San Antonio Needs To Focus On Sugar Bowl and Super Bowl Games Right Now

By Gregory Moore
Updated: September 15, 2005

SAN ANTONIO — The NFL released the home game schedule for the New Orleans Saints and there will be three ‘home’ games in the city’s Alamodome starting with an October 2nd match up with the Buffalo Bills. October 16th will have the Atlanta Falcons in town and on Christmas Eve, the Detroit Lions come to town.

That’s great news for this city but I want to look beyond the sandbox that city leaders are wallowing in right now. There is a college game that does not have a home and San Antonio is the perfect ‘turn key’ operation to host another bowl game just days after the Mastercard Alamobowl. The bowl game I am talking about is the Nokia Sugar Bowl, a BCS bowl game that needs a home for the time being.

PERFECT CHOICE FOR SUGAR How important is the Sugar Bowl to this city’s continued development towards maybe having an NFL franchise? Because of two things: attendance and television rating. For the Alamodome, the attendance of last year’s game between Oklahoma State and Ohio State was 65,270 and the television share was a 4.2. In comparison, the Sugar Bowl got a 9.5 television share and the attendance for last year’s game was over 77,000.

Now that may sound like a hard sell to the Sugar Bowl folks but if the city leaders got behind Derrick Fox and the San Antonio Sports Foundation, some of the deficiencies that the BCS and Sugar Bowl officials may be looking at right now. What San Antonio also has going for its potential bid for this game is the fact that this particular city is very similar to the way New Orleans operates during festival time.

With this also being a tourist city, the Alamo Bowl folks have fine-tuned their operation to ensure that the teams, their supporters and fans in general have a good timer and want to come back. That is a trademark of whether the Alamobowl is being played or when the NCAA comes to town. To have the “Final Four” committee in your back pocket does have some considerable weight in these negotiations.

SUPER BOWL TIME Now with all of that said, even if the Sugar Bowl does not come here, the city leaders need to look at being one of the non-NFL cities to host a Super Bowl.

Many will say that this is an unrealistic expectation but if you look at what the NBA is doing in 2007, the NFL will not be far behind in their choice to host their biggest game in a non-NFL city. This game could be hosted by this city with the same fervor as it does when the NCAA Final Four and the Alamobowl games.

The league needs to look deep into this scenario especially after the citizens of this city bought 50,000 tickets for the Oct. 2nd game of the Saints vs. the Buffalo Bills and with Michael Vick coming to town on Oct. 16th that is surely to be a sell out.

This city has only taken the first ‘baby’ steps into a new arena of sports entertainment but there are a thousand more to go. The leadership of this city needs to tap the resources it has available on sports marketing and entertainment and see how it can facilitate the acquisition of hosting the Sugar Bowl game in January of 2006 and a future Super Bowl game, preferably in 2010.

City leaders need to rally behind their sports experts and showcase the Alamodome as the premier facility they claim it is. The Saints games are a start but much more is needed.

OU ISN’T SERIOUS ABOUT PLAYERS GETTING DEGREES Who are we kidding here? Adrian Peterson misses a game because he didn’t go to class. As a matter of fact you might as well say that just about EVERY big name school in the NCAA D-1 classification is full of horse dung when it comes to schoolwork enforcement and their ‘star’ players. Bob Stoopes doesn’t have the balls to sit Peterson down for four games because he knows he’ll be fired if he did.

So since when did any of us sports fans get upset with a school like OU as they ‘hug’ their money making machine? In all honesty somebody needs to have a 440 grade set hanging so that when this type of thing comes up, they do what’s right for the program. What I’d like to know is where in the hell is the compliance officer in all of this?

Peterson is a sophomore and he needs to have completed a percentage of his coursework towards his degree. You can bet the house on the fact that Peterson isn’t an engineering major because you don’t miss four classes for a degree discipline like that.

But that’s the problem in this day and age. We allow our kids to attend these big name programs knowing damn well that they are not going to graduate for the most part and they might get a shot at the NFL if they are good enough. In the meantime we are still having the Dexter Manleys of the world parade through Norman, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Knoxville, Austin, Columbus and others because that’s the way we have always done it in the past.

Well maybe it is time for some big time coach to say, “enough bull. My program is going to have intelligent kids both on and off the court”. This Peterson escapade reminds me of a scene from the movie, “The Program”. Remember Alvin, the Mike linebacker on ESU’s defense?

The player was as dumb as two pebbles in the classroom. Ask him about George Washington, all he knows is that it’s the least amount of currency value on the dollar system. Yet show him slides and film of his opponent’s offense and he could ‘read’ the coverage better than anyone on the team.

Well that’s where I am with Peterson and most of these other talented players. Here it is that there were guys like James Merriweather, an individual who blazed the way for guys like Peterson and others to even attend such schools like OU in the first place.

Do you think these ball players not going to class are preserving his legacy? Of course not. But what can you do but sit back, write and bitch about it. I know Stoopes isn’t going to bench him for a game. He might grab some chap stick and pucker but suspend his star player; nope that will never happen.

And that’s too bad because if there is anything that needs to be done to curb such lack of self dignity about one’s actions, it should be that the star players get hit hard with these infractions.

Good thing I am not a coach or anything of the sort. Evidently I have some very strange ideas on how to make a college program better. Going to class just happens to be one of those ideas.