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Tag:Arizona
Posted on: December 6, 2012 9:10 am
 

Top 6 NFL Franchise Moves of All Time

This week Mole and Meares relocated to a new studio.  Call it Mole and Meares studio 6.0.  I was reflecting on Mole and Meares’ nomadic nature and I got to thinking about NFL franchises that have migrated to new cities.  Out of curiosity I began to research and read about several NFL franchise moves.  Breaking up is hard to do and in honor of Mole and Meares studio 6.0 I decided to chronicle six instances of NFL Franchises divorcing their respective cities.

We woke up and you were gone…

Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis

March 28, 1984 - Baltimore Colts fans awoke to an empty bed with their beloved team having left in the middle of the night to leave for a new home.  The infamous images of snow covered Mayflower trucks leaving the Colts facility in the middle of the night would haunt Baltimore football fans until 1995 when the Ravens would come to town. 

Of all the relocations in the history of the NFL, the Baltimore to Indianapolis move has to be considered the craziest in circumstance. 

Stadium issues were the source of tension between the City of Baltimore and the Colts owner Robert Irsay.  Irsay was seeking $15 million in renovations to their home stadium for the football facilities.  In the spring after the Colts lease had expired; the Maryland General Assembly approved $15 million for renovation to Memorial Stadium but only half of that $15 million would go towards improvements for football.  The other half would be used to upgrade facilities for the Baltimore Orioles baseball team.  In the aftermath of these events, Irsay contended that his intent was to keep the Colts in Baltimore but at the same time he was secretly discussing a move with six major cities.  After it was leaked that Irsay was to meet with Arizona for a second time regarding a move to the Sun Devil state, Irsay cancelled the meeting.  At that point the Colts went into “secret secret” mode and made a deal to move to Indianapolis. 

March 27, 1984 - The Maryland legislature fearing a move by the Colts had one of its chambers pass legislation giving the city of Baltimore the right to seize ownership of the team by eminent domain.  In reaction Irsay closed a deal with the city of Indianpolis to move the Colts to Indiana and the city of Indianapolis dispatched 15 Mayflower trucks to the team’s facility in Maryland.  Irsay’s decision to move the Colts was made quickly and the decision to move overnight was due to a fear that the team would be seized by officials in the morning.  The 15 trucks all took different routes out of town in case there was an effort by local law enforcement to stop them. 

Despite the fact that the move was made without the NFL’s permission, the NFL did not contest the team’s relocation after losing in court to Al Davis on the same issue. (That case is noted below)  In March of 1986, representatives of Baltimore and the Colts signed a divorce decree under which all lawsuits regarding the relocation of the franchise would be dismissed and the Indianapolis Colts would endorse a new NFL team for Baltimore when the time came.

How could you do that to us?  Don’t ever show your face here again…

Cleveland Browns to Baltimore

Cleveland’s migration to Baltimore was very interesting for two reasons.  The settlement reached between Cleveland Brown Owner Art Modell and the City of Cleveland set a precedent in American Professional sports and the settlement also resulted in Modell not being welcome in the state of Ohio.

The legal settlement between the NFL, Cleveland, and Baltimore resulted in the Cleveland Browns franchise being ‘deactivated’ for three years.  Modell would retain the current contracts of players and personnel and be granted the 31<sup>st</sup> franchise in the NFL.  This settlement proved to be a precedent in major American sports as nothing the likes of it had been seen before.  In 1999 after a new stadium was built for the Cleveland Browns, the Cleveland Brown franchise would be reactivated with the same uniforms, records, and player history. 

As far as Art Modell, resentment towards him in the State of Ohio grew so intense that he was unable to attend a funeral of a friend in Northern Ohio out of fear for his safety. It is also believed by many that he has been left out of the NFL Hall of Fame due to it’s location in Canton Ohio. 

In the end however, the two broken hearted cities in Baltimore and Cleveland find themselves happily ever after with their new franchises.  Well Cleveland might need some marriage counseling but you know what I mean.

