With the blackout policy suspended for 2015 (i.e., dead as a doorknob . . . or is it doornail? I never know), teams need to find a way to attract customer to pay for tickets to game. The Browns are doing that by utilizing a four-tiered system of variable pricing.
The first tier consists of the Broncos and Titans. Yes, the Titans, because that’s the regular-season home opener.
Tier Two has the Ravens and Steelers. Tier Three consists of the Raiders, Cardinals, 49ers, and Bengals.
Tier Four has the two preseason games, against Washington and Buffalo.
The decision not to put the Ravens and Steelers in the top tier and the decision to put the Bengals in a tier lower than the other division rivals seem odd. But even in a league where coaches look for any ammunition to motivate players, it’s hard to envision Bengals coach Marvin Lewis firing up the troops by pointing out that the Browns saw fit to put the team that has made it to the playoffs four straight years in the third of four pricing tiers, only one click above games that don’t count at all.