Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Empty Seats in Redskins' "Dannyland"

Looks like I am not the only one who noticed the empty seats this past week. Jason LaCanfora also mentioned it in his Redskin Insider blog entry yesterday. He specifically referred to the "Increasingly Large Globs of Vacant Seats at Dannyland."

Here is another observation by the Post, "A cornucopia of unoccupied seats in FedEx Field's upper deck. About half of the chairs in the top bowl stayed empty Sunday. Usually packed with fans, the tip of the stadium instead resembled a sea of red plastic."

Here is an Atlanta fan who was apparently at the game this past weekend. Quoting, "Almost half of the stadium was empty with 5 minutes left in the game and more than 3/4ths were gone by the time the punt was blocked."

I know JKD and Deepie don't seem to see the empty seats and think there is nothing unusual about it. But, the growing number of empty seats is quite obvious and does have implications about the overall support level of the fans.


deepie said...

So people don't want to show up when their team stinks, it's 40 degrees out, and the process of getting to the stadium, watching the game, and getting out takes the entire day. Can you really blame them?

The data in the link I provided proves that this is not uncommon. When teams are expected to be bad, the team will buy back tickets to ensure a sell out and/or make less tickets available. In the Redskins' case, people have purchased the tickets with the expectation that the team would be good. The product on the field is not very good so why spend an entire day at the stadium? Last year, seats, parking, beer and food cost the same, but the stadium was packed. Yes, if going to the game was a cheaper event, I'm sure more seats would be filled now, but it has more to do with the team's performance than anything.

Your point that tickets are selling on ebay for less than face value is proof that I am right. If it were a price issue, below face value tickets would be selling on ebay like hotcakes. The cost isn't the deterrent so people aren't so concerned with being gouged. They just don't want to devote an entire day to see a team play that clearly isn't as good as expected.

Rob said...

I don't blame the fans - you are right, the product stinks.

Are you saying that the Redskins had nothing to play for last week? Keep in mind that had they won, they would have only been 1 game back in the Wild Card race. Only three teams would have been ahead of them and they would have played two of them in coming weeks (Eagles and Giants).

I don't care about the ticket prices right now, the point is tht the fans are staying away even when the Redskins have/had a good chance at the playoffs still.

That shows how far Danny Boy has brought down the once-great Redskin organization.

J and K's D said...

Disagree. Deepie just said that the stadium was packed last year when the Redskins made their push. Everyone was happy last year because we were doing well.

I went to the Dallas game last year in 30-40 degree weather and the stadium was rocking. It was the game that was critical to both teams and we demolished them. It was a great atmosphere. What do you want, Rob?

The product is not good this year. What's sad is that 4-7, we still had playoff aspirations. Tells you something about how bad the NFC is this year.

The quote from "Mike Vick" on the Falcon blog site is ridiculous. I'm sure he is embellishing some but I agree that fans left early because the game was out of hand. That is normal. Are/were you surprised by that? In that classic Monday night game b/t the Dolphins and the Jets where the Jets made an incredible come back in the second half, a lot of fans left at halftime thinking the game was over. I still remember Jason Taylor yelling at the fans asking them mockingly where they were going?

If the product was better, the stadium would be filled. I'm sure the stadium was filled to capacity the first few games as there was a lot of hype and hope around this team.

AGAIN, it is the norm for fans not to go when their team is out of it. This is not unique to the Redskins.

Rob said...

My point is that the Redskins were not out of it. They would have only been 1 game out with 4 to play.

They also play Philly and the Giants in those 4 games. They are also playing the Rams (who they would have been tied with) and New Orleans. Winning three out of the last four may have made the playoffs.

Whatever. The Redskin fans have given up on the team and if you think it is justified that is fine. But, please do not claim that the game was meaningless. That simply is not true.

J and K's D said...

I thought your point was that fans are not coming regardless of the product on the field because Danny Boy has made it miserable for them.

I didn't say that it was not meaningless. Although hopes for us to make the playoffs was a REAL stretch. We would pretty much have to bank on winning out and then for additional help.

I still saw a decent crowd. I'm sure there were empty seats and I stand by my previous post when I said that if the product was better, the fans would come. Proof was my going to the Dallas game last year when it was jam packed and loud. You can believe what you want and say that the Bears fans will come to the stadium and love the team regardless of the performance but I disagree with that and believe fan attendance is in direct correlation with the product on the field.

J and K's D said...

I meant "meaningless" and not "not meaningless" in my post above. Please excuse my error because I know you will jump all over it.

Rob said...

They are a miserable team and the organization gouges fans so they are fed up.

But please explain to me how being 1 game out with 4 to go is meaningless. If the Redskins had won their "meaningless" game that is where they would be.

J and K's D said...

I just said that it was not meaningless. In fact, I had to put the second post just to clarify. Are you blind?

deepie said...


