Oh, buddy. I can’t believe I’m about to write this but…congratulations and thank you to the Atlanta Falcons. What? Yes, the Falcons. The team whose owner, Arthur Blank, has taken the first steps to hopefully end the madness of the over-the-top, damn near insane, pricing at NFL football stadiums.

The Falcons released the prices on some concession items that will be available at their shiny new Mercedes-Benz stadium next year. Pricing that amounts to being the best deal at the NFL level. Heck, at this point, maybe at any level, in any sport.

Some cynics say the Falcons have lowered prices due to their troubles moving season tickets, to which I say…GOOD and WHO CARES. The NFL fan has been getting kicked in the teeth by NFL ownership for years now – whether it’s owners threatening to move teams out of town if they don’t get new stadiums, or the never ending escalation of ticket prices, the fan gets continually raked over the coals, just because they want to show some civic pride, and root for the home team.

And rooting has never been more expensive.

From 25 dollar parking spots, that give you the privilege of getting to walk a mile to just enter the stadium, to the blizzard of concessionaires, much like “Walking Dead” zombies, waiting for you as soon as you walk in the front doors – the NFL money grab for your hard-earned dollar is relentless. Honestly, watch parents walk through the concourse – it’s like watching Adam “Pac Man” Jones, “make it rain,” at a strip club.

But, all joking aside. No parent should ever be forced into a, “tough decision,” just because their kids, who are at the games upwards of four hours, want a slice of pizza pie and a Coke. And just because the stadium hot dogs are slightly bigger than the ones we buy at the grocery stores, doesn’t mean a man should have to open up a new line of credit to get a few dogs for his children. Moms shouldn’t have to tell their daughters that they will have to wait until they get home to have a snack.

Thankfully, that won’t be the case in Atlanta, anymore.

Mr. Benson, are you listening?

Sure, sure. The concessions are run by a private company called Centerplate. So it’s not in our hands, the Saints might say. To that I say, everything is open to negotiation, and steps could be taken to help out the families that have stood by the team for decades. The Saints could incentivize a lower cap on concession prices. This entire state is built on incentives, why not the Mercedes-Benz Superdome?

But, who am I kidding? Just like the NFL continually turns a blind eye towards a concussion syndrome, and also to fan safety, the NFL ownership will keep sticking it to the fans, and come fall, we’ll show up to buy their nine dollar glasses of cheap wine, and eight dollar lukewarm beers. Hooray for the home team, right? The New Orleans Saints open their regular season slate hosting the Oakland Raiders, Sept. 11.

I suggest you start saving now.

 

And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.

 

Drink Pairing: The Atlanta Falcons Two-Dollar Bottomless Coca-Cola 

Playlist Recommendation: Lady Gaga – “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich” 

 

Around the Way

The Tulane Green Wave (35-15) enter the last weekend of the regular season atop the American Athletic Conference, holding a 1.5 game lead on East Carolina. A series victory by Tulane will wrap up the number one seed in the conference tournament, which kicks off May 24th, at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida. But first things first – the Green Wave will travel to take on a Houston Cougars (31-20) team that has a lot to prove, and is playing solid baseball as of late. The two teams split a series earlier this season in New Orleans. The Green Wave’s last regular season home game (keeping hope alive to host a NCAA regional) is tonight versus the Nicholls State Colonels (22-30) in the friendly confines of Turchin Field, at 6:30 p.m., where the Green Wave have posted a 23-7 record this year.

Bleeding the NFL Fan Dry

That boom you heard over the weekend might have been the New Orleans Privateers (30-20) sending a message to their Southland Conference rivals that they are not to be taken lightly in the Southland Conference tournament. The Privateers took the series versus the Southland-leading Southeastern Louisiana University Lions (36-15) in impressive fashion. The big bats came alive as the Privateers won the first two games 15-9, 10-3. Before the series, the Lions had given up 10 plus runs only once this year. UNO hosts UL-Lafayette tonight at Maestri Field. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m.

Speaking of the kids, congratulations to the boys at Stuart Hall, on their recent success. Stuart Hall’s K2 chess team won the Louisiana State Scholastic Chess Championship in Lake Charles. But Stuart Hall just won’t beat you at a game of chess, they’ll also tell you who invented the theory of Relativity (Einstein), won the first world series (Boston Americans), and give you the name of the computer program that played Garry Kasparov (Deep Blue). OK, maybe they don’t know those answers, I’m not sure, but I do know that the institution’s Lower School and Middle School teams both won Quiz bowl invitational championships. Good job, guys!