The Beaver Stadium season ticket morass came to the fore this week, dominating the Penn State Official Athletic Site.
This money grab in the midst of an economic recession inspires me to use the Yiddish term chutzpah, which roughly translates to, “You gotta lotta balls!”
In the introductory blurb of one of the most sophomoric pieces of marketing double talk I would never expect to see from Penn State, the megabuck swindle is described as “pursuing success with honor.”
In my mind, captioning the blurb “banking on prior successes to suck out more money” would have been more honest and forthright.
“Consistent with Penn State Athletics’ core mission of pursuing Success with Honor, Penn State must take the steps necessary to ensure that the Nittany Lions remain at the forefront of the increasingly competitive college athletics landscape.”
So, in other words, Penn State won’t remain at the top of the graduation rate for football players unless we raise mo’ money from season ticket holders. Wait! Which one are they buying here, the honor or the success?
“As an integral part of doing so, Penn State Athletics is excited to announce the Nittany Lion Club Seat Transfer & Equity Plan (STEP).”
Oh, yeah. Like all governmental money grabs, it has to have an acronym. No wonder they’re excited over there in the Lasch Building. It’s enough to send shivers up and down Chris Matthews’ legs.
“The Nittany Lion Club STEP, to be implemented in two phases over the next 18 months, will provide current and new Nittany Lion Club members who purchase football season tickets the opportunity to transfer, retain, upgrade or relocate their seats.”
Of course. If you want to make something look less like fascism, throw a couple of cookies at us scurvy peasants. So, if we don’t come up with the money, they’ll be delighted to move us to much less desirable seats of our own choosing. And yes, if we want to transfer our seats to a new victim, they’ll be OK with that, just as long as they can tap into a new revenue stream. They needed the transfer provision because they knew that they would be driving many people away.
They’re making transferring seats so easy that the application is available on-line.
And here is the best part of the three paragraph opening statement:
“We realize that the Nittany Lion Club STEP means change. But we also realize that change, properly planned and executed, means progress. We’re thankful that the Nittany Lion Club membership will be at the forefront of making sure that Penn State Athletics is making progress.”
Real change you can believe in? Where have I heard that before? Hmmm, monkey see, monkey do. Obama really set the negative role model here, demonstrating that no matter how dastardly the proposed changes might be, and no matter how Machiavellian the change imposing authority might be, people will buy into the concept of change for change’s sake if they’re looking for miracles. With Washington, the devil is always in the details, but few common folk have the time and energy to smoke out the impossibilities associated with the proffered changes. Miracles don’t happen; death and taxes are inevitable.
The big difference here is that Penn State Athletics is a dictatorship. Nobody elected them. They are trying to ram this down our throats by relating the success and honor of the team with “real change you can believe in.” Something doesn’t compute. That feeble and sophomoric blurb was about as much of a hand-wave as they thought they needed in order to put the tuxedo on the pig, because what the hell — if we don’t like it, tough shit.
Director of Athletics Tim Curley’s message employs yet another Penn State motto (again ineptly) to make its point: “Embracing Tradition. Preparing for the Future.” He follows it with, “At Penn State, we face the very real fact that the former is at risk without commitment to the latter.”
Let’s see, Timmy. Could you be trying to bamboozle us with “very real facts?” (Meaning that they’re not facts at all, but if we call them very real, maybe you’ll believe their factuality.) Is Penn State really going to be in danger of not embracing tradition and preparing for the future if the athletic department doesn’t get this additional season ticket money? Perhaps in the small, self-absorbed world of athletics, it is presumed that this motto refers only to the profitability of the football program and not to the rest of the university. I always assumed that it meant minding our past while preparing students for the challenges of the future. How in the hell is the athletic program accomplishing that by increasing revenue? If anything, they’re screwing students out of their good seats and channeling them into crappy, lower level end zone seats.
Anyhow, there’s a lot of information and even more disinformation and bullshit for you to wade through on the site. Start with the “Pursuing Success with Honor” page and work your way through the links.