A shocking number of San Francisco 49ers got tickets to the 49ers-Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, turning wide swaths of the 88,000-seat stadium into a sea of red.
After San Francisco went up 14-3, Fox cut to a shot of the crowd and it was all 49ers fans (via @lukezim):
When Colin Kaepernick threw a touchdown pass to Vernon Davis, it sounded and looked like a 49ers home game:
There are a bunch of reasons for this. Tickets were selling at 241% of face value on the secondary market, according to TicketCity, which was the third-highest average markup of any Week 1 game. The Cowboys have expensive tickets to begin with ($110 per ticket, the fourth-most expensive ticket in the NFL), so it’s hard for season-ticket holders who have seven other games to go to this year to turn down that sort of payday.
But Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel brought up another possible reason: Cowboys fans are turning on owner Jerry Jones for the first time.
AT&T has never been much of a home field advantage but never seen anything like this. Locals rejecting Jerry regime
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) September 7, 2014
The Cowboys have been the league’s most mediocre team for five years. They have gone 8-8 for three-straight seasons, and haven’t had a winning season since 2009.
Jones, specifically because he hired himself as general manager, has been the primary target of criticism. His track record when it comes to trades, free agent contracts, and especially draft picks is patchy. It’s a roster full of holes, and Jones is its main architect.
In a big ESPN profile of the owner by Don Van Natta Jr., Jones recounts this exchange he had with a fan recently:
“I had a fan come up, pretty adamant, put his finger in my face and say, ‘You know what a rut is?’
“I said, ‘No.’
“And he said, ‘It’s a casket with both ends out, laying in an open grave. You’d just as soon be dead as that rut you’re in. You’d better change that, Jones.'”
The Cowboys are the league’s most valuable team at $US3.2 billion. The team generates $US650 million in revenue every year, ESPN reports, and AT&T Stadium is a “cash factory.”
But what the ESPN profile really drives home is how much Jones wants two things that he can’t buy, 1) another Super Bowl, and 2) relevance.
“If we had picked Manziel, he’d guarantee our relevance for 10 years,” he told Van Natta about why he wanted to draft Johnny Manziel. He talked openly about how much he rejects not taking Johnny Football.
The fact that Cowboys season ticket holders apparently sold their Week 1 seats on StubHub en masse, and that they were all bought by 49ers fans, is a disastrous sign for both of Jones’ goals. The Cowboys are not a good team (as the first half against San Francisco showed), and they’re not going to legitimately compete for a Super Bowl this year.
But has been a mediocre team for a while. Now it’s in danger of becoming an irrelevant one.
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