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With the flooding of New Orleans and heavy damage to the Superdome, the Saints lost their home stadium.  New Orleans is a relatively poor city, and faced with massive rebuilding and re-engineering costs it’s hard to imagine a speedy replacement or repair of the stadium. Team owner Tom Benson has found a temporary home field for the team in San Antonio.  Rumor has it he wants to make the move permanent, although he says “no decisions have been made regarding the team’s future, and any such decisions would be made after the 2005 season.” 

Alternately, he may try to convince NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue to let him relocate the team in Los Angeles. So far Tagliabue has stated that Louisiana is the home of the Saints and that he would like the team to relocate to Baton Rouge’s LSU Tiger’s stadium for the 2006 season, but a team presence in America’s 2nd largest television market must be very tempting for the NFL.

According to ProFootball Weekly’s Hub Arkush, the NFL could help New Orleans with the cost of rebuilding or replacing it’s stadium.  A program called G-3 empowers it to loan up to $150 million to teams in exchange for revenue from “personal seat licenses” (PSL) sold by a local government agency in the new stadium.  Because the NFL is a non-profit organization, it has access to loans at lower interest rates than the teams.  And by selling the PSL through the local government, the revenue is tax-free.

The team uses this revenue stream as well as 34 percent of the revenue from it’s club seats to pay back the league and the league pays off the low-interest loan.  The current cap could be expanded to cover most or all of New Orleans’ costs to rebuild - a great relief to the troubled city.

Benson’s temporary location of San Antonio may not be the ideal location for an NFL franchise—it’s the 37th market nationally, with 760,410 potential viewers—but it’s larger than New Orleans 43rd market (audience of 672,150.)  And Texans are proven football fans—in 2004 the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans were the second and third most profitable franchises, earning $205 million and $201 million respectively.  By contrast New Orleans is a relatively weak earner, twenty-seventh in the NFL ($149 million in 2004.)

Los Angeles has an awe-inspiring market (2nd nationally) of 5,536,430 potential viewers, but it’s football audience is (historically) relatively apathetic.  It lost the Raiders and Rams franchises in the mid-1990s.  Still, it goes without saying that the NFL would love to have a successful team in LA.

Other places a NFL franchise might prosper are: (These are pure speculation on my part, but all nine markets have more audience than San Antonio.)

Portland, OR – 23rd market with a potential audience of 1,099,890, the closest team is in Seattle which is probably too much of a rival to fully engage Portland fans.

Salt Lake City, UT - 36th market with an audience of 810,830, and the state is completely untapped by the NFL.

Hartford/New Haven, CT - 28th market, potential audience of 1,013,350, relatively close to the New England Patriots home of Foxborough, MA… But the Patriots revenues are very high indicating the market may be large enough to support this.

Greenville, SC - 35th market with a potential audience of 815,460, although the Carolina Panthers would have to give up their claim to South Carolina.  The football audience is great in this area—the Carolina Panthers are the twelfth most profitable team in the NFL.

Orlando, FL - Florida already has three pro football teams but they are all solid revenue earners.  An audience of 1,345,700 potential fans lives in this, the 20th market.

Sacramento, CA - probably too close to Oakland and San Francisco (which are relatively low-revenue earning teams.) But as the 19th market it has the audience (1,345,820) to support a football team.

Columbus, OH = 32nd market with an audience of 890,770 - far enough from Cleveland and Cincinnati to justify a team of it’s own?

Milwaukee, WI = 33rd market with an audience of 880,390 - maybe Wisconsin has enough football fans to support two teams?

Raleigh, NC: 29th market with an audience of 985,200 - way too close to Charlotte’s Panthers, but potentially large enough to support a franchise of it’s own.


NFL Week 15 Reminder

Posted by Jeff Chan Categories: NFL, Playoffs,

Hey NFL fans, just a friendly reminder that three games on the schedule this week is slated for Saturday.  With playoff implications on the line, you won’t want to miss the results.  Plus, fantasy players might miss their chance to correctly insert the right lineup.

