Woo-hoo, GO CONCRETE PILLAR! Hold that line!

I have long maintained that all aspects of the Redskins perfectly mirror the awfulness of life in Washington. The billionaire owner, "Douche Bag" Dan Snyder, flies his private helicopter from Ashburn, Va. to Landover, Md. to get to the stadium, thus avoiding all that nasty riff-raff in between. The ticket prices are the second-highest, on average, in the league (Patriots have the most expensive). The stadium is difficult to get to via public transportation. Even the parking spaces around the stadium cost around $40 per game... and those are the cheaper ones. The fans often get drunk and get in fights, resulting in humorous situations such as the Pepper Spray Incident from Monday Night Football in 2002 against Philly.

And, of course, the topper: the team is fucking awful.

I refrained from getting tickets this year, although overall demand was a lot higher thanks to the return of some old coach or something. The team tried to take advantage of this by expanding [product-placed shipping company] Field by 4,000 seats, bringing the capacity to a league high 91,000 and change.

The only problem with that is the stadium architecture, which gets in the way. Many of the seats have obstructed views. And I don't mean obstructed as in, you might not be able to see the corner of one end zone. I mean completely obstructed, as in, there's a gigantic concrete pillar right in front of your seat. Here's the story of one fan who moved from the upper bowl to the new lower-level seats:

He said he was told the lower bowl seats had a "limited view," but was told only part of the end zone would be obscurred [sic; attn. Post: I'm available for copy editing, cheap]. He said he was also told he would not see the scoreboard, high passes or punts.

When he arrived at the Redskins-Carolina Panthers game two weeks ago, he sat down in his new seats and found a pillar blocking the entire midfield between the 35-yard lines.
Ha! Also, this guy talked to the team's sales staff, and was told that refunds are not allowed. But don't worry, it's only $690 per seat down the drain. SUCKER.

The story goes on to quote anonymous fans about similar disappointment in their new seats. Yes, Snyder is so much of a bastard that these people felt the need to withhold their names for fear of retribution by the team.

But the best part of all this, as if it wasn't gut-wrenchingly hilarious already, is that the Redskins actually issued an infantile press release in response to the Post's story. I really must excerpt the whole thing, in its entirety, for posterity. Here it is.

Clarification: 'Washington Post' Inaccuracies

Today's Washington Post story, based on issues from a "handful" of people and identifying only one fan from among the more than 4,000 who bought new seats, accepted the premise that ticketholders had been somehow misled. That despite reporter Jason La Canfora's possession of the three computer-generated views of the seating areas that were provided in advance to all who sought to purchase the seats, team spokesman Karl Swanson said.

The Post also failed to point out that the co-author of the story, Thomas Heath, visited the stadium on August 10. His resulting August 11 story correctly quoted Swanson that "we made full disclosure and told people to come look at the seats and see if you want them." That is why the seat assignment process took more than two months.

Over the eight-week period, hundreds and hundreds of account holders visited the seats. Those who could not come received computerized drawings of the seating areas.

During a conversation with La Canfora prior to publication of the current story, the Redskins noted that any dissatisfied fan should contact the ticket office to discuss their options. It was noted that the Redskins have several different ways the team might address fan desires. Among those options is refunding the fan's payment for the seats, an option that to date no fan has chosen to accept.

Surprisingly, The Washington Post newspaper is in fact the single-largest general admission ticket holder at FedExField, with more than 200 prime lower bowl seats under one discreet account.

General admission seats are intended for the individual fan. Each account is limited to six seats, and there are more than 100,000 households on the wait list hoping to purchase general admission seats.

"Since general admission is designed to benefit the individual fan, not major corporations, having secretly garnered more than 200 of the best lower bowl seats, isn't it time for the Washington Post to recognize the needs of the individual fan?" said Mitch Gershman, senior vice president in charge of the team's ticket office.
Dear God. Where to start with this?

Who wants to bet that taking a refund bumps you to the back of the decade-long waiting list?

But most curiously... what does the number of tickets the Post has have to do with anything? They "secretly garnered" lower-bowl tickets? WTF?

They're clearly mentioning this as a dig at the Post, but... who sold them 200 tickets in the first place? I'm assuming, um, the team did? And that last quote by "Mitch Gershman" (he's, I'm assuming, "Lisa Farbstein's" husband) is an all-time classic in terms of Washington bullshit. "Isn't it time for the Washington Post to recognize the needs of the individual fan?"

Um, dipshit... you're the ones who built and sold seats directly behind a fucking concrete pillar. Sure, the Post could give up some of its seats and open them up for regular joes, but that wouldn't change the fact that you built and sold seats... that are located directly behind... a concrete... fucking... pillar.

So congratulations, "Mitch Gershman." You just won the Worst Attempt at Misdirection Award for 2004. Karl Rove will be calling you with a job offer.

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