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SportingNews.com: NFL preseason is a scam that needs to end

For the first real column of the third real year of our real arrangement with the real SportingNews.com, we’ve decided to take a real run at the not-so-real football games to which we are all subjected every August.

It’s the “preseason.”  In other words, “not the season.”  (Unfortunately, the phrase “not the season” made me recall this dreadful television experiment from the late 1980s.)

So why not get rid of the whole damn thing?  We make our case for it right here.

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26 Responses to “SportingNews.com: NFL preseason is a scam that needs to end”
  1. gameday says: Sep 2, 2009 3:37 PM

    Excellent piece Florio.
    However, I have been screaming loudly to anyone who could listen the same thing for years.

  2. EskinSux says: Sep 2, 2009 3:38 PM

    It’s a sham, and it’s a scam. It looks like real football, but it’s actually glorified scrimmages with bright lights and simulated game conditions and full-price tickets and $8 beer. However, to get season tickets for the eight home games that count, the fans have to buy seats to the two games that will matter only if a key player suffers a serious injury.
    ———————————-
    Exactly Bozo…….. Do you think NFL owners are gonna change it because you suddenly wrote an article about it? From a site that takes second hand news, just peruses teams websites and media outlets to offer second hand news with an opinion?…..It’s been a scam for decades and everyong know it……..Man, and you get paid to do this…….amazing

  3. hayward giablommi says: Sep 2, 2009 3:38 PM

    For the average NFL fan, it’s not a scam. You pretty much know what you’re getting when you tune in, one, maybe two quarters of starters playing and the rest guys trying to fill out rosters. Ask any guy trying to make a team, and I don’t think they’ll agree with your assessment.
    For season ticket holders though, yes, it’s absolutely a scam. I am not a STH, nor would I ever want to be, so I will continue to follow baseball up until opening weekend (or beyond, if I so choose) and then begin watching football in earnest.
    P.S. Another baseball season nears completion and we still don’t care that you are anti

  4. Cobra Commander says: Sep 2, 2009 3:40 PM

    Wow. Calling the preseason a ‘scam’ and a ‘sham’ simply because season ticket holders are forced into buying two of them? Not a very strong argument at all. I don’t know what pressure NBC is putting on you guys but it’s been downhill for the last month or so. :-(

  5. lajimmy says: Sep 2, 2009 3:41 PM

    It’ll never happen Mike. First the amount of injuries you’d have in the first week of the season when players are hitting for real for the first time would be ridiculous. You need some sort of warm up to the real thing to ease players into live action. They’d have to increase the rosters big time if they ever thought of doing this.
    Secondly, the Coaches actually like the Preseason games. They don’t like the injuries that can happen, but they want to see their players in live action without it costing them for real.
    The fact owners are charging full prices for these games is a total scam, but there is a need for the games.

  6. jdblya says: Sep 2, 2009 3:43 PM

    Florio, are you crazy?? Dinosaurs was awsome! and I’m pretty sure was the early 1990’s, not the late 1980s

  7. dawk20db says: Sep 2, 2009 3:45 PM

    I love the preseason. I don’t like that they charge us full price, but the preseason is a great look at the teams future.
    It’s not different than going to a minor league baseball game. Sure it doesn’t really matter who wins, but having the chance to see the young players perform in a game setting is worth it.

  8. PFTiswhatitis says: Sep 2, 2009 3:53 PM

    Preseason sucks. Its not worth going to the games and it certainly is not worth the price of admission. The fact that they twist your arm to buy them if you want your season tix should be against the law. It is looks like a SCAM and it smells like a SCAM its probably a SCAM.

