. The NFL owners voted almost unanimously to approve the Raiders’ move to Vegas. The lone holdout was Miami Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross, who used private money to renovate the Dolphins’ stadium. With the exception of stadium stalwarts like Lambeau Field in Green Bay or Soldier Field in Chicago, stadiums have become largely disposable. Stadiums that had been previously thought of as hallowed grounds like Three Rivers in Pittsburgh and Texas Stadium in Dallas have all fallen to the proverbial wrecking ball, however, in those cases at least the teams stayed in their markets. Who’s to say that with the current climate among NFL owners we wouldn’t one day see the Portland Steelers or the San Antonio Cowboys? In a few years the new sign of urban, and in some cases suburban, blight will be the carcasses of old sports stadiums littered across the country. While the Raiders may have not been the first to eschew their fans in pursuit of the almighty dollar, they’re certainly a huge part of a much larger problem that one day just may price the NFL out of existence.

     
  • Greg Collier 3:32 pm on February 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Denver Broncos, NFL, Peyton Manning, , scandal, sexual assault, , University of Tennessee, USA Today   

    Is Peyton Manning Benefitting from a news media’s double standard? 

    newsmediaIt’s tough to dislike Peyton Manning.

    In the NFL, Manning has been one of the types of players that make the league look good. On the field, he may be an aggressive and focused player but he’s also a good sport who rarely loses his cool. Off the field, he’s soft-spoken and mild-mannered, a poster child for the clean-cut All-American image that any sports team would happily put into the public spotlight and any sponsor would be comfortable with in a TV commercial.

    But now, as the Denver Broncos quarterback ponders retirement at the top of his professional game, an old story is surfacing about about a younger Peyton, a 20-year-old quarterback at the University of Tennessee who dropped his pants and pushed his genitals into the face of a female trainer who was examining his foot in a training room. He would later say that he was mooning another athlete — but the incident led to a settlement that kept the story quiet. After all, he was a star quarterback on the rise and his school or family didn’t want to see his image tarnished.

    In 2003, years before Twitter or Facebook would help stories spread across the Internet quickly, the incident surfaced again after Manning mentioned it in his and his father’s autobiography. USA Today picked up the details and published a story about it back then – but the story didn’t really gain any traction with any other news outlets.

    Now, just days after the Super Bowl, the incident came to light again when the New York Daily News published a story that declared that Manning’s “squeaky clean image was built on lies.” Granted, that’s a little sensationalistic – but you would think that, with a headline like that, the national sports media would dig into the story and bring it to light. You would think that people across Twitter and Facebook would be sharing this story and chiming in the way they did with Tom Brady’s Deflategate scandal or Ray Rice’s infamous elevator video.

    Instead, they’re talking about Donald Trump and leaving Peyton Manning alone.

    Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith recently chimed in to blame the news media for intentionally turning a blind eye on Peyton’s sexual scandal story. The media was all over Deflategate, as well as the Ray Rice video story. But national media has been slow to come out with their own versions of the story, even though the court documents that offer details of the incident are readily available.

    Personally, I’m torn about Peyton’s actions from 20 years ago, Part of me feels like the incident was an isolated one that involved poor judgement by a young athlete. Should we really be acting like judge and jury about an incident that occurred so long ago? Isn’t it better to move on and judge Peyton by the legacy he’s built during his NFL years?

    In some ways, it feels hypocritical to give Peyton Manning a free pass for something that happened years ago when we as a society are unforgiving of a man like Bill Cosby, who is facing serious allegations about sexual assaults that occurred many years ago. I realize that the allegations against Cosby were far more serious and were not limited to a single incident or person. But what’s the threshold for holding someone responsible for something that happened many years ago? Is it OK to give Peyton a pass when we’re not willing to do that for others?

    There’s no easy answer to this question but it feels like the news media is choosing to answer this question for us. By not reporting the story, by not digging deeper into the incident, by not putting Peyton on the hot seat to address it, the news media is telling the general public that this Peyton Manning scandal isn’t really that big of a deal.