The matchups on Saturday are:

Tampa Bay at New England
Kansas City at New York Giants
Denver at Buffalo

Giants will miss middle-linebacker Antonio Pierce, so this could play into the hands for the Chiefs who are desperate for a win after a devastating loss last week in Dallas.  If you just caught the replays of last week’s matchup between the Chiefs and the Cowboys, you might think K Lawrence Tynes blew the chance to tie the game at the end of regulation.  What most highlight shows didn’t point out was the terrible snap by the center that caused Tynes to mistime the kick.

ESPN analyst Sean Salisbury’s predicts that with the AFC West (Denver, San Diego, Kansas City) fighting each other off for the division and a wildcard spot, the Pittsburgh Steelers might run the table the next three games and should make it in the playoffs with a record of 11-5.  Pittsburgh will head to Minnesota this week, followed by a game on the road @Cleveland, and the finale at home versus Detroit.  Jacksonville, with three weak opponents left on the schedule, San Francisco, @Houston, and Tennessee, they seem to be in good shape to hold on for a wildcard spot also.

The NFC South will also be tricky, with Tampa Bay and Carolina tied, and Atlanta just one game out, but we’ll get a clearer picture after Saturday.  Tampa Bay will head into New England, but so far have been solid at on the road with a 5-2 record.  The two loses come from the lowly Jets and 49ers.  The 49er lost came after a QB switch to Chris Simms, and he has been progressing since.

Confused by the tiebreaker scenarios?  I sure am, here is a helpful guide to answer your questions.

Giants fans look for hopeWhile most are just glad that they sqeeked a win this week, Giants’ fans were left wondering what kind of team this would be in the playoffs - if they even get there.  With so many mishaps and a record that misrepresents how they’ve been playing lately, it’s no wonder resident guest analyst/disgruntled Giants fan, Frank Santangelo decided to sound off to me.  His concerns after the jump.

Click to continue reading Giants Losing Fans’ Hope?

Jake PlummerWe all loved it and we’re sad to see it go.  It’s possible that he does play better without it, but I don’t want to see is Monday Night Football picture if it’s not there.  This is a serious petition I found and I couldn’t stop laughing when I read:

In this topsy-turvy world there are few things all mankind can agree on. The sun is good, killing is bad and Jake Plummer has the most amazing mustache in the history of bewhiskered upper-lips. But, sadly, Plummer shaved said mustache late last week in a move that not only betrays all fashion sense, but also the entire United States of America.
Jake Plummer, please bring the mustache back. We, your countrymen and women, need it. Two hurricanes, rising gas prices and political divisiveness have torn our country apart. With your mustache, maybe we can begin the long process of healing. Without it, Jake, we as a society are doomed.


The Undersigned

Read More | Bring Back Jake Plummer’s Mustache Petition

Madden 2006The answer to that is: Not Me.  There are rumors circulating that bulldozer running back, Ladanian Tomlinson, has been offered the cover of Electronic Art’s next NFL game.  If history is to guide him, he should decline. 

The cover in 2001 (Madden 2002) had Eddie George on it in a career worst season, where he finished with 3.ZERO average yards a carry with only 5 TD’s (3.7 yrd/carry and 14 TD’s in 2000).  At least he wasn’t injured - unlike Dante Culpepper who was displayed on the following year.  The Viking’s QB went down early in what could’ve finally been a turnaround season for Minnesota.  Is it a curse? Ask Marshall Faulk who missed 6 games the very next season after coming off a Super Bowl.  Why not ask Michael Vick, who missed the whole season after suffering a knee injury in a pre-season game.  Better yet, all those in Philly know who was on the latest cover, check out the picture shown.  No amount of Chunky soup will bring him back to make the playoffs.  It may not be worth the endorsement if you believe in superstitions.

Herman EdwardsNew York Jets coach, had his weekly press conference on Wednesday.  He has been routinely asked why the Jets haven’t opened up the playbook, and the continued conservative approach on offense.  Here was his reply:

“We’re doing the best we can do. It sounds real good, ‘Open it up, go for broke, go do this, and go do that,” he said. “That gives you the best chance of getting blown out in a game, trying to play that way. It’s not like you throw caution to the wind. Go out there, run double reverses, trick plays. We’re not some circus team.”

It’s refreshing to see there is still some fire left in the belly, most were wondering if Edwards was just packing it in for the rest of the season.  Now Jet fans know the reason behind the madness on offense.