  9. Seeryer says: Sep 2, 2009 3:57 PM

    A more pressing issue: NFL Blackout Policy. The rule was instituted in the early ’70s. The NFL is guaranteed $20 billion over the next two years for TV rights. The economics of the League were infinitely different 35 years ago. This policy be recsended immediately due to the growth of the league’s bottom line over the last 35 years. The NFL would not be where it is today without the consumers of this country. How about Goddell be a man of integrity and extinguish it? I mean, the unemployment rate is 9.4% and the average salary in the NFL is $770K, up $50K from last year. Come on Goddell, champion the regular guy like you claim you yourself once were. Although, being the son of a US Senator, I doubt you know too much about struggling. What a bad PR move for the league if Roger doesn’t step up.

  10. Hap says: Sep 2, 2009 4:05 PM

    People watch. It’s good for 2 series (game 1 ) to 1/2 time (game 3) and it gives us a sign that the real deal is on the way. If we get rid of preseason, they are gonna televise scrimmages next, so which would you rather have ?

  11. RumorMongering says: Sep 2, 2009 4:08 PM

    Agreed.

  12. SteelTown6 says: Sep 2, 2009 4:09 PM

    :…EskinSux says: September 2, 2009 3:38 PM
    ..two games that will matter only if a key player suffers a serious injury…”
    I used to wish they’d do away with pre-season for that reason too, unnecessary injuries. But wouldn’t they have happened sooner (instead of later) anyway most of the time? Look at Andre Smith – 10,000 Twinkies overweight. He wasn’t gonna last long.

  13. SteelTown6 says: Sep 2, 2009 4:11 PM

    Change the overtime rules 1st…

  14. beardown says: Sep 2, 2009 4:12 PM

    would we all be happy if the teams cut the price of preseaon games by 50% and raised the regular season by 10%. Who are dumber the people who buy the tickets or the people that drive up the very nice tv ratings. Preseason a scam? We all watch it and paying the ticket price effects 70,000 per NFL city…not huge numbers

  15. ChicagoJo says: Sep 2, 2009 4:15 PM

    jdblya is right, that was an early 90s show.
    I think this is going to come up as a serious discussion in the new player’s agreement. That said, we have about as much of a chance of losing the preseason as we do gaining 2 regular seson games: slim to none. Nice to dream, though
    Florio, this article doesn’t suck and is actually about something I find mildly interesting. Nice work.

  16. jshawaii says: Sep 2, 2009 4:16 PM

    I know it was only one pre-season game, but I doubt if the fans at the Bronco-Bears game last Monday gave a rats a*ss that it was pre-season.
    I also feel that the pro teams need a pre-season of some kind and maybe not four games, but two preseason games and one or two team scrimiges like the Raiders – 49ers do. These are usually free and open to the public.
    js

  17. Tdk24 says: Sep 2, 2009 4:18 PM

    I thought the BCS bowl system was a scam that needed to end.
    Leave the NFL preseason alone, it’s a neccessary evil.

  18. swepsgirl18 says: Sep 2, 2009 4:18 PM

    Oh shut up! pre seanson is a chance for us ladies to see all that butt in spandex and let’s us pick which butt looks the best so we will know which team to keep up with all season….really I kinda think Steeler’s #43 has the best looking but and some look like they need butt implants and then some need butt reduction. Give it a break!! It’s a preview. Just like going to the movies you always have to watch the commercials, previews, etc before the real action comes along. Just don’t watch it if it bothers you that bad!

  19. ZombieRevolution says: Sep 2, 2009 4:20 PM

    It is the NFLs game, don’t like it, don’t buy season tickets.
    BTW, didn’t Brady say something like if he had played in the preseaon last year he might not have been so severly injuried?
    Accidents happen, guys have gone on IR when injured in practices. These preseason games do create drama, there are QB races to be won and more. Fans hang follow these battles knowing how much it impacts the regular season. You want real injuries start extending the regular season, when more games matter and more guys go down.
    Decent rant by Florio, logic impared in certain sections.

