The classified ad section of Wednesday morning's Post carried a string of nine ads merchandising Redskin tickets for the Cowboy game, prices ranging from $50, $60, $70 apiece to "best offer over $150."
Jeff Gordon, 22, of Sterling, Va., called one of the phone numbers. It turned out to be a congressman's office, and that shook up Gordon enough to dial The Washington Post sports department and remark, "It's ridiculous that a congressman is ripping off the public for Redskin tickets."
So one of us rang the number and, sure enough, (1) two tickets were available for $60 each, said the fellow on the other end, putting in that earlier he sold three at $70, and (2) it was the office of Rep. Ronald Sarasin (R-Conn.).
Sarasin had no interest or involvement in the tickets, press aide Jack McGrath assured.
The ticket seller at first declined to identify himself, other than to make it known that he was not the congressman. Later he identified himself as Marc Stanley, Sarasin's administrative assistant.
Our man asked Stanley if he knew the Redskin policy on resale of tickets. The club's ticket manager, George Christophel, says reselling seats for inflated prices is not illegal but is against the team's policy. The Redskins try to track down such - can we call them scalpers if the District has no law against scalping? - ticketholders and then will refuse to sell them season tickets for next year, Christophel said.
"They're not tickets I own," Stanley (we presume) replied. "A friend just gave them to me and I couldn't go, so I sold them."
He said he used the congressional phone number because he wasn't going to be at home during the day. Press aide McGrath explained use of the taxpayer-supported working space and time to answer Redskin ticket ads as "a matter of convenience."