Saturday, November 13, 2010

New York Jets Tickets, Indianapolis Colts Tickets, NFL Prices Up, Sales Down

The New York Jets tickets and Indianapolis Colts tickets are up in price, but down in sales. And higher ticket prices and lower ticket sales are true for many NFL teams including the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.

According to NFL Spokesperson Brian McCarthy, speaking to Daily Finance, NFL attendance is expected to be down five percent for the 2010 season.

And add to that, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told this blogger (at the 2010 NFL Draft) the league had anticipated that its "partners and fans" were going through hard times:

Goodell said the NFL would work to make sure their fans got "the best opportunity to experience football, whether its on television or at the stadium."

And on television, the NFL shines.

NFL television ratings have been excellent, with NBC's Sunday Night Football producing some of the highest rated programs in history, and had the highest ratings of all TV shows for five straight weeks.  Moreover, NFL's Monday Night Football on ESPN has posted better ratings than some observers expected, even with some hiccups, like the World Series.  In that case, baseball beat football, but that was the rare exception to that rule.  With this, tickets sales are down.

American Unemployment is Problem

As long as unemployment is over 10 percent in states like Georgia and California, lower than usual ticket sales will continue to be an issue around the NFL.   The drop in sales impacts not just team revenue, but franchise value.  The degree to which the NFL rebounds from this problem, if it does, will be one of the good news stories to go with an American economic recovery.

Oregon Ducks Leave Little Weakness For Cal Bears To Exploit...But

If one looks at the statistics for the 2010 Oregon Ducks, it's better for Cal fans with game tickets to go for a half, then make way for The Bears Lair, or Henry's for a session of cocktailing and socializing. Just make sure not to drive.

In other words, it looks like it's going to be that kind of day.

It's rare to see an opponent that has an average game score of 54.7 points, versus just 17 points allowed. Oregon is first in not just the Pac-10, but the nation in total offense, with 567.2 yards per game. That's totally insane.

However, there are some notable statistical openings for Cal.

First, Oregon allows a total 329 yards of total offense per game, which can be divided into 229 yards passing and 100 yards rushing. That's enough to be effective, and means that Oregon's pinball scoring machine forces opponents to try and play their game. Few teams can beat Oregon in a track meet, and none in the Pac-10 so far.

What's the weakness? Frankly, giving up 3.38 yards per rush is one. As long as Cal's willing to be patient and play a grind it out ground game of misdirection running, Cal can win. (Yep, you read that correctly.)

If Cal can get 3 yards per carry on the first two downs, then throw short on 3rd down just to move the chains, the Golden Bears can mount long drives and keep the ball from Oregon.

But the runs must be of misdirection design: not just reverses, but counter-action, and draws. The Ducks defense is aggressive to the point-of-attack, and can down runs for a loss if they can be tracked. Misdirection must be the plan of the day.

If Cal comes out with a plan of smash-mouth football in the first quarter, call Henry's or The Bears Lair and reserve a table - you're going to need it after all the pale ale you're going to consume.

Me? I prefer a screw-driver.


Pete Carroll: Seattle Seahawks Coach Twitter Promos Notorious BIG

Say what you will about former USC and now Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll (in Vancouver Sun photo), one giant reason for his coaching success over the years is that he connects with America's young, more urban and multicultural culture.

 Indeed, Coach Carroll more than connects with the culture, he enjoys it - swims in it - as shown by his willingness to share not one, but two major hits by the late Notorius BIG on Twitter as his SOTD (Song Of The Day).

Witness Coach Carroll's last two Twitter tweets up to this writing:

PeteCarroll Pete Carroll
big happy friday #SOTD! juicy by notorious BIG
16 hours ago

PeteCarroll Pete Carroll
#SOTD! big poppa by notorious B.I.G.
11 Nov

Of them, Juicy's this blogger's favorite:

But all of this isn't just part of being cool for Coach Carroll.  Part of his life has been dedicated to saving lives in some of the same gang-ravaged neighborhoods that have been glorified in rap song. His organization, A Better LA, is committed to this.

Carroll remains on the A Better LA Board of Directors, and an active participant, even as he's coaching the Seahawks. Meanwhile, A Better LA continues to raise money for its activities to end gang violence. 