What a tangled web we weave…

Dallas Texans to Kansas City/Houston Oilers to Tennessee Titans/ making room for the Houston Texans

Ok, bear with me on this one…..In 1952 the NFL Team of the Dallas Texans spent one year in the league and won one game.  They were then dismantled.  In 1960 the AFL was created and within that League the Dallas Texans were revived.  After playing three seasons in Dallas and losing the 1962 AFL championship game to their in state rival, the Houston Oilers.  Not wanting to share the Dallas spotlight with the NFL expansion Cowboys, the Dallas Texans decided to move to Kansas City where they would become the Chiefs.  In their first season they would win the 1963 AFL championship game.

After 38 years in Houston, the Oiler decided that Nashville, Tennessee would be a better home in 1998.  As it has been with many franchise relocations, stadium issues were at the source of the decision.  After the Oilers move, the Great State of Texas was left with just one team, America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys.  A team that was at the beginning of a run of mediocre that is still going today. 

When all the dust was settled, the history of the Texans team name came full circle in 2002 when the NFL expanded back into Houston. The creation of the Houston Texans franchise brought back the name of a team that started in the NFL in 1952 and had a 1-11 record.  In the 2012 season after 12 weeks, the Houston Texans were 11-1.  A tangled web weaved has led to a happy ending to this love story.

Please come back, I’ll do anything…

Oakland Raiders to Los Angeles then back to Oakland

Al Davis was the waffle king of franchise migration.  In 1982 he decided that he would leave Oakland for a larger stadium (The Oakland Coliseum) and the number two television market in the country in Los Angeles.  The move was initially rejected by the NFL owners and when Davis decided to move the team anyway he was blocked by an injunction.  An ensuing lawsuit was ruled in favor of Davis and the Oakland Raiders became the Los Angeles Raiders. 

In 1994 Oakland basically bought the back the Raiders Oakland by spending $220 million on stadium renovations and giving the Raiders a dirt cheap fixed rent. The renovations included a new seating section of 10,000 seats that was named after Raider owner Al Davis.  The City of Oakland also built the team a training facility and paid all its moving costs. The Raiders pay just $525,000 a year in rent and do not pay maintenance or game-day operating costs.  As of today the Raiders are the only franchise in the NFL to return to a former lover.  It just goes to show that true love can be purchased at a price.

Everybody Leaves Us…

Raiders to Oakland, Rams to St. Louis, and Chargers to San Diego

Los Angeles is the city with abandonment issues with regard to NFL teams leaving.  In 1960 the AFL came to Los Angeles with the creation of the Los Angeles Chargers franchise.  It was a brief romance however as the Chargers would relocate to San Diego a year later. 

As noted above the Raiders came to the City of Angels and spent just 12 years in Los Angeles before going back to where they came from in Oakland.

In 1946 Cleveland Rams owner Dan Reeves fought the NFL and won approval to move his franchise to Los Angeles.  The Rams would remain in Los Angeles until 1980 when they moved to Anaheim in nearby Orange County.  The move was made by the Rams new owner of less than a year, Georgia Frontiere, for two reasons.  Their current stadium, the Coliseum seated over 100,000 and rarely sold out, leading to television blackouts.  Also there was a population trend in the direction of Anaheim.  Fourteen years later due to stadium issues in Anaheim, the Rams followed the Raiders out of town to find a new home in St. Louis leaving Los Angeles devoid of any NFL franchises.  If NFL.com had a section of their website for singles there would only be one member, the City of Los Angeles.

