SecondHandJets, on 30 May 2013 - 09:33 AM, said:
The reason why I brought up American Samoa is because this letter that we are arguing about was written by the American Samoa Congressman. Obviously since it came from his office, it must reflect the views of his constituents, right? Since that's what his job is... I mean why else would an American Samoan write a letter asking Snyder to rename the Redskins if it didn't offend American Samoans?! Polamalu is a very proud American Samoan who is a high profile long tenured All Pro. I just brought him up as an example since you're so keen on show & tell.
So? People in American Samoa and Native Hawaiians and Native Eskimos can't relate to having a bunch of "paleskins" coming and taking over their land? As I said all he can pretty much do is lobby others since he can't vote on bills. My congressman is Republican and there have been many times when I knew he wouldn't support something I did support. So I wrote/lobbied other congressmen/women. Just a few months ago I wrote (along with a group of others) Senator Kaine from Virginia. I'm not his constituent, but he still wrote me back though. So just because this delegate from American Samoa doesn't have a lot of Iroquois for example as his constituents doesn't mean he only has to listen to his constituents and ignore people from other parts of the country. Representatives, delegates, and senators do have the ability to focus on more than one thing at a time.
Also Eni Faleomavaega (the delegate who released the letter) is on committees like the Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs. Things that have historically been a major concern to Native-Americans. So he has likely corresponded and worked with many Native-American groups over the years. BTW, both black and white members of the House signed on to that letter too. And you still haven't showed or told me any names of the MANY Native-Americans that have played in the NFL in the last 80 years. I want some players who would've marked that American Indian box on the census. People who don't likely consider themselves to be Asian-American (like Polamalu).
AKA Troy Benjamin Aumua
Birthplace: Garden Grove, CA
Religion: Greek Orthodox
Race or Ethnicity: Asian
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Pittsburgh Steelers
You're so cute when you try to grasp on to straws. Bud Adams changed the name not because "it didn't make sense". There's more sense to the Tennessee Oilers then there is to the LA Lakers or the Utah Jazz or Arizona Cardinals or Memphis Grizzlies. Bud Adams changed the name because the first year in Tennessee, the team drew 18,000 per game. That's right. For an NFL game. He completely had to change his brand so Tenesseeans would adopt the team. Believe me if he had started with sold out stadiums, we'd still be calling then the Oilers.
Have Lakers, Jazz, Cardinals, and Grizzlies fans called for their teams to change their names like Oilers/Titans fans did in the 90s?
"Owner K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr., listens to the Tennessee fans and announces that he will change the name of the team. An advisory council is later formed to research names and a "Guess the Name" contest is introduced to fans to gain additional feedback.
Tennessee Titans|History 1990's
Why else would the fans ask for a name change? Because they felt Oilers didn't fit with Tennessee. That is something that is known for being in Texas, not Tennessee. Fans in Tennessee apparently cared more than Utah Jazz fans did that their team's name didn't fit. So Bud Adams decided to change the teams name and let the fans pick the name. The Washington Bullets became the Wizards because their owner didn't want the team associated with gