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#21 Oriole85

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 02:20 PM

I think between you and NMS, you've named the obvious candidates.

Many years down the road, I'm sure Goodell is thinking internationally. Toronto of course, but also maybe Mexico City or London. I just don't know if the citizens would be interested in American football. They certainly have the populations and media markets necessary, though.

London is pretty unrealistic if you ask me, they make such a big deal about that annual game. Now play 8 games a year there in addition to the obvious will the fans support it, how about getting FAs. You would think it be the least desirable. Mexico City or another North American city I'd think before London.

I think Toronto could work if Buffalo isn't in the equation, I think the big thing would be the CFL. Could those two teams co-exist. There's 32 franchises, I actually would've prefered keeping it at 30, not sure if they would've expanded to 32 without the Browns moving though.
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#22 RShack

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 03:57 PM

I never said the decline in attendance was not directly attributable to Irsay, it clearly was, but that's true with many owners, this wasn't the first or last case. I'm sure the fans in Oakland (not sure how Mark Davis will do) and Cincinnati, among other cities would tell you they are "loyal fans" but that ownership is the root of the problem on why fans have stopped "showing up." Since there's revenue sharing in the NFL, which gives Green Bay the same TV revenue as the Giants; fair or unfair, attendance matters more than other sports with the 60/40 split(home/road).

Trying to draw parallels between the Colts attendance issues and that of other franchises might seem logical to you, and it might seem logical to anybody who doesn't know what the whole story was, but it is simply not applicable to what happened to the Colts.

At the time, everybody in pro football knew that the problem was not Baltimore's football fandom. Colts fans were legendary, and it's not because the team went to the championship game all the time either... because the Colts didn't, they only went a few times. Everybody in pro football knew the problem was 100% because of Irsay and his attitude towards both the Colts and the fans. Not half of it, not part of it, but all of it. Nobody anywhere (except Indianapolis) liked the idea... but there was nothing they could do about it at the time. Afterwards, they made changes that they wished they had made earlier, which is 100% of the reason why the new NFL team in Cleveland has Cleveland's traditional team name.

Saying that other teams have attendance issues and blame it on the owner is one thing, but it really doesn't have much of anything to do with how the Colts tragedy played out. That's not just an opinion in retrospect, it was the truth at the time it happened... and it wasn't just seen that way in Baltimore, it was seen that way throughout pro football. Now, I can certainly understand how you made this mistake... but it is a mistake. (Honest... no kidding.)
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#23 RShack

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:02 PM

So, all the pondering about where the team might move is one thing... but why in the world would the city do that to the team? You think they *want* to run them out of town? I can imagine no plausible explanation for this...

 "You say you've lost your faith, but that's not where its at.

  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan


#24 Oriole85

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 01:52 AM

Now, I can certainly understand how you made this mistake... but it is a mistake. (Honest... no kidding.)

Look I don't think you'll ever say anything negative regarding the Colts fan support. That's fine, but don't attempt for me to apologize. Every fan base has their faults. I said what I believed, you can disagree with me, that's fine.
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#25 RShack

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 12:22 PM

Look I don't think you'll ever say anything negative regarding the Colts fan support. That's fine, but don't attempt for me to apologize. Every fan base has their faults. I said what I believed, you can disagree with me, that's fine.

I was not trying to get you to do or say anything, and I took what you said at face value. I assumed you were saying what you believed. I don't think you'd say something you don't believe.

IMO you were pretty clearly adding 2 + 2 and getting 5, but doing that in a way that was completely understandable, given what's normal and given how the Colts' situation was non-standard. I was trying to clue you in about info you apparently didn't have, that's all.

If you wanna dismiss that information, as if it is nothing but bias coming from a Baltimore Colts fan, that's up to you. If you wanna hang on to your opinion, that's fine. I'm certainly not trying to get you to apologize.

 "You say you've lost your faith, but that's not where its at.

  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan


#26 Oriole85

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 01:51 PM

I was not trying to get you to do or say anything, and I took what you said at face value. I assumed you were saying what you believed. I don't think you'd say something you don't believe.

IMO you were pretty clearly adding 2 + 2 and getting 5, but doing that in a way that was completely understandable, given what's normal and given how the Colts' situation was non-standard. I was trying to clue you in about info you apparently didn't have, that's all.

If you wanna dismiss that information, as if it is nothing but bias coming from a Baltimore Colts fan, that's up to you. If you wanna hang on to your opinion, that's fine. I'm certainly not trying to get you to apologize.

If there was a "mistake", why do you think the NFL didn't *correct* it when they had a round of expansion? Ultimately they made a bad move particularly with Jacksonville, but if the NFL really believed a mistake was made, two commissioners would've tried to get a team here? Once Houston got a new team, they've had no problem selling out either. Did the NFL allow Bud Adams to make a mistake?(they weren't promised a team when they left)

The Ravens have been successful at the box office , but there's no denying that on-field performance has played a large role in this. Nobody wants to support a loser for the most part, even if the owner is a great person... see: Abe Pollin.
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#27 DJ MC

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 04:33 PM

If there was a "mistake", why do you think the NFL didn't *correct* it when they had a round of expansion?


If the commissioner of Major League Baseball during the past decade was a longtime resident of Baltimore, season-ticket holder for the Orioles and friend of Peter Angelos, do you think that the Nationals would be in DC right now?

#28 Oriole85

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 04:54 PM

If the commissioner of Major League Baseball during the past decade was a longtime resident of Baltimore, season-ticket holder for the Orioles and friend of Peter Angelos, do you think that the Nationals would be in DC right now?

Fair point with Taligibue, but explain Rozelle? And when Taligibue became commissioner, I really don't think that mattered so much. Not to mention the Browns did move to Baltimore under his watch, just didn't happen with expansion. And if Baltimore was a significantly better choice in the early 90s than Jacksonville, I would think they would've gotten it. But the owners remembered how the Colts left and didn't think Baltimore could support football. It was a legitimate concern. And as I said, let's say they went through 14 straight losing years like the Orioles, their fears would probably have been justified. Thankfully that didn't happen.

With the Nats, there were really no other viable options. San Juan wasn't going to work, which they tried a test run with. And btw, the Selig and Angelos relationship was a reason to why DC didn't get a baseball team for so long.
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#29 DJ MC

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 04:57 PM

There are three NFL cities smaller than Oklahoma City:

New Orleans (extenuating circumstances)
Buffalo
Green Bay.

Obviously the Packers aren't leaving and the Saints are committed, but the Bills could move within the next decade*. I really doubt that Oklahoma City would be on the short list--Jacksonville is bigger.

*Obviously this assumes that Ralph Wilson does eventually pass away, and isn't some sort of vampire like Al Davis was before someone finally snuck a stake into his coffin room. The Bills won't go anywhere until then, which seems as good a reason as any to hope for the existence of the undead.

Of American cities, I think the top two choices would be San Antonio and Portland. Really, though, Los Angeles should have at least two teams before any other city is considered: one in LA proper and one in either Orange County or the Inland Empire.

The NFL does appear to have a fetish for Europe, though. I would bet that if a team ends up in London, there will be an entire European division within a decade through moves and expansion.

#30 DJ MC

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 05:11 PM

Fair point with Taligibue, but explain Rozelle?


That was only five of the thirteen years, there was no expansion in that time, and the city was in the running for the Cardinals.

And when Taligibue became commissioner, I really don't think that mattered so much. Not to mention the Browns did move to Baltimore under his watch, just didn't happen with expansion. And if Baltimore was a significantly better choice in the early 90s than Jacksonville, I would think they would've gotten it. But the owners remembered how the Colts left and didn't think Baltimore could support football. It was a legitimate concern. And as I said, let's say they went through 14 straight losing years like the Orioles, their fears would probably have been justified. Thankfully that didn't happen.


There have been some awful NFL franchises that have either not had serious attendance problems, or did without moving. The Cardinals after the move to Phoenix, the Bengals and Buccaneers, for example.

As for the Browns, Modell was dying in Cleveland without a new stadium, and the other owners wouldn't have forced him to sell instead of going elsewhere. Taligibue had control and influence over the expansion process, but wouldn't have had nearly the same effect over a relocation.

The CFL experience hadn't occurred yet, but there should have been enough evidence between the historical Colts fanbase, the flirtations with relocating teams, the Camden Yards stadium plan, the Hurricane Bowl*, etc. to show support for the team.

*That would be the Baltimore version of the Saints in San Antonio and Hornets in OKC, by the way

With the Nats, there were really no other viable options. San Juan wasn't going to work, which they tried a test run with. And btw, the Selig and Angelos relationship was a reason to why DC didn't get a baseball team for so long.


Calling San Juan a test run would be like saying the Colts left after a "test run" playing at the football field at Patterson High School. That was the Expos putting one foot out of the Montreal door, because MLB decided they didn't want to try and make that market work.

As for their relationship, considering that Angelos was on the opposite side of the strike from Selig and had that reputation for a while before the problems with his club management came to the forefront, I don't think their relationship was all that close.

#31 Oriole85

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 05:17 PM

The NFL does appear to have a fetish for Europe, though. I would bet that if a team ends up in London, there will be an entire European division within a decade through moves and expansion.

