08/16/15 by Rennie Detore
My friend called me a few weeks ago and told me he received his season tickets for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season.
He'll call so we can determine who gets to go to what game, and I'll get first dibs on whatever regular season game I want to see.
Maybe the Ravens or Bengals, given their division rivalries being put on the forefront.
The key to our discussion always revolves around regular season games, but he is on the hook to pay for preseason tickets, too, and those are essentially blank sleeves of cardboard given the fact that he can't give them away, nor does anyone ever really pay much attention to them, except for those die hard fans that can't get enough football in August.
My friend, of course, isn't happy that he pays face value for tickets that he doesn't use, and debate has raged on that these preseason tickets shouldn't even be included in the package or at least be optional.
Preseason football isn't really, truly meant for fans. The games are practices, essentially, against other teams. They have pads and plays, coaches calling out numbers and asking for situations like fourth and whatever to be tacked, but the game is more about showcasing talent that is going to be back ups at best and practice squad members likely, and also giving starters a few reps here and there, ones that they really don't need. The argument is that the starters need live actions reps to get the speed of the game down. Do you really think a 10 year all pro, Hall of Fame bound quarterback needs to know he went 3 for 3 on one series?
No, absolutely not.
Fans check out these games on TV at best to see a few glimpses of football since it has been on hiatus for six months. Aside from that, no one is going to games, nor is anyone going to pay money for a ticket.
These games are about evaluating talent and ESPN and Fox Sports to devote countless, useless hours to breaking down film on guys that are rookies or potential break out starters so they can get their paychecks and fantasy football players can start sizing up their draft boards.
Aside from that, no one cares and even the players are going about half speed in the games themselves, except for those who are still trying to earn a roster spot.
What happens on the field is surely not about winning or losing but rather putting together a glorified scrimmages for the sake of revenue and television.
It certainly isn't about fans, like my friend, sifting through stack of tickets that he paid for and no one, himself included, wants.
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