    I’d rather see the news media invest some resources into this story – just as it would with other scandals – and let the public determine its worthiness. If the story resonates with the public, then maybe it’s worth digging in deeper. If the public doesn’t care or otherwise respond to the story, then news editors – who hold the power to determine what people know about and what they don’t – will have an answer to that question.

    Until the media does its job of reporting the news, the general public will never be able to make its own determination about whether Peyton’s squeaky clean image has been tarnished or whether an incident that occurred in the past should stay there.

     
    • sandrea Reynolds 8:50 pm on February 26, 2016 Permalink

      You know the media has to protect that squeaky clean image of that white boy spoiled degenerate.

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

     
  • Greg Collier 6:24 am on September 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: abuse, Adrian Peterson, , , NFL, , ,   

    NFL Under Fire: What Happens after the Buck Stops? 

    perceptionFor sake of full disclosure, I’m a big fan of NFL football – the rivalries, the loyalty of the fans, the final-second plays that lead to victories and upsets. What I’m not a fan of is the off-the-field behavior that has dominated headlines early in this season.

    In a league as large as the NFL, there’s bound to be a few bad seeds in the bunch. But the gravity of these allegations – domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual assault and more – have put a spotlight on the NFL’s inability to control bad behavior. Sure, the league issued fines and suspensions – but for the most part, those sorts of punishments are just for show. As soon as a player makes a big play on the field, the coaches, the owners, the league – and even the fans – are quick to forgive.

    But as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has learned in recent weeks, there’s no touchdown or interception out there – no matter how dramatic – that is going to give the NFL a free pass on this latest controversy.

    That’s why Goodell, the guy who stands where the buck stops, held a press conference to announce the efforts that he’s taking to… actually, we don’t really know what he’s going to do to make things better. He talked about making mistakes and learning from them. He mentioned something about committees and policies and changes that should be in place by the Super Bowl.

    It’s no wonder that Goodell’s face was splattered across newspaper tabloids with headlines that read: “That’s it?”

    Goodell summoned the press because his old-stand-by actions of issuing meaningless fines and minor suspensions wasn’t enough to make all of this go away. By the time he faced the press, the story had shifted away from the players and their bad behavior. Instead, the public had made Goodell the face of the controversy.

    Goodell missed an opportunity to make things right with that press conference. He could have stepped up and talked about zero tolerance policies and mandatory training programs that were being put into place across the league, effective immediately. Instead, he went on and on about making mistakes and how changes were coming – months from now, once we get to the end of the season and fans start shifting their attention.

    Earlier this year, I chimed in about the controversy surrounding the now-former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling. At the time, I noted that the boss – even if he’s the owner of a professional sports team – always answers to someone. There is no free pass against bad behavior, no matter who you are. Fast forward to today and the Sterling is no longer the owner of the Clippers.

    It kind of makes me wonder if Goodell is next to go.

    Maybe it’s unfair to compare Goodell to Sterling. After all, Sterling let garbage spew from his mouth and then made no apology for it. Goodell, by contrast, hasn’t been videotaped smacking a woman around in an elevator.

    But, in the court of public opinion, is there any difference?

    It’s never good when the boss gets busted spewing racist remarks. But some might say it’s even worse when the boss knows about bad behavior – and then seems to turn a blind-eye to it. You might argue that point with me – but, perception is a real thing. And it definitely matters.

    Let’s be honest. Goodell’s press conference had nothing to do with the off-the-field actions of its players. It had nothing to do with Goodell’s softball response to those actions. No, this press conference was all about Goodell saving his job and saving face for the league.

    Given his handling of the entire situation, it seems that the only way the league can save face on this one is to start thinking about a new commissioner, someone who will get it right when it matters most.

     
    • LadyT 9:20 am on September 23, 2014 Permalink

      Goodell and the NFL should remember another leader that turned a blind eye – Joe Paterno. Too many innocent victims in the name of Football!

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