CBS Sports play by play announcer Marv Albert doesn't know his NFL policy. During the game, a shot of Houston Texans' quarterback TJ Yates parents was shown. They were seated in the second to last row in an upper corner of Paul Brown Stadium. With PBS not even close to being at capacity, it appeared that the Bengals had stuck Yates' parents in the nosebleed seats for no good reason.
Albert, a veteran of several decades of NFL and NBA broadcasting should have engaged in just a little bit of investigation before commenting, however. If he had, he would have discovered that family and friends of visiting players commonly are seated in the upper levels and in the corners of the home stadium. I have personally sat in those seats in Cincinnati, Nashville, and Dallas. None were "choice" seats.
Typically, players must make any requests for seats by Tuesday of the week of the game. Each team allots a certain number of "non-prime" seats for those requests. Any unused tickets are then returned back to the home game and made available to the general public.
Albert further reported that he had "heard" that a PBS security guard had hassled the Yates about moving down into the sunlight. I know that to be patently false. As one who has attended many games at PBS that were less than fully attended, I can attest to being able to move freely, even changing levels without any hassle from security. The only restrictions would involve attempting to occupy a seat already taken or trying to enter a luxury box without a ticket.
To make matters worse, Yahoo! ran the story on their front page.
Mike Brown is ripe for a lot of criticism. Bengals 101 has done so on these very pages. What Albert did was irresponsible in his role as journalist. He blatantly misreported a situation and cast the Bengals organization in a negative light. Yahoo! editorial decision to run the piece without any checking is equally reprehensible.
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