For a couple of years back in the mid-2000’s, I had some pieces published on Turf Show Times.
(If you’re not familiar, I promise, it wasn’t a Los Angeles Rams site back then, it was a St. Louis Rams site.)
I found writing about football to be much more difficult than writing about baseball.
On any given day I can (usually) think of a idea for a baseball blog post that hasn’t been done a thousand times before.
True, you’re always going to have unoriginal ideas (the managing stinks, X player is setting Y record, can the team really make the playoffs, et al), but you can also go on jags of weirdness.
Add in the sheer number of MLB games, the rich history of the sport, the love of stats/analytics and regionalism of a team like the Cardinals?
Lots of angles.
Football, while probably 10x as popular as baseball, has a couple of huge factors working against it when it comes to coverage:
- 16 games
- Players can get cut and not paid
With so few games and a workforce that falls in line and (mostly) tries to avoid controversies to stay employed, football writers constantly struggle to keep content fresh.
Throw in the fact that (unlike baseball fans) a good number football watchers aren’t all that interested in metrics outside of the basics?
It’s a grind.
And by the time we get to ‘NFL Championship Weekend’, almost every single story line has been pulverized by a deep cadre of authors feeding a large appetite for NFL related work.
This post isn’t hating on creators of NFL content. I feel their pain.
But please, PLEASE stop saying that if the Vikings win the NFC Championship that they’re going to have home field advantage for the Super Bowl.
If you are being extremely literal… yes, if the Vikings win the NFC Championship game on Sunday they will play in the Super Bowl game at US Bank Stadium.
US Bank Stadium is where the Vikings play home games.
If you think this will provide the Vikings an advantage of some sort over the AFC representative, it will not.
US Bank Stadium has a capacity of 66,655 for Vikings games, but can be expanded to 70,000 seats for special events (like concerts).
Since this is the the most public event in Minneapolis history, I’m assuming they’re going to get as many people in the stadium as possible, right?
Let’s split the difference and say there’s 68,350 total seats available for Super Bowl LII.
Here’s where those tickets go:
- 500 for NFL fan lottery
- 11,961 to AFC champion (17.5% of total tickets/NFC gets 17.5% as well)
- 22,966 split evenly between the other 29 NFL teams
- 17,088 for NFL corporate partners/league staff
That equals 52,515 tickets that will not be going to Vikings fans.
15,835 tickets will be going (presumably) to Vikings fans, Super Bowl planners and other Minneapolis & Minnesota dignitaries that will cheer on the Vikings.
The cheapest face value ticket to the ’18 Super Bowl is $850 dollars. Tickets on the secondary market are much higher. As of this post, I couldn’t find a single seat under $3,400 on SeatGeek.
So if you’re a Vikings fan, you have two options to get in (assuming you didn’t win the NFL lottery):
- Be one of the 15,835 people that get offered a ticket for $850 dollars (minimum)
- Buy a ticket for $3,400 on the secondary market
The Super Bowl is, was, and forever will be the most corporate of corporate sporting events.
“There’s not a lot of crowd noise,” said Ron Jaworski, an ESPN analyst who was the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles when they reached the Super Bowl at the end of the 1980 season. “People mostly sit on their hands, outside of the fans that buy the tickets for the team. It’s kind of a corporate get-together.”
But it’s never been a team’s home stadium, right?
Then again, there’s only (roughly) 16K seats available to Vikings fans. And those seats are very expensive.
Maybe I’m stereotyping, but if you have A) the connections to get offered a ticket to the Super Bowl and B) the cash on hand to spend at least $1,700 for a pair of upper-deck seats to a sporting event… you’re probably not the type of fan that is going to lose your voice screaming when the defense creates a 3rd down.
And if you are?
There are 4 other people on either side of you that will drown out your screams with their apathy.
You’re going to hear about this.
And if the Vikings win on Sunday?
A lot more.
Nothing we do can stop this.
But if one of your buddies starts talking about how the Vikings will have an amazing home field advantage for the Super Bowl, at least you’ll know better.
(Note: I know this is a football related post on a baseball site, but I needed to get this out of my head and written down. FWIW, I feel much better. Thanks for reading.)