Tice rips fans for selling tickets to Steelers faithful

Updated: December 22, 2005, 2:31 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Mike Tice's message to Vikings fans: Do as I say, not as I do.

Tice said he was upset with the number of Steelers fans that occupied seats at the Metrodome on Sunday, estimating their numbers at 15,000 to 20,000, according to a story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The newspaper reported that if Tice's estimation was correct, at least 10,000 of the Vikings' season-ticket holders sold their tickets.

"It confuses me, I guess," Tice said. "Maybe they're not really diehard season-ticket holders or maybe they needed the money for Christmas presents. I don't know. One of the two."

However, in June, Tice was fined $100,000 by the NFL for scalping his Super Bowl tickets.

Tice had acknowledged reselling some of his personal allotment of 12 Super Bowl tickets last season and had also resold his tickets as a Vikings assistant coach from 1996-2001.

Each NFL player has the right to purchase up to two Super Bowl tickets at face value, which this year was $500 and $600 depending on the seat. But they must sign a document saying they won't resell them at a profit. Individual teams determine the number of tickets available to coaches.

On Sunday, the Vikings lost 18-3 to the Steelers -- a damaging blow to the team's playoff hopes. Tice said the number of Steelers fans at Sunday's game affected the Vikings' home-field advantage.

"Look, when you go to some stadiums, it's so deafening that you can't hear. When you have 15 to 20 thousand of the opponent's fans in there, it's not deafening," Tice told the newspaper. "There is a difference. The fans that were there were great. But it wasn't like a big game when it's just your guys in there.

"Maybe, in their defense, they sold the tickets when ... we were 2-5. Maybe they said, 'The heck with it, I'm not going to that.' Maybe that's the case. Or maybe Pittsburgh fans are just a little more diehard than our fans are."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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