SBD/December 5, 2012/Franchises

NFL Franchise Notes: Street Festival To Precede Bills' Toronto Game

QMI AGENCY’s John Kryk noted a street festival called the Bud Light Pre-Game Festivities "will precede" the Dec. 16 Seahawks-Bills game in Toronto. There is no entry fee, "nor does anyone need a ticket to the game to enter the area.” Festivities include a “main stage with live music, food vendors, NFL merchandise booths, football-skill participation areas ... Bills alumni and the Bills mascot.” Bills in Toronto Series Exec Dir Greg Albrecht said, “There’s food, there’s beverage, there’s stuff for kids to do. So it’s going to be a fan and family experience” (QMI AGENCY, 12/4).

TIME FOR A RECHARGE? In San Diego, Jay Paris wrote the Chargers are “adrift, in need of a makeover, and a fresh set of eyes to perform the face lift.” The team’s “empty seats, depleted roster, television blackouts and half-baked promises are telling.” Chargers GM A.J. Smith has two years remaining on his contract, and "two words come to mind: buy out.” Smith has “run his course, and the Chargers need to find another track to run on.” He “hit a round-tripper or two earlier in his stint," but there have been “too many swings and misses, too many disappointing reaches and a signature coaching hire putting the team on the edge of darkness” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/3).

GIVE HIM HECK: In Cleveland, Terry Pluto wrote, “If the choice is between [longtime NFL exec Mike] Lombardi and current Browns general manager Tom Heckert, the answer is simple. Heckert stays.” It is “obvious that Heckert has given Browns fans real reason for hope because of the infusion of young talent.” Meanwhile, Lombardi is “very public relations savvy.” He “works for NFL.com and other media outlets,” and is “a regular on talk shows.” He is “engaging and entertaining.” Pluto: “While some of his harshest critics insist he's a disaster as an executive, I do believe Lombardi has some ability when it comes to scouting players. But an upgrade over Heckert? Hard to imagine why anyone would say that” (CLEVELAND.com, 12/4).
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