Supply and demand is the cornerstone to any good product. If you provide a service or product that demands it be consumed, the chances are your product is going to take off. The other cornerstone to the supply and demand method of economics is that the public, with money, is willing to buy into that service or product.
Does anyone remember when Reebok Air Pumps were the craze a few years back? They were simply a craze because once the public realized there was no need for them, they died off. There are probably millions in a warehouse in China collecting dust as I type this article.
The point here is that the National Football League provides a service to fans, who in turn dole out millions of hard earned cash to make the service/product viable. Once the public realizes or starts to believe that the product/service isn’t worth their money, it will go downhill.
I am sick and tired of owners, and some players, taking fans for granted. If it wasn’t for our existence in this climate, you would cease to exist. How many corporate sponsors are willing to pay for a billboard in a nearly empty stadium? Would Nike have agreed to a multi-billion dollar apparel contract with the 16 and under Female Curling League? Somehow I doubt it.
The latest evidence of these rich power elites taking fans for granted is a memo sent out by the Director of Public Relations of the San Diego Chargers to their fans. The memo was titled “Take a Chill Pill.”
If you haven’t read this piece of work, I suggest you do now by clicking here.
The open letter, by Bill Johnston, starts, “What’s with you people?” As if the Chargers are somehow University of Alabama guards turning firehouses on civil right protesters of the 1960s. “What’s with you people?” Is that seriously a way to talk to fans who support your team through thick and thin? Who give up important weekend hours to watch your team play? Who spend a lot of hard earned money on tickets?
Mr. Johnson continues...
"Sometimes I think Twitter was invented to give people a chance to puff out their chests and talk big, saying things they never would say to someone’s face. And talk radio … don’t get me started. The old adage your mom used to preach – If you don’t have anything good say, don’t say anything – seems to have evolved to if you don’t have anything good to say, call sports talk radio.”
No, Twitter exists for fans to get in touch with the players and vent their grievances towards certain franchises that are not living up to expectations. It is a medium for those who don’t have a real voice in terms of how a franchise is run or is supposed to be run. Sure, some do “puff out their chests.” Believe me, I have been on the receiving end of some funny interactions. This doesn’t mean that Twitter and other social networking sites are useless in terms of getting a point across. Hell, some of the best people I follow are fans, not other journalists or players. To somehow act that they are any less because they take up to Twitter in order to make a point or air some grievances is elitism at its absolute worst.
Listen, when I write it is expected that I give my absolute best to the specific article that I am working on. I don’t take days off, nor do I wing it. Instead, I fully understand that readers are taking time out of their lives to read my words, some meaningless drivel, that is written on a parchment. Whether you work retail or answer to board members of a huge corporation, it is expected that you do your absolute best. If you work as a janitor, you are expected to dry the floor after you mop it. If you are a manager at Old Navy, it is expected that the store is clean by the time it opens up the next morning.
This is no different as it relates to professional sports. Players, those who represent a franchise, give it their all, a vast majority of the time, to ensure that the fans are happy and that their team wins. When it doesn’t go according to plan or those players don’t give it their all, fans, as the consumers, are entitled to boo and show that they’re not happy.
When organizations aren’t run well. See the Cleveland Browns, fans have every right to get on those who run said’ organization, just as players, who give it their all, are entitled to do so.
"If you want these players and coaches to succeed, then support them. Don’t tear them down. What you want and what we all want, including your team, is to know people believe in them."
Isn’t this exactly what you are doing here, Mr. Johnston? Tearing down others in order to make a point that you deem valid. Ripping into a fan base that has supported your organization through thick and thin. This isn’t even the pot calling the kettle black. No, it’s hypocrisy and arrogance at its absolute worst.
Do you complain when you are in a grocery store and there is only one lane open, but seven employees are just standing around? Yes, of course you do. Instead of focusing on ripping into the fans, you might actually want to take a step back and see what you as an organization can do better so that those who support you don’t have to take to Twitter to prove a point. In reality the problem here is with the organization, from A.J. Smith down to Norv Turner and Philip Rivers, not the fans.
"Look at it this way. We want our loved ones to succeed, and we’ll do whatever it takes to help them. But when they make mistakes, like we all do, we would never criticize or belittle them publicly."
No, just no. My family, those who I love, would go to the end of the Earth to help me when I am in trouble. They support ME when I am down and lift me up. In turn, I am there for them when they need some love or compassion.
Being a fan of a franchise isn’t like being a member of a family. As we all studied in school, the family unit is the basis upon which we are defined growing up...Not professional sports. To make this comparison is to make an assumption that fans have nothing better to do than jeer or cheer their team. In fact, represents the most glaring arrogance of this entire piece. None of us are defined by our allegiance to a specific team unless we play for them. Instead, we are tied to what we do in life, who we effect and who we love.
While many of us do love our teams, it is cold and calculated for an organization to come out and say that we are defined by that organization. Simply put, that is what the Chargers did when they released this piece of trash to their fan base.
Instead of getting down on the fans that you have, who spend millions of dollars and countless hours cheering you on, maybe you should do something about the product that you put on the field. Otherwise demand won’t be there and all you will have is Twitter to make your point
Oh wait, you have a different forum for that.