To have loved and lost, and loved and lost…

Chicago Cardinals to St. Louis, St. Louis Cardinals to Arizona

The Cardinals are the NFL’s oldest franchise and the only Charter member of the NFL still in existence.  Formed in 1898 in Chicago, the Cardinals became a Charter member of the NFL in 1922 and remained in Chicago until 1960.  In the 1950’s the Cardinals struggled greatly as a football team and their in town rival, the Chicago Bears completely overshadowed the franchise.  The Cardinal owners wanted to relocate the team but did not have the finances necessary to relocate under the rules of the NFL. Attempts were made by several individuals to buy the struggling Chicago franchise but no deal could be made.  The individuals attempting to buy the Cardinals reacted to their lack of success by starting a new league called the American Football League.  The NFL, realizing this new league was a serious rival, quickly made a deal with Cardinal ownership to relocate the team to St. Louis.  This revitalized the franchise and blocked the St. Louis market for the AFL.

The Cardinals would remain in St. Louis until 1988 when poor team performance, poor stadium conditions, and poor attendance led ownership to move the team to Arizona where they would become the Phoenix Cardinals.  In 1994 their name would be changed to the Arizona Cardinals.  The Cardinals are the only franchise in the NFL to have loved and lost, loved and lost, and yet still find love again in a third location.  Although after the way this season is going, they might be getting the silent treatment in Arizona.

Posted on: October 2, 2012 9:01 pm
 

2012/2013 NFL Week 5 Power Rankings

Yay! The real refs are back!!! You want to know why I am excited about the real refs? The games aren't lasting 4 hours anymore. This will be last time the referees are mentioned in this weekly post and I am so thankful for that point.

After four weeks in the NFL (the first quarter if you will) one thing is obvious, there are a lot of average football teams in the league. Two teams really stand tall above all others, one in the AFC and one in the NFC. If recent past seasons are any indication of what we are to expect out of our Super Bowl teams then neither the Texans or the Falcons will win this year's championship. Super Bowl talk is a little premature at this point so how about we just get into the rankings.

1. Houston Texans - (4-0)

The Houston Texans absolutely dominated the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Houston. They ran the ball at will, passed at will and scored two touchdowns on defense. This team looks unbeatable at this point and will travel to New Jersey to face the NY Jets on Monday night. Houston's defense is as good, if not better than the 49ers defense who shutout the Jets last week so I have a pretty good feeling that the Texans will remain in our number one spot after week 5.

2. Atlanta Falcons - (4-0)

The Falcons looked poised to lose their first game this past Sunday when they faced the Panthers at home but a late game comeback sealed the victory and kept their record unblemished through 4 weeks. Matt Ryan is having his best season of his career averaging almost 300 yards a game with 11 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. The running game was also effective last week and Michael Turner is averaging a respective 4.7 yards a carry for the season. The Falcons will travel to our nation's captial on Sunday to face the inconsistent Washington Redskins. The Falcons had trouble containing Cam Newton on Sunday and now will face RGIII who is basically the same quarterback. This will be a good road test for the best team in the NFC.

3. Arizona Cardinals - (4-0)

The Atlanta Cardinals just continue to impress even though it took overtime to beat the young Miami Dolphins team. Kevin Kolb continues to play well after taking over for the injured John Skelton in week one and has secured his position as the team's starting QB. They have a short week as they will face their divisional opponent, the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night. Can they continue this surprising streak? Sam Bradford and company might have something to say about that and might bring the red birds back to Earth.

4. San Francisco 49ers - (3-1)

The San Francisco 49ers avenged their horrible outing against the Vikings last week and rebounded with an amazing defensive show against the New York Jets, holding them to less than 200 yards of offense and keeping them off the scoreboard. They ran the ball hard and often against the weak Jets rush defense and if they want to remain in our rankings they need to continue with that game plan. This Sunday they welcome the Buffalo Bills into Candlestick fresh off of their ass whipping by the New England Patriots who scored 45 second half points. I am not sure how the Bills are going to stop the 49ers from getting into the endzone or how they will score against that staunch defense so I see little doubt the 49ers will remain in our top 5.

