Cutting expenses

February 05, 2009 | Keith Melchior

Seems like every company is trying to deal with the poor economy by cutting costs and expenses. some have reduced advertising, travel, and expense account budgets.  Big corporations are still looking for federal bail-out money. I even read that Joe Francis and Larry Flynt are looking for the feds to bail out the porn industry. I guess times are not the only things hard these days.

The NFL Pro Bowl is this coming weekend. I, for sure, won’t be watching. It is a joke. Unlike the NHL and NBA, no one player’s talents are being “showcased” At least in the NHL the goalies are trying even though they play the old ole` defense. The NBA is virtually the same.  They play like it’s a non-contact or limited contact practice. The game never sells out and is nothing but a “reward” for being chosen the best at your position during the current season. Over 100 players will be in attendance. The game is being played in Hawaii.  The NFL cut about 150 staff members a few months ago, yet they can afford to send 100 players, alternates, their wives and families, some of the old-timers and officials to Hawaii for a stupid, senseless, boring football game. Last I looked, flights to Hawaii weren’t cheap. I am guessing these players don’t fly coach class either. Most wouldn’t fit in the seats. So, lets say 120 first class round trip tickets to Hawaii at around $2600 a pop is $312,000 PLUS; hotel for a week, per diem, parties, etc etc. Probably close to $600,000 being spent by the league for this one game. They probably claim they are stimulating the economy. How is THAT stimulating the economy? I see it as wasteful spending.

 No doubt that ticket prices will go up in approximately 75% of the stadiums for the 2009 season. I saw the Pro Bowl will be played the week before the Super Bowl in 2010. Kinda makes the Super Bowl the “crowning moment” for the season. Awwww, how sweet. What happens if the 2 Super Bowl teams have maybe 12 players each on the Pro Bowl roster?  Do they send alternates instead?  I’m sure had this happened this season Arizona and Pittsburgh wouldn’t want Larry Fitzgerald or Troy Polamalu out there in a meaningless game turning an ankle or spraining an ACL. I never was a fan of the Pro Bowl. It’s worse than watching a preseason exhibition game.

 If the NFL wanted to show fans how fan friendly they are and how they can also cut costs, how about dumping the Pro Bowl altogether OR better yet, play the game at noon eastern time as part of a double-header on the same day/site as the Super Bowl. Tickets are through the roof for the Super Bowl anyway, so give the fans an extra treat. They might have more than 20,000 in the stands and people at home might watch it instead of those awful 3 hour pre-game shows?