The Daily Oklahoman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on November 12, 2000 · 519
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The Daily Oklahoman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma · 519

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 12, 2000
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THE SUNDAY OKLAHOMAN FOOTBALL SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2000 . . . 8-t Arena football has become a smashing success By Bany WUner AJ' Football Writer It might becomo one of tho groat success stories in sports. The Tiger Woods caravan? Tho Williams sisters lovefest? Try Arena Football. By far tho most successful of all American offshoot sports ventures, tho Arena Football League has had a busy offseason. Besides basking in the attention provided by AFL graduate Kurt Warner, it relocated three teams to bigger metropolitan areas, moved into Canada, expanded its minor league and just about secured a spot to play its All-Star game during Super Bowl week in 2002. Next season, professional indoor football will be played in more than 50 markets, including an all-time high 19 in the AFL. Arenafootball2, the single-entity minor league owned by the AFL, will field perhaps 36 teams and has more than 70 applications for franchises. Instead of teams in Albany, N.Y., Hartford, Conn., and Des Moines, Iowa, the Arena league now has teams in Toronto, Indianapolis and on Long Island. It also has franchises in Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit and most other major markets, with Dallas, Washington and New Orleans on the horizon. Cowboys boss Jerry Jones soon will field an AFL team, as will Saints owner Tom Benson. The Detroit Fury is owned by the Lions. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has control of the Washington franchise. 44bbB9bbbIbs tJMvuBlijdlM And the NFL has an option to buy 49 percent of a league whose overall attendance keeps growing. "We think it is an exciting brand of football," NFL vice president Roger Goodell says. "It's played counter to our season and it's an opportunity for our fans to experience football in a different environment." The AFL's 15th season, which begins in April and runs through August, could be its most visible, particularly in light of last year's labor woes that nearly canceled the entire schedule. Instead, team owners settled with the players on a collective bargaining agreement that provided free agency for the first time, as well as a salary cap, pension plan and guaranteed increases in minimum salary. Then Warner, the former star of the Iowa Barnstormers, became the NFL's most valuable player and the Super Bowl MVP with the St. Louis Rams. Now it Warner, the former star of the Iowa Barnstorm ers, became the NFL's most valuable player and the Super Bowl MVP with the St Louis Rams. Now it seems as if nearly every NFL team owner is eager to buy into the indoor game. seems as if nearly every NFL team owner is eager to buy into the indoor game. "A lot of people are learning to love Arena Football in a big way because it is a tremendous opportunity to reach markets that the NFL has not been able to reach directly," says commissioner David Baker, entering his fifth year in charge of the AFL. "Unlike baseball and basketball, there really is no other league for football. "You have 3,800 college seniors come out of Division I every year. If you don't play in the NFL, CFL or Arena Football, you will be lifting weights the rest of your life." While Arena Football has been getting some heavyweights involved and has attracted big-time advertisers such as Home Depot, Sears and Wilson, it still is a niche sport. Nonetheless, it just moved into such premier arenas as Conseco Fieldhouse in India- ".yi'g"-aBpMMaBM y.MBrBBBBjj..Bt napolis and the- Air Canada Centre in Toronto, with ownership by Rogers Communications, which had a pending deal to buy baseball's Blue Jays. And computer magnate Charles Wang, who recently bought the NHL's Islanders, purchased the Iowa team that moved to Nassau Coliseum. Also, the NFL is considering giving the AFL All-Star game a spot in the 2002 Super Bowl week schedule in New Orleans, which will have a team owned by Benson. A significant factor in the widespread growth of Arena Football and its af2 offshoot is the availability of