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Cap'n Dave's letter
A PERSONAL MESSAGE TO NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE OWNERS FROM CAP'N DAVE We here in Phoenix are desperate for big-time football, and we'd be willing to do almost anything to get it. So I've taken time out of my busy schedule to put together this proposal, and I'm sending it to each one of you people while you're all together down in New Orleans during the Super Bowl. The least you can do now is take ten minutes to read it. How far will we go to get an NFL team?
Well, do you East Coast team owners need someone to mop up all that acid rain when it falls on your cities? We'll fly a bunch of our kids out to do it. You owners in the South need someone to chop down all the kudzu growing on telephone poles? Our senior citizens have all kinds of yard tools. On the West Coast, do you team owners have a problem with air pollution in your cities? We'd be willing to fly all of our mentally ill street people to you (we'll pay) to suck up all the pollutants. Clearly, we're ready to deal. Now, here are some of the details:
That's me. I write a column for a free weekly newspaper, so working capital probably will be a problem at first. But I've got several excellent financing plans in mind, and when the time comes, I'll have the jack.
Once I'm on my feet, I'll be a great owner. I'll buy drinks for fans when I see them in bars, and I won't charge too much for parking and for hot dogs at games. It'll be great.
We'll play all of our games at Phoenix Greyhound Park, 3801 East Washington.
I've got an innovative plan for this facility, which you can read about on the facing page. I think you'll find it, well, innovative. PLAYERS
Hundreds of two-legged elephants get cut from NFL teams every season. I'll hire them and pay them peanuts. They'll be thrilled to get a job that doesn't require checking IDs, and I'll get a football team, cheap. Don't expect a talent war from me. I want to be your friend.
Phoenix is made up of people who have been rejected by or who are fleeing from other major cities. The transient citizens of this town will take these mutt players to heart and cheer them on to near-victory after near-victory. TEAM MANAGEMENT
Over the years, I've met dozens of football experts in our city's many sports bars. I plan to put these swine to work right away, to run our scouting department and scheme our on-field strategy.
As for the corporate side, I plan to hire only the best executive material. Because of the current state of our economy, there are lots of bright management majors currently out there dispensing Slurpees. It is from this pool that I will form the core of our front office. After that, it'll be mostly drinking buddies and family members, which I understand is the normal management philosophy for NFL teams. PERSONAL MESSAGES FROM OTHER ARIZONA BIG SHOTS
Ladies and Gentlemen of the NFL:
As you gather in the Crescent City for your gala Super Bowl festivities, I hope you take a second to reflect on your obligation to cities and states that as yet have been unable to enjoy true professional football excitement. We here in Arizona believe that we are one of those states. I join with Cap'n Dave, one of our leading citizens, in encouraging the inclusion of our fine state in your league. Toward that end, I pledge to eliminate any financial or statutory roadblocks that may discourage you from considering immediate expansion. Just call one of my staff members and have them write it up, and then I'll sign it, and then it becomes law. It's easy.
As a token of my appreciation, I've enclosed an "official" Arizona key chain--made to resemble our state seal. I have one too!
'Bye now, Rose Mofford
Governor The State of Arizona
Dear NFL owners:
I join with all residents of our All-America City in wishing you the very best in Super Bowl weeks, as well as an enjoyable stay in the Crescent City. For you, this time is truly a time for celebration. Despite some adversity, the 1980s were years of tremendous prosperity for your league.
And they were for our city, too!
We've had terrific economic growth, a visionary public acceptance of foresightful civic projects such as mass transit and tax support for economic development of blighted areas of our city, a booming real estate market, and an exciting emphasis on preserving our pristine desert environment. All we really lack is a pro football team.
We have an ownership package in place, an extremely unique arena in which to play games, and, of course, a large support base of fans.
Should your needs require an all-new stadium facility at some point in the future, I promise now that the citizens of Phoenix will be willing to provide all the support such a project needs--I'm that confident of our proud residents!
See ya downtown! Terry Goddard
Phoenix Mayor Sirs, I am pledging my complete support of this project. The future I foresee for this Valley has always included pro football. In my dreams I see night games, played under high-wattage lights, and I see a completely enclosed, climate-controlled arena. Frankly, this is my dream project. And I'll be proud to work with you to see it through.
Turn it up full blast, Keith Turley
Fellows, I've met most of you at one time or another. Usually I just walk up behind you at a party somewhere and grab onto your coat sleeve. Then I hold on. Maybe you didn't even notice.
Anyway, we here in the Valley of the Sun sure would like to have one of your teams play here. If it's not too much trouble, we'd sure appreciate your consideration. Whatever decision you make, I agree with it. As an additional incentive, I'd like to promise that if--and ONLY if--an NFL expansion team is granted to Phoenix, my company will grant a full paid holiday to all of our employees on Martin Luther King's birthday. No lie. We think it would be good for the economy.
Whatever you say is absolutely right,
Minister of Information Phoenix Newspapers, Inc.
Hello there, The other day this reporter was driving to work. Traffic was bad-- not like it used to be, when you could drive across town--although back then you could hardly call it a "town"--you know, we used to consider Bethany Home Road "the boonies"--you could drive across town in twenty minutes. Traffic was crawling along, and it occurred to me that Phoenix didn't have a professional football team. What to do?
