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+3I am a 24 year old student that has been a Toronto Raptors fan since the year 2000. I was so excited this season to finally see a Raptors team that played with a team-first mentality, who never stopped fighting, and who put themselves in a position to claim the Atlantic division title, despite rumours that the team was destined for tanking after trading away one of our better known players. I was hoping this year would be the year that I could attend a home playoff game as I have been waiting for this opportunity for some time, and because I wanted to experience what I am sure will be an electric atmosphere at the Air Canada Centre. Unfortunately, as all Raptors fans know, and as reported by Forbes.com, the average price of tickets for a Toronto Raptors home playoff game are the highest in the NBA, with a 242% increase compared to regular season ticket prices. The extraordinary cost of a playoff ticket at the ACC is impractical for many individuals, and in turn, dreams of experiencing such an event remain just that for a large proportion of the fan base. The company responsible for setting these ticket prices is known as Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Limited, or MLSE. On their website, MLSE states that they are “Canada’s preeminent leader in delivering top quality sport and entertainment experiences to our fans”. Toronto sports fans know this organization quite well, as they are also the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs. This organization has demonstrated time and time again that their major concern is putting money into their pockets. Charging the highest price in the league for tickets is not a new tactic for MLSE, as Forbes reported that the average ticket price to see a Toronto Maple Leafs game was the most expensive in the NHL ($368.60) in 2013. In my opinion, and I feel many Raptors fans would agree with me, the ticket prices to watch a playoff game at the ACC are a slap in the face and a blatant display of disrespect towards Toronto Raptors fans. The solution to the problem of course is for fans to refuse to buy tickets; if no one bought tickets then MLSE would be forced to drop the prices. However, this scenario will never happen. The reason for this is that Toronto sports fans are one if not the most dedicated and loyal fan bases in North America, and despite high ticket prices, fans will do whatever they can to get into the ACC to support their beloved teams. For instance, despite not having won a Stanley Cup since 1967, Leafs fans still flock to games and fill up the Air Canada Centre, or watch it at home on TV, as the commitment to our teams never waiver. This commitment has caused many to question the sanity of Toronto sports fans, but we take this as a sign of respect, because despite the troubles our teams may undergo, we are still there at every step of the journey. Although Toronto is thought to be a hockey town, support for the Toronto Raptors has continued to grow over the years. With the 10th highest attendance in the NBA in 2014, Raptors fans have shown that basketball is in Toronto to stay. Now this love for our sports franchises should be rewarded; however, MLSE chooses to punish us and take advantage of our loyalty by setting unrealistic ticket prices. It is understandable that MLSE wants to make money, in the end sports teams are a business, but this business should not come at the cost of disrespecting your fans. Like the athletes playing the game, fans live for the playoffs and the chance to win a championship, and ticket prices should not prevent these fans from experiencing such an event. I believe it is time for MLSE to review their claim that they are responsible for the delivering top quality sports and entertainment experiences to their fans, and really ask if they are in fact succeeding in this endeavour when most of their fans cannot afford to attend one of their events live. With many generations of Toronto sports fans to come, I feel that it is time for MLSE to review their strategies and to improve the accessibility to their sporting events as a sign of respect and appreciation to those who have displayed their unwavering support year after year. I hope that this letter will inspire others to join me in voicing their opinions in order to get the attention of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment so that attending sporting events in Toronto can become a more realistic option for the dedicated fans of the Toronto Raptors and all the other teams owned by MLSE.
