“I Root for the laundry” – Jerry Seinfeld
With the new PSLs at a cost of $80K/seat the San Francisco 49ers are requesting to renew my friendship, I am wondering if others feel the same.
It is the eve of the biggest game of the 49ers in over a decade and I’m upset and bothered. Why? Because the team I have rooted for my whole life is betraying the trust and faith built over my lifetime. Greed, the lack of understanding of community, and then poor communication.
Many of the memories I had as a season ticketholder of the 49ers are about to start fading away. My season tickets have been in my family for over 40 years and that might end soon. What kind of fan am I? I don’t paint my face or tailgate in the parking lot. I wear my Joe Montana jersey for big games. I’ve stuck with the 49ers through thick and thin. I stuck through coaches named Fred Meyers and his 2-14 seasons. I watched the team win 5 Championships. I watched the team fall back to earth with more 2-14 seasons. And now I’ve watched them grow again in what so far has been a wonderful season.
Over the years, some things have changed. The elderly people who baked cookies for me have passed away. Many of the young kids who attended the games with their dads are now bringing their children, and some new people have moved in as the prices increased. The stadium has gotten older and there is no disputing that the team needs a new stadium.
Yesterday a young rep called me because I had no responded to a request to meet with the ticketing personnel to discuss buying a Personal Seat License. I had received a package the week before, but was not ready to review the contents. I had heard rumors that the team was asking for $80,000 per seat for my seat license. Were they kidding? How could they expect someone to put up $160K (basically the same price as the average home in the US). The 49ers are trying to move their stadium another 40 minutes South of San Francisco. What their team does not understand is this not only moves the team further away from the core of the Bay Area, but it also moves it further away from the people who will support the team (affectionately known as the Faithful). They are telling me traffic will be better, yet it will take another 2 hours out of my day.
The previous five seasons the team has disappointed without a winning season yet raaising my tickets 300% from $60 to $180 each. By 2015, the team wants to charge me $375/ seat. At the same time, the team has never called me until yesterday. They have weeded out those who could not afford to keep the price increases and make it harder every year to renew. The new seat license is an obvious ploy that should weed out the last of the great 49ers Faithful. The lowest price is roughly $20K each. The 49ers cannot expect to make sales at these prices and those that buy will surely not be happy when others do not pay the same.
Corporations are thriftier than ever and will not be able to fill the stadium alone. Seriously, is Larry Ellison, one of the 5 wealthiest men in the world going to purchase a PSLs for his employees? Is Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook going to buy a PSL? How about Jerry Yang of Yahoo? If they do try and fill the stadium with corporate money, the 49ers will find a very fickle fan base that did not grow up here. Over 60% of the population was not even raised in the state of California (meaning they grew up likely rooting for another team). The Bay Area, especially Silicon Valley is made up of a transient population that is constantly moving. My son’s kindergarten class seven years later only has 5 kids out of 36 that root for the 49ers.
How do the 49ers expect such rates? Just 3 years ago the Jets and Giants sold PSLs. The Giants charged anywhere from $1k-$20K. Now $20K is the lowest end of the pricing? The Jets were only able to get 300 people to bid at least $5K. The Cowboys charged $50K on the high end and did not sell out. The Steelers are supposedly the best PSLs but they sold for a couple thousand a piece and are supposedly worth around $15K now. But Pittsburgh is different. People there live and die by the Steelers. The San Francisco Bay area is full of alternative activities on Sundays. Oh, and they don’t spend $60K a year to send their kids to go to school in Pittsburgh. My feeling is that @49ers season ticketholders should hold out until the market corrects itself. The prices the 49ers are asking are exhorbitant and need to change. Take a look at what happened with other teams and PSLs:
Here is a blog on Cowboys PSLs at $50K but up to $150K
Here is info on the Giants and Jets costs at $1k-$20K
Here’s an old article speculating on the 49ers PSLs
You can buy a 50 yard line Seattle Seahawk PSL for $10K
It is really sad that many people will lose their money and their team because of greed. In me the 49ers will likely lose my revenue as a fan in the stdium. I will support the laundry and the people who wear it, but I will not be a fan of management. unfortunately, the tradition of attending football games with my son will be ending soon for many in the Bay Area. I will just have to be more committed to baseball and the San Francisco Giants.