So Buffalo, Jacksonville, St. Louis, and (other city) go to Europe? This idea is pretty scary, as I've said there's enough complaining about that annual game. NFL already tried a quasi-minor league in Europe, didn't exactly work... doubt this would either.
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#32 DJ MC

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 05:28 PM

So Buffalo, Jacksonville, St. Louis, and (other city) go to Europe? This idea is pretty scary, as I've said there's enough complaining about that annual game. NFL already tried a quasi-minor league in Europe, didn't exactly work... doubt this would either.


One, as you said, it was a quasi-minor league.

Two, I didn't say it would work, just that it would happen. Even with modern transportation I find it very difficult to believe that the NFL would leave just one team across the ocean. They would have to do at least one other, and that's why I think they end up with a full four-team division there.

It's akin to the NFL (and MLB) having teams in LA and San Francisco in the fifties and early sixties. The Dodgers and Giants both moved out there because the Dodgers had a deal with LA but knew the league might not approve having only one team out there--the Giants were likely going to Minneapolis otherwise.

What I would be interested in seeing is whether the teams spread through Europe, or the league sticks to the British Isles with two or four teams (London and Birmingham, then Manchester and Liverpool).

#33 RShack

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 05:35 PM

If there was a "mistake", why do you think the NFL didn't *correct* it when they had a round of expansion? Ultimately they made a bad move particularly with Jacksonville, but if the NFL really believed a mistake was made, two commissioners would've tried to get a team here?

There was no mystery about that, even back at the time: the decision makers were blinded by their unilateral focus on the size of the current and anticipated TV market. This why they decided to put teams in "untapped markets" where continued growth in the size of the TV market was anticipated. When you look at things through those glasses, Baltimore doesn't look so good, simply because it's got DC on one side, Phila on another, and a bunch of water blocking off things the other way. That's about geography, not about fan behavior. This was obvious to everybody, not just in retrospect, but at the time: they weren't going by *anything* about Baltimore's actual ticket-buying fanbase.

What they were doing was putting all their emphasis on real and anticipated TV market-size. The reason they did that is that the impact of the revenue-shared TV market feeds *all* the teams, not just the local team, while ticket sales does the opposite. And even with that bias towards TV market size, the view within the NFL was far from unanimous. There was considerable opinion in favor of putting a team back in Baltimore, but they just didn't have enough influence to pull it off vs. those who decided based on what they thought best for their own wallet.

This is also exactly why Baltimore got the Browns/Ravens the way they did: that decision was up to a team owner. The owner of an individual team has good reason to care about the intensity of local support, whereas other owners have financial reasons to care just about the size of the total revenue-shared TV market. Baltimore could be expected to give a team more tickets sales, but not very many new, untapped TV viewers.

Bottom line: the NFL as a whole cared about the number of TV's geographically, while the individual team owner cared about fans who would buy tickets.

 "You say you've lost your faith, but that's not where its at.

  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan


#34 Oriole85

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 10:26 PM

It's akin to the NFL (and MLB) having teams in LA and San Francisco in the fifties and early sixties. The Dodgers and Giants both moved out there because the Dodgers had a deal with LA but knew the league might not approve having only one team out there--the Giants were likely going to Minneapolis otherwise.

What I would be interested in seeing is whether the teams spread through Europe, or the league sticks to the British Isles with two or four teams (London and Birmingham, then Manchester and Liverpool).

That's probably the best analogy in terms of going to uncharted waters with the thoughts of going to Europe. I don't see that happening ever, I've been a wrong a few times in my life though so I guess it's possible I know Goodell has talked about the idea of having an overseas Super Bowl. If I recall, they had trouble selling tickets last year, if they have trouble with one game, I can't imagine four team supporting an NFL team for a whole season. Also, will be an issue with travel. Teams make a big deal about being disadvantaged for one game(and only two teams are playing). I think this very far-fetched to say the least.
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#35 Nuclear Dish

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 09:31 AM

Having lived through the run up to the Colts departure, the fateful night when the Mayflower vans snuck away with our team (in my 4-5 house moves thereafter, Mayflower was never considered), the pre-expansion years, the expansion derbies (yes, two rounds), the aftermath, the CFL, and the Browns move, I can tell you that what RShack speaks (and DJ MC defends) is truth.

There was no question about the fan support in Baltimore. There WAS a question of facilities, though. Irsay used this as his excuse, and other owners were ready to take advantage of it. The Maryland Stadium Authority addressed it immediately, and Bidwell was ready to accept their offer if not for his health (his need for a dry climate is what got him to Phoenix over Baltimore). The expansion derby was a farce. Baltimore was a sure thing the entire time, until Jack Kent Cooke exerted his influence (with the help of Tagliabue) over some of his cronies, and convinced them to have a round two.

