November 17, 2008
Monday, November 17
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Truth & Rumors
Detroit in danger of losing Lions?
It's not a birthright that Detroit has professional sports teams in each of the four major sports. It's the result of strong corporate support and a loyal fan base willing to pay high prices for tickets. But those days are over. The automotive industry as we once knew it is dead. It will reinvent itself with a leaner identity and a more responsible spending philosophy. And that will likely translate into a more conservative approach as it pertains to cutting checks for luxury suites and unlimited entertainment expenses. It wouldn't be a surprise if Detroit loses at least one of its four professional sports teams within the next 10 years because ownership sells to an outside interest and the franchise moves to an area with a stronger economic base. If you don't think that's possible, then you're not looking at the current local economic situation with a realistic eye. Detroit and Phoenix are the only two cities that support four professional sports teams in four separate facilities. That requires four teams capable of finding enough corporate backing for those all-important luxury suites in four different stadiums/arenas to keep the coffers filled without sharing the facility operational costs with another tenant. That task becomes much tougher for teams in the aftermath of this economic crisis -- especially in Detroit. (Detroit Free Press)
Do Rays have future in bay area?
Do the Rays have a future in the Tampa Bay area? The answer, Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg recently said, may not be clear until next spring, or possibly September. "To operate here, we have to have sponsors, and have season-ticket holders, and have TV revenue, to have any chance of this thing working," he told a visiting reporter. Sternberg's remarks could simply be a push for a new stadium. But he has good reason to question whether the Tampa Bay area can support a baseball team in the long run. Despite two relatively large population centers and a history of spring training, the Tampa Bay area remains one of the poorest, oldest and most fractured communities with a major league baseball team, according to a St. Petersburg Times analysis of the 25 U.S. baseball markets. (St. Petersburg Times)
NFL coaches turn down Vols' job
Tennessee has gauged the interest of Chicago Bears Coach Lovie Smith and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach Jon Gruden to fill the Vols' head coach vacancy, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported, citing unnamed sources. Smith, a former UT assistant, told a university representative he had no interest. Gruden, a former UT graduate assistant, has said publicly he is not considering leaving Tampa. (Tennessean)
Must-See Photo
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu intercepted a Philip Rivers pass to keep things close in the first half. The Steelers went on to win Sunday's matchup, 11-10. (AP)
Must-See Video
QB Donovan McNabb admits he didn't know NFL games could end in ties.
Game To Watch
Monday Night Football, 8:30 p.m. ET
Cleveland Browns
Buffalo Bills
This Day In Sports History

SI Vault: More Mario Lemieux
1997 -- Mario Lemieux enters NHL Hall of Fame.
1991 -- Detroit Lion Mike Utley is paralized in a game against the Los Angeles Rams .
1956 -- Syracuse fullback Jim Brown scores an NCAA record 43 points against Colgate.
1953 -- The St. Louis Browns officially become the Baltimore Baseball Club Inc.


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