Miami Dolphin fans are about to get a first hand look at the foolish greed of the NFL. The Dolphins have been fortunate to sellout Joe Robbie Stadium for more than one hundred straight games. That may end this season, as many thousands of seats are still available for numerous home games.
The antiquated rules stipulate a blackout in a seventy-five miles radius around the stadium, unless the stands are full. With the proliferation of the NFL Sunday Ticket, the NFL has decided not to televise any game on Direct TV that is not sold-out. For remote Miami fans, this could be a frustrating season.
Over 50 million NFL fans watch televised football games each week. If all 16 stadiums were sold-out with 75,000 fans, the total number watching the live games would be 1.2 million. Divided equally the fans watching each team on TV is over 3 million. This means only 2.5% of the NFL audience is actually watching the game live.
It certainly does not take a mathematical genus to figure out the NFL is risking the allegiance of 97.5% of its fan-base by maintaining these ridiculous rules. Miami has one the best remote fan-bases in the NFL but over 3 million of us will be doing something else come Thursday.
We could lash out at the locals who are too financially strapped to pay the exorbitant prices for tickets, parking and concessions. We could aim our frustration at a Dolphin team that went 1 – 7 at home last year, but the onus for this falls squarely on the greed that has overtaken the owners and the players alike.
The economy in this country is as bad as it has been in decades but the NFL does not even recognize the impact it has had on its fan base. Numbers like a billion dollars in revenue, or 100 million for player contracts, roll off the tongues of the talking heads like another day at the office.
Earth to the NFL, we watch this game because it helps us forget the hardships we face each day. Taking it away will not make us break our piggy banks to flock to the stadiums. It will only serve to remind us of all the things we don’t have and all that you do.
Amid the lockouts and blackouts, it’s time for a Dolphin shout out… Do away with the antiquated blackout rules before you turn away the goose that laid the golden egg. Have empathy for the fans that have made you rich and give back to the people who need this diversion to maintain sanity in an ever more difficult world.
Shout out folks! Let them know, when the decision between football and family becomes an unfortunate reality the NFL will lose…