SBD/23/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              Testimony was heard yesterday from Raiders Owner Al
         Davis in the $130M antitrust suit filed by the St. Louis
         Convention and Visitors Commission against the NFL,
         according to William Lhotka of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. 
         Davis described the NFL's dealings during the team's
         relocation as "extortion," adding, "It wasn't until St.
         Louis came up with a lot more money that the deal to St.
         Louis was approved."  Davis' testimony, which was read to a
         jury, "contained some of the strongest comments yet against
         the NFL."  Under cross-examination, Davis admitted the
         league has a right to determine the number of expansion
         teams and their date of entry into the league.  But "he
         insisted the league has no authority to block an existing
         franchise from moving."  Testimony was also heard yesterday
         from Cardinals Owner Bill Bidwill, who said he paid a $7.5M
         relocation fee when he moved his team to AZ.  But he said
         that he had "no idea how that figure was reached."  49ers
         President Carmen Policy said that the Rams' relocation fee
         of $29M was the "result of negotiations between the Rams and
         the league, not from a set formula" (POST-DISPATCH, 10/23). 

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, LA Rams

              MLB Acting Commissioner Bud Selig met the press
         yesterday in Cleveland and "expressed optimism" that the low
         TV ratings for the '97 World Series would improve and
         "indicated that the game's leaders will intensify their
         efforts to quicken the pace of play," according to Mark
         Maske of the WASHINGTON POST.  Selig, on the TV ratings:
         "The problem with ratings is, everything is down.  Every
         week I look at football ratings.  Basketball, hockey --
         they're all down.  And (Tuesday) night was pretty good.  We
         don't have any of the big markets in this Series. ... We
         started on a Saturday night, and that's a horrendous
         television night.  NBC has been a huge winner (over the
         other networks) every night" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/23). 
         Selig, after Tuesday's 14-11 Marlins win, which lasted 4
         hours and 12 minutes and ended after 12:30am ET: "Am I
         concerned?  Of course.  But change in this business is very,
         very difficult.  Even when it makes all the sense in the
         world."  More Selig: "That was a game that was terribly
         ugly.  I thought the 'Unfinished Symphony' had a better
         chance of finishing before that game.  I mean, 25 runs and
         the pitchers were still falling behind every hitter.  Ball
         One. Ball Two. Ball Three.  It reminded me of watching my
         own team. ... What drives people crazy is watching pitchers
         circling the mound, waiting for a message from heaven." 
         Selig said he will push for a shortened season which would
         allow the World Series to be played earlier and not face the
         cold temperatures that have hit Cleveland (Ken Daley, DALLAS
         MORNING NEWS, 10/23).  Selig, on moving the World Series to
         a warm-weather site: "I can't fathom that ever happening. 
         The pace of the game is the only thing we can do something
         about, and we'd like to" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/23).  One MLB
         official on moving to a neutral site: "Can you imagine this
         World Series being played in New Orleans or San Diego, where
         there is absolutely no interest in either of these two
         teams?  You wouldn't come close to filling the stadium for a
         week" (Bill Madden, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/23).
              BUD'S LIGHTER SIDE: Selig, asked about the comments
         made by NBC's Don Ohlmeyer on the World Series: "Short of
         shooting him, what do you want me to do?" (Mult., 10/23).
              REAX: In Washington, Mark Maske: "This World Series ...
         hasn't helped baseball's recovery" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/23). 
         In S.F., Tim Keown: "[A]t the moment of peak interest, the
         World Series is bringing everybody down" (S.F. CHRONICLE,
         10/23).  In N.Y., Mike Lupica: "The weather outside is
         frightful.  So is the national pastime" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
         10/23).  Header above Tim Sullivan's column in Cincinnati:
         "Classic?  Not by a long shot" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 10/23). 
         In Orange County, Randy Youngman: "Let's face it, baseball
         has become so infuriatingly slow ... that it makes chess
         seem exciting by comparison" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER,
         10/22).  In Minnesota, Patrick Reusse: "An exceptional
         Series was needed to avoid embarrassing TV ratings -- to
         slow baseball's slide in popularity" (Minneapolis STAR
         TRIBUNE, 10/23).  In Philadelphia, Jim Salisbury: "Welcome
         to the Winter Classic" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/23).  USA
         TODAY's Hal Bodley notes the "crucial problem" to the TV
         ratings is the Marlins and Indians "are not high-profile
         teams."  He goes on to add that the average time for all '97
         postseason games is 3:13, and 3:26 through the first three
         games of the World Series (USA TODAY, 10/22).  But in
         Providence, Sean McAdam writes that MLB "must deal with the
         weight of expectations.  The World Series has been so
         compelling, so often, that anything less than a classic Fall
         Classic disappoints" (Providence JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 10/23).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Cleveland Indians, Miami Marlins, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, NBC

              The NBA "has launched an investigation in an effort to
         determine whether a new fast-food restaurant -- called
         Wraptors -- is infringing on the Raptors' name, trademark
         and logo," according to Marty York of the Toronto GLOBE &
         MAIL.  The new establishment, which sells healthy tortilla
         wraps, opened near the team's home at SkyDome and its logo
         features a "front view of a dinosaur with an open mouth,
         flashing teeth," similar to the Raptors' logo.  NBA Dir of
         Sports Media Relations Chris Brienza said the restaurant "is
         not affiliated with the Raptors in any way.  Its existence
         has just come to our attention and we intend to find out
         more."  Wraptors Owner David Debono said he was "bothered by
         the whole thing because, while the name may sound the same,
         they're spelled differently."  More Debono: "Their raptor is
         mean-looking.  Ours has a conniving look.  Heck, Barney is a
         dinosaur, too.  The NBA could argue that Barney is
         infringing on them, too" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/23).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, Toronto Raptors
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