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Friday, November 19, 2010

Football Coaches, GM’s and Owners must think the fans are morons...

(photo-Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan via Wikimedia Commons)

Football Coaches, GM’s and Owners must think the fans are morons because they insult the fans’ intellect on a daily basis…..
By Dr Bill Chachkes-Managing partner/Executive Editor Football Reporters Online

Why is it that (some) football coaches feel the need to “double-speak ‘ in press conferences all the time? What good does it really do? It only hurts their credibility and shows those around him that he has no grasp or control of the situation. Let me make something very clear here. I have never coached at the NFL level, but I spent over 15 years connecting with players as both a teacher and a football coach (and a H.S asst. dean). Never did I ever spend one moment making up a silly sounding story to explain to my players why I did something in practice or a game.

A most recent example of what I’m talking about is Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan. “Shanny” is supposed to be one of the most brilliant football minds out there, but clearly he was “speaking through the side (or back) of his mouth a few weeks back when he benched Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman to run a two minute drill in a game against the Lions. Grossman, who might be better off if he started his coaching or broadcasting career early (or any other career for that matter), turned over the ball as quickly as it takes a soldier to snap a salute. Result, Lions win (and the Fords’ sell a few more cars overseas!). REX, please call Heath Shuler. He was just elected to Congress, maybe he can help you out with some advice.

In the post game afterwards he(Shanahan) said something to the effect that McNabb was not in shape enough to run a “two minute” offense. Huh? Has McNabb been making un-scheduled stops at Dunkin we don’t know about? Is he doing the “3 Quarts for 12 Bux” deal at Baskin Robbins (I do, but my wife is addicted to butter pecan and rocky road)? I’ve only met Mr. McNabb once professionally, but I have never seen him “Out of Shape.” No, clearly something else is afoot here.

People who watch the Redskins have seen McNabb’s clashes with Redskins’ offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (of course he is Mike’s son) on the sidelines during games. One was even on national TV. The sports television industry doesn’t show fans running on the field or fighting in the stands, but they show coaches and players having it out when something goes wrong. Right now the Redskins organization (read the elder Shanahan) probably wished they had never made the move for McNabb this past spring, and will be at the bottom of the NFC east again this year, especially if Dallas wins a few more games for Jason Garrett.

Speaking of Dallas, Jerry Jones must have a giant mirror he talks to every day. All we have heard during the Cowboys collapse prior to their drubbing of the Giants this past week was how “he” was looking for answers just like everyone else and how he alone was responsible for the current crisis in north Texas. At least he’s telling part of the truth. He is the blame because he thinks he’s as good a football personnel man as he is flush with money. I wonder if he actually listens to himself when he’s practicing his lines in that mirror. That’s why everyone working for him just nods to him when he talks. Poor Wade Phillips never had a shot. If Jones had handed the team to Garrett a few weeks sooner, the Cowboys might be in the hunt for a wild card spot right now. The team quit on Phillips, just like they rallied for Garret Sunday against the Giants. The Cowboys won’t be playing in a meaningful game again until “Mr. Jerruah gets hisself” another football man to run things the right way.

Another NFL head coach undergoing a season long brain cluster headache is Brad Childress in the movie “Alice in Viking-land” You didn’t see it yet? It stars Brett “The Farvelous” one, the greatest dramatic comedy actor/athlete of all time. Explain to me how the Patriots trade (Randy-the Dandy)Moss (as much as I can’t stand to admit it, coach “Bill in da hoodie” is one smart guy for a cheater), who we all know as talented a receiver as he is, is missing a few fries from his happy meal, for a third round pick in 2011, and gets released 3 weeks later, only to wind up in Nashville with his third team this season, hanging out in the home of country music?

So Randy, tell me, the caterers down there are treating you good right? Because without that post practice meal after the shower the day is just totally ruined. No, “Chilly Bear” is wishing right now that he never sent the three players down to Kiln, Miss. this summer to get Brett to come back. It’s all just a bad dream Bradley, we know. You are going to wake up and talk like Billy Bob Thorton in Slingblade. “uh Huh, We took it to em, huh? We can still win the North if we get past Green Bay, uh Huh” Coach, start wearing a hat so your brain cells don’t freeze. He doesn’t need a hug either.

