money for nothing
Imagine paying fifty dollars for the privilege of standing in line.
That's exactly what you are doing if you are on the wait-list for New York Jets season tickets.
From Phil Mushnick, New York Post sportswriter:
In the 20-plus years this column has addressed sports-based extortions, we've never experienced a greater nor angrier response to a fleecing than in the last week, after the Jets quietly decided to charge the roughly 22,000 people on their season-tickets waiting list a $50 annual fee. That figures to be roughly $1 million a year. You can do hard time for stealing a million bucks, no?
Imagine if your local movie theater or concert arena asked you to pay for standing in line for tickets, even if you may never get those tickets. I think there is a correct phrase for this: rip-off.
So why are the Jets allowed to get away with this? Let's see what Jets president Jay Cross has to say:
This week [Cross] explained the $50 annual charge as a means to "keep them in the family" and a way to "treat them like valued customers, even though they're in waiting."
Excuse me? I guess all those college courses I took in sports marketing and sports arena management neglected to mention that you can show a fan how much you value them by robbing them. Silly me, I thought you were supposed to treat them as if you thought they had brains.
When Leon Hess owned the Jets I observed my hatred towards the man by never going to Hess gas station. Never even bought one of those ubiquitous Hess Trucks. I know it didn't make a dent in old Leon's moneybags, but it made me feel like I was doing something instead of just sitting on the sidelines stewing.
Mushnick wants to employ similar tactics against the current owner of the team:
The Jets are owned by Robert Wood (Woody) Johnson IV, of Johnson & Johnson fame and fortune. My suggestion is for people on the Jets' waiting list to send in their $50 bucks and include a written and sincere vow to spend a lot less - perhaps even hundreds of dollars less per year - on Johnson & Johnson products.
While I am not a season-ticket holder in waiting and no one is asking me for fifty bucks, I am still outraged at the audacity of the Jets to think that charging people for absolutely nothing is ok.
This is the time of Jets Fest. Jets training camp operates out of Hofstra University, just five minutes from my front door. We go every year and enjoy the games and displays they have set up and watch the Jets train and scrimmage.
This time, I have a different plan. I am going to head over there with bows and arrows (shut up, I'll find them somewhere) and I am going to attach Monopoly $50 bills to the end of the arrows and I'm going to shoot them into the big, inflatable Jet that sits outside of Hofstra. On those fake bills, I will be sure to write some kind of message like, oh, "Fuck you, you greedy bastards. I hope
Shockey breaks his leg and the Jets lose every game this season and Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder is the target of an ugly rumor about anthrax and terrorists."
Or maybe I'll just write them an angry letter.