The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

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

Gor­don Gekko

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