5. Baltimore Ravens - (3-1)

The Ravens rebounced last week against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night and although they didn't look sharp, they were on 4 days rest. The defense for the Ravens doesn't seem as strong as years past and their offense is carrying them to victory. This week they go to Kansas City to face the Chiefs we really aren't a very good football team at this point. One thing the Ravens have been able to do over the last five season or so is beat the teams they are supposed to beat and this week won't be any different.

There you have it, the NFL power rankings for week 5 by Mole & Meares. Check back each week as we will update our top five teams weekly.

You can watch our weekly picks video where we pick the top four games in the NFL each week against the spread by going to our site, www.moleandmeares.com or our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/meares78.

You can also keep up with us on twitter, @moleandmeares, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/moleandmeares.
Posted on: September 25, 2012 5:26 pm
 

2012/2013 NFL Week 4 Power Rankings

I am not going to do what everyone thinks I am going to do and FREAK OUT! Seriously, I hate to keep harping on this but these replacement referees are not prepared to officiate these games and it needs to be rectified immediately. Causing the game to be long is one thing, blatantly getting a call wrong which causes a team to lose is a whole can of worms that should never have been opened. I hope something gets figured out soon because this is getting tough to watch.

With that said, the games will go on. Interesting stat through three weeks that may only interest me: The Cardinals, Vikings, Seahawks and Bills are a combined 9-3. The Patriots, Steelers, Packers and Saints are a combined 3-9. Anyone see that coming? Only three undefeated teams left in the NFL after 3 weeks so which 2-1 teams will round out our top five? Let's find out!

1. Houston Texans - (3-0)

The Houston Texans went into Mile High Stadium on Sunday and took care of business. For the first 3 quarters they shutdown Peyton Manning and absolutely ripped the Broncos defense to shreds. This team is playing really good football right now on both sides of the ball. Hopefully Schuab will get his ear reattached in time to face the Titans this week. This is definitely a trap game for the Texans with the Jets and the Packers coming up in consectutive weeks after the Titans. As long as the Texans don't look beyond the Titans they should remain at the top of our rankings for the third straight week.

2. Atlanta Falcons - (3-0)

The Falcons are really making their case for the top spot in our rankings. They outplayed the Chargers on both sides of the ball and made San Diego look really bad. They have a bit of a soft schedule in the coming weeks with games against three teams under .500. This week the face division rival Carolina who is coming off of a really bad loss to the Giants and have had a few extra days to prepare. It wouldn't surprise me to see the Falcons at 6-0 heading deep into October.

3. Arizona Cardinals - (3-0)

The Atlanta Cardinals are third in our power rankings. I can't believe I just wrote that last sentence. This team didn't even name a starting quarterback until days before opening day and then watched as he was knocked out of the game. Last week they dominated the Eagles from start to finish and proved their defense is the real deal. I am not quite sure they can keep this up but their schedule definitely sets them up for a chance to keep the winning streak alive. This week they welcome in the Dolphins who are not the best team in the world. Ryan Tannenhill better be prepared to spend a good part of Sunday on his back.

4. New York Giants - (2-1)

The New York Giants started our power rankings as the number one team but promptly lost on opening night to the Cowboys. Despite some fairly significant injuries they have fought back to win the next two games and sneak in at #4 in our power rankings. Eli Manning continues his strong play at quarterback last week and two new possible stars emerged in Ramses Barden and Andre Brown. They travel down the Jersey Turnpike this week to face their hated rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles. If Vick and company continue to turn over the ball at their regulary clip this game will be over really quickly.

5. San Francisco 49ers - (2-1)

The 49ers were the surprise upset last week losing in Minneapolis to the Vikings. I don't believe anyone saw this coming but in the NFL it is any given Sunday. I am going to assume this was more a bump in the road then a trend and I believe they will rebound nicely this week against the Jets in Northern New Jersey. The 49ers defense is too good to allow Sanchez to throw all over them and a steady dose of Frank Gore should lead to a victory.