Two things:

1. The 'Skins technically weren't out of it last week and they're still not out of it even at 4-8. The problem is every 'Skins fan expected at least an 10-6 or 11-5 season out of the team. It has been a disappointment and despite being mathematically in the playoff race, most fans have already written off this season as a wasted effort.

2. The team has a QB who basically is a rookie and a defense that can't stop anyone or anything. It's pretty clear that the team wasn't going to run the table and get in the post-season so fans have become disenchanted. Last year, even at 5-6, the team looked like it was capable of a lot more because the defense was strong and Moss, Cooley, and Portis were having big seasons. The team has nothing going for it that indicates a spark can be lit right now and the fans can see that.

The same arguments can be made for any struggling team.

Rob said...

JKD, first please explain to me how you define "meaningless."

When you say, "AGAIN, it is the norm for fans not to go when their team is out of it." I take that to mean that a team is out of the playoffs and thus it is playing in a MEANINGLESS game.

Second, since you didn't believe that the game was "meaningless" what did you mean by the above statement? What is meaningful about playing in a game when the Redskins are out of the playoff race (your belief not mine)?

Third, how is it that making the playoffs "was a REAL stretch?" If they had won, they would only be 1 back with 4 to go (and they would have the tiebreaker over Atlanta).

Yet again, when you state that, "hopes for us to make the playoffs was a REAL stretch. We would pretty much have to bank on winning out and then for additional help." You are essentially calling the game meaningless - no matter what you now claim about not calling the game meaningless. The fact is that that statement is untrue. If the Redskins won out, they would very likely be in the playoffs. They had control of their destiny and would not need help. The reason would be that they would have beaten 5 teams in their last six weeks (if we count Carolina) that were above them. More than likely this would carry them into the playoffs.

As I keep pointin gout

Rob said...

Deepie, so it is now your contention that the Redskins are incapable of playing any better? This is the best that they can perform?

JKD and you have been arguing for weeks (and JKD still believes this), that the Redskins are capable of much more.

So you do not believe that the Redskins would be capable of making up one game over the last 4 weeks, even when the team gets to play 2 of the 4 teams ahead of them at home?

This is an odd change of heart. So the fans won't support their team and come out to games unless they win the division by a lot? Strange.

deepie said...

Rob. You are very quick to jump from one extreme to the other. I have always believed that the 'Skins can play better and I still do. We showed it against the Jags, the Cowboys, the Panthers, and in the first half against the Colts and Falcons. What I'm saying is that we haven't shown an ability to be consistent over a period of a few games. When I said we have nothing going for us right now to show that a spark can be lit, I meant all phases of the team have been problems. The offense looks great for a half then sputters, the kickers miss 30 yard field goals, the defense is a sieve. Last year it was clear that the defense was very good and it was just a matter of time before things got better. This year, there is no indication that it will improve because all facets of the game are flawed due to inconsistency.

'Skins fans are loyal, but we're not stupid. Anyone who understands football could clearly see that the team isn't quite there and isn't capable of winning 5 games in a row right now. The Panthers game was good, but the team hadn't shown all year that it could keep up that level of play over the course of two games. Had the level of play in the 1st quarter against the Falcons kept up and had we won the game, I'm sure you wouldn't have seen a 1/2 empty stadium in the 3rd quarter and you'd see a packed house this week for a division game.

I'll restate that given the expectations all 'Skins fans had at the beginning of the year, anything less than being a serious contender was going to be a severe disappointment. That's what we have right now and I'm not going to blame the fans for not going to the stadium. I wouldn't go. I'll continue to watch the games from beginning to the bitter end in the hopes of finally seeing the consistency the team has been lacking, but I'm not going to devote my entire day to a potential disappointment.

J and K's D said...

Rob, again I agree with Deepie. You jump all over the place. You pick one nugget and will embellish. Deepie and I are just being realistic. Why do you have to be SO silly?

Again, the game was not meaningless but, I will say again, even after the great effort we put in against Carolina, the word "playoff" should not have even entered our thoughts. We should have been focused on consistency and putting together a couple of good wins together. If we had done that, fine, now lets start thinking about playoffs. If we had beaten Atlanta, we would be jumbled in a pool of 8 other teams vying for two Wild Card spots. Yes, there would have been hope but before we can talk playoffs, we have to talk consistency.

It's weird, Rob. Sometimes I think things that you should already know being an adult and a football fan, I feel I have to spell out to you and explain to you like I have to do to my 3 year old. Even that sometimes seems easier than explaining something to you.

Sometimes I wonder if you are just trying to be annoying or if you are serious. Sadly, more often than not now I feel it is the latter.

Rob, get off the Rexy juice. Seeing your own QB quickly deteriorate is bad enough.

Rob said...

