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NFL preseason price tag tough to stomach

9/3/2010

Walking past a TV in a restaurant, I saw they didn't even wear their pads.

I love racing the most. Give me sports with plenty of action -- like the NASCAR, the NFL or the NHL -- and I'm generally happy.

So I am a Dallas Cowboys season ticket holder.

And that's where I get angry with the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell knows how me and many NFL fans feel about it.

It's time he does something about it. And this is unquestionably an area where auto racing treats it's fans with so much more respect than does the NFL. It's not even debatable.

As a season ticket holder, I refuse to attend preseason games. I've never understood why professional football players need weeks of training camp and five preseason games before they play games that actually count. Heck, college and high school football players don't need any preseason games.

But as an NFL season ticket holder, I'm forced to buy them -- and the criminally ridiculous $75 parking -- as are all NFL season ticket holders. Certainly I don't have to buy season tickets. But if I want season tickets, I have no choice but to buy the preseason games.

So as I had a nice dinner in Fort Worth, a friend of mine sat in my seats watching the Cowboys in Arlington. The tickets and the parking cost me $325 for a game I wouldn't even look up to see on TV. Dinner was great -- and much less expensive.

And this is where NASCAR easily tops the NFL.

Could you imagine the response from the public if NASCAR charged the same price for a ticket to a Nationwide race as it does for the premiere Sprint Cup Series races? Or if a NASCAR Camping World Truck race had the same price as a Sprint Cup race?

In clear recognition of the fact that there is a difference -- in both the quality of the competition and the length of the race -- the price is commensurate to the race. It's the fairest way to price tickets in any sport.

Can you imagine the Dallas Cowboys charging less for a home game against the woeful Detroit Lions than they do against the rival New York Giants?

Well, that's the equivalent. Give NASCAR credit. In that manner, it's far more fair.

Apparently Commissioner Goodell agrees. The NFL is looking at dropping two preseason games (but will add two regular-season games -- they are not going to give up the revenue).

But at least put on appearances. Make the players wear their pads on the sidelines in these meaningless -- and expensive -- preseason games.

We ticket-paying customers -- even those sitting in a restaurant 20 miles away -- deserve at least that much for our money.