Yes, this is a blog about the Steelers, but every once in a while, I can’t help write about my other “hometown” – Washington, DC. Â I have never been one to hide my disdain for Redskins owner, Dan Snyder. Â I know that comes as a surprise, right?
Since he bought the Redskins, he’s not done anything that I can remember that didn’t benefit him directly. Â Sure, the NFL at the end of the day is a business…but that business depends on fans who want to buy season tickets, come to games and buy concessions and even go and buy jerseys that cost on average $75.00 a pop.
Big Dan takes the business way too far. Â He absolutely disrespects the fans and therefore the fans disrespect everyone else. Â I’m one of those Steelers fans who has been able to get Club tickets for nearly every game the Steelers play in FedEx. Â And the Redskins fans hate it. Â I don’t blame them, really, but I am also not one to turn down the chance to see my team play in my current hometown. Â The fans anger is really misguided – it should be directed at Big Dan.
This week, the Post points out, in a series of stories (here, here and here) how Big Dan has quite frankly played the “okie doke” on the fans and essentially done everything to maximize profit. Â Sure, the NFL, like any other business should make money…that’s the ultimate goal….but at what cost?
Good ownership means a lot and Big Dan, in my opinion is the worst owner in the NFL. Â I agree with Washington Post columnist Boswell on this one.
All this to say, as Steelers fans, we should thank our lucky stars the Rooney’s have respect for fans and they allow the coaching staff to do what they do best – Coach. Â We have six Lombardi’s because we have outstanding talent, we have great coaches and we have owners who trust in the staff they have put in place to run the team while they do what they do – deal with the NFL on the business side. Â I’ve said in numerous other posts (here and here, specifically) how lucky the city of Pittsburgh is to have such great owners.
But let’s take a look at the numbers…
And by the way, tell me a time when you go to Heinz field (or Three Rivers before that) when you see more of the opposing teams colors and less black and gold – taking over a stadium by the opposition would never happen in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers averaged 62,890 fans per home game in 2008. Â Granted, Heinz field is not the biggest stadium in the NFL – but it’s always full. In fact, Pittsburgh has sold out 281 Â home games in a row dating back to the game against the Bengals in November of 1972.
Pretty impressive. Â The Steelers may not be the “richest” franchise in the NFL per ROI, but we definitely are the richest in fan base, loyalty to team, good coaching staff and great ownership. Â Take note all you “haters” out there…while you might not like us, how can you not respect us?
Again, I have sympathy for Redskins fans…all you want to do is support your team and love football. Â I get it. Â But don’t disrespect me when I come to your stadium because my team is playing and your owner has essentially enabled me to do so….blame the man in charge.
He’s the one who clearly doesn’t give a damn about Washington, DC, the fans or quite frankly creating a winning team (I’m not even gonna get started here today on the revolving door of coaches and player trade drama).
Regardless, all of this nonsense just solidifies for my why I am a Steelers fan.