Saturday, September 5, 2009
In the Sept. 3 front-page article about the Redskins' zealous efforts to collect from defaulting ticket contract holders ["Hard Luck Runs Into Team's Hard Line"], General Counsel David Donovan was quoted as saying that "everyone that you can identify who is unhappy about the negotiation, I could find you 12 where the fan was appreciative and grateful at the efforts we went to to work out the situation." I think The Post should take Mr. Donovan up on his offer and publish the findings.
I can understand the Redskins' point of view in terms of enforcing its contracts. But the team's harsh and punishing approach is more reminiscent of a character we remember during the winter holidays, about the time when the Redskins are usually wrapping up another playoff-free season. That would be Ebenezer Scrooge.
As I read the first few paragraphs of the Sept. 2 front-page article about Redskins tickets being sold directly to brokers ["Redskins Fans Waited While Brokers Got Tickets"] my mind leaped to the same issue Redskins' lawyer David Donovan raised: "You do realize that there's 91,000 seats in the stadium," he said.
Is it really front-page news that several thousand tickets out of 91,000 end up in the hands of brokers? The article sounded as if hard-core fans were somehow being wronged. Last I checked, Redskins fans have access to the same Internet as other NFL fans, so it's no conspiracy.
If the Redskins or Post staff writer James V. Grimaldi are motivated by the embarrassing, nationally televised game against the Pittsburgh Steelers last year, where black and gold seemed to drown out the burgundy of Redskins fans, I would suggest that most of those Steelers fans got their tickets because Redskins fans sold their tickets rather than the team selling them to a broker.
I am skeptical about the Redskins' claim to have a waiting list for tickets of 160,000 fans. Why, then, did I get a call last week from a pleasant young woman who said, "The Redskins want you back"?
I was a season-ticket holder from 1968 until two years ago, when I decided I had lost the enthusiasm I had for the team when it was at RFK Stadium. When the caller asked why, I told her bluntly that I did not like the unprofessional management and that I greatly disliked FedEx Field, with its many inebriated and sometimes-hostile fans, its excessive noise and hawking, and its poor-quality and expensive food and drink.
I think the polite woman got the point. I told her I would continue to follow the Redskins on TV but that I was not hopeful for their future.
Maybe the bad karma that the Redskins have generated from the team acting as collection agent toward down-on-their-luck fans would be balanced out if team management would simply change the name of the team, as some of us have been suggesting for more than 20 years.
MARK S. LITTMAN
Can owner Dan Snyder and the Redskins possibly do more to alienate their fans?
The team says there are 160,000 fans on a waiting list. Surely it could find someone among those who would help out ticket holders who have fallen on hard times for a year, or two, of the life of their contracts.
Is it too outside-the-box for the Redskins' ticket office to allow those who want to be season-ticket holders to sublease seats or assume contracts? It doesn't seem that hard.
My wife and I have lived here for more than a decade, and we have tried to become fans. We are not on the waiting list, and we don't hold tickets. We remain Steelers fans.