buildings. "There are 148 minor league hockey teams in the United States with control of their own arenas," Baker says. "Their down time is in the spring and summer, when we play. "Our vision is to complement the NFL. ... It's a tremendous opportunity to give football more exposure." Oddly, the advent of the XFL, an outdoor league owned by the World Wrestling Federation that will be televised by NBC, . Turner and TNN from February to April, might help the Arena league, too. "We can use the platform of the WWF, which resonates to the young male audience," said Lions' coach choice raises eyebrows By Dave Goldberg AP Football Writer Bobby Ross' resignation seemed a surprise at first. Despite two straight losses, the Lions were 5-4 and certainly in playoff contention. Upon farther review ... From Ross' perspective, the only thing wrong with quitting was the timing. But people who know him well say that every Sunday on the sideline was like three hours of agony for a 63-year-old who already won half of a college national championship at Georgia Tech and took an NFL team (San Diego in 1994) to a Super Bowl. Why go through that when he can: ' Sit at home and channel surf through dozens of college games on Saturday and as many as 14 NFL games on Sunday. Hit the golf course (Marv Levy is believed to be the only NFL coach ever who wasn't a golfer.) Go south and hit the golf course. It gets nippy in Michigan in November. The biggest surprise was the selection of Gary Moeller as his' successor. For the record, league officials say they found nothing wrong with the Lions' choice. His football credentials are good he was 44-13-3 at Michigan with three Big Ten titles and four bowl wins. He also is a local celebrity. But some of that celebrity is negative notoriety. Moeller was fired as Michigan's coach . in 1995 after his arrest during a disturbance at a Detroit-area restaurant. Since then he has been an assistant for the Bengals and Lions. Then there's Sly Croom. While Croom has never been "mentioned" as a possible head coach, he is the Lions' offensive coordinator. And he is black in a league where more than 70 percent of the players are black, but only two of the 31 head coaches are. Croom has credentials as a trail blazer. In 1972 at Alabama, he became one of the first blacks in Division I to play center, a "brains" position, wrongly considered in those days, like quarterback, too so-, phisticated for a black player. Dwight Stephenson, Dermonnti Dawson and many others have since proved how silly that thinking had been. He's been an NFL assistant since 1987 and is in his fourth year as coordinator. If William Clay Ford wanted to be politically correct, Croom might have been given a shot as an interim head coach. COACHING HISTORY: NFL Croom played one season in the NFL with the Saints. That probably works against him. Of the 31 current NFL head coaches, only seven played in the NFL, apparently an all-time ' low no one is quite sure. Four of the seven were defensive backs: Jeff Fisher of the Titans, Dick Jauron of the Bears, Tony Dungy of the Bucs and Dick LeBeau of the Bengals. Two others were linebackers, Bill Cowher of the Steelers (who performed mostly on special teams) and Jim Haslett of the Saints. The only former offensive player is also the one who probably was the best known as a player, Dan Reeves of the Falcons. Reeves was an all-purpose running back for the Cowboys who starred in the Ice Bowl against the Packers. AND MORE COACHES: Jon Gruden has somehow managed to distance himself from Al Davis, who has refrained from doing what he's usually done since he relinquished the Raiders' coaching job to John Rauch in 1965 serving (like Jerry Jones) as owner-coach. Winning isn't necessarily the reason, although it certainly helps. But Tom Flores coached the Raiders to two Super Bowl wins and John Madden to one, and Madden's winning percentage (.750) is the best in NFL history for coaches with 100 career victories. Yet both had Davis looking over their shoulders. Gruden is 24-17, 8-8 in each' of his first two seasons, 8-1 so far this season. One theory is that Davis, who at 71 still thinks of himself as a street kid from Brooklyn, sees Gruden in his own image, something that didn't apply to Rauch, Flores, Art Shell, Mike White and Joe Bugel. Gruden, despite his youth, is