You and Deepie are being realistic? The Redskins would have no chance of overcoming one game with 4 games to go in a weak NFC? Giving up on the season is appropriate in such a situation? Man, you guys really are quitting on your team. If the Bears were in the same situation, I would like to think I would stick with the team until the end.

Just look at what you are arguing - that it is appropriate for fans to have skipped out on the Atlanta game because the season was over. I don't believe that being 1 game back constitutes being out of the playoff hunt - but you guys clearly have a different standard than me.
JKD, you still never explained your definition of "meaningless."

It was you who used terms that would indicate that the game was meaningless. Then when I pointed this out, you have no explanation and question my understanding of the game.

Deepie, I guess you are now resigned to the fact that your team is not very good in a weak NFC. I'll just accept that you now recognize how bad the Redskins are.

J and K's D said...

How many times do I have to say that the game was NOT meaningless? Get off the Rexy juice, man. Seriously.

I did not give up on the 'Skins. Again, I was not prepared to even think about playoffs after the Carolina win. It was a great all around effort but we have not been consistent all year and I wanted to see consistency. Again, if we had the same effort against Atl and won that game, I would bet you would see a much stronger crowd against Philly this week. I have written this before. Is this getting through to you, Rob, or am I going to have to write this again? How many times am I going to have to write this AND that I don't think that that game was meaningless?

I believe the Redskins are not good. They have had good games and good moments but they have not been consistent. I think they have the ability to be better. I have said this multiple times too. I think they should keep their main coaches in tact. Get rid of the all these other "coaches" that seem to interfere with things. Simplify the game to stick with Redskin football and then get some help on defense. Between the help on defense, Campbell becoming more comfortable as a starter and going into next year as the starter, and having a full year under the coaches, I think will make a difference. We'll see I may be wrong.

Rob, am I going to have to repeat myself again?

Rob said...

How many times do I have to ask you to explain what you meant by the comments I cited earlier? Those comments point to the fact that you believed the game was meaningless.

Unless of course you have a different definition of "meaningless" than the rest of the world.

Am I going to have to repeat myself again?

deepie said...

You've apparently gone back to arguing just for the sake of arguing. I think it's pretty clear that the point JKD and I are trying to make is that we understand that mathematically the 'Skins were and are still in the playoff hunt, BUT, given the team's inability to be consistent, it is clear to us and the vast majority of 'Skins fans that reaching the playoffs is not a realistic expectation. This doesn't mean that we think the game was meaningless. ( brought the meaningless term to this discussion. It wasn't JKD or me that said it). The Falcons game, for me personally, was a barometer to gauge what the 'Skins are capable of this year. They proved that when they stick to their guns, they can move the ball and score, but they still don't have an identity on offense and the defense isn't as good as it looked against Carolina. I'm sure a lot of other 'Skins fans approached the game the same way, hence the empty seats. As I said earlier, if they had shown some consistency throughout the game instead of during just a few drives here and there, you wouldn't have seen so many empty seats late in the game. 'Skins fans know the product is no good.

Having said all that, I want to be clear that I haven't quit on the team. I said I'll watch the games to the end. I also clearly implied that I'm being realistic and not concocting false expectations for my team. The 'Skins need some additional talent on defense and they need more time to gell and gain experience on offense. That doesn't mean we can't win 4 in a row, but we'd have to play well to overcome the flaws. Playing well, i.e. with consistency, is the problem. I'm a fan and I'm hoping the consistency will come, but I see the same thing on the field that you do and you know this team couldn't run the table against the Eagles, Saints, Rams, and Giants. For you to argue that the team is still in the playoff hunt contradicts everything you've argued about the 'Skins in the past and simply makes me believe you are just trying to be annoying. I don't think the situation is as hopeless as you've made it out to be, but I think we can agreee that this year's team is incapable of putting together a string of wins.

Rob said...

See my latest post today. The Redskins were more than just mathematically in it. You quit on your team too early.

J and K's D said...

I have said almost the same thing as Deepie many times over.

Rob, I seriously think you are just trying to be an ass right now and nothing more.

If not, you need help to get off of your Rexy juice because you can't seem to comprehend what it is we are saying.

I also did an independent poll (actually conducted on a couple of fellow Redskin fans) and we all share the EXACT same feelings that Deepie and I share.

We did not/are not quitting on our team and the game was not "meaningless" (I don't know how many times I have to say this) but I did not want to think about playoffs when we had played SO inconsistently. If we had strung together 2 and even 3 wins together, you would have seen a packed house and you would be hearing all this playoff talk on SportsTalk and reading about it in the papers and the city would be excited and talking about playoffs, etc.

Again, I will repeat, the game was not "meaningless" but before that game, I would bet you 9 out of 10 'Skins fans if asked, would say that the 'Skins are not going to the playoffs. The 'Skins would have to prove they can put together a couple wins together for fans to truly believe that we had an opportunity to get to the playoffs.

Rob said...

We'll continue the discussion on the other post.