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Players & Fans Wait Together On End To NFL Lockout

When sports crown a new NBA champion & NHL Stanley Cup winner, it begins the summer sports lull that is usually filled by the start of NFL mini-camps and the start of training camp.  A buzz normally fills the air on what teams are looking good in training camp, even before the preseason opener.

This year is different. This year we are being submitted to endless baseball highlights & whatever else ESPN can show during SportsCenter due to continued arguing over a billion dollar industry.  A summer that should be filled with players and teams preparing for gridiron battle.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has reduced his pay to $1 for the duration of the lockout. With each passing day not being paid, players miss out on crucial practices and playing tim. However, fans have it much worse: they are stuck at home with no hope of a Super Bowl come January. Stuck with Packers fans bragging about their epic title run.  Stuck talking about a season that may never come.

Goodell says that the lockout isn’t just to benefit players and owners though; fans will benefit as well.  Fans never benefit when players and owners talk about what money they are owed.

Fans wait to make certain decisions before the season starts.  What single games do they want to purchase, what away games to attend, what to buy in preparation for tailgating, when to buy that new HDTV, and other decisions usually made before football begins.

Certain fans have already given up their season tickets.  Some have had it with riisng ticket prices and others just feel the lockout was the last straw in seeing how little the fans mean to the NFL.  Some Jets fans have not just given up their seats, but trying to sell their PSL’s as well.

“That’s why we are trying to get a better economic model” Goodell told reporters last week. “And I think everyone understands that. You (the fans) are not being left out of the equation. The fans are a big part of that equation and a big part of the success of NFL football.”  He sees costs being passed down to the fan that would be prevented with a better business model.  Costs are already too high so any economic change for the fan is good.

Free agency is a critical time for teams to acquire new players to help supplement their squad. The big signings that occur every year and change the landscape of the NFL excite fans for the coming season. This is when we can stop talking about the Super Bowl champion and have a reason to feel that this year is different.

Last year former Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers was probably the biggest name amongst free-agent signees. Peppers went on to be a contributor for the Chicago Bears with 8 sacks against constant double teams. Bears fans were sure they were on the right path to win the big game.

Kenny Britt awaiting judges decision. Credit: NJ.com

This year it’s supposed to be whatever team can land Nnamdi Asomugha, a cornerback who has proven that he can shut down half the field. Unfortunately, he won’t find a home until the lockout finally comes to an end.  Same goes with the NFL rookies.  Drafted by their new organizaton, they can not be signed or talked to.

Our favorite players are also getting into trouble because they have too much time on their hands.  Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt was charged with resisting arrest and tampering with evidence this week when he crushed a joint as police approached him.  The police didn’t find any drugs on him, but this is likely a situation that would have been avoided if players were focused on the season.

Now the Titans are entering the season with a diminished receiving group and are likely facing another sub-par year.  Less time to work with coaches, less time to improve.

Former Giants and Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress just got out of jail but can’t sign with a team because of the lockout.  The best he can do is workout and practice with others so he can get into some kind of playing shape.

Formerly a dynamic game changing receiver and Super Bowl hero, Burress will enthuse the fans of whatever team he goes to – if and when he does actually get signed.

I hope Goodell is sincere that the resulting post-lockout business model reduces costs that are being passed down to fans. We are the reason the league is so successful, and the more of the league year us fans lose to the lockout the more interested we will become in things not related to the NFL.  Goodell should learn from what happened to MLB and the NHL.

Will NY Jets Season Affect Their Stock Price?

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I know what you may be thinking, what stock is associated with the New York Jets? They are not a public company. But investors do have a ventured interest in the team. The investors are the fans. The stock are the PSLs and season tickets. What the Jets do on and off the field does affect what the PSLs will go for in the future. This is a make or break year for the Jets. The inaugural season at the New Meadowlands Stadium will decide if fans (investors) thought it was worth making an investment in the New York Jets, and if their PSL is worth keeping.

When the Jets and Giants offered up the PSLs, that was their IPO. They called it “an investment”. If they want to call it an investment, then let us call the PSLs and season tickets “stock”. Once the stock was offered to the public, you had an option of how much you wanted to pay for your investment in the team, or your seats. That initial price was set by the teams. As many are aware, the prices did come down as many fans did not want to pay the price the teams were asking for their IPO.

