Texans' McNair Says He Wouldn't Necessarily Oppose NFL Team In San Antonio
Texans Owner Bob McNair's opinion "will impact any team's move" to a different city as the Chair of the NFL's Finance Committee, and with the reports surrounding the Raiders, McNair is "withholding judgement until he knows all the facts," according to Tania Gangli of ESPN.com. McNair yesterday said, "I wouldn't oppose it just because it's in San Antonio. I'm in favor of doing what strengthens the league where it makes sense. We need to have strong franchises. We want it to be a competitive league for a long time. To do that you've got to have strong franchises wherever they are." He added that he was "not concerned about the prospect of a team from San Antonio taking away Texans fans." McNair: "We have a growing fan base there and it's going to continue to grow. If there was a team there and we were over there playing, I think half the fans in the stands would be ours. It'd be a difficult situation, I think, for San Antonio" (ESPN.com, 7/30). McNair added, "It's not surprising (the Raiders) would look there." In San Antonio, Tom Orsborn notes the Raiders would "need the blessing of 24 of the NFL's 32 owners to relocate to any city." McNair would be "directly involved in vetting the Raiders' desire to relocate." He said, "The finance committee would have to approve it. You'd have to do market research" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 7/31). ESPN's Ed Werder noted McNair made it clear his organization "values the San Antonio market and attempted to do so without compromising the Raiders' apparent effort to leverage Oakland into a stadium" ("NFL Insiders," ESPN, 7/30).
THE EYES OF TEXAS: Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones on Tuesday indicated he would fight the Raiders moving to San Antonio, and in Ft. Worth, Mac Engel wrote Jones is "powerful enough that even in death he would stop any franchise from making San Antonio it's home." As far as Jones sees it, the San Antonio market "is his, and no string of playoff-less seasons will ever stop that." Jones "wants a team" in L.A., and "not another franchise 220 miles down the road that could potentially eat in his market" (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 7/30). In San Antonio, Buck Harvey writes Jones "sees South Texans as consumers, not allies," and sees San Antonio "as his turf." The fact that he "now is admitting this signals a changing NFL that has the potential to someday put a third team in Texas" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 7/31).
SIMPLY FLIRTING? In Houston, Randy Harvey writes the Raiders becoming the third franchise in Texas is "not a crowd for NFL teams in a state this populated and football-obsessed." However, this "looks like a setup," and San Antonio "is being used. Again." There is "more reason to believe" Raiders Owner Mark Davis was "sending a message to a) Oakland and b) Los Angeles" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/31). Yahoo Sports' Rand Getlin said, "This could be simply a leverage play. I think Mark Davis is looking for an option that is going to allow them to continue to make money, hopefully at a greater clip and also give them a fresh start." CBS Sports Network's Jim Rome said, "I would say London will get two NFL teams before San Antonio gets one of the NFL’s worst teams" ("Rome," CBSSN, 7/30). ESPN's Jackie MacMullan said San Antonio is a "nice place, but it isn't Los Angeles, and Los Angeles is where the Raiders have always wanted to go if they were going to move." Davis speaking with San Antonio officials was the "flirt to get the conversation started again, because I think he understands they need to move" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 7/30). ESPN's Dan Le Batard said San Antonio "simply exists to get better stadium deals where you are." Le Batard: "They are very thankful that San Antonio is involved in any of this. Nobody's going to actually end up there, but everybody is using San Antonio as a leverage point" ("Highly Questionable," ESPN2, 7/30).