self-confident, aggressive and tough, although he was 35 and looked 25 when he was hired. Madden used humor to deflect Davis.. Still, during Madden's tenure, the Raiders were considered Davis' team. And while Davis is in the Hall of Fame, Madden isn't unusual for a coach with his winning percentage and a Super Bowl victory. Gruden, on the other hand, is getting both the credit and the publicity Madden didn't get until he moved to the broadcast booth. He chuckled when asked this week how he has managed so well with Davis where other coaches have failed. "One of the reasons I wanted to be with the Raiders was trying to learn from Al Davis and maybe improving myself as a coach," he replied. "You come in every day, try to work hard, try to improve the team and ... try to avoid the other pitfalls." MAJOR MARKET MYTH: Brett Favre can go nowhere in Green Bay without being recog-niozed. Here's the Giants' Kerry Collins, who played quarterback for the Panthers at the beginning of his career, on playing in New York: "It's a bigger media market, but there's a lot going on. I really feel you can have a greater sense of privacy and a greater sense of having a life outside of football than I had in Charlotte." QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Infinity," defensive end Kenny Holmes said when asked how long the Tennessee Titans, who have won their first 12 games at Adelphia Coliseum, can remain unbeaten there. DIRTY DOZEN. The top six and bottom six teams in the NFL, based on current level of play: 1, Oakland (8-1). Even Rickey Dudley is finally starting to reach his potential. 2, Tennessee (8-1). Not pretty, but consider the injuries, particularly at wide receiver 3, Miami (7-2). Could have collapsed after being outscored 50-7 over a span of three quarters. 4, New Orleans (6-3). Don't laugh. 5, New York Giants (7-2). Maybe the players will stop whining about disrespect if they beat the Rams. 6 (tie), St. Louis, Minnesota (both 7-2). Rams hurt by injuries. Vikings, especially Daunte Culpepper, must learn to play outdoors. 26, Washington (6-4). Dan the Fan fired Kris Heppner, who was perfect until he missed two field goal attempts, one from 51 yards. Dan likes firing people. 27, Dallas (3-6) Jerry Jones' great expectations wouldn't have materialized even if no one was hurt. 28, Seattle (3-7). Narrow escape over winless Chargers. . 29, Cincinnati (2-7). Have allowed seven of 13 TDs scored by the Raveps. 30, San Diego (0-9). A loss is a loss, even if five of them are by four points or less. 31, : Cleveland (2-8). Without Couch, heading for another 2-14. I SoQuick Sports Travel Inc. I FOLLOW THE S0ONERS TO MIAMI Jan. 1 to Jan. 4, 2001 All Dackaoes include. - Direct round triD airfare 3 nights at Superior Hotel Orange Bowl Game Ticket souvenir package All taxes & gratuities. ftnu moreL From... AAQ EMBASSY TRAVEL Ml dwell City 405-736-UU098UU-886-49M MCCULLOH TRAVEL Aramore 580-226-3333800-633-86B? THE TRAVEL SOURCE Okla. City 405-B40-8220800'B408220 UNLIMITED TRAVEL Tahletuali 918-456-2224877-456-2224 EXECUTIVE TRAVEL SERVICE Tulsa 91 B-252-96O5BOO-25D-57O0 BREAK-AWAY TRAVEL Okla. City-405-692-1992800-690-1992 TRAVEL AGENTS INC. Okla. City 405-752-5252 HOOPS ft HE MOCKS! Get ready for OSU Athletics in OKC ... FBI., DEC. 1 Cowgirl Basketball: Arkansas vs. OSU , Myriad 7:00 pm General Admission: Adult $6Youth $4 SAT., DEC. 2 Wrestling: 1 Iowa vs. 4 OSU Myriad 1:00 pm Reserved Seats: $8 GA: Adult $6Youth $4 Cowboy Basketball: UNLV vs. OSU Myriad 7:00pm Reserved Seats: $26$1 8$1 2 SUN., DEC. 3 Cowgirl Basketball: Washington vs. OSU Freede Wellness Center, OCU campus 2tf)0pm benerai Admission: Adult $6Youth 54 w I -Sj .42 Oklahoma Wranglers fullback Ifnobacker Ron Perry dives for the end zone during a first-round playoff between the Wranglers and New England Sea Wolves. Oklahoma averaged more than 10,000 fans per game in its first season after relocating from Portland, Ore. The Wranglers finished 8-8, including a 1-1 record in the playoffs. AP PHOTO Brian Hughes, president of The National Network, the AFL's weekly national television outlet. "Arena Football has a lot of attractiveness to them. "If you look at all the sports that are grass-roots in nature even NASCAR was that way in its earlier days with us we're taking that same template and expanding it out, exploding toward the major