The League


Who Must Protect This House?

After Steelers fans throttled FedEx Field with their Terrible Towels, we wonder whose responsibility it is to protect and maintain home-field advantage? Fans, players, owner?

Posted by Emil Steiner on November 5, 2008 1:00 PM

Bill: Its hard to get worked up about this. The Steelers are a team with great tradition and are the team many Washington area residents grew up ...

Vingold: Along with my brother, I've been a season ticket holder since Fed Ex Field opened. This isn't limited to just Steelers games. Any of the N...

Dgimis: good guest page. thank you....

Make a Comment  |  All Comments (11)

chuck :

night before election, so many people in the area were away campaigning, that is the reason.

JamesL :

I believe it is the responsibility of the fans!! If you really want or need to sell your tickets, be sure to sell them to other Redskin fans!!

Farvel :

Redskins fans are fair weather fakers with an idiot for an owner. Steelers fans live and breath this. Remember that guy who was buried in his lazy boy and jersey, remote control in hand. They love their team. Washington loves its politics.

Jonathan Tivel :

I put most of the blame on ownership priorities -- because football seats are simply a matter of supply and demand.
You want to "own the house"? You will need a different stadium built with different priorities.

1. Reduce the number of seats (less supply).
2. Put the seats right up against the field so that the fans can make a difference(RFK anyone?)
3. Reduce the price of seats and parking(so that the blue-collar fans can afford it)
4. Relocate the stadium into DC
5. Establish a winning tradition

Jeff :

Honestly, I don't think this is rocket science. You have the following confluence of events and conditions:

1) The Internet and EBay that makes transfer of things, such as football tickets, simple and anonymous. It also increases the market and value of those items so that selling a couple of games worth of tickets can pay for most of the other ones. There's no way to know if you are selling to a home or away fan.

2) You have a somewhat jaded fan-base that is just waiting for the other shoe to drop after some 15+ years of disappointment facing their first real powerhouse opponent of the year at home.

3) You have a Monday night game in a city notorious for work-a-holics and massive traffic jams on weekday nights. This city also has a massive number of itinerant residents who support other teams.

4) Your opponent on the night in question has a massive, vocal and visible nationwide fanbase that has a reputation for "travelling well", even though the vast majority of them live locally.

5) The two cities in question are only about four hours apart, with no major metro regions in between them, making it simple for fans to travel between them on gameday.

The result is inevitably what you saw on MNF. It doesn't have much to do with "protecting houses" or "weak fans". The Steelers do this to at least one team a year, even out West, and the Redskins were on the receiving end. It doesn't alter what has been a good year by any measure for Washington. Let it go and move on to Dallas.

Sheesh. And I'm not even a 'Skins fan.

Kareem :

Fans are just imitating the players they love. It's all about the Benjamins these days. Why would the 12th man be any different from the other 11?

longtimefan1966 :


You hit it right on the head. The greedy players and owners with the overinflated salaries and season ticket prices have made fans less loyal.
Beautiful Kareem beautiful.

plumbo :

The Steelers always have a following in road games. most of them are ex- Pittsburghers who have been force to leave to find employment elsewhere and rooting for the Steelers is thieir contact to their roots.

Bill :

Its hard to get worked up about this. The Steelers are a team with great tradition and are the team many Washington area residents grew up watching before they left Pittsburgh (because there's no jobs there). Its no surprise a significant amount of steeler's fans would show up to this game. The best way to prevent that is probably what Arizona does to Cowboy fans and force ticket buyers to buy a preseason game as well, but that won't prevent season ticket holders from selling the ticket for market price on ebay.

I'm really surprised this kind of thing doesn't happen more often, with Washington being as transient a place as it is. Lots of fans of other teams in this area.

Vingold :

Along with my brother, I've been a season ticket holder since Fed Ex Field opened.

This isn't limited to just Steelers games. Any of the NFC East games always have huge fan bases in the stands and it pisses me off.

I was invited to a Redskins-Jets game a number of years ago up in New Jersey. I was respectful of my hosts and I didn't wear my customary jersey.

However, during a good play by the Redskins I got up and cheered without thinking. There was only a smattering of us Redskin fans in the stands. As I was cheering, a Jets fan a few rows back and several feet to my right stood up - got my attention - and sternly, but somewhat politely, told me to "Sit the F*** down".

That would never fly at Fed Ex Field where most of the time other teams seem to have more passionate fans than the Redskin fans do.

People talk about establishing a "Winning Tradition" and the fans will come.

But this team was a play-off team last year, and up until Monday had one of the best records in the entire NFL. Plus it had a quarterback who had not thrown an interception and the leagues leading rusher. How much more winning do you need?

I think traffic and a Monday night game is part of it.

I like that the stadium is close to me (I live in AA county) but I do think it is a big deterrent to a lot of people.

I work in Fairfax and it took me 2 hours to get home Monday night (my brother went to the game) - it was bumper to bumper on most of the beltway heading toward the stadium.

I also think a lot of season tickets are held by brokers (I know the 4 or 5 behind me are) and that in the age of Internet these seats are bought by a lot of fans from other teams.

Plus, DC is an area where a lot of people who live here - didn't grow up here. So their loyalties lie with their hometown teams.

Lastly, I think too many people have season tickets as merely a status symbol - with really no real connection to the Redskins.

Watching from home Monday night - I was disgusted (even before the game looked lost).

When neither my brother or I can make it to a game - we give/sell our tickets to people we know are Redskin fans - or we let the seats go empty.

Unless you do the same, don't claim to be a fan of the team.

Dgimis :

good guest page.
thank you.

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