When I got to the office, I had my secretary call directory assistance for Washington, D.C., and get the number for the National Football League. Well, much to our surprise there was no listing in our Nation's Capital for professional football. She had the operator check under "Professional," "Pro," "National," "Football"--even "League." Nothing. We struck a dry well. I guess it will always remain a mystery. I'd sure like to have a team, though. And that brings us right up to date on this report,
EXPLANATION OF INNOVATIVE STADIUM PLAN The Phoenix NFL franchise will play all of its home games in the infield of Phoenix Greyhound Park. This innovative approach will be the first of its kind in the league, combining completely enclosed, climate- controlled seating facility, excellent sightlines, ample parking and, for the first time anywhere, continuous pari-mutuel wagering on every play of every game. You know, the "skybox" concept is currently all the rage in professional sports. The Phoenix football/greyhound facility will be the first stadium to take the skybox concept to its ultimate conclusion: The entire seating area will be one giant skybox!
Fans will enjoy table seating, waitress service and restroom attendants who will dispense aspirin, hair tonic and cologne. Because of the limited seating capacity, tickets will cost a lot, but according to my buddies like Karl Eller and Keith Turley, that shouldn't be a problem.
Sellouts should be a sure thing. Should any unforeseen revenue shortfall occur, I'll be able to selectively skim from the nightly greyhound handle when I'm hanging around the office after hours. We'll be rolling in bucks. Did I mention that dog races will be held during time-outs? TEAM NAMES UNDER CONSIDERATION
Phoenix Night Sweats
Phoenix Chapter 11s
Phoenix Hohokams (or Ho-ho's)
DOZENS OF REALLY GOOD REASONS PHOENIX WOULD BE A GOOD PLACE FOR AN EXPANSION TEAM Lots of unemployed home-loan officers willing to hawk Cokes in stands. Fans already used to semipro football as provided by local college team. Plenty of cheap office space available for corporate headquarters. Local CBS affiliate has terrific vision for future. Many starving taxi drivers available for cheap player transportation when bars close. No pesky Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Excellent Mexican food (for place-kickers).
No competition from major league baseball.
24th Street and Broadway area ideal for homesick University of Miami draft picks. Right turn on red is legal in many cases. Thousands of former high school cheerleaders and aerobics instructors willing to be exploited as sidelines ornaments. Street parking in downtown is free on weekends. Plenty of topless bars in which to recruit team's secretarial pool.
Members of servile sports media on duty to do cheerful profiles of team owners. Lots of inexpensive land available for new training facility. Local arthritic ex-quarterback available to work as team chaplain.
Superefficient tow-truck drivers available to work stadium area.
Plenty of team tee shirts already printed--if we decide to call the team the Phoenix "Grand Prix."
Many local golf courses available for players interested in Lawrence Taylor drug cure. Great sunsets. Great demand for beefy doormen at local discos.
Lots of fragile desert for players to drive Jeeps through in off-season. Several failing banks desperate for drawling father-figure corporate spokesmen.
Several failing auto dealerships desperate for player endorsements by dumb-but-studly jock types. Several failing home builders desperate for player endorsements from holier-than-thou family-man types.
Huge numbers of chiropractors eager to work on somebody besides cranky retirees. Large population of homeless mental patients willing to form booster club. Lots of drive-through liquor stores. Political climate perfect for draft picks from BYU. U.S. senators willing to "go to bat" for prominent constituents against federal bureaucrats attempting to dismantle the NFL's antitrust status. Divorce attorneys galore!
Offensive linemen can find steady work as "before" models in liposuction ads. Oxygenated fuel available for practice-field lawn mowers. Local Fox affiliate might be persuaded to protect cornerbacks by blacking out America's Most Wanted during season. Saguaro forests located nearby for tackling practice. Regular all-you-can-eat shrimp specials at Sizzler. Players recovering from drug addiction can ogle gold-digging wives while working at fancy uptown supermarkets.
Team jockstraps can be sold at Park 'n' Swap as macrame-like hanging plant holders.
Thriving anabolic steroids black market in local high schools. Caesar's sports book just fifty minutes away via America West. Local economy is bound to improve. No superconducting supercollider to vie for attention of fans.
Plenty of big parking lots for tailgate parties. Team comptroller can "invest" pension fund at local social gambling clubs. Christmas traffic at airport will discourage assistant coaches from defecting to other teams before end of season. Large supply of 976 numbers for scouting department to call while "working the phones" on draft day.
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Players can stay in touch with "how chicks think" via Cathryn Ramin columns in the Arizona Republic. Summer climate ideal for players' off-season weight-reducing.
Hundreds of fledgling heavy-metal musicians for players to ridicule while intoxicated in public. Very lax civic attitude toward stupid, vicious dogs. Local females really "go" for guys who drive flashy cars. Tubing! Tubing! Tubing!
Stadium zoning not a problem as long as you plan to locate in residential neighborhood. Merlin Olsen can visit flower gardens on Baseline Road.
World Wrestling Federation will share mailing list for season-ticket drive. Mere physical presence of Tom Fitzpatrick will keep Brent Musburger in New York studios.