Boredom Didn’t Last Long

Sorry for yesterday’s post…. I am back to being riled up.

“Yes, this Buffalo Bills game in Toronto today has not exactly worked out as planned but even so, the economics have to be daunting for the Canadian Football League. Today’s game will bring in more ticket revenue — about $8 million — than the Argonauts manage for an entire season. The Argos range from $6 million to $7 million a year in ticket sales”

“But the first National Football League game to be played in Canada ended up accomplishing what nobody really envisioned. It angered people in Buffalo. It angered people in Toronto. It cost Rogers Communications all kinds of money. And it entertained almost no one.”

Ahhhh yes, Mr. Simmons. To whom the glass is always entirely empty. Funny how only yesterday the CFL should be worried that one games revenue equaled more then an entire season and today everyone is “angry”.

Ok sports fans, I will bite… Raise your hand if you are angry about yesterday’s game at the Ted. Forget the outcome as well, anybody can be angry on any given Sunday. Seriously, I want to know the person who was “angered in Toronto”. Except those who couldn’t drive around near the Dome yesterday due to road closures, raise your hand if the game made you “angry”. That is what I thought. There is nothing to be angry about. His entire article is full of contradictions. I spoke to 25 people who went to the game yesterday. Each of them and their respective groups were thoroughly entertained. Every one of them said the same thing “We had a great time”. So, there you have it, I can’t believe my peeps were the only ones entertained…

The game brought in 8 million in ticket revenue alone. That doesn’t count all the other crap. Was it a HUGE success ? No, was it a COLOSSAL failure, no. Let’s recall all those stories about the amounts of money the Rogers Community has lost on the Blue Jays or other entities. Certain things corporations do for total profit (like charging 1.99 for directory assistance on a cell call) and others they do for profit, pr, marketing etc.

Yesterday, I had the good fortune of being outside for about 20 minutes at a local cemetery. Never a fun event, but I can tell you it was certainly in the top 5 coldest 20 minutes of my life. So, for the Bills fans who are so angry, get your pals and companies to buy more tickets so that your owner wouldn’t have to move a few games to where he can subsidize his take locally. That, or get in the car and drive. As much as people say they would have preferred to be outside yesterday, be the least be honest. Here in Toronto, which is Florida compared to Buffalo weather, it was unbearable outside yesterday. I can only imagine what it was like in Buffalo. Those Bills fans who went to the game (of which half of my 25 were) all were thrilled it was in doors.

“People paid mortgage payments for a pair of tickets to watch J.P. Losman play quarterback. That doesn’t seem fair to anybody. He is Buffalo’s Michael Bishop — and before Saskatchewan let him go, you could watch for him about 25 bucks.”

Now, remember that line folks, and compare it to:

“The good people at Rogers — bless them — announced attendance at 52,134. Some of them apparently paid. Those who attended the Metro Bowl high school championships last week were given freebies. Those who work for Rogers or the Blue Jays were informed they could have free tickets.

    Outside, you could have had scalpers’ seats for less than $50. That makes this event dubious as a way of impressing the NFL.

So, you want it both ways? Metro Bowlers (couldn’t resist) and Roger Community Members were allowed in for free and scalping would land you a seat for $50. Raise your hand if your mortgage payment is $50. I know the argument, people shelled out good money early at face price for seats. I know a couple of people who had to fly home last minute from Florida last week. The bought their tickets on westjet.com the day before the flight, they paid under $200 for their tickets tax in. They sat with another friend who just happened to be on their flight but bought her ticket several weeks ago. She paid over $450 for her ticket. Life isn’t fair. What can I tell you.

“What also was evident was that the emotional draw that makes sport special — being here for your team, caring, being passionate — loses its appeal in what ostensibly seemed like a neutral-site game. When I asked a friend in the stands to rate the atmosphere, he called it a D-.”

Clearly your friends aren’t my friends.

“This had a corporate Super Bowl feel to it. A lot of people paid a lot of money to be here and then weren’t sure what to do.”

What were people expecting? This is not a surprise to anyone with a brain who knows the Toronto market. Look at the facts. The majority of people who grew up in this city loved one of several NFL teams, the cowboys (America’s team), the Dolphins (I am not sure why), the bills (proximity) and the (steelers- Bradshaw and the boys). No offense to anyone who lives and dies for another team. Growing up in Toronto, everyone I know roots for one of those teams in strong majorities. Toronto is not entirely a Bills town. This was a neutral site game. It is not different then games in Europe, Mexico or anywhere else. To complain that it had a corporate feel is stupid. Love it,or hate it, this is Toronto. If you don’t like it, unfortunately, you are wishing away your teams. People may bemoan the corporate feel to the ACC, but guess what Leaf Nation it is sold out every night. If you want the team to be able to spend to the cap, and you want it go get big name GM’s and coaches, that barn has to be full. Wait until you see what the Blue Jays look like this year if the rumored trimming takes place.

