Teams Should Reflect City CONCLUSION-FOOTBALL

Updated: December 18, 2012

by Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter


OAKLAND, CA. (BASN)—Over the past 60 years 40 teams have changed cities, logos, and names causing a crazy maze quilt pattern of sports history. American cities have been held hostage to the demands of teams and their billionaire owner’s. These owners and teams want new state of the art arenas and stadiums.

National Football League (NFL)

Indianapolis Colts-Baltimore Colts

St. Louis Rams -Cleveland-Los Angeles
Baltimore Ravens-Cleveland Browns
Tennessee Titans- Houston Oilers
Kansas City Chiefs- Dallas Texans
Arizona Cardinals- Chicago Cardinals
The Washington Football Club-Boston Braves

In the NFL, few teams change their logo or name when moving and it seems like owners are very entrenched in keeping their names and mascots.

The Boston Braves/Redskins moved to our nation’s capitol in 1937 and many Native Americans have been fighting to get the team’s name changed. The Washington Football Club ownership has vowed over and over to never change their name or mascot. This writer and many others feel that this is the most offensive name and mascot of all the professional organizations. This is a blatant lack of respect for our Native American Indian/First Nation population. The Washington Football Club can keep the majestic American Indian/First Nation warrior logo and can keep the burgundy and gold colors. It is the name that has to be retired. With a new name they would sell new Washington Football Merchandise.

The Football Cardinals have moved twice. In 1960 they moved from Chicago to St. Louis and then again in 1988 to Arizona breaking up one of the most unique mascot and team name tandem in sports history. The city of St. Louis had both the football and baseball teams with the same name, Cardinals. In the fall season the radio sports announcers had to distinguish between the football and baseball teams. The question needs to be asked are there Cardinals in Arizona?

The first Dallas Texans of the new American Football League (AFL) moved to Kansas City, Missouri to become the Chiefs in 1962. Kansas City was the first AFL team to play the football championship game against a NFL team, losing to the Green Bay Packers. This game would later be called The Super Bowl with the winner receiving the Lombardi Trophy. Kansas City and Oakland created one of the best rivalries in AFL history.

The Oakland Raiders went to Los Angeles with the name and logo in 1982 and returned to Oakland 16 years later but the Raiders had lost their magic. They lost that “PRIDE AND POISE”, and are not “COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE”. The team cannot “JUST WIN BABY!”. The pirate and eye patch logo on their helmets might be still there, but other football teams are now laughing at the Oakland Raiders. The Silver and Black no longer scare teams. They no longer strike fear in the hearts of opponents when they take the field of  Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Raiders went soft when they moved to Los Angeles. The west coast Pirates turned Hollywood and players could be seen in movies, television shows, and commercials, not concentrating on the game of football. The Raiders have broken the hearts of many Bay Area fans with their shabby play on the field the last 15 years. Getting blown out of games by 40 or more points the last three of four games. This is not Raider football.

Raider owner, Al Davis tried to play both cities against each other. Davis wanted each city (Oakland-Los Angeles) to build and pay for a new stadium. Davis took his team south hoping for a new park. It did not happen, so Davis returned to Northern California 15 years later with The City of Oakland still paying for the Raiders to play in Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Oakland Raiders have never been the same.

The City of Los Angeles did what no other city had done before. Losing two football teams in the same year, in 1995 The Rams and The Raiders took their names and logos with them. The Los Angeles Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders moved back to the City of Oakland. Many football fans in the Southern Valley love this because they can watch the best four NFL games each weekend on television; no blackout rule here.

The St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl in 1999 under the guidance of Dick Vermeil and the Raiders went to the Super Bowl in 2002 so the city of Los Angeles missed out on two potential New Year’s parties.

The Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore to become the Ravens in 1996 because the city of Cleveland took a page from the NBA basketball Seattle SuperSonics and the legal means to retain the name and all of the Browns’ records, logo, and name. The city did not want a repeat of the losing the Cleveland Rams which moved to Los Angeles 50 years earlier. The owners took the logo and mascot with them to warm Southern California.

The old Cleveland Browns organization cease to exist for three years (1996-1999). They were re-established as an expansion team called the Cleveland Browns. This team has struggled ever since. This year they have lost 7 games by less than 10 points. The question should be asked, are they on the edge of a championship team? Their remaining games are at Denver and Pittsburgh with only the hope of being spoiler.

Art Modell, owner of the Browns, must have read the playbook of Raider owner Al Davis. Modell wanted a new stadium and when the city of Cleveland said no he moved his team to Baltimore without the logo or the mascot. The Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2000.

The Indianapolis Colts rode out of the city of Baltimore in an Atlas moving van in the dead of night in a raging snow storm headed for the Mid West. Owner, Robert Irsay, kept the Colts name and navy blue horseshoe logo which he promised to relinquish if they moved. Irsay had been talking to other cities about his club’s future. He was also talking to the city officials in Baltimore at the same time about a new football stadium for his team. The City finally said no and Irsay moved his team west.

The City of Baltimore recovered quickly with a new team called the Baltimore Ravens in 1996 but all of the Colts’ records moved to Indianapolis with the Colts. Every Sunday afternoon the name Indy would only be shown on the scoreboard in Baltimore, The Ravens executive organization never displays the Colts name anywhere in the stadium. Football fans in Baltimore still bristle at the mere sight of the blue horseshoe on a football helmet. They are still upset with Robert Irsay for leaving the city Baltimore with their logo and mascot.

The Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee in 1997 changing their name two years later to the Tennessee Titans. Houston received their third team at the turn of the century called the Texans, a name used 40 year earlier. They were the first team to play indoors in the Astrodome. In the late ’80’s, the Oilers’ only owner, Bud Adams, wanted more football seats in the Dome. MLB’s Houston Astros protested and won. In 1987 Adams threatened to move the Oilers to Jacksonville if improvements were not made. The city caved in and Adams promised to keep the team there for 10 more years. When the 10 years were over Adams did not wait and moved his team to the state of Tennessee which promised him a new football-only stadium.
In Conclusion

There is a common thread and root cause in most of the moves of franchises . The issues are the manly the  improvement of their playing conditions; i.e. new football or baseball only stadiums, larger television contracts, or a larger fan base, and lastly a winning team.

The City of Oakland, California could lose all three of their professional teams and that would be a sport first. The Jacksonville Jaguars, the two Florida Baseball teams and two Florida hockey teams, have been looking for greener pastures. The Phoenix Coyotes, The Carolina Hurricanes, and the Sacramento Kings are having financial difficulties and could be on the move.

My last suggestion is that there should be a two-strike rule on cities that have lost two teams in the same sport. They should never receive another team in that sport regardless.

Here are a few examples:

St. Louis-basketball-Sprites-Hawks
San Diego-basketball-Rockets-Clippers
Los Angeles-football-Rams-Raiders
Cleveland-football-Rams-Browns (1st)
Washington, D.C.-baseball- Senators (2-teams)
New York City -baseball-Giants-Dodgers

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove on Disabled Community Activist. Email at

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

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