Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Steelers vs. Redskins 2008

Since the Pittsburgh Steelers will face the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field during the 2008 NFL season, I thought I would contact the Redskins to see if there were any group ticket sales. Between the number of transplanted Pittsburghers I know in the DC area, the number of friends and family who would travel from Pittsburgh and beyond to attend a Steelers game and the few friends that I have who are actually Redskins fans, I figured that I could easily find enough people to qualify for a group. So I called the Redskins and asked if they had group tickets available. They did. Great success! So here is what the group package for 25 people entails:

- All you can eat
- All you can drink (pop and/or alcohol)
- Pregame field passes
- Box or suite seats (I couldn’t remember what the sales manager told me)

All of this for just $800! What an amazing deal! Oh wait, the group deal is $800 per person or a grand total of $20000. In that case, I think I’ll pass.

The Redskins representative said that the only group packages they sell are for suites/boxes; they do not sell group tickets because they are not "the minor leagues." The more I thought about it, the more I realized that he was correct. A minor league team would never do any of the following:

- Sign Adam Archuleta to a 6-year, $30 million contract; bench him partially through the season; and cut him at the end of the season.
- Hire an offensive coordinator before hiring a head coach, and then a month later, hire said offensive coordinator who has never held a position over quarterback coach as the head coach.
- Charge fans way too much for everything from concessions to parking. (Actually, that’s probably all sports owners.)

Maybe I was overreacting and being a bit unfair. Even though I live in the DC area, I don’t follow the Redskins nearly as closely as I do the Steelers. Therefore, I asked the guys at DC Pro Sports Report their thoughts on the Redskins organization.

What are your thoughts about the Redskins recent head coaching search process?

It was a bizarre mess, wasn't it? I think Daniel Snyder [or The Li'l General, as I call him] enjoys meeting with coaches and chatting up other NFL bigwigs. I think he's trying to learn from them, but I think he also enjoys the media attention lavished on the Redskins during these times. I didn't have a problem with the hiring of Jim Zorn, though Ron Meeks was my preference at the time. Snyder has tried recycled NFL coaches [Marty Schottenheimer] and college [Steve Spurrier] and even dipped into the team's own history [Joe Gibbs] for a solution and nothing worked. So I don't have a problem with giving the top job to a guy who has never been a coordinator. You'd have to say that the best coach in the NFC East the last decade has been Andy Reid and he had never been a coordinator when the Eagles hired him. Zorn probably has as much of a chance to succeed in D.C. as anyone else. His biggest challenge won't be dealing with the opposition, it'll be dealing with his own front office, where authority rests with Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato -- two men not exactly famous for their encyclopedic knowledge of football.

What Was the Worst Transaction During the Snyder Era

Boy, there is a lot to work with here. Hiring Spurrier was an obvious mistake. I think they overpaid for Clinton Portis, but he's been a good player when healthy so that can't be the worst. The competition is too stiff for that "honor." I think trading a first day draft pick to that idiot Brandon Lloyd and then giving him a fat new contract was pretty stupid. Cutting Brian Mitchell so they could sign a crippled Deion Sanders [against the wishes of then-coach Norv Turner] was a big screw-up. Chucking the fattest contract in history for a safety at Adam Archuleta was pretty typical of Snyder. I guess I'd go with cutting Brian Mitchell to sign Deion Sanders. Redskins fans loathed Sanders before he came to town, never warmed up to him in our uniform and missed Brian Mitchell [who is still a fan favorite here] terribly. That one was bad for many, many reasons.

What separates the Redskins from every other NFL team?

Well, in the 1980s and early 1990s, it was greatness that set the Redskins apart. Only the 49ers were run as well as the Redskins during that time. To win 3 Super Bowls with 3 different quarterbacks and 3 different tailbacks is truly an incredible achievement. It may never be equaled. Right now, I'd say Dan Snyder is what sets the Redskins apart. That's probably just the way The Li'l General likes it. Nothing pleases him more than to be seen as the big shot making the tough decisions for the team. Alas, most of the decisions he makes are incorrect. He's done well by basically ignoring free agency this offseason [terrible free agent class and ridiculous contracts thrown around], but Snyder usually follows up one good decision with 5 or 6 bad ones, so we'll see if he can finally get and stay on the right path.

What is your least favorite part of attending a game at FedEx field?

Now, that's a tough question. It's a toss-up between being gouged for parking, sitting near drunken idiots who won't shut up or put their shirts back on, and losing to some other lousy team in our own place and ruining my entire Sunday.

My questions did have a bit of a negative slant, didn’t they? I guess there is a good reason for that. After realizing that I was not going to spend $20,000 to attend the Steelers-Redskins game, the Redskins sales guy suggested that I try StubHub.

I guess I should have asked Charley Casserly if he had any ticket connections.


Anonymous said...

Excellent points and well written. Just think what you could do with 800 bones on Sunday... Hit the local tavern and be the life of the Sunday party, buy a lot of beer, buy a lot of whiskey, surround yourself with fine ladies at the local tavern, did I mention beer?
Anyhow, well written piece. Thanks for the humor.

Anonymous said...

does the 800 include an escort? or do i need to be gov?

Anonymous said...

are you going to this game? I might go