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-2At the end of the movie, Escape from L.A, the character of Snake Plisken,(played by Kurt Russel), pushes a button on a gadget that shuts down all electronic devises in the entire world, permanently. Effectively sending the human race back to the stone age. I love this. I'll tell you why. Because it needs to happen. We humans have grown to big for our britches. As cold, and callus as it may sound, i think it's the only thing that's going to put all human beings back on equal footing with each other. No more money, or material possessions. No more cars, or computers, or playstation 2000. Nothing but survival. Each one of us having to survive, day to day, without our "stuff" to help us. People have referred to me as lazy, because i don't like to work, and a lot of the time i don't. I don't like the idea of spending two thirds of my life, going some where i don't want to go, to do something i don't want to do, in order to have a few things that don't last, half the time don't work, and when the prices get jacked up on them, i don't get to keep them anyway. Not to mention the fact, you can't take it with ya when you die. For a moment lets examine this concept of the word lazy. Everybody likes to throw this word around in a derogatory manner, or use it to put one person on a pedestal over others. First of all, laziness is an inherent human condition. Sorry folks, but you all have it. And, weather you want to admit it or not, you all are lazy, DAILY. That's right, i said daily. Why do you drive to work instead of getting up a couple hours earlier and walking to work? Laziness. Why do you put your food in the microwave, rather than cooking everyday? Lazy. How many people do you know that have workout equipment in their basement that hasn't been touched in years? Lazy. Why do we sit our kids down in front of the t.v., and the computer, rather than playing a game, or spending all of our free time with them. Laziness, which by the way, is making lazy kids, because they don't even go outside and play anymore. Their all on the computer, or in front of a video game. Second of all, the very fact that technology is growing so fast, is because we are all lazy. We want our computers to go faster, why? We are to lazy to take the time required to find things for ourselves. People don't do math in their head anymore, they have a machine do it for them. Lazy. In fact every great technological invention of the twentieth century came out of a need for humans to do LESS WORK. Lazy. Even on the job, most places have made it easier to do the work required, why....LAZY....And the truth that nobody is willing to admit, is the reason people work in the first place, is so they can be lazy. You work to buy a house to be lazy in. You work to buy stuff to help you be lazy, video game consoles, computers, cars, four wheelers, campers, beer. Obesity is one of the top ten greatest health concerns in America. Why is that? Laziness. Every generation before us, did a lot more work, for a lot less return, and were a lot happier, and more grateful to have what they had. And people, if any of you tell me that there's not a day that goes by, that you don't blow off doing something, simply because your to lazy to do it, my response will be one of disbelief. The entire U.S congress actually works a whopping three months out of every year, while getting paid an exorbitant amount of money, and then has the BIG BRASS COJONES to vacation in some exclusive resort on the tax payers dollar, all the while running down the average "lazy" American citizen. The big American "fat cats" spend their time, sunning themselves on their yachts, chasing a little white balls around with a bag of sticks on their PRIVATE golf courses, while their employees do all the work, and get considerably less pay. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE LAZY. Why do people, and that's all of us, want promotions at our jobs? The main reason is so we have less work for more pay. Lazy. When two kids are fighting over one toy what do you do? Parents? You tell them to share, or take take turns. If the won't do that, then what? You take the toy away. Then they have nothing to fight about, and nine times out of ten, they find something else to do with their time. Usually they get along better to, because they have been made equals. They both lost, and they both suffered, so they understand each other, and the situation, better. That's what dad needs to do to us. Take away our toys. The only way we are going to see each other as equals again is for all of us to lose everything. Call it apocalypse, or doomsday, or judgement day, whatever label you want to put on it, that day we will all be the same once again. No more toys, or money, or material possessions to fight over. Nothing that one man can hold over another's head to say "I'm better then you.", or "I'm more important then you, because i do more, or i have more." To be honest with you, i hope i live to see that day. And i truly believe that the poor, or the meek if you will, will have a lot easier time handling that day, then those people who are slaves to their material life. The meek will inherit the earth. So yeah, i'm lazy. And i'm proud of it, because it means that i'm normal, just like the rest of the world. You want to hear some more truth? I'll bet more than fifty percent of you will even be to lazy to read this entire presentation........................................................................So when your indiscriminately calling somebody else "lazy" take a look in the mirror. There will find another lazy person, who should really be careful how he treats his fellow man, because what you put out always comes back to you, in the exact form and intensity that you send it. Like
