NFL NOTES: MODELL TALKS SOFTLY, CARRIES A BIG CARROT
Browns Owner Art Modell held his second interview with a
Baltimore media outlet in as many days yesterday, this time a
radio roundtable on WBAL-AM. Modell again defended his decision
to move, saying that the Browns easily met eight of the NFL's
nine criteria for franchise relocation --with fan support being
the ninth. Modell: "It would be hard for any owner to say that
we don't qualify. ... In light of other moves, nothing comes
close to the rationale and the justification for the Browns
moving to Baltimore." Modell also said the Browns decision could
"trigger a few other moves," and possibly lead to realignment.
He also added that it was possible the team could leave its name
and colors behind. Modell: "It's an issue that's being strongly
considered and being discussed on a daily basis" (Bart Hubbuch,
Akron BEACON JOURNAL, 12/20).
ALSO: In the Part III of an examination of franchise
stability, the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH's Jeff Gordon notes the
idea of competition for the NFL is "interesting," but he adds the
"success rate of start-up leagues is almost nil" (ST. LOUIS POST-
DISPATCH, 12/20)....ESPN's Keith Olbermann examined the history
of franchise relocation: Out of 113 current pro teams --
eliminating all expansion teams, teams that have already moved,
teams that are going to move, and teams that are threatening or
have threatened to move --only five are left: The Pacers, Maple
Leafs, Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Packers ("SportsCenter,"
12/19)....The NFL will donate $250,000 toward construction of a
new day care center in Oklahoma City, to replace the one
destroyed in last April's bombing of the federal building (NFL).