Along the way, it's attracted such stars as Actress and Fashion Designer Whitney Port, who recently hosted the Bowl For A Better LA benefit, and AEG's Tim Leiweke, who sits on the board of the non-profit organization.

Celebrate Pete Carroll

Regardless of your team, Coach Pete Carroll should be celebrated for his work to make LA's less fortunate, more fortunate. If the Notorious BIG were alive, he's probably make a rap song about Coach Carroll.

Stay tuned.

Revolt Against TSA Body Scanners Leaves Racist Options

As a frequent flier the TSA airport passenger search process gives comfort to this one. The newest part of a process from arrival to plane boarding has kept the American traveler largely safe from another 9-11 incident. The only thing bothersome was the view, for a time, that TSA workers singled out blacks for inspection more than whites or anyone else.

There was the time my then-74-year-old mom was singled out randomly by a large, unattractive loudmouth sista who I threatened to have fired from her job at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport for speaking inappropriately to her.

Come to think of it, I've not seen her since then.

More recently, the use of better machines, universally applied, like the TSA Body Scanner, have made concerns that passengers would be singled out by race far less. Only now, some passengers don't want to be the subject of a full-body scan.

According to The Washington Post, "A groundswell of anger has rippled through the nation's airports," by people who don't want their bodily attributes or lack thereof exposed, literally, by body scanners.  Such people probably aren't black, because if they were, they'd express joy over the knowledge that some white guy or gal's getting the same TSA scrutiny, rather than ask for it to stop.

That's why I say "Keep it going."  The TSA Body Scanner eliminates a racist option.  Everyone should be scanner before they go about the act of flying on a plane.

No exceptions.

ESPN's Rick Reilly Must Wake-Up, Mike Shanahan's McNabb Actions Were Racist

ESPN's Rick Reilly is wrong. Washington Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan's recent benching of Quarterback Donovan McNabb and basically openly saying the African American Pro Bowl Quarterback's lack of intellect prevented him from being able to run the team's two-minute offense, was racist. Period.

It brings up the old idea that a black man can't be quarterback because of a level of intellect judged by someone who's own level of intelligence is low.

There's nothing worse than someone being afraid to call out racism, then asking "aren't we beyond this," as if there was a time when people who were racist were openly called that. That's what ESPN's Rick Reilly has done, and he should be ashamed of himself for his lack of courage.

The one action that will diminish the occurrence of racist acts amoung whites to blacks is for other whites to call out racism. Rick Reilly knows full-well open acts of racism were more overt not just 40 years ago, but even as recently as the 1990s, when black men were routinely passed over as quarterbacks at both the pro and college levels because of racist judgements about intellect.

The same ones expressed by Mike Shanahan in his coded comments about the black male QB McNabb's assumed lack of ability to understand the Redskins' two-minute offense, and stating that the white male QB Rex Grossman is intellectually better.

What? Yeah.  That Rex Grossman.   Need I say more about one with a history of passing game screw-ups?

But even with this example, and American history, Reilly has allowed himself to be seduced by the idea that not mentioning race will make racism go away. No. It doesn't. Silence only emboldens the racists.

Rick Reilly must be blind to the culture around him to imply that racism is a thing of the past in America. Even with the first African American President, which in itself points to the fact America's had a hard time grasping the idea for most of its history, there are people today who refuse to embrace diversity and join white supremacist organizations.

Worse, the Rick Reillys of the World pay no attention to the constant images and symbols of racial separatism and inferiority on television. Everything from the lack of interracial couples to the lack of black TV political pundits. (The message sent is that blacks can't have provocative political ideas, but they can render opinions about black history and urban affairs.)

All of those, and other racist messages, are thrown at an unsuspecting American population on a daily basis, yet Reilly comes away with this silly idea that racism's a thing of the past.

Rick Reilly needs to spend time talking with blacks to understand how we think.  His careless column proves he has no idea of what it means to be black in America, and is insensitive to a culture that even today clings to racist images and ideas.

Like the one that says a black quarterback isn't smart enough to run a two-minute offense.

Nuts.  Just plain nuts.