Cut them some slack

FACEOFF

Is It An Act Of Treason For Ravens Fans To Sell Tickets To Steelers Fans In These Tough Economic Times?

December 10, 2008|By CHILDS WALKER

I'm as big a proponent of hometown loyalty as the next chap, but I can't muster any outrage at Ravens ticket holders who are flipping their ducats to Steelers fans for tidy profits.

Look, the economy is bad, worse than it has ever been in my lifetime. And the holidays, with all their gifting obligations, are upon us. So if mom and dad are strapped enough that mortgage payments are tough, and they want to sell their tickets so junior can have his Wii, who am I to wag my finger?

I might be exaggerating by planting images of Tiny Tim, heartsick over a lack of Guitar Hero, in a discussion about football loyalties. But these are unusual times. With jobs vanishing and savings funds evaporating, people have to think about new revenue streams to maintain the status quo at home.

And if you want to blame anyone for making tickets seem more like commodities than little bundles of hometown spirit, blame the teams. They're the ones who created permanent seat licenses, which are essentially long-term investments in a relationship with the local team. If the Ravens are asking fans to make such investments, shouldn't PSLs be thought of as just that - investments?

Many people already think of them as such, and there are elaborate markets for said licenses, which have proved to be great investments (better than financial stocks, certainly).

Anyway, my point is that teams have trained fans to think of their tickets as stocks. So when folks sell them for profit, they're logically participating in the American free market. No scolding necessary.

But a piece of advice to any of you sellers out there - don't mention your profiteering to the neighbor in the Ray Lewis jersey. It is the Steelers, after all.

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