One last brilliant football man who has me looking through the websters’ unabridged trying to find a word to describe him is Chargers GM A.J. Smith. He’d rather screw over his own team then trade away a player who he doesn’t think is worth the money he was already being paid, twice. I forgot that A.J. was a commander in the civilian harbor watch unit when he wasn’t making Bolts’ fans suffer through his ignorance. Clearly he understands naval tactics so he must know how to manage an NFL franchise. Let’s ruin my teams’ defense and let my QB chase Dan Marino’s passing record. That’s gotta be good for a 9-7 record, right?
“We are not going to trade a player to another team for less then he’s worth”
Brilliant, simply brilliant. What he was really saying was: “no one is going to get the better of me.” So smart boy, what is the Chargers record? Brilliant. Now you know why the NFL owners want a lockout next March. Not only do they want to screw the players, they want to lay off half their front office staff too. Sorry if this was all too blunt for you on a Friday in November, but I’ve only been watching, playing, coaching, scouting, and writing about football for a total of 45 years, so I have to call it as I see it.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Do PSL's Really Make Football Better, Or Worse For Fans

(Photo: Capt. Jet)

Do PSL's Really Make Football Better? Or Worse For Fans

By David Levy-Fan Experience Reporter-Football Reporters Online/Pro Football NYC

Since August of 2008, I have been filming a documentary about the New York Jets PSL situation and how the fans have had their ups and downs with it. Over this past season, many fans have kind of settled into new positions in the new parking structure. Set up like the hierarchy of rings that used to exist in medieval times. Where the royalty would be in the middle close to the castle and the further you went out, the lower in class it became. The higher priced parking passes are closer to the stadium. Ones with non PSL seats have to park over by the Izod Center. You tell me what type of message the Jets are sending to their fans.

Many long time season ticket holders who have had tailgating groups for years feel cheated by not just the new parking system, but from the PSL's as well. Many were not able to get seats next to friends like they have in years past. Those with cheaper PSL's or NON PSL seats can not sit with those in the lower bowl. Also, Mary Lou Wilson who parks in the Green parking said some long time friends they tailgated with in old section 13A have the non PL seats do not want to bring all their gear over to the green parking. Even though Mary Lou and her kids can park over there, they still have friends in the green parking to tailgate with. Who wants to lug all that gear and waste time just to have to drag it all back early?

Bruce Speight, Senior Director of Media Relations, told me they did what they could to appease fans. But you can not please them all. I wonder what true steps they took to find out what the fans wanted. I know they did send a survey out via e mail two years ago. But did anyone from the Jets organization act like the Census and go from tailgate to tailgate to get the fans opinions. Probably not. They do not mind sending face painters out there to charge for face painting. Maybe if the team spent time walking through the lots talking to fans and truly got to know what they wanted, sales could have gone faster.

This is something sports writers do not cover, especially sports beat writers. there is always a focus on the players, coaches, on and off the field events, and even trades. There are not many sports writers that cover the business decisions teams makes, how it affects the fans, or even the fans in general. Occasionally, there are stories that appear about fans. But not too often. They mainly come about during the season, after a team or player has already made news about an issue. It may not be front page news, but is it news nonetheless. If there were no paying fans to show up, it would just be a bunch of guys playing ball. I guess while filming my documentary I had to take it upon myself to cover them and tell their side so they feel they have a voice. Fans care about news regarding the teams and their players. So the teams and players should care about what is going on with their fans.

Many long time tailgating groups have crumbled and become a shadow of its former self. I have talked about the Jets Pack a few times, but I have yet to talk about the Jets Nuts. The Jet Nuts have been coming just as long as the Jets Pack. You can always tell where the Jet Nuts are by their huge bus they always have. They are on their fourth bus right now. They have had hundreds over the years. But according to the organizers, it has dwindled down significantly. It is coming to a point where they are laying out more money than they are receiving from fans wanting to share in their tailgate. Many tailgate set ups charge a small fee to eat and drink at their tailgate. Rather than shrink it down they just might call it quits by years end. PSL's have not just separated fans in the stadium, but even in tailgating as well.

PSL's, for some, are a necessary evil. The Jets and Giants never said what other financing options they looked into before settling on the PSL's as a final option. If the New England Patriots can do it then any team can. Even though their stadium is in the middle of nowhere, small screen, no escalators, they still managed to do it all without PSL's. Sometimes I wonder if the new stadium was built for the fans or for the teams owners friends to enjoy a lavish place to watch football games and network for more business. Make it their own upscale country club. The Jets and Giants had no idea how much they tore their fan base apart.

Sports teams need to wake up and realize that bigger and better is not necessarily the way to go. There has to be a happy medium. The Jets have already doe this and is evident every time I film in the parking lot. I am here for the fans to be their voice. Hoping to show other sports franchises what PSL's can to do their own fan base. I know some fans do not care, they are willing to spend their money and do what the team says to do to keep going to games. Others have the kind of disposable income where they can afford to spend and do not care about what other fans think. It is this kind of thinking that shows team owners win and can do what they want.

The fans have the real power. If the fans were all on the same page then the teams would have to change how they set their prices and policies. The Jets learned this already with the PSL's and lowered prices. If the fans kept showing that solidarity, then we all win in the end. Not just the ones with deep pockets. Some will agree, others will disagree. But we all want to enjoy our game day experience with our friends and have that bond for years. Not to lose it because some friends who used to be able to afford tickets now can not. Makes me proud to be a reporter of the fans. Not just because I care, but because I am one of the ones who could not afford to keep my tickets. The fans are a story and I am the only one who sees it.

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