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My phone buzzes, almost slipping off the moisture coated coffee table in the middle of this especially humid summer day. I lay on the couch, debating whether or not to check my new messages before or after I blankly stare at the ceiling a few minutes more due to a combination of heat exhaustion and boredom. I reach for my cellphone, and see it is my future roommate asking yet another question about my suburban life. “Is it like one of those ones from the movies with a football team and a homecoming dance??” she asks, as I chuckle. She lives in Manhattan, which is as urban as it gets. The suburban life must look so interesting to an outsider when their only viewpoints are that of a fictional character on the movie or TV screen. House parties, “girls next door”, and letterman jackets are probably all she is picturing. Ironically enough, I lay plastered to my living room couch with a fan aimed at my idle body as I only imagine how interesting she may be falsely assuming my life is. For an average girl stuck in the suburbs, life is not a teen soap opera, despite popular belief. The life of a normal teenage girl is far less eventful. As a highschooler, I woke up to go to class, I went to practice, came home to do homework, went to bed, and the cycle continued. For the most part, there were no dramatic plot twists, romantic comedy moments, and especially no boom box at my window. I would see couples in the hallway holding hands and waiting at each others’ lockers as I exhaled in frustration, asking myself, “when would that be me?”. I never went on any spontaneous adventures, or misadventures, with my friends. I have never had the opportunity to truly prove my love for someone with an outrageously grand gesture. Although none of these events have happened in my life, I know where to experience them. By immersing myself in an alternate reality filled with fictional characters and satisfying plots, I feel the excitement I lack in the real world. Yes, to put it lamely, I watch the boob tube. An escape is a avoidance of reality, a break to forget the normal routine. By telling you that my escape from the real world is watching tv, your initial thought is that I am lazy, bored, unmotivated. Why doesn’t she get a hobby, join a club, play a sport? you ask. Well, for your information, I do all three. I was captain of the cheerleading team, editor of the yearbook committee, allstar town league softball player, and an ametuer Picasso. Although I admit to be a tv fanatic, that is not to say that I don’t do anything else in my free time. Regardless, nothing else I do gives me the same gratification. Being an avid television watcher is much more than filling free time. It is getting emotionally invested with the characters. Rachel Berry, the main character in FOX’s hit series “Glee”, is very much like myself. We both seem to have the same internal struggle of pursuing success and recognition. We walk the halls with our heads held high, knowing that maybe someday our potential would be acknowledged. She is weird, silly, and most definitely as quirky as I am. She is a strong and independent woman who at times is also a love sick puppy. I feel a strong connection with her, which makes it easy for me to feel what she is experiencing. I wince each time a painfully cold cherry slush with extra ice shards is violently propelled in her direction, the red syrup dripping down her face and staining her perfectly ironed clothes. I sense her dejected feeling that courses through her veins as she shamefully washes the slush out of her hair in the girls bathroom hastily enough to still make it on time to her next class. On a lighter note, I could not help grinning ear to ear as she jumped up and down in the quaint 50’s styled diner she waitressed at when she received the news that she got the lead role as Fanny Brice in the classic Broadway play “Funny Girl”. Watching television is feeling as if you live in their world and experience first hand everything they have been through. You may not think that it is possible to feel so strongly for a fictional character, but that is where you are wrong. I never am personally the one who gets rescued at a warehouse filled with vampires by my mysteriously brooding hero in a cloak, or picked up for my prom by my devoted boyfriend in a horse and chariot, dressed in the suit of prince charming. However, I feel fulfilled with the excitement and purpose the character feels. It is if I were whisked off my feet by a football quarterback with a heart of gold, or as if I am the one racing to save the world from the third Armageddon this month. I feel a sense of fulfillment as I watch this unfold for the people that I have been following since day one, adding substance to my usually bland life. Are these made up scenarios I watch on the screen thought of as ideal to me only because I consider my life bland? It is hard not to compare your own life to the many extravagant and eventful lives of those portrayed on television. As a TV watcher, I get used to placing myself in other people’s shoes to temporarily live in a whole new world, one that I would consider interesting. Television opens your mind up to a world of possibilities and, on a more casual note, gives you something to do on a Friday night in. There is a Rachel Berry in all of us, and I suggest you plop yourself down on your couch, pop some popcorn, and make a night out of finding out who your “Rachel” is. More
