September 03, 2009

Redskins Sue Elderly Fan for Breaking Season Ticket Agreement: The Washington Redskins have sued a fan of more than four decades for breaking a 10-year commitment to buy season tickets after only one year because of financial hardship. Pat Hill, 73, lost a $66,364 default judgment after refusing to contest the suit on the grounds that not paying your debts is immoral. She's one of 125 season ticket holders sued by the team the last five years after asking to be released from multiyear contracts.

posted by rcade to football at 01:39 PM - 16 comments

BREAKING NEWS... Redskins scalp fans.

Suing an elderly woman into bankruptcy is a PR nightmare I would only wish on the Redskins. A loyal fan of 40 years needs a little help, and all the Redskins can offer for that loyalty is a kick in the teeth. You are a real class act Mr Snyder.

posted by irunfromclones at 01:49 PM on September 03, 2009

No kidding. That sends a great message to your fans: If you buy season tickets from us and you can't fulfill your contract, we will try to destroy you.

posted by rcade at 01:59 PM on September 03, 2009

This kind of stuff seems to be a trend for the Washington DC football club every season. How the heck do people remain fans of this team? Admittedly, I live on the left side of the country and don't really pay much attention to the team that Jim Zorn coaches.

*I have decided not to refer to this particular team by it's "mascot" out of respect to some of my native friends who told me it was not cool.*

posted by THX-1138 at 01:59 PM on September 03, 2009

I guess it is clear what kind of attitude it takes to be a hugely profitable NFL team -- try to squeeze blood from a stone.

posted by bperk at 03:20 PM on September 03, 2009

Well, once you've decided you're going to work for a team that has an overtly racist name, its a small step to having no empathy for anyone.

posted by Joey Michaels at 03:20 PM on September 03, 2009

So I live in the DC area now and am a huge fan of football. I'm not a fan of the local team because I am still a fan of my hometown team. However, what about my kid? Don't you have to grow up cheering for the local team? I get so annoyed by people who randomly pick a sport team to cheer for. I thought about getting Ravens tickets, but I think it is a scam that you have to buy a license and then wait and hope to eventually get tickets. Oh, and I live no where near Baltimore. It is so much better to be a fan of a local team than of a team far away. I am in quandary about how much to support the local team with the racist name.

posted by bperk at 04:34 PM on September 03, 2009

I am in quandary about how much to support the local team with the racist name.

And what seems to be an utter disregard for their fans of 40 years. I would find it difficult to root for them on several levels.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:47 PM on September 03, 2009

The details of so many of those cases don't even make sense.

1. Someone can't afford to keep buying tickets they are under contract for. 2. The Washington football team sues them for the value of the tickets they can't afford plus interest. 3. The person now has to pay for the tickets they can't afford, they do not actually get said paid-for tickets, and the Washington football team can turn around and sell those tickets again.

Seriously?! These cases go to court and that is the outcome? That is absurd.

And then there is this quote from the article: "Nate Ewell, spokesman for the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals, said he could not think of a reason to sue a ticket holder. When a season ticket holder fails to make payments, the team cancels the tickets and resells them." Supposedly the Washington football team likes to brag that they have 160,000 or some such huge number of people on their waiting list for season tickets. If this can work for the Caps (and presumably any number of other pro sports teams), why not the football team?

I, too, am a transplant to the DC area and a fan of my hometown Tennessee Titans, and have considered supporting Washington as well, but stories like this are going to make that much less likely.

posted by bender at 05:06 PM on September 03, 2009

What a PR nightmare. I predict a very quick turnaround by the team to try to kill the story.

posted by dusted at 06:41 PM on September 03, 2009

Actually, rereading the article (and putting aside my open hostility for the team's name), there's this saying about financiers who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. I was amazed at how poorly the hapless Washington spokesperson responded to the questions. He genuinely has no idea how bad he's making himself and his organization look.

Pro-tip: If you are in a customer service industry and somebody comes up to you asking to talk about lawsuits you're filing against your customers, be unavailable for comment. You're just going to look like an ass no matter what you say.

posted by Joey Michaels at 07:08 PM on September 03, 2009

"Hail to the [LOCAL TEAM], Hail victory. Pay your ten year commitment, Or we'll sue you into bankruptcy!"

posted by cjets at 07:53 PM on September 03, 2009

1.) Team name is a racial slur on a people that our government literally tried to wipe from the face of the Earth, by killing them all.

2.) They sue a 72-year-old woman because she can no longer pay for season tickets, even though she is a lifelong fan of a team with a name that evokes the near-genocide of a people and the taking of their land by force, by killing most of them.

3.) Team genocide wins, financially ruining someone's grandma. Oh, and by the way, the name of this team -- in the year 2009 -- is a literal racial slur on the same level as "nigger", "spic", and "kike". And this is a team based in the capital city of the government that tried to wipe said people from the face of the Earth, by killing them all.

4.) I hope you go 0-17. That's right, I hope you somehow lose an extra game. For the fucking Indians, and someone's grandma.

posted by dirigibleman at 12:11 AM on September 04, 2009

Oh, and to add sprinkles to the bloody corpses:

Team Genocide is the same team that, for at least two seasons, sold their tickets to scal ticket brokers before letting their loyal season ticket holders have a chance.

posted by dirigibleman at 12:39 AM on September 04, 2009

Not sure why but after reading dirigibleman's diatribe, I'm pretty damn angry!

posted by BornIcon at 07:05 AM on September 04, 2009

If I could, i would favorite dirigibleman's comment x1000.

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:36 PM on September 04, 2009

Re: the racist team name

I will try to post some links to the stories of how the Washington Wizards' (nee Bullets) owner was convinced to change the name due to the word "bullets" violent connotation. Still ... after all this time ... and after all of the protests/public outcry/etc. they still refuse to deal with this issue. And, the fact that it is mentioned so often as contributing to the offensiveness of this (completely unrelated to the matter at hand) story is yet one more example that perhaps the shoe should be put on the other foot and the team (owners) be held accountable finally.

posted by Spitztengle at 05:10 PM on September 04, 2009

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