The Winter of Fan Discontent Photo Credit: Baltimore Ravens

Lombardi's Way The Winter of Fan Discontent

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A lot can happen in one year.

A lot can stay the same.

As Ravens fans we’ve seen a bit of both in 2017.

Today I took a look back at the transcript from the last State of The Ravens press conference. A question by Jeff Zrebiec, directed towards Steve Bisciotti stood out…

Steve, with not making the playoffs in three of the last four seasons, it seemed like there were more empty seats at M&T Bank Stadium than usual this year. How concerned are you with fan discontent? Is that something you have noticed as well? (Jeff Zrebiec)

(STEVE BISCIOTTI) “Yes, I’ve noticed it. I’m always concerned. I said apathy is the worst emotion, in the past. There’s a lot more disappointment and anger than apathy, so I don’t think we’re at any kind of critical stage there. The fact that our renewals have always – good times and bad, even back in the ‘04, ‘05, ‘06, ‘07 area – our renewals are kind of always in the 97.5 to 98, 99 percent. We have other people willing to buy those PSLs and come in. We’ve kind of been through the same slump. Even when we … Let’s face it, you talk about people moving out of town and people divorcing and giving up their tickets. We’ve never seen the fluctuations based on our success. I still, to this day, can’t understand how somebody that has a PSL and has tickets that doesn’t go to two of the games doesn’t give them to their neighbor, neighbors’ kids or their babysitter or somebody else who is dying to go to those game. But it happens. People wait until the last minute and decide they’re not going to go. It’s disappointing, but to me, they should be prepared for an opportunity to make somebody else happy that doesn’t go. I don’t really think they’re not going because they’re protesting. I think maybe the more we lose, the more they get distracted by other things, and we lose that priority on a Sunday. It’s obviously significant; I just don’t know how much it fluctuates.”

It would be fascinating to hear Steve Bisciotti’s thoughts on this today. Maybe we’ll have that opportunity at the next State of the Ravens presser.

I’ve spoken to many fans who believe that the Ravens owe the fans an apology — more specifically the players who took a knee in London owe them an apology.

We can debate the merit, timing and venue for the protests and perhaps never make any positive strides towards a meeting of the minds. The topic is a lightning rod and opposing sides are firmly entrenched. And regardless of which side you’re on or if you’re uncomfortably in the middle, the issue is real for many fans who have become fed up with the NFL.

fan discontent

That might not describe you. You are here on this page and this moment. Despite the Ravens season having ended, you still come back for more Ravens/NFL talk. But Bisciotti can’t take this topic lightly. I’m sure he won’t, hence the letter from team president Dick Cass to PSL owners.

Some time has passed since that morning of September 24. Time can help heal wounds. We shall see, but I’ve seen many express disgust and claim that they will not buy their season tickets in 2018 even if it means that they will forfeit their PSL(s).

Where do you stand?

As a PSL owner, which of the following best describes you on the heels of the 2017 season and the player protests?
I will no longer support the team because of their protests in London. I have better things to do with my time.
I will not renew my season tickets, PSL be damned, but I will watch from home.
I will probably still go to games but I will not go to as many. Still a fan but the protests left a mark on me as a fan.
Nothing will change. I am still a diehard and I will continue to be one.
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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is the founder and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he hosts The Russell Street Report and Armchair Quarterback both seen and heard on Fanimal Radio. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi


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