DEAR DISPLACED FANS: ASK NOT FROM THE NFL
If only our fellow constituency could stay content with being content.
If only the fabric of this country were solely built on a boy scout's honor, where no one would endeavor to get up, by getting over.
On either side of the fence, that is.
But these are the proud states of the red, white and blue. No doubt the home of the brave; but more and more, the land of the litigious.
That's right. These days, everybody is suing somebody.
So why should things be any different for Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys, Stadium management, associated corporate entities, and the National Football League? Collectively all were named in a federal class action lawsuit by two ticket-holders Tuesday, seeking more than $5 million for themselves and the group of fans denied seating or subjected to obstructed views at Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium.
Excuse me while I chuckle. Only at the obvious little irony.
You see, how ironic is that those in charge of the place that hosts America's Team, actually tried to pull a fast one on the American people, who have now do-si-doed back around the elitist Texan of them all, and two-stepped into their nearest lawyer's office?
That's right -- of the 1,250 fans originally displaced, due to temporary seating not ready in time to boost attendance and Jones' ego, 850 were accommodated in other areas, including auxiliary press seating where I was located and observing. But for the 400 that remained, not so much.
So what do these displaced fans want now?
A remedy that fairly equates to an eye for an eye?
Or will they seek to abuse an opportunity by leveraging extra perks outside of their losses, and create more wrongs intended to right the original wrong?
Two days ago, two men, Steve Simms (who traveled from Pennsylvania) and Mike Dolabi (a native Texan and a Cowboys season ticket holder), alleged they were deceived by the aforementioned defendants, when they collectively failed to deliver their promised seats and knowingly delayed informing them about the pending fiasco.
Dolabi is among an elite season ticket holders group known as the "Founders" who paid a minimum of $100,000 per seat reportedly for a personal seat license that helped in raising more than $100 million towards the venue's construction.
According to the suit, Dolabi's license should have provided him with the "best sight lines in the stadium," but Dolabi was ultimately seated in a location that didn't live up to this "Jerry World" billing.
As for Simms, he says he spent thousands of dollars in travel and associated costs to come see the Steelers play the Packers. However, he ended up among the 400 displaced fans who didn't even have the "luxury" of viewing the side corner of the GodzillaTron-TV monstrosity, according to the suit.
So now what?
Well, after that recap, I think we can all agree that Simms and Dolabi, and the fans on whose behalf they represent collectively, didn't get what they paid for.
Agreed. Agreed. Agreed.
But collectively or individually, are these fans going overboard now by "asking" for too much, and by not being content with the league's concessions?
Let the record show that, albeit once the seating fiasco became public, the National Football League immediately issued an apology notice to these fans disseminated through all attending Super Bowl media.
Expected, but noted.
Subsequently they announced concession one: $2,400 (triple face value of this Super Bowl's ticket), plus a ticket for next year's Super Bowl as well.
Later, concession two: One free ticket to any Super Bowl of choice, plus a round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations for a package deal.
Is that not enough?
Of course it's not enough for fans who specifically came to see the Steelers play the Packers, and were unable to do so because this distinct experience cannot be replaced.
So the question becomes, what's the value of that specific loss, and will everyone effected agree?
Is triple not enough?
Sure, this increase is only of the face value of the Super Bowl ticket, but can the NFL be held accountable for the markup each fan couldn't avoid?
Granted, displaced fans paid for travel and accommodations to an experience they ultimately didn't receive. But isn't having those expenses covered to the exact same event, at time of their own choosing as a future option, the next best thing for what can actually and fairly be provided for in the present?
I guess not.
Now comes a class action lawsuit, and possibly others separately to follow, litigating for more.
Goodness. It's only been four days since the Super Bowl.
Has the entire group of 400 separately, without contention, even communicated the remedies they feel would be fair yet before contacting Cousin Vinny?
From this perspective it appears the league is offering what is both prudent and judicious.
Besides, are none of these displaced fans going to attempt to create their own "concession #3" by selling their ticket or package deal for more on the side if they can get away with it?
At the end of the day, the wrong committed upon them was a wrong, but in the grand scheme of things it also didn't result in the loss of life, nor did it cause a "grave" injustice against society.
So getting more for punitive damages for this particular case, in my mind, is a stretch, even if an entity as large as the NFL can afford it.
Heck, am I suing the NFL for sticking me besides displaced angry fans that weren't supposed to be a part of my Super Bowl work experience?
Bottom line, the NFL's concessions are just, and it's just a game.
But "asking not" for more than you should.........shouldn't be.