By the time round two came around, everyone knew our bid was dead in the water. Cooke and Tagliabue had convinced the other owners that it was better for the league to find new, growing markets, especially in the Sun Belt that to replace teams in old markets. St. Louis was in the same boat as us.

From that point on, it was a matter of when, not if, as long as we kept holding on to the MSA stadium money.

If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend that you read Glory For Sale, by Jon Morgan. It's a classic look at the entire process from Irsay and William Donald Schaeffer through Art Modell and John Moag. It might just change your mind about some of your misconceptions.

http://www.amazon.co... ... 096312465X
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#36 DJ MC

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:34 PM

There was no question about the fan support in Baltimore. There WAS a question of facilities, though. Irsay used this as his excuse, and other owners were ready to take advantage of it.


In the end, it really was a similar situation to that in Cleveland. The owner wanted a new facility that the city and state were unwilling to provide--at least in the form and the financing the team felt it needed--so they left. The main difference is that Modell saw his fellow franchises get new buildings while he was passed over, needed the income as a (entirely in comparison to his peers) relatively poor owner, and quickly jumped at the opportunity Baltimore provided. On the other hand, Irsay was a raging alcoholic and by all accounts a terrible human being who destroyed the franchise then expected the region to hand him a new building (and be thankful for the opportunity!), and when he didn't get what he wanted openly courted other cities until forced into action by the eminent domain proceedings.

#37 Nuclear Dish

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:46 AM

In the end, it really was a similar situation to that in Cleveland. The owner wanted a new facility that the city and state were unwilling to provide--at least in the form and the financing the team felt it needed--so they left. The main difference is that Modell saw his fellow franchises get new buildings while he was passed over, needed the income as a (entirely in comparison to his peers) relatively poor owner, and quickly jumped at the opportunity Baltimore provided. On the other hand, Irsay was a raging alcoholic and by all accounts a terrible human being who destroyed the franchise then expected the region to hand him a new building (and be thankful for the opportunity!), and when he didn't get what he wanted openly courted other cities until forced into action by the eminent domain proceedings.


The biggest difference was that Cleveland built a new facility for the Indians and build a museum (the Rock & ROll HOF - the irony is just delicious), and insisted they'd do nothing more than renovate Municipal Stadium for Modell. They took advantage of Modell's history and love for Cleveland by assuming he'd never move and therefore spitting in his face.

Baltimore had actually proposed new facilities for both the Orioles AND the Colts before Irsay left. But he wasn't willing to let the legislative process run its course to ensure him the stadium he wanted. Instead, he shopped the team to the highest bidder, and lied about it the entire time.

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#38 Oriole85

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 11:01 AM

The biggest difference was that Cleveland built a new facility for the Indians and build a museum (the Rock & ROll HOF - the irony is just delicious), and insisted they'd do nothing more than renovate Municipal Stadium for Modell. They took advantage of Modell's history and love for Cleveland by assuming he'd never move and therefore spitting in his face.

Baltimore had actually proposed new facilities for both the Orioles AND the Colts before Irsay left. But he wasn't willing to let the legislative process run its course to ensure him the stadium he wanted. Instead, he shopped the team to the highest bidder, and lied about it the entire time.

I think we can all agree that Irsay was jerk, do you think he would've moved like Modell, if the team was still selling out in the end?
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#39 DJ MC

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 02:53 PM

I think we can all agree that Irsay was jerk, do you think he would've moved like Modell, if the team was still selling out in the end?


Considering the attendance at the games by the end was a direct effect of Irsay's actions on- and off-the field, you can't divorce the two.

It's like saying, "I think we can all agree that the guy was a jerk, but do you think his girlfriend would have shot him if he wasn't beating her constantly." Obviously the answer is no, but the question is irrelevant to the point you are trying to make--if not much more relevant to the point we are trying to make.
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#40 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 08:59 PM

One thing to remember about expansion; at that time there were numerous franchises that had unfavorable stadium situations. I truly believe some of them voted against Baltimore not because they were influenced by JKC or Tagliabue, but because they KNEW Baltimore was the most attractive option, and rather than lose it to expansion they wanted to keep it available for themselves....either for leverage against their current municipality, or an actual landing spot if they did move. Remember, in the years following expansion Baltimore was tied to rumors of a move by the Raiders, Bucs, Bengals, and probably one or two more I'm forgetting, before the Browns pulled the trigger.
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