I am asking any 49ers STHs to consider holding out on the 49ers before paying for a seat license. There is no guarantee that the 49ers will be around just because of the stadium You will own nothing in the case of an earthquake, etc. There will still be ample opportunity to see an occasional game. The 49ers will just have to mrket harder to get the Faithful to show up every week. They better hope the team stays strong or else they will see how Unfaithful their new fans are. Ed Debartolo is the greatest owner that ever lived. Many called him a player’s owner, but he was a fan’s owner. He was the original Mark Cuban. His nephew is nowhere close in my eyes.
Did I mention that the stadium’s cost of $1 Billion will be at the expense of $150MM from the NFL and an $850MM loan from the city of Santa Clara and its taxpayers who will likely go bankrupt from this decision and are wanting to change their minds. The PSLs are going to pay off part of that loan. I’m not going to fall down that black hole.
I love my 49ers, but all I want is a winning team. I’m sure this new stadium is beautiful and will be a huge upgrade, but it is costing more than $1 billion. It is costing my loyalty to the game day experience. I hope there will come a better solution that will still allow me to send my children to college and along the way still allow me to afford to attend a few 49er games.
“Cancer is never just about the person who has it. At least it shouldn’t be. It’s about everyone around that person. Chris made a selfless decision and I love him dearly for it.” – Stefanie Spielman about her husband Chris before she lost her battle with breast cancer.
Many of you may not know who Chris Spielman is, but he was an All-American linebacker from Ohio St. and NFL All-pro. He also exemplified in my mind a great role model for all husbands out there when it comes to supporting your spouse. It isn’t just that he is a celebrity that I give him credit for being a good husband. I think he went beyond the call of duty as a co-survivor. I copied the story below by Lisa Olson
Recently his wife passed. What I really loved about this story is how he showed what co-survivorship is all about. I‘ve attached a link here, but you can also just read this story below:
by Lisa Olson
When Chris Spielman suffered a brutal neck injury, he said overcoming it was a breeze compared to most everything his wife Stefanie had faced. When her hair started falling out, when clumps of it began landing on the floor and in their toddler’s hands, Chris decided to shave his own head, a soldier in solidarity. When it became apparent that more chemotherapy and a mastectomy — breast cancer’s evil twins — were high on Stefanie’s schedule, Chris bid a temporary farewell to the NFL, skipping an entire year so he could be with the woman he proposed to on the 18th hole of a Putt-Putt course.
None of the above should be considered exceptional behavior by husbands or partners forced to watch their loved one undergo treatment for cancer. But everything Chris did back in those gloomy days following his wife’s diagnosis was regarded as unusual and, in some parts, emasculating.
Stefanie Spielman, 42, died Thursday after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. Chris Spielman, the NFL and Ohio State star, was by her side, along with their four children, and while she deserves a thousand hosannas and a billion thanks for her work in raising millions over the years to combat the disease, it should be noted that he was quite the trailblazer.
When they met at a teen dance in their hometown of Massillon, Ohio, Chris was a high school stud who soon would be featured on the cover of a Wheaties box; his football journey continued at Ohio State, where his bone-crunching hits as an All-American linebacker became legendary. By the time Stefanie found a lump in her right breast during a routine self-exam, they had been married 10 years and he was deep into an NFL career. This was 1998, and let’s just say the world of sports was not as enlightened as it is now.
She was three months pregnant when she felt that lump, and later miscarried. Chris told her he wanted to skip his upcoming season with the Buffalo Bills so he could accompany her to doctor appointments, and hold her head when the chemo made her nauseous, and be a calming force as she underwent surgery to remove her breast. Eight stellar years with the Detroit Lions and another two with the Bills (he set a team and personal record in 1996 with 206 tackles) had given him much credibility with the football-crazed public, but how would they understand this kind of absence?