Some prices were slashed 50% while other seats had a flat price of the season ticket cost. A cost that has steadily increased over the years. Jets season ticket prices have gone up while some will say, the teams play has gone down. Only two AFC Championship game appearances in the past 12 years. Once fans paid the IPO, they had the opportunity to pay it all at once, over 5 years, or fifteen years. If you took the financing, you also paid interest. Since the financing was being offered by the Jets and not a bank, the Jets earned extra money (the interest) on that IPO. In other words, investors who financed paid more for the same seats than one who paid in full.

Those who would like to transfer their PSL to someone else must have approval before doing so. This is all in the PSL Agreement which every PSL owner has. Now if one is in the middle of payments and transfers the PSL to someone else. The remainder of the payments are due when the transfer to the new owner takes place. The only time this does not happen is if the transfer is made to a family member. So if Jim Smith sells his PSL to Bob Jones, Bob has to pay the remainder of the PSL in full, no more installments. It really is easier to sell a stock certificate. So if the team is doing badly and loses its value in the market, it may not be as easy to sell off a PSL.

There are websites out there where one can buy a PSL from current PSL holders. In many cases, some are not getting the return on their investment like they had hoped. From some I have talked to in Baltimore, the only time PSL holders made a profit on selling them was after the Ravens won the Super Bowl. Since that point, it has either been even money or not much of an investment. Many fans are not seeing the return the teams had promised. Then again, many are also keeping them to pass along and do not see them as an investment. Only a necessary evil to continue being a season ticket holder.

Now, many know stock gains or loses value depending on the company’s performance. Sames goes for sports. If a team does great, one can sell a PSL for greater value. If a team performs poorly, one may not get the price asked. This is where the Jets are at now. PSL holders can not sell their PSL until holding it for at least one year, this year. Next year, they can do with as they please. Now the Jets started the season great. Some who looked at the PSL as an investment may have though about selling it to make a profit. If they finish the year with Super Bowl hopes crushed, one may have to hold it and sink more money into it. Thus, holding it longer than ones wants.

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The Jets are a company that controls how well their stock performs. As long as the team is a playoof and Super Bowl contender every year, people will want those PSLs and pay to have them. If the Jets fall back to being the Jets everyone knows, then they will never sell them all. Theey still have yet to sell all their PSLs. They can not even sell out their non PSL seats. So their stock is not worth as much as they think it is. The Jets hold their own future in their hands. As long as the team performs, people will wants to attend the games.

As I have been noticing this year, their is a younger fan base than previous years. Many older fans opted out of the PSLs and there are many younger first time season ticket holders. Those who purchased their PSL should treat it like stock. You have a piece in the teams new stadium you helped to build it. The PSL holders are shareholders in the new stadium. They should have a voice as to what goes on, but don’t. Stockholders in a company get one vote per share f stock in most cases, same should go for PSL holders. If that money went to help fund the stadium, then they should have a say in what goes on.

The Jets will face the Steelers this Sunday. With wins over them, Chicago, and Buffalo they can still show they want to make the playoffs. They are just not the elite team they think they are. Two of their nine wins came against teams with winning records. Plus, four of their wins they just squeaked out. The defense has not been as good as last year and not as good as Rex Ryan keeps claiming. Even Joe Namath said on Michael Kay that the Jets are not as great as they think they are. All of these are factors in what fans decide to do in the future, especially next season.

So if the Jets do not make the right changes, then no new stock will be sold. Investors will not want to sink money into a team that is not a playoff contender. Investors will not want to spend their hard earned money in what is still a down economy to invest in a team that is not offering a return to the playoffs. Some may have a hard time even selling them in the secondary market, not able to offer more than what they paid for them. The Jets and PSL molders have a lot to think about when one can finally sell them off.

It all comes down to performance. Many fans will never give up their seats. If they never got rid of them in the 4-12 and 1-15 seasons, they never will. But some might still decide to get rid of them. Those are the ones who have to decide if the investment was worth the thousands. Some might incur a loss trying to sell them if the Jets do not turn around, at any point. I still would like to see the Jets win a Super Bowl in my lifetime. If they do, I am sure their stock will go up. But as of right now, their price is lower than when the season started. Their stock (PSL) price has dropped.