mainstream." The mainstream probably is far, far off for Arena Football. Then again, does such a niche sport belong there? "The NFL always has been Neiman Marcus," Baker says. "Arena Football has a chance to be McDonald's or Wal-Mart." ORANGE BOWL PACKAGE PRIVATE JET, 3 MTS, GAME TICKET HURRY-VERY LIMITED SEATING DEPOSIT GUARANTEES ANY SOONER BOWL T-TM T.W.'W.Vi.r.lTM;li!.M-A-JAkl Wholesale Prices by the box wily. 304 N. Meridian 942-0070 MLSTERCARE CAR SERVc n Are you getting MasterCare? ! -j?. OIL CHANGE & FILTER SPECIAL $4099 . BH AWWWW 1& Save with this ad thru 113000 - Install new filter Includes refill of up to 5 qts. Kendall 10W-30 oil Lubricate chassis (if applicable) Plus S2.00 oil disposal Mtij..h...i.fcw..fl Most models 1983- 1998. At participating locations. STANDARD TUNE-UP SPECIAL! $QQ99 i Visually inspect ignition wires,' distributor caprotor, filters and more i Install new Bosch spark plugs i Set timing and idle (if applicable) i Road test vehicle Most 4 cylinder electronic ignition vehicles. 6 and 8 cylinder slightly higher. -Transverse V-6 engine and AC interference extra. BASIC BRAKE SERVICE ALL 4 WHEELS 9 1 OO J install brake pads & shoes ! I MRp.'iitnar.p.rlmmt; X. rntnrt; I : Adjust drum brakes on serviced axle ! 1 ll nRtxKitesI vehicle . M . Price fs for mosl vehicles with front disc a I and rear drum brakes. 1 1 4 -wheel disc systems slightly higher. Grease I seals and wheel bearing repack extra. II II needed. mim Expires 1W3QQQ 4 -TIRE ROTATION AND WHEEL BALANCE $19" B Regular tire rotation and wheel balance can increase tiro lite Includes inspection ol tread wear, air pressure, and valve slems, ExpircsTl3000 '! COMPLETE RADIATOR I SYSTEM FLUSH 8 m Inspect system 8 pressure test for leaks Flush & clean system 1 1 Refill with correct amount ol recycled coolant Add sealantlubricant II Expires 113000 FIXED RIGHT. PRICED RIGHT. RIGHT ON TIME. Or refund ywr money within emonms or e.uvu miles. Or you get 10 off next visit, up lo S25, within one year. Or we 'II match any comparable service pnee pans ana laoor), tw 01 me oinerence refunded on tires. Soo participating stores tar complote terms ana conditions or written Limited Warranty, Prico Match Guarantee or On nme Guarantee, SPECIAL PURCHASE ECONOMY RADIAL f"OR P155B0R13 60 All-Season, Steel Belted 13" SIZES 4 FOB s80 14" SIZES 4 FOR MOO 15" SIZES 4 FOR MOO 80 & 75 series size whitewalls only. Tread design may vary. Size P23S75R1S excluded LEMANS AT All-Season, 2 Steel Belts 99 ' P20575R15 Our Best Price For Light Trucks White Letters Price P21575R15 S47.99 P235r75R15 49.99 30x9.50R15LTc 64.99 31x10.50R15LTc 73.99 LT23585R16E" 76.99 LT24575R16C 77.99 Black letters. Call (or other sizes Mon.-Fri. TAM-TPM Sot. TAM-6PM Svtl. 9AM-5PM Most Stores Starred locations open Sunday, November 12. EdmonrJ, Bryant Square, 341-5767 Edmund, 33rd & Broadway, 330-5762 Bethany,7021 N.W. 23rd, 495-9460 Shepherd Mall, 2250 N.W. 23rd, 525-3525 Lakeside, 7535 N. May, 843-9693 Moore, 19th & Broadway, 793-1465 Gteenway Plaza, 11735 S. Western, 691-5505 Norman, 566 W. Main, 321-6431 Norman, 36th Ave N.W. at Robinson, 360-3363 Midwest City, Across From Tinker Gate, 737-1426 N.W. Eipressway, 12 Mile West Ol fviacArthur, 728-3093 An additional $1 -snot shop lees may be added; rot apptlcaala In California or New brtt Specire product onerinos and tread designs may vary. Prices, wammlica. MasterCare Car Service, ordlt plans and other oners available at Brestone Tiro & Service Centers and Ttrfl Station; see arriliated doaters listed lor their competitive otters ana' warranties, -rf you do not achieve Guaranteed mjlesoe, your Rreslone retailer wit) replace your tires on a prorated basis. Actual tread lire may vary. All warranties apply only to onrjlnat owner on originally installed vehicle See retailer tor details, restrictjons and copy of each limited warranty. tCrcdit terms made available by Credit Rret, N A. No Payment (or 90 Days on qualitylng purchases. No Interest due on qualifying purchases It paid in full within 90 days. Interest at a fixed rata (21 .84) will be Imposed from the date of purchase It not paid In full within 90 days. A minimum monthly payment Is required in Arteona and North Carolina. Minimum finance charge S0.SO. See your Credit Card Agreement for further details.

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