  20. REALPHAN says: Sep 2, 2009 4:22 PM

    I’m Glad to see some Football fans understand the importance of “gelling” as a team and “evaluating” talent. here is what would happen if you stopped pre-season games…..Teams would schedule scrimmages against other teams and hire officials to ref the game……FANS would want to watch that scrimmage (just as they do at training camp watching practices)…..Parking lots would be needed to accomadte the fans (they are gonna charge for that)…..Beer vendors would show up to sell the thirsty people beer (they are gonna charge for that too)……the issue now is 1000’s of people crowded around a practice facility trying to watch the scrimmage…..so someone will suggest, “why we just do this in the stadium” and WHAM….PRE-SEASON is BACK! I think it sucks they MAKE STH’s pay for the games …but the reality is, the FANS are always gonna watch the practice/scrimmage/pre-season…cus they wanna see how there team is gonna do this year!

  21. BuckyBadger says: Sep 2, 2009 4:23 PM

    I agree its a scam and it should be done away with. Don’t need this with all the practices and inter squad scrimmages that we now have. I would much rather my team do a scrimmage with another team with a controlled environment that would help prevent injuries. Too many fall to injury every year for a fake game.
    It is criminal what they charge and force season ticket holders to buy them.
    EskinSux, why come here and post and give Florio money from his advertisers if you hate him so much. You really think he cares what you think. Writes are suppose to voice their opinion in articles like this one. Did he ever say he thought the NFL would do exactly what he said? The fact you can work a computer surprises the hell out of me.

  22. ManBearPig51 says: Sep 2, 2009 4:44 PM

    Dumb, if the teams with the QB’s & players that got hurt truly thought they were ready for the season without the extra ‘practice’ they wouldn’t play them in the pre-season. If coaches/owners were as ‘smart’ as Florio they would just hold the starters out that have already proven themselves & just play the younger players that need to be evaluated in game situations…which would still require a pre-season.

  23. This is not news says: Sep 2, 2009 5:44 PM

    Many people skip those games because they are meaningless, not at all entertaining, and it still costs plenty for parking, food and drink.
    Honestly, I don’t care if they keep preseason or get rid of it, however…
    …if kept, they should do something about the ticket prices (and not just adjust the regular season prices to make up for it). Let season ticket holders opt-out. Offer those tickets for sale at gradually discounted prices until they are all sold . If they continue having trouble selling them, then have concessions discounted or have some real entertainment for the halftime show.
    …if they dump it, that’s fine too.

  24. Wrathchild says: Sep 2, 2009 6:04 PM

    You’re way off Florio. Yes, as a season ticket holder you have to purchase two preseason tickets at regular season prices…somebody call a waaaaaahmbulance.
    I think if you actually checked, owners and teams are not raking in money from preseason games. Stadiums are usually less than half full and by half-time, even less. Concession sales are low and parking revenue is low. However, it costs them darn near the same amount to even hold the event.
    Your comment about players not making their base salaries makes no sense. What, NFL players are now hourly employees? They only get payed during the regular season? Nooooo, if a player makes a $1M base salary, that’s for the whole year regardless of how or when its dispensed. Perhaps some do get a check on game day, doesn’t matter it’s part of their ANNUAL salary.
    Please tell me how you propose teams evaluate their talent so they can get the best 53 players on their squad? 7-on-7 practices at training camp? Not hardly.
    Preseason is absolutely necessary, why do you think college teams schedule several cream puffs at the very beginning of the season (or like Penn State and Notre Dame, the entire season)? It’s because they don’t have a preseason and they need to get their starters some real work.
    Injuries are part of the game, you can’t keep your best players in hermetically sealed bubbles. Is it really any better if a key player gets hurt week one of the regular season? No.
    If you really are worried about your starters getting hurt, don’t play them. LT doesn’t play any preseason games because the Chargers know what he can do. You should call for teams to do that instead of making a ridiculous statement about canceling preseason.

  25. Jungle Juice says: Sep 4, 2009 9:46 AM

    They should at least cut it down to 2 games and not require season ticket holders to buy them, especially at full price. I pay $77 but can only sell the ticket for $20 to $30. What a ripoff to loyal fans.

  26. slipkid says: Sep 7, 2009 5:38 PM

    and add those 2 games cut, to the regular season.

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