Tony Dungy  While many fans in Indianapolis are waiting for the Colts to complete their perfect season, the thought of one of their superstar players getting injured seems like a nightmare.  A nightmare that is on the back of Tony Dungy’s mind as he contemplates how he is going to coach this amazing team for the rest of the season.  Guest sports analyst, Frank Santangelo, gives us some insight on what the inner workings of today’s Colts coach after the jump.

Click to continue reading Tony Dungy’s Descision is on the Horizon

Quarterback: Drew Brees could have single handily brought fantasy teams to a win.  He’s now considered a top flight fantasy player, ranking only behind Carson Palmer, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady.

Running back:  Stephen Jackson limited to 6 yards, 16 receiving yards, and a fumble.  Who knew the Arizona defense had it in them?
Dallas situation with Julius Jones and Marion Barber might end up like last years Pittsburgh tandem of Duce Staley picking up the majority of the yards and Jerome Bettis putting it in for the touchdown.

Wide Receiver:  Everyone is waiting for a scoop on the Terrell Owens situation, maybe he’ll get released, and someone will be able to pick up a bona-fide all world player.  Many teams are shying away; the only team that seems to have no comment on situation has been the Dallas Cowboys.  Matt Jones of the Jaguars has been turning it up, catching a touchdown the last 2 games.

Tight End: Everyone with Antonio Gates should not worry, it looks like he won’t miss any time off.  Randy McMichael was shut out completely by the Cleveland Browns, people might have under-estimated their defense, which is 4th in the AFC in Pts allowed, though much stronger against the pass than the run.

Kicker: Neil Rackers of the Arizona Cardinals is having a monster season.  He is actually ranked in the top 20 of total players in the league for fantasy point production.  The 2nd most for kickers is Jay Feely in the mid 40’s.  Thank you Arizona for hardly ever getting all the way to the endzone.

Defense: Denver Broncos gave the Jets a pounding.  Those who picked up Denver defense was in for a treat.  Everyone should just follow the strategy of picking up whoever the Jets have as an opponent.  Oakland will be available in most leagues also, there facing Miami, who might pack it in for the rest of the season.

NFL Week 12 Matchup

Posted by Jeff Chan Categories: NFL,

New-Orleans-Saints AT NY Jets
(2-8) New Orleans Saints at (2-8) New York Jets. 

That’s right, I’m going to go with the Worst Game of the Year. It is not even a case of these teams needing a win badly for morale.  Now this game is going to break the record for most graphics about next year’s needs.  You almost feel bad for these two teams in that they have to actually play the game, and be tortured for 60 minutes rather than just forfeiting.  That being said, this game is actually winnable for either team.Kilff KingsburySo why is this my game of the week? I have no idea who is going to win this game?  Who knows, it might end up a 3-3 tie, this way there will be further debate which team has had the more miserable season.  The intriguing part will be all the odd plays, the botched snaps that go for fumble TD’s, juggled punt returns (oh there will be many punts), the penalties on offense. We’ll get to see the 3rd and 25, which are always fun to watch.  Let’s not forget ridiculous moments like draw plays on the 3rd and long that might actually pick up a 1st down.  We’ll also see some guy named Kliff Kingsbury at QB for the Jets.  Hey you Al Bundy’s of the world, start warming up, if Kliff goes down to injury, you might have a shot at Quarterback next.  If you guys like CFL or the XFL, this will be the place to be, otherwise just go out Christmas shopping.

NFL Week 11 Matchup

Posted by Jeff Chan Categories: NFL,

Ladanian TomlinsonOk gang.  Week 11 is going to bring every NFL team to their 10th game.  So now, it is clear, hey are we a contender, pretender, or just eagerly waiting for next year?  Lets get straight to it.

My Game of the Week:
Buffalo (4-5) at San Diego Chargers (5-4)
Marty-ball has to let his players play and just outscore the opposition, not letting them have any hope of a comeback, like the Jets did two weeks ago.  The Chargers need this game because there last 3 games are brutal:

    at Indianapolis
    at Kansas City

A Buffalo loss and a New England win should give the Patriots some breathing room for another division crown and another year in the post-season.  JP Losman has a fighting chance against a San Diego Defense that does give up a lot of yards.  This game is going to mean a ton for both teams, with the Eagles/Giants game generating most of the attention for this week, this matchup shouldn’t fall under the radar.