“All our lives we’ve been waiting for the National Football League. Today we have to take a moment and wonder why. After the most talked-about, most promoted, most hyped football game played in Toronto, all there was left at the end was a sense of ambivalence.”

Who hyped it? Who has been waiting for an NFL Bills Dolphins Game all their lives? If that is you, I am truly sorry for you. Give Toronto a game where it is the home team, the Toronto Whatevers against either the Bills or the Dolphins then we can talk. The hype? Media created. Yes Rogers held a press conference, the press covered it. How many times did the folks at the Fan590 have the bills guys on the air. Say what you want, and I know who owns the fan, but the hype here is on the press. The naysayers poo-pooed this from the get go. There is no surprise at the result. What did people expect?

Say whatever you want. The NFL should be the easiest sale of the year. Each HOME team only hosts 8 regular season games and 2 pre-season games. No matter what you charge for a season ticket, the multiplier is 10….10!!!!! Not 41, or 81, 10!. If you don’t sell the game out they Bill Wirtz you. That’s right the game doesn’t go on local tv. 5 times this year, a HOME team hasn’t been able to sell enough tickets to lift the blackout. Here we had a neutral game and they were able to lift it. 5 times, the folks in their respective home towns couldn’t care enough to go to a game. In those towns there is a HOME team. In those towns (Oakland and Detroit) the teams suck, but hey so do the Cubs and the Maple Leafs. We all know of cities that have lots teams. It happens too often and will happen again. (personally I don’t think it’s that unimaginable that the Jays aren’t here in 8-10 years, but that is a blog post for another day). Here in Toronto the game sold out. I don’t care the ‘nitty girtty’, the NFL wouldn’t lift the blackout if they weren’t satisfied that their standards in doing so weren’t met. This wasn’t a home game, this was an event. At 5 different home stadiums where weather wasn’t an issue (one is a dome, one is in CA) they couldn’t sell enough tickets to show the game on tv.

Anyone who is grumpy about the price of tickets or concessions needs to give their head a shake. If scalpers were selling tickets as cheaply as being reported then you could have gone for next to nothing. As for concessions, take your kids, or your significant other to a movie and buy a popcorn and a pop. Go to the Jays game and see what you pay. Newsflash, we live in an expensive city. Have you been to a local McDonald’s lately?? Seriously, I don’t take my kids because the food is lousy AND it’s not cheap… I could live with crappy burgers if they were cheap.

The game was exactly what it should have been. For those who said it didn’t feel like a normal NFL game, newsflash, it wasn’t. Every other NFL game has a home team. Those who went and said I don’t get the hype, then you weren’t paying attention to the nuances of the game and your expectations weren’t properly set. Go to Washington DC and take in a Redskins game. Go early, find your way to a tailgate party. Do the same in Chicago, San Diego, Miami….

Lastly, as for the game itself. Which, in all sporting EVENTS is usually secondary, was pretty much what was expected. The Dolphins who were 1-15 last year are a team on the incline. The Bills despite their start are clearly a team on the decline. The game pretty much matched that. If you read the Buffalo paper today and compare it with the Miami papers and look at the game analysis you will see just that. How many Super Bowls have been great games. Events as opposed to games are rarely worth watching.

Simmons’ column is the usual BS. Noise created by a badly dressed spinster.

I feel so much better now….

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2 responses to “Boredom Didn’t Last Long

  1. Dear NFL people, please leave the Bills in Buffalo and as far away from Toronto as possible!

  2. torontosportsmedia

    Hey Barbie:

    Thanks for your note. 2 things I think you need to know. First, whom, are these NFL people you are writing to? I can tell you, without question that I am not them. I am surprised that you are addressing this issue to the NFL people though. Whom do you think took this game to Toronto? It wasn’t the city of Toronto or the NFL, it was the owner of the Buffalo Bills and their owner (or at least his wallet.)

    Secondly, and perhaps most importantly let’s make something clear. From a fan standpoint, very few out there would be happier if the NFL were to come to Toronto then I would be. Having said that, I don’t really want a team from another city. While I realize that we may be forced to take a pre-existing franchise, I, like many others would much prefer an expansion franchise as opposed to a franchise that is currently playing in another city.

    So, if by NFL people you mean us here to the North, you are picking the wrong enemy. We want a team, not your team. If you want your team to stay as your team, keep buying as much Bills gear as you can and as many tickets as you can.

    I would be remiss to say that given your Bills play of late, including their performance yesterday….Please keep your Bills as far away from Toronto as possible…we have enough with losing franchises thank you!

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