reed is good,” Gordon Gekko, the famous movie villain of “Wall Street,” told us. But only for a little while. Eventually greed costs too much, as some of the owners of professional football are learning this weekend.
Three of the four clubs in the playoffs can’t sell all their tickets, and without a sellout their fans can’t watch the game on television because the city — not only the city, but the region — is blacked out. The owners arranged this years ago to intimidate fans into buying tickets, or else.
Tickets cost up to $300 each, or more, depending on the city and the club, but the billionaire owners and millionaire players can’t understand why anybody should object. Isn’t everyone who isn’t a billionaire a millionaire?
The owners reckon the only solution to their fans falling away is to emulate the taxpayer-supported Public Broadcasting System, and hold endless begging sessions. In Cincinnati, where the Bengals made the playoffs, the club management shot a video with several players begging fans to buy tickets. One former player, made a millionaire by the fans, said he would buy the 8,000 unsold tickets, but this turned out to be merely boasting that he was rich enough to do it. He was actually only joking.
In Green Bay, where the Packers have cultivated the legend that people put their newborn babies on the waiting list for tickets in the hope that one day they, too, might have the opportunity spend a few hours on a Sunday freezing in the thrill of sleet and freezing rain so the owners can enjoy the warmth of a fire and 12-year-old Scotch in their luxury boxes.
Dirty players who get away with slap shots across the side of a helmet or a thumb in the eye of a defender could learn a lot about the art of the gouge by watching executives from the front office. Parking is beyond priceless, and some