Monday, February 7, 2011

The Dunce Cap Award: Jerry Jones

Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, is shouldering some of the blame, along with the NFL, for a seating snafu at Super Bowl 45 that left 400 fans without seats for the big game.

You see, there was some construction that was supposed to be done in time for the game, but Old Man Winter put a crimp in those plans with an ice storm that disrupted plans to put some additional seats in Cowboys Stadium, Jones' Palace of Excess in Arlington. League officials are saying today that they thought the problem would've been fixed by game day. No such luck. The league is offering freebies, including tickets to next year's game in Indianapolis, but what if the newly crowned World Champion Green Bay Packers or the Pittsburgh Steelers don't make it back for the game next year, assuming there is a 2011 season with the threat of a lockout looming? A refund would be nice, but the league's not willing, it seems to pony up the money anytime soon.

That's where Jones, who spent two lifetimes' worth of savings on his new stadium, could offer some relief. A blogger on Yahoo! noted the expenses incurred by those 400 fans in traveling from Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere to make it to Arlington for the experience of being at the Super Bowl. With his deep pockets, Jones could prevail upon the league to reimburse those fans the full expenditures.

This is one of those cases where the league and its owners, as well as its players, often characterized in labor disputes as being shallow and greedy, could put that aside, and in a grand gesture to the fans across the league, band together to offer restitution. Will that happen? It should, but it doesn't mean it will.

As that blogger noted, Jones and his staff had plenty of time well before the ice storm hit. Cowboys Stadium had been idle since the Cotton Bowl last month, meaning that they had nearly a full month to put those seats in place and secure the structure. As the poet Robert Burns wrote, the best laid plans of mice & men often go astray. And so it did for Jerry Jones, the 1st 2011 recipient of the Dunce Cap.

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