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SBD/21/Leagues Governing Bodies
PROF. MICHAELS LECTURES ON THE STATE OF THE NFL
Published November 21, 1995
During halftime of "Monday Night Football" last night, ABC's Al Michaels delivered a video op-ed on the problems facing the NFL. Michaels opened by describing the league as "spinning off its axis." He continued, "The NFL will likely soon lay claim to the dubious honor of becoming the first major professional sports organization in North America ever to witness four franchise shifts in a two year period and things are just heating up. ... Now we're being told that circumvention of that cap is behind all these franchise moves so that teams can remain competitive. Excuse me! What's behind these moves is an old game played in sophisticated ways. The cities of St. Louis, Baltimore, Oakland and Nashville stood on street corners whistling, 'Hey, sailor.' And the Rams, Raiders, Browns and Oilers crossed the street and made the whistlers pay to boot. ... Perhaps scariest of all is the fact the old guard owners are the ones on the move" ("MNF," ABC, 11/20). NEW LEAGUE: USA TODAY's Gordon Forbes reports the 16-team Fan Football League, proposed by USFL Founder Dave Dixon, would play a 24-game schedule from September to March. Dixon, who claims to have received "tremendous response," promises the FFL would play in "top markets" (warm-weather and dome cities), with "the best stadiums," and "big-name coaches" (USA TODAY, 11/21). VIEWING NOTE: Tonight, PBS' "Nightly Business Report" will feature a segment on the business of pro football ("Nightly Business Report," 11/20).