Guest Column: Joe McGrath – “Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones Are a Pair of Shitheads”

Editor’s Note: Mr. McGrath has long and storied history in the management of professional sports franchises, most notably as the general manager of the Charlestown Chiefs of the now-defunct Federal League. Oh, and this is probably a good time to mention that Mr. McGrath’s views are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Dubsism, our staff, or anybody else whose house you might want to burn to the ground.

I may have only been a general manager in minor-league hockey and not a billionaire owner or multi-million dollar salaried commissioner in pro football, but goddamnit, basics are basics. Even a small-time puck slapper like me knows that YOU CAN’T SELL TICKETS TO SEATS YOU DON’T HAVE! Out of all the things these two conspired to screw up for this Super Bowl, this is easily the worst.

Here’s another basic even I know: all sports leagues are dependent on public relations; because at the end of the day, public perception is public reality. You can do all the ticket refunds you want, ESPN showing all that footage of ticket holders being held behind chain-link fences like they were war refugees is a big-time black eye you can’t buy your way out of. What makes it even worse when that same public discovers you knew this problem was coming.

DALLAS (AP)—The NFL knew last week there were problems with the installation of temporary Super Bowl seating sections and hoped until hours before kickoff that they could be fixed.

“At the end, we just ran out of time,” NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman said Monday.

Four hundred people were forced to give up their seats for the Green Bay Packers’ 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, and instead had to watch the game on monitors or use standing-room platforms in corners of Cowboys Stadium. Another 850 fans were moved from their seats in the temporary sections to other seats.

“It was obviously a failure on our behalf, and we have to take responsibility for that,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We had, obviously, a lot of challenges this week. There were a lot of things we were trying to deal with. But there’s no excuses. When you put on an event like this, you know you’re going to have those sorts of challenges.”

No shit it was a “failure on your behalf.” Whose else’s behalf would it be a failure on? The Pope? Tinkles the house cat? Who? You assholes got greedy, and you managed to fuck up something that really should be “fuck-up-proof.”  For the life of me, I can’t understand how you guys do this.  Did you hire consultants from FIFA? Those guys could screw up a grilled cheese sandwich, and they keep finding new ways to do it.  At least unlike those European piss-bladders, you guys take some responsibility for dropping the ball, even if it sounds like a complete pant-load.

While saying that, overall, the stadium exceeded the expectations for a Super Bowl host, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also acknowledged the seating blunder and reached out to the fans affected by it. “We deeply regret their Super Bowl experience was impacted by this error, and we share that responsibility with the NFL,” he said in a statement.

Goodell said the league would give tickets for next year’s Super Bowl to the 400 fans left without a place to sit Sunday. The league already had said it would offer those 400 people refunds of triple the face value of their Steelers-Packers tickets.

That’s nice, but giving away tickets to a game next year which thanks to your labor issue has a 50-50 shot of not happening is potentially just doubling-down on your problems. Not to mention, what good does it do to give tickets to those people who were fans of either team and paid to see THIS game? I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to say this, but you dipshits sold seats you didn’t have.

A total of about 15,000 temporary seats were added to $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium, and Sunday’s attendance was announced at 103,219, just short of the Super Bowl-record 103,985 who were at the Rose Bowl for the 1980 NFL championship game. Sunday’s temporary seats filled open platforms that are usually standing-room only “party pass” areas for Cowboys games.

Grubman said there “was no vertical structural issue that we were aware of from the police department,” but that issues arose with the “final installation of railings, of tightening risers, steps, things of that nature— and that’s what did not get completed at the end.”  The league, Grubman said, “felt in the middle of the week that it was going to be a problem. We did not feel until the game day that we had an issue where … there was a distinct possibility that we wouldn’t be able to accommodate fans.”  He said final work on the temporary sections was done Sunday afternoon.

In the coming weeks, the NFL will review what happened to figure out what went wrong.

Let me save you the time. I really should have just recorded this to save myself some time. The problem in three sentences:

  • Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones got greedy and tried to stuff ten pounds of shit into a five-pound bag.
  • Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones sold tickets to seats they didn’t have.
  • Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones are a pair of shitheads.

But lets’ not overlook the complete lack of planning involved here. How the hell do you wait to complete work on a stadium until the day of the goddamn event? Fire Marshals don’t work weekends, and you would think that if you were hosting the biggest sporting event in the world, you might have a project manager who understood that.  I just can’t understand how you can let that happen.

Hell, even back in Charlestown, I knew that to get a factory worker who barely has a pot to piss in to pony up for a hockey ticket, I had to make the prices reasonable,  I had to make sure I had the concessions under control, and I had to make sure that I actually had a seat for every ticket I sold. Again, its the goddamn basics, and I just can’t understand how two guys with all the resources in the world can screw up the biggest sporting event in the world.

Wait, I do know. Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones are a pair of shitheads.

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7 responses

  1. You mean there’s not money to be made in minor league hockey?

    From the sounds of the weepy owners these days, it doesn’t sound like there’s money to be made owning an MLB, NBA or NFL franchise either.

    Guess I’ll just stick to tending bar.

  2. JW

    This civil suit filed against the league will show how complicit both Goodell , the Cowboys and Jones were ! They knew full well what the problems were going to be concerning the SB 45( SBXLV) and they simply did nothing about but yet you had the commissioner offering up an asinine statement about refunds. Fu_k him and the horse he and Jones rode in on !

    tophatal ………..

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I get that problems do arise, and I appreciate the NFL thinks it is fixing this, but the bottom line is they knew this was coming, and there’s no excuse for the way the handled it at the time. It really shows they don’t give a shit about the fans who make this league possible.

      1. JW

        Goodell makes Pinocchio seem like an acolyte ! Nothing the guys says can be trusted as factual ! Here’s case in point in the cba between the league and owners want the NFLPA (union) to give back over the next seven years $ 7 billion ($7,000,000,000) …….. at $1 billion a year . But yet the league is pleading poverty ?

        The business template of the NFL is so skewered but they’re not unlike the government and how they try and put a spin on things as they look place the blame elsewhere !

        Since when did major professional sport care about the fans to begin with ! None of them do and that included NASCAR as well !

        tophatal ………….

  3. Look at the mess that the Mets are now in not just <b? competitively but financially as well ? Fred Wilpon , his family and the organization are now being sued in US Federal Court for the return of $350 million that they received as profits from the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Over the years the family has received close to $500 million plus by estimates. However the patriarch Fred and his son Jeff claim that they were also victims of the fraud . Like f_ck they were !

    And less we forget also the mess that’s now shrouded the ownership of the Dodgers ? Owner Frank McCourt must be one of the dumbest sob’s on the planet ? What made him think that he could falsify documents and simply get away with it in order to cheat his ex out of what was rightfully hers ? Now he may well be forced to sell the team while at the same time the organization has amassed a debt in excess of $ 800 million .

    We have a bunch of a_sholes in the world of sports governing it and owning the teams ! And we wonder why there’s a mess ? These guys now make the members of Congress and the Senate seem like they’re MIT or Harvard graduates !

    tophatal ………

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