There you have it, the NFL power rankings for week 4 by Mole & Meares. Check back each week as we will update our top five teams weekly.

You can watch our weekly picks video where we pick the top four games in the NFL each week against the spread by going to our site, www.moleandmeares.com or our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/meares78.

You can also keep up with us on twitter, @moleandmeares, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/moleandmeares.
Posted on: September 18, 2012 4:00 pm
 

2012/2013 NFL Week 3 Power Rankings

Week 2 featured some surprises but the most surprising item was the length of the games this week. I believe the replacement officials are doing the best job they can but one thing that is suffering is the length of the games. This situation needs to be rectified soon because it is getting tough to watch with all of the delays. I understand missing a call because they are human but the time delays are just ludicrous.

Enough of my rant, lets talk about where we stand two weeks into the 2012 NFL season. Only 6 teams are unbeaten through 2 weeks and only 6 teams are winless, something that hasn't happened since the mid 90s. The most surprising of the unbeatens has to be the Arizona Cardinals with their much improved defense. The most surprising of the winless has to be the New Orleans Saints, a guess not having your coaching staff does takes its toll.

Now lets get into the rankings!

1. Houston Texans - (2-0)

The Houston Texans take over our first spot this week. They are the third different team to hold this position in three weeks, the previous two teams lost, lets hope this isn't the curse of death. The Texans have put up 57 points in their first two games while only allowing 17 points against. After losing Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans this offseason I thought their defense would struggle but they are number one in points against in the NFL. This week they face their first real test when they have to travel into Denver to face Petyon Manning and the Bronocos. If they hold the Broncos under 10 points this week that is doing something.

2. San Francisco 49ers - (2-0)

The 49ers made a case to be in our top spot this week and it was a close call. They are definitely the class of the NFC after dismantling the Detroit Lions on Sunday. They have beat two playoff teams from last year in the first two weeks and their offense looks really good this year. If Frank Gore continues to run the ball the hard and Moss and Crabtree can continue their impressive play this is going to be a tough team to beat. The 49ers travel to Minnesota this week to face their third straight NFC north opponent but unlike the first two, the Vikings probably won't be able to compete.

3. Atlanta Falcons - (2-0)

The Atlanta Falcons are one of our three new teams in the rankings this week and they come in at the highest position. They looked awfully good on Monday night on defense against Peyton Manning causing 4 turnovers in the first quarter. They confused, in my opinion, the smartest quarterback to ever play the game and made him look really bad. They travel across the country this week to face off against another undefeated team in the San Diego Chargers. A win against the Chargers will go a long way in helping the Falcons continue to climb up our power rankings.

4. San Diego Chargers - (2-0)

The San Diego Chargers have started the season with two consecutive wins and they have done it with solid play on both sides of the ball. They are holding their opponents to just 12 points a game while averaging 30 points a game on offense. If Philip Rivers can continue his solid play (i.e. not throwing a million interceptions) this team has a chance to compete in the relatively week AFC west. The Chargers host the Falcons this week in one of two games featuring undefeated teams. If they find a way to beat the Falcons they will turn me into a believer.

5. Philadelphia Eagles - (2-0)

The Eagles have turned the ball over 9 times in two weeks. NINE TIMES. And they have won both games. If they find a way to not give the ball to the other team 4 to 5 times a game they might be the best team in the NFL. Until then they will stay at the bottom of our rankings. This week they face off against the surprising Arizona Cardinals who went into Foxboro last week and shutdown the Patriots. If the Arizona Cardinals can cause the Eagles to continue to turn over the ball I have a feeling this will be a short lived trip into our top 5.

There you have it, the NFL power rankings for week 3 by Mole & Meares. Check back each week as we will update our top five teams weekly.

You can watch our weekly picks video where we pick the top four games in the NFL each week against the spread by going to our site, www.moleandmeares.com or our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/meares78.

You can also keep up with us on twitter, @moleandmeares, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/moleandmeares.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com