Aug. 21, 2016 – 50/50 Raffle at NFL games – Stepping up for Others

I just read, as it was scrolling across the bottom of my television screen, on the NFL Network (I’m desperate for football. I was watching a pre-season game, of which neither team was my team.) that the New Orleans Saints are donating the proceeds from their two pre-season games to the Louisiana flood victims. I thought the way it read it meant all proceeds from the game and thought WOW! That’s awesome. Way to go Saints! Stepping up to help your fans, and probably some who aren’t, in their time of need.

As I was writing this I thought maybe I should research to see how much this might be and discovered, as least from what I interpret, they are actually going to start having 50/50 raffles at every home game and donate the money to charity. The two pre-season games donations will be for the flood victims. Now don’t get me wrong, this is a great idea. I’ve often wondered why NFL teams’ charitable organizations don’t have 50/50 raffles at games. They have it at NHL, NBA, and MLB games. These are much smaller audiences, 20,000+ (40,000 for MLB) compared to 60,000 to 80,000 and more at NFL stadiums. I’ve seen those totals get over $50,000 hockey and basketball games. Even with just half of that going to charity it’s a nice amount. So triple or quadruple that and it’s a nice chunk of change.  I was at Soldier Field when the Blackhawks played there in a Stadium Series game a few years ago in a snowstorm, and the total to split was $80,000+.

Yet, hats off to the Saints and the other NFL teams for finally figuring out what the NHL, NBA, and MLB have know for quite some time. There may be NFL teams that have done this before this year and I’m just not aware of it. I didn’t take time to research it. I’ve been to every stadium except Buffalo and I don’t recall ever seeing a 50/50 raffle.

So when you go to a game this year, take a few extra dollars to buy a ticket for a chance to win a great prize and to help others in need.

That said though, donating the proceeds from two 50/50 raffles is not the same as donating the proceeds from two pre-season games. Somehow this got lost in the translation to the NFL Network.

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Aug. 14, 2016 – Get Off the Ledge – It’s Just Pre-season

I waited seven long months for football. Actually longer than that since my team didn’t make the playoffs and all you can give at the first pre-season game is 0. Yes, 0. Really? You lose 22-0. 0!!! You couldn’t even give me a field goal? And all you can give is 130 yards of total offense? UGH!!!! I waited how long for this?

Ok, it’s just the first pre-season game. I’ve taken a number of deep breaths and I’ve gotten off the ledge. I have told myself I will repeat over and over again, it’s just pre-season, it’s just pre-season. Because well, it is just the first game of pre-season football, and how much should I expect from my team? How much? I freaking expect them to come out as excited as I am about football being back and play like they care as much as I do! Is that too much to ask? Is it?

Maybe it is. Maybe I should just settle down and tell myself they are the professionals. The coaches know what they are doing. It will be ok. Simmer down, at least until the first game of the regular season. See how they play then. See if they come out pumped up with visions of an undefeated season and winning the Super Bowl. Just wait. Be patient. See how they are at the first game. Then you can make judgement.

We begin the season in Houston. Are they focused on ending the season in Houston? Site of Super Bowl LI? They sure better be cause I know I am.

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Aug. 13, 2016 – The Paint was Wrong?

Last Sunday evening was supposed to be the first pre-season game of 2016. I was so excited even if it was pre-season and not my team playing. I, like I know many times fans, just wanted football. Any football. I just needed football. It had been seven months since the Super Bowl. I’m not into watching baseball and hockey in Chicago ended too early this year. I just wanted some football.

Then an hour before the game is to start it’s announced the game is cancelled due to field conditions. Field conditions? It’s freaking sunny in Canton! What is wrong with the the field? It’s not like it was just used a week or so ago for a game. The Hall of Fame Enshrinement was there last night but that happens every year. The enshrinement Saturday night, game Sunday night. What is different?

Now don’t get me wrong. I certainly don’t want any player to get hurt so if it’s a safety issue, the absolute right decision was made. But because the wrong paint was used on the logo this is the reason? What? What? The wrong paint? Seriously? This field had been used once for the Super Bowl in New Orleans. It was used once! Ummm… Weren’t there logos on the field? The wrong paint was used? Unbelievable!

So the game was cancelled and we had to wait four days for football. Are there worse things going on in the world? Absolutely. I, as well as other fans, survived. Just please NFL, please, try to get the simple things right.