Jerry Jones’s experience as de facto host of Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium kind of went like The Black Eyed Peas’ halftime performance: great presentation, poor execution.
Great location, check. Plenty of hype, check. An obscenely opulent stadium guaranteed to earn the NFL bucketfuls of cash, triple check.
But between little things not going right, such as Christina Aguilera’s national anthem gaffe, to bigger letdowns, like not setting the Super Bowl attendance record and the freakishly bad weather, it’s a good thing for Jones that the actual game turned out to be another NFL classic to take some of the heat off of him.
True, Jerry isn’t entirely responsible for everything that went wrong, but the bigger blunders were a result of greedy, selfish planning.
Take the seating fiasco, for example. About 400 fans weren’t able to take their seats in temporary bleachers for which they paid upward of $800 because the seats weren’t ready in time for the game due to safety concerns.
Most of the fault here lies with the NFL. It had 30 days to get the stadium ready for the Super Bowl once the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 7 ended. Why can’t the NFL make 2,000 additional seats safely available in the span of a month?
Blame it on Jerry and NFL greed. The temporary seats weren’t necessary, but Jerry was trying to set the Super Bowl attendance record, and the NFL saw plenty of dollar signs in that endeavor. The result was a failed attempt at a record and plenty of angry fans because both parties were too stupid to plan accordingly. The NFL, to its credit, implemented good damage control by all the postgame goodies 8212; including tickets to Super Bowl XLVI 8212; it gave away to the spurned fans.
In a way, it’s fortunate that the NFL’s shortsightedness cost the game the attendance record. According to an ESPN.com article, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed the lost seats were the reason the record wasn’t set.
Also according to the article, the attendance included 3,000 fans who bought tickets to watch the game on HD screens outside the stadium, meaning Jerry and the NFL cheated on the attendance count, at least by rational standards.
It’s clear enough that attendance should be measured by people who are actually inside the stadium watching the game in person. If the NFL is counting how many people were watching on television screens, then congratulations 8212; it just set an attendance record of 111 million.
Yes, the NFL and owners run teams as businesses, and yes, their main purpose is to make lots of money. But perhaps they should quit making every single big event about themselves. It’s one reason there probably won’t even be a professional football season next fall because of labor disputes. Oh, and dear NFL and team owners, that means losing even more of your precious dollars.
The seating and attendance debacle at the Super Bowl offers an example of the selfishness at every level of the NFL 8212; an organization that threatens to cancel some or all of the 2011 season 8212; as well as the selfishness of NFL executives, the owners and the players 8212; who aren’t blameless in the potential lockout scenario. There are still classy, selfless personalities at all levels as well, but the greed is prevalent enough to possibly doom next season.
Here’s a memo for all parties involved: The fans don’t care how it gets done, just reach an agreement. Otherwise, you’ll end up looking worse than Fergie’s flashy shoulder pads from Sunday night for a long time.
Associate/opinion editor Marshall Doig is a news-editorial journalism major from San Angelo.