New England Patriots Win Big - On Two Fronts

Having grown up in New England but now living in Virginia, it has been a mixed week for me in the world of sports. Boston College beat Virginia Tech last Thursday night in Blacksburg, Virginia, coming from 10 points behind in the last four minutes to win and keep their number 2 ranking in college football. Then yesterday afternoon, the New England Patriots crushed the Washington Redskins for their eighth win in a row to keep their perfect season hopes alive. (Oh yes, the Bosox won the World Series again last night - but at least they weren't playing the Washington Nationals.)

Anyway, it must be great to be a sports fan right now in New England, except maybe for some Patriot season ticket holders. You see, last year the Patriots sued StubHub! (which is owned by eBay and enables fans to buy and sell tickets to sporting, concert, theater and other live entertainment events, even those that are otherwise sold out) for its list of people who were using the site to resell their Patriot tickets. The Patriots allow season ticket holders to resell their tickets at face value on the team's website, but prohibit all other resales.

StubHub! fought hard against the lawsuit, claiming it violated customer privacy, was anti-competitive, etc., etc., but the company was recently ordered by a Massachusetts Superior Court judge to turn over to the Patriots the contact information of every person who used to sell, attempt to sell, buy, or attempt to buy a ticket to a Patriots home game from November 2002 to January 2007. It is estimated that 13,000 names have since been turned over.

The Patriots, have remained mum on what exactly they are going to do with the information now that they have it. However, the Massachusetts court judge said that the Patriots intended to use the identities of the purchasers and sellers not only for this case, but also for its own other allegedly legitimate uses, such as canceling season tickets of 'violators' or reporting to authorities those customers that they deem to be in violation of the Massachusetts anti-scalping law.

At this time, the Patriots will most likely make it deep into the NFL play-offs, and, if they continue to play as they have so far this season, they have a decent chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions.

I wonder if the Patriots are going to drop kick some of their season ticket holders before or after the playoffs.


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Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City