The recent NFL Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony was super as usual. The great running back, Marcus Allen, was rightfully inducted into the Hall. He gave credit to lots of people for having had an influence on his brilliant career. And the epitome of class was when he thanked Al Davis for drafting him into the Raiders organization. This is the same Al Davis who had a very negative impact on Allen’s production in Marcus’ later years as a Raider. Remember how he stunted Allen’s numbers by keeping him on the pine; all he did was stunt the success of his own football team in the process. Yes, I would have mentioned the Raiders in my induction speech if I were Allen, but based on their history, there is no way in you-know-what that you’d have heard me speak the name of Al Davis from that podium in Canton. Marcus Allen, you are one class act!
Story of the Week
This article is about sports stadiums, and it deals with the business of stadium-naming, but no pro football stadium to name in L.A.
The Wall Street Journal calls it the "stadium naming jinx." A number of corporations that paid millions to have their names on pro sports stadiums are either bye-bye or in deep trouble. Enron Corp. agreed to pay $100 million over the next 30 years to have the home of the Houston Astros called Enron Field. Enron has filed for bankruptcy protection. Get in line!
Fruit of the Loom, which paid to have its Pro Player athletic wear name on Miami’s football and baseball stadium, Trans World Airlines (football stadium in St. Louis) and PSI Net (football stadium in Baltimore) have all entered bankruptcy protection since signing their respective and expensive deals. Others are on very shaky ground, including Edison Intl. (baseball field in Anaheim), AANC Rental Corp. (hockey arena in Miami) and CMGI (football stadium in Boston).
3Com Corp. paid for the naming rights to San Francisco’s football stadium in 1995 would agree there’s something to the jinx idea. When its name went up on the former Candlestick Park, their stock was pushing $40 a share; it is now selling for under $5. 3Com has told the 49’rs it doesn’t want to renew. What a shock!
No Pro Football Stadium In L.A:
The NFL will never place a football franchise in L.A. if it has to play its home games at the dilapidated Memorial Coliseum. Since 1995, when both the Rams and the Raiders left town, L.A. has tried to bring pro football back to the L.A. mega-metropolis. L.A. wants a team, and the NFL wants to place one there for obvious reasons.
The sticking point is that the L.A. city council insists that the games must be played at the 80-year-old Coliseum. The city council wants to renovate the Coliseum. The cost would be upwards of $400 million, but the city council stipulated that no public money could be used for it.
So how could L.A. renovate a stadium that nobody wants to use for a team that does not exist without dipping into the public cash register? The city council doesn’t have an answer; neither does the NFL. Do the people of L.A. really care anymore? That is one debatable subject.
Last Week's Trivia
What major pro sports franchise began in 1937, and has been home team to four different cities? The NFL Rams went from Cleveland to L.A. to Anaheim to St. Louis. (L.A. to Anaheim was no technicality for purposes of this question; it was a bona-fide move to another city.)
Trivia Question of the Week
What pitcher holds the record for most career wins in World Series competition? See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.