“Players just didn’t leave the game unless they were injured or retiring on their own terms,” Stefanie once told me at a fundraiser for Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong foundation. “It seemed so simple to me. Just tell the fans your wife has breast cancer. Who knows? Maybe it will have some kind of trickle-down effect. Maybe one fan will go home and say to his wife, ‘Honey, sweetheart, don’t forget to make that appointment for your mammogram.’
“Cancer is never just about the person who has it. At least it shouldn’t be. It’s about everyone around that person. Chris made a selfless decision and I love him dearly for it.”
He took the season off, shaved his head to match his wife’s beautiful bald dome and still there were the grumps in the Neanderthal section wondering why a Pro Bowl linebacker had to go and mess up their Sunday fun. When Stefanie’s treatment reached a manageable level, he returned to the NFL for the 1999 season, this time with the Cleveland Browns, but a second neck injury ended his NFL career.
“Nothing my body has gone through can begin to compare to what Stefanie deals with almost every day,” Chris once said. “She’s my hero.”
Stefanie’s plan, formed in the aftermath of her diagnosis, began on a small level, with a sign at Big Bear, the Spielman’s neighborhood grocery story, asking shoppers to please donate money to Ohio State’s James Cancer Hospital. A few thousand dollars, she said, would have made her delirious. Girl Scout troops and baseball teams and individuals and clubs from all across the community began offering their pennies, and within six months those pennies totaled $1 million.
The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research, along with the Stefanie’s Champions awards, has since raised more than $6.5 million for the cause. She survived four bouts with cancer before a fifth, and final, recurrence in the spring left her wheelchair-bound. She accompanied Chris to Ohio State’s season opener against Navy, when he was honored at halftime for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Against a backdrop where Chris once played to phenomenal roars, the loudest applause, by far, came when Stefanie was introduced.
And in a cruel coincidence, on one of her last days came a report from a federal task force saying women should delay mammograms until they’re 50, 10 years later than the medical community has traditionally recommended. Not to make the Neanderthals in the balcony squeamish, but if you, the sports fan, have a mother, a sister, a wife, a girlfriend — or if you just happen to like healthy breasts — this might be a subject worth discussing at halftime. There is one tough linebacker who’d appreciate it.
“Stefanie has gone home to be with the Lord,” Chris Spielman said in a statement released by WBNS radio in Columbus, where he co-hosts a radio show. “For that, we celebrate, but with broken hearts. I want to thank everyone for their support over the last 12 years. Together, with your help, hopefully we made a difference in this fight.”
We hear all the time about athletes who’d never win plaques for Father or Husband of the Year. They fail in the complicated tango between celebrity and sports, neglecting their human responsibilities in exchange for fame and an enlarged ego. But there are many more who quietly go about their business between the lines, before returning home and acting as good citizens, good partners.
Chris and Stefanie Spielman’s story might have been one of the first public examples of an athlete doing the right — dare we say, the manly — thing. Thankfully, and in her memory, it won’t be the last.
(by Lisa Olson)
Been a bit since I posted thoughts here. A lot has been going on in life so it is good to capture these thoughts now. I have been inundated with life events that have put me in a very pensive mood about what where I’ve been, where I am and where I am going in life. After these last two weeks, today is defintiely a Brand New Day.
When I arrived home yesterday I saw the biggest smile on my wife’s face. To be welcomed by a big kiss a day after coming home to find that I lost a close relative to a heart attack was definitely a good pick me up. This may be the beginning of a brand new day on our journey with cancer. My wife’s joy was from her follow up post-op appointment with her surgeon. I think her doctors were also relieved to see her smiling as well as she said that they all gave her big hugs. Yes, my wife was her usual “chatty Cathy” self again, and that meant all was really well. It just dawned on me that it had been over 18 months since I had seen that excitement on her face. I had missed her “text” message in which she had told me how happy she was. She had been in good spirits, mind you, but this was just different. Some say our journey of survivorship is over, but I think when we look back it has only just begun.
