Wow. Talk about a stupid PR move. Let’s look at the past year for the Colts shall we? Eventhough fans fussed for years for a viable back-up in case the third best QB to ever play gets hurt, you give us my grandpa and “bounce the ball to my receivers” Curtis Painter as the alternatives. The team sucks ass because the great and powerful Peyton Manning does get hurt. The team posts a 2 – 14 record. You cut said third greatest QB to ever play the game. Gut the team of damn near every star fans have come to love. Continue to say that it will take years to rebuild the team. And after all this, you still have only 2000 tickets to sell to each game. So instead of thanking your lucky stars that you still have that much fan support, you go and piss off your fans even more.
The NFL has realized that attendance may become a problem due to all the alternative ways to watch their games and has given teams the ability to avoid blackouts if 85% of tickets are sold to each game. Not a bad idea considering the economy, HD tv, the NFL packages, etc. The best way for NFL teams to market themselves is to give their fans the ability to see their teams, be it at home or at the stadium.
The Colts, however, have said that they will blackout games if 100% of tickets aren’t sold. Dumbasses. They obviously think they still have all lot of good will in the bank after the last 14 years. Have they seen the angered responses from fans? They overestimated themselves.
I personally don’t have a problem with this. I get that they want to “protect the gameday experience”, i.e. their pocketbooks. I was going to try and go to games this year anyway just in case they couldn’t sell tickets and there was a blackout under the old rules.
No, what annoys me is the lack of understanding by the Colts of where they are in the eyes of fans right now. I’ve been reading the chatboards and the talkbacks of articles. A lot of people think that this franchize is going to suck for the next decade. I know that the fans on those boards represent a minority of fans, but that’s what the Colts are missing from tickets sales, a small amount. Instead of taking one year off from the old blackout rule to prove that this team will return to the upper echelon of the NFL quickly, you want to block the fans who are on the fence or are following Denver from seeing your product. People don’t just want to hear that their team is improving. They have to see it for themselves. If the games aren’t on tv, the fans the Colts are trying to get back won’t come back this year. Maybe never if they’re angry enough.
Look, Jim Irsay, throw those fans a bone. Heck throw all fans a bone. A lot of people can’t afford to go to games. This rule hurts them too. Drive around the city, Jimbob. Look at all the empty stores for lease. The NFL economy make be just fine, but Indiana’s isn’t. Your team is rebuilding right now and pissing off the fan base is not a good idea. Go ask the Pacers. Their fans, me included, were royally honked off by that franchize (the players) and eventhough the team had the fifth best record in the NBA last year, ticket sales are still a concern.
Don’t go down this path right now BillyBobJoeJohnJim Irsay. Throw all fans a bone, rebuild your fan base as you rebuild your team, and go with the 85% level now. Once your fans see what that this team will return to glory, then you can be dicks. But not yet. Field of Dreams was right. Build it and they will come, but the fans have to see it being built in the first place.
End of Line.