There’s been just a bit of Bears fringe news recently, namely the NFL’s surprising decision to move the kickoff line from the 30 to the 35-yard line. This will cause a major increase in the number of touchbacks, thus taking away the chances of the best kickoff returner in NFL history, Devin Hester, to score touchdowns on returns. Bummer for us Bears fans.
Other than that, all we have to follow is the ongoing owner/player labor war. This battle is between the owners, who are billionaires, and the players, who are mostly multi-millionaires. These two parties can’t decide an equitable way to split the estimated $9 billion in revenues the NFL takes in each year.
While this is happening, and the rest of us solidly middle-class Americans are struggling to get by, the Chicago Bears have raised the cost of my working-class seats by 58% in the eight years since the new Soldier Field opened in 2003. And while other teams such as the New York Giants have told their fans that they do not have to send in their 2011 payment until they know there will be football, of course the Bears demand my full payment by April 7th. So the Bears organization can sit on my money and earn interest even if there is no football in 2011.
I have thoughts on the Bears’ needs in the 2011 draft, and I’d like to put them to words to post here soon. It is refreshing to have picks in the first two rounds of the draft for the first time since 2008.
But honestly, I am still fixated on the Bears organization raising their fans’ ticket prices by double-digit percentages for the third straight year. While us loyal fans who have held season tickets for decades, 31 years in the case of my family, struggle to get by.
I know, I deserve the criticism from those of you that will say I should feel lucky to be a season ticket holder and I should shut my trap. I can always stop being a ticket holder, right? It may get to the point that I would do that, if that was any way for me to stick it to the organization. But that would not stick it to them, with 20,000 or so eager wannabe ticket holders salivating in line behind me.
I have loved the Chicago Bears since I was eight years old. My father passed it to me, and I always looked forward to passing the passion down to my children. But at this rate there is no way that I or they will be able to afford being a fan of this game. Unfortunately, being a fan of professional sports, such an American pastime, is beginning to go against my principles.