For example, Ingrid Michaelson, pictured above, sang at a local club last night here in San Francisco with proceed donations at the door going to Breast Cancer Organizations in the Bay Area. The song ”Be Okay” has become a feature song in the fight against breast cancer. She was also part of the Hotel Cafe Tour last year in which the album, Winter Songs, gave $.50 for each sale to breast cancer research.
This past weekend, all of the NFL paid homage to breast cancer and its survivors. At the 49er game, donations were taken at the gate, referees wore pink, cheerleaders wore pink and players wore pink. Before the game, 50 breast cancer survivors were introduced to the players. One of the captains, 49ers QB, Shaun Hill, who wore pink cleats during the game, met with the survivors. He was later quoted as saying how he had put on the pink cleats without thinking. He didn’t know anyone with breast cancer, but when he met these women and saw the spirit in their eyes he said it suddenly became real to him and the shoes meant something. He said it even rattled him a bit before the game started.
And just yesterday I was at the President’s Cup. Nothing formal was done around Breast Cancer Awareness but a couple of the US players, notably Phil Mickelson and Master’s Champion, Zach Johnson, wore pink ribbons. Phil’s wife Amy, a native of Northern California, is currently battling breast cancer. What was readily apparent was that Phil made a point of saying hello and stopping for a second to speak with every person who wore a notably pink cap or ribbon to stop and sign an autograph. Several elderly women who wore Susan G. Komen shirts were startled as he stopped to say hello and give them each a hug. It didn’t go unnoticed by me or any of the thousands of spectators who saw this connection and warmth he exhibited especially when compared to other golfers who whisked right by the crowd without any kind of acknowledgement to the screaming fans.
So what does this mean? To me it is just the sign of how powerful a community of similarity around a single cause can be. I wish the same thing could be done around heart disease. Just like the push for a mammogram, perhaps everyone should get an EKG. With the obese population we have and the number of people who die of heart attacks each year, why shouldn’t we all get one. I probably need one and my cousin who passed away in his early 50s in his sleep earlier this week could have used one. I bet his 3 teenage children and wife wish that he could have had one.
These events when they hit so close to home just make me think more about my life in so many ways. What was the last thing I did with my cousin? Gave him a High-5 and a hug at the 49ers home opener. How good does that make me feel? It helps me feel like my peace with my cousin is there. It reminded me that when you see someone make sure you leave a good impression with them until you see them again and to remember that smile until the next time you see them. My cousin and his wife and family are models to me of where I will be in 10 years. I can’t help but see that in 10 years I don’t want my heart to fail on my own children and leave them fatherless as they just get started with their lives. It is sad though. My cousin was my 10 year barometer in life. His death to me is a kick start to remind myself to do as much as I can to spend quality time with my children and really make sure they know me and my wishes for them. My life is an open book to them. No secrets. My fears and hopes and dreams are there for them to inspect.
My cousin and his wife were the first people we told on my father’s side of the family when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and they were the first to help out. My wife and I are beside ourselves about how lucky and fortunate we are to be winning the battle against breast cancer a year later at the same time we are seeing people who seemed so healthy leave us behind. There is no rhyme or reason it seems.
Finally, my son’s classmate’s dad finally lost his battle with pancreatic cancer earlier this week as well. Yes I feel like signs of my life area ll around me. Watching another dad with similar age children leave behind a wife to take care of a 10 and 7 year old is just so sad. When first diagnosed he told me how his main goal was to fight the cancer as long as he could but he knew he couldn’t win in the long run and thus his other goal was to impart enough of his thoughts on life to his two sons so that they’d have something to guide them. Watching the 10 year old this week, his father did a good job in preparing him for the inevitable day. Sad that it has to be at such a young age though for such a good kid.
So where do I go from here? As I said, it’s a brand new day. We can only go forward, live life to it’s fullest and make sure we taste every experience we can get and share it with everyone in such a way that we have an impact on those who might have to be reminded or forget the power of the human spirit.