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Lions vs Redskins to be Blacked Out

There were still 8,500 tickets available to be sold when the NFL mandated deadline hit today. By NFL rules, the team must sell out its stadium within 72 hours before its game is to start that week. So after going through a bye week in which there was no Detroit Lions game to watch, there will not be a game to watch this week either.

I have been a fan for most of my 44 years of life. Through all of the losing seasons the Detroit Lions have delivered to me, I have been a steady fan. A believer that some day they will be a good team. I wear a Lions hat. Not any hat mind you, but one I had made for me. I have a Detroit Lions coat that I wear every winter. I have Lions stickers on the little side windows of my car. Through a 0-16 game season I supported the Detroit Lions, but I do not go to games. Not because I don't want to go, but simply because I cannot afford it. Because of the automotive engineering industry falling apart, I have been struggling for years to simply survive. Last month we were late on rent and it looks like we will be again this month. We have no idea where the next months rent will come from.

As loyal of a fan as I have been through so many losing seasons, I am now punished because I cannot afford to go to a game? Because the NFL wants to be greedy and get every grimy dollar they can out of the fans, they will punish their most loyal fans who cannot afford to survive much less go to a game.

If an NFL team had a winning history and they did not sell out their games, then I can possibly see them wanting a blackout. But for a team that has won two games in the last two years to black out because the fans are not paying to see them? Ridiculous!

Why can't the NFL be fair with the fans who stand by them to make the NFL the greatest sport on Earth? Obviously the blackout rule should be lifted and done away with, but if they insist on keeping it, why not make a team have to sell a set amount tickets according to how well they played the season before? For instance....

1) All teams MUST sell at least 35,000 tickets to be aired. (If they do not sell at least that many then they should not be a franchise.)
2) For every win a team had the previous season, they should sell another 2,000 tickets, with a 55,000 limit. So a team that won only 2 games would have to sell 39,000 tickets. 4 wins would mean 43,000. A 10 win team will have to sell 55,000 tickets.
3) Any tickets over 55,000 should be considered as extra revenue and the owners can sell them or give them away if they want to make concession revenues.

This kind of system would make the NFL teams responsible for giving their fans a decent product as well as the fans responsible to support their team when it is worthy of support. The simple fact is, if a team has a winning record, it will sell out its stadium. If it still cant sell out, then it needs to be moved to a better place.

When the Lions were in the Silverdome, they were selling out 80,000 seats to get on television and they did it consistently. That was with an average to decent team in its good days. When the Lions are winning even 7 or 8 games a year, they will sell out an 80,000 seat stadium. So now that they are only winning 2 games a year, shouldn't those loyal fans be rewarded with still being able to see them on TV?

I have been as loyal of a fan as any for any team. I have never once said that they will always be bad. I have supported them saying they will turn it around some day. And because my career was ripped out from under my feet and I cannot afford to buy a ticket, I am now being punished.

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