Super Bowl XLV Mess: How Being Cheap At the Big Game Might Cost the NFL Millions

Daniel LewigCorrespondent IFebruary 9, 2011

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 04:  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press conference at the Super Bowl XLV media center on February 4, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Green Bay Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

This isn't how someone wants to remember their team's big day.  Fans wait for years, and invest a lot of time and money for the chance their team might be super.  Some fans are willing to pay thousands of dollars to see that once-in-a-lifetime moment live.

This is what the Super Bowl means to many fans.  Many fans are not A-Rod, getting their mouths stuffed with popcorn by Cameron Diaz.  Many fans are not John Travolta, or the many other celebrities that go to these events like it was an A-list party.  Many fans are like Pittsburgh Steelers fan Dan Powell, who spent his hard-earned money to travel down to Dallas to see what many fans can only afford to watch on TV.

And the NFL took that away from him.

And from 400-1,000 other fans.

The Super Bowl, as the NFL will tell you, is all about the experience.  The main event is preceded by a bunch of other events, and people flock into the stadium early to take it all in.  After all, that's what they paid for.  But the NFL thinks they did an adequate job of moving at least half of those 1,000 to other seats, even though a good portion of the event was ruined by the stress and having to stand outside, missing most of the events preceding the game.

So the NFL offers to pay triple the face value of the tickets.  Oh, the chivalry!

Forget the fact that most fans have to pay through the nose to scalpers and companies who charge 10 to 20 times the face value.  But the bottom line?  The NFL could have stepped up.  They could have made this right.  Instead they watched and waited to see how little they could get by with, by watching the sway of public opinion.  Option No. 1 wasn't good enough?  Well, we can be flexible!  Here's an option No. 2, but we'll take away some of the sweeteners we offered in the first option.

Why didn't the NFL just offer to pay for the expenses of the people gipped out of the game of their life, including what they paid for the tickets?  And, as payment for the inconvenience of time wasted, and an event they never got to enjoy, here's tickets, airfare and  accommodations to the next Super Bowl of your choice.

What, the NFL couldn't afford it?

It would have been the right thing to do.  If you say someone purchased the tickets for $10,000, even if you paid for all 1,000 people inconvenienced, it still would only cost $100,000.  If the NFL had to pony up $1 million to make this right, wouldn't it have been worth it?  Imagine the positive air time the NFL would have received from sports talk shows and public opinion. Instead, this multi-billion dollar industry went on the cheap, and is now being sued.

Here's hoping someone gives the NFL a few million reasons why to treat those who pay for those millions and billions with a little more respect.