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NFL preseason games are a joke

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

I know this column isn't about basketball, but I love all sports.

I feel absolutely abused by what transpires in the NFL at this time of year. The fact of the matter is, the league calls games in August PRESEASON! Come on, get real, these are nothing more than scrimmages. They are exhibitions which have very little meaning.

To charge the public full price for tickets to these "games" is absolutely unethical. My friends, it is a joke! As a season ticket holder, to spend top dollar for these exhibitions truly offends me.

The starters may play a series or two. Many of the stars are held out of these so-called competitions. LaDainian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers, the league MVP last season, did not play at all Sunday night against the Seahawks, yet fans paid full price to see the game.

I know the term buyer beware, but in most cases season ticket holders are forced to pay for preseason games as part of the package. That is a joke too and I give those seats away to family and friends. It is a waste to watch many guys who won't even make the roster when the regular season rolls around.

Let's be honest. The NFL makes a lot of money on these exhibitions. That's why most teams play four of them before the regular season. To me, it would be easy enough to cut the preseason to two games and then start the regular campaign. Do coaches really need four games to make the proper evaluations? They know the talent that is on the roster, and most wouldn't want to risk injury to the starters anyway.

It is sad that the NFL, which is currently battling a bit of an image problem anyway, takes advantage of fans by charging so much money for tickets to meaningless games. I love the NFL, have been a Bucs season ticket holder for years. The bottom line is the preseason and the pricing is offensive to me. I wish it was a different scenario.

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