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+4I just want to start this with an apology for some things I may say, I have never shared something like this before and I'm sure that a large population of people that read it may be offended by it but I promise in no way am I meaning to disrespect the way you love God! I understand I am in no position to judge anyone I have just simply been nudged by God to express this idea... Okay, A Christian man is a man who loves God as number one in his life and is always honest and loving in everything he does... See the thing is that I honestly think that it is hard for people to want to be Christian men these days especially young men that haven't been exposed to much of any religion... I'll be honest growing up I didn't always have the best Christian influences, sure I'd get up every once in awhile and go to church with my granddad but it wasn't because I cared for church so much as I just wanted to be with the only father figure in my life at the time. My story isn't an easy one but my message isn't about me or the struggles that I had to overcome, I simply want to use my point of view to express what I see... See the way I see it is that why would a kid like me ever want to grow up and love God when my whole life I had never been exposed to that actual love or power of him? I grew up in a below average place with below averages expectations... All 3 of my childhood best friends are either in prison now or in and out of jail constantly. I was written out to be just another statistic... One more minority filling a jail cell. My home wasn't a Christian household, we never went to church and we never talked about God. There was arguing and there was times where no one talked for days at a time... The thing that I'm getting at isn't that you should feel sorry for me or anything like that... What you should be seeing is that I had absolutely no Christian influence for a long time in my life. Up until honestly maybe 4 years ago I didn't truly understand what we were supposed to be doing here in our time on this planet.. But that all is due to the fact that I had no reason to want to know God or even find out what Christianity was.. What I truly feel that God has put on my heart to share is where are the strong Christian men that once populated the church? Where did they go? All I see now a days are these hippie, soft, emotional, Christians? As I said before I know I am in no way in a position to judge but it is the only way to describe my point... When you were a child what did you want to be? A firemen or a police officer? Imagine seeing your police officer trying to stop a street fight by praying or crying? Or maybe your firemen that you wanted to be like being emotional and showing fear and just putting his hand out and praying while someone is in a burning building about to be burned alive and he is clearly the only one equipped to save that person... No! You want them to take a step forward and handle the situation they have been presented! God did NOT put us in this world to just use him as a crutch! The way I see it is that you should never ask for something you know you don't deserve or that you haven't earned... When you pray it shouldn't be God will you make this appear, it should be God please give me the strength to make this appear! See God didn't want spoiled children other wise he wouldn't advise us to worship him or anything like that. Prayer isn't a wish list... This is why I am so stuck on this question of where did the strong minded Christian men go? Not the ones who wear sandals to church and care about hitting the right note when singing worship. I am not out to just down those Christian who do act like that, but my problem with it all is that are those people going to be the men that kids are going to look up to? When I was a kid I loved superman and the closest person to superman was my uncle who was a firemen... I wanted to be just like him. I wanted to walk like him talk like him, I wanted to have the same life he did. Can you see how the influence of being that strong role model could change the world? How can kids in situations like mine find God when the only godly role models we have that are finding God and expressing it look like they are shopping in baby gap and or look like hippies and just seem feminine... I would have found God way sooner if more strong men presented there love for God more openly... I found God because I had coaches show me not by teaching me or telling me but by being an example of what it should look like... Just as I was as a kid I wanted to model myself in the mold of my coaches who not only were strong and manly but also loved God and were serious about it. They weren't going to be in anyway soft about their religion but they were going to show their love! See this is the type of Christian I feel that God wants me to inspire which is why my goal is to always be the Christian that I would look up to and be an example for kids to want to find God. The message isn't to Bash on the soft Christian men but to inspire those of us in positions of strength to prove that we are still here and that there is such thing as a Christian man and when I say that I mean a man who your grandad and his father before him could be proud of! God is number one and I pray that I shared this message clear and the way I felt God wanted it shared. Do you agree or disagree with my ideas?
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