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SBD/Issue 52/FranchisesPrint All
Lerner Is Contemplating Making Major Changes
Within The Browns Organization This Offseason
MISTAKES BY THE LAKE: Lerner Tuesday said, "We have not established an identity and I find that very frustrating. The Steelers, a coach and a group of players show up, memorable plays are made and a myth and a legend and an identity is born. The Rooneys were able to parlay that into another administration under Bill Cowher. I'm very envious of that" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 11/26). Lerner said that the team has "not made any overture" about a future coaching vacancy to CBS' Bill Cowher (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 11/26). In Cleveland, Terry Pluto wrote Lerner admitted that the Browns have "no real identity," and "that starts with the coach," Romeo Crennel. Lerner's "general approach of hiring football people, sitting back and then holding them accountable is the correct one." But that means that the Browns "must have a general manager or coach who can say, 'This is the kind of team we want to have, and this is what we expect from the players'" (CLEVELAND.com, 11/25). A PLAIN DEALER editorial stated if Lerner "can't hire the right people to fix this colossal mess, he should sell the team to someone who can." The Browns "should be thankful the Detroit Lions are still" in the NFL, because otherwise the Browns "would be the front-runner for the league's most pathetic." That the team's "phenomenal fan base continues to support this franchise is nothing short of a miracle" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 11/25).
NFL Officials Say There Is No Talk Of
Moving Lions From Thanksgiving Game
Ditka Feels NFL Should Put Two Top
Teams Together For Thanksgiving Day Game
MAINTAIN THE TRADITION: In Detroit, Drew Sharp writes under the header, "It's Tradition: Thanksgiving Day Game Belongs In Detroit." Traditions "should stand for something in sports, regardless of the outcomes." Sharp: "You cannot attach a price tag -- or even a win-loss record -- on that bond between past and present" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 11/26). ESPN's Tony Korneheiser: "They play on Thanksgiving Day. This goes back to 1934. If you don't like it, turn off the TV and say hello to your family." ESPN's Michael Wilbon: "Don't take Detroit off" ("PTI," ESPN, 11/24). Fox Sports’ Andrew Siciliano: “It might be a boring tradition, but it still is tradition. Just let them play it out. It’s their national stage” (“The Jim Rome Show,” 11/25). Detroit News columnist Terry Foster: “People want to take it away to punish the Fords, because they’ve been bad owners. … But really who are you punishing? You’re punishing the people who watch the Lions, you’re punishing Lions’ fans, and these people did nothing to deserve that” (DETNEWS.com, 11/24).
GAME ON: In Detroit, Carlos Monarrez reported the Lions "avoided their first non-sellout of a Thanksgiving Day game" since '92, meaning Thursday's game will be broadcast locally on Detroit's WWJ-CBS. However, a Lions spokesperson said that tickets "are still available after the Titans returned some of their allotment" (FREEP.com, 11/25).
Affeldt One Of Two Free Agents To
Have Inked Deals So Far This Offseason
HOLDING THE RUNNER: In L.A., Dylan Hernandez writes Dodgers Owners Frank and Jamie McCourt seem to be "hedging against lavish spending during a time of such great economic uncertainty." Jamie McCourt said that the "fact that the majority of contracts were guaranteed was a significant issue." She said, "If people can't play anymore, it's like, 'Oh well, see ya.' Different story. Whatever money they are guaranteed could be money that we could otherwise have given to the community." Frank McCourt said that the funds that cover 42 youth baseball fields being built in Southern California "won't be taken out of the team's operating budget." But he added that the Dodgers need to "re-examine their priorities." He said that the team's "top priority remained to field a winning team," but noted that the team's payroll, which was around $120M this past season, has not been determined for '09. But Jamie McCourt said that while the Dodgers "might be more cautious, they wouldn't shy away from pursuing such big-name free agents" as Sabathia and LF Manny Ramirez (L.A. TIMES, 11/26).
Padres Could See Significant Attendance
Drop-Off After Paring Of Payroll
IN THE BRONX: The Yankees yesterday said that they will keep ticket prices for Spring Training games at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa on par with the '08 level, ranging from $17-31 (AP, 11/25). Meanwhile, in N.Y., Mike Lupica wrote Yankees Vice Chair Hal Steinbrenner, who has assumed control of the organization, was "always going to be the guy in charge no matter what his older brother," Yankees Vice Chair Hank Steinbrenner, kept publicly saying. Hal was "quietly learning the business while his brother kept talking." Hal's leadership is "good for the Yankees and good for baseball, which did not want Hank to be the one in charge" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/23).
MLS Fire Fan Group To Sue Team Over
Debt Owed For Ticket Sales, Stolen Banner
Blues' Attendance At Scottrade Center
Up 7% Through First Eight Games Of Season
USL club Montreal Impact Owner Joey Saputo "remains keen on joining" MLS, but he "won't risk the team's future or the continued growth of soccer in the city and across the province to do it," according to Randy Phillips of the Montreal GAZETTE. Saputo: "In soccer, like any other sport, we have to make sure our next acquisition will not be our last acquisition because it was a bad acquisition. We strongly believe that a [US$40M] franchise fee alone would seriously mortgage the future of soccer and our team." Saputo said of the city's MLS bid being dropped last week, "We were told that MLS is out of the picture for 2011, but we remain open to any possible expansion in the future. Why our bid was taken out, I really don't have any idea. I also have no idea why we were never called to meet with league officials in New York, to go into the specifics of our bid" (Montreal GAZETTE, 11/25).