By Ray Glier
I don’t like to be in the stands. The fans cheer too much. But I want to go back to another game and sit in the stands because it was really cool. You get to stand up and go wow! and not have a sportswriter look at you and say, “Did you just cheer in the press box?”
It is really good to be in the mixing bowl with fans, not on the couch, not in the press box.
Ticket sales depend on emotion.
I wrote a speech last week for an executive on how media rights (TV, internet in other words) would finally pass gate revenues in the overall, total, gargantuan $70 billion sports industry in North America.
One of the challenges for organizations and schools is dueling with the phone and TV and fan on the couch. Teams need to sell the passion in the arena or stadium (not to mention lowering prices of concessions and parking). You can’t get emotion on the phone. You have to buy a ticket.
A few more games like Miami winning on the last play against Duke, or Georgia Tech winning on the last play against Florida State, and college football will start to feel this trend of decaying ticket sales start to end. We stay up to watch the end because something big, something exciting is going to happen.
Word is going to get out.
It used to be you didn’t have to wear a seat belt. You could get behind the wheel and buckle or not buckle. If you are old enough, there were no belts. Mom or big sister held babies in the car, too. No car seats.
Somebody figured out this was dangerous tradition.
Baseball bullies don’t understand. The Mets rejoicing at their pitcher throwing 97 at the head of a hitter is clueless. It’s a different game fellas. Just because Don Drysdale did it or Bob Gibson did it doesn’t make it right. We have more 90-plus pitchers than ever. We actually have a lot of 95-plus.
What it says is, “I can’t get you out with my good stuff, so I’m going to throw at your head.”
That’s exactly what it says. The pitcher has given in. It’s a sign of weakness, not good strategy.
Some caveman in the Mets organization told Noah Syndergaard, 23 years old, that it was ok to throw 97 at somebody’s head to make the batter uncomfortable.
Just ask yourself what would have happened if Alcides Escobar did not get out of the way.
Would Major League Baseball’s top lawman Joe Torre have remained silent? I doubt it. He would have been shamed into doing something.
It’s a fact of our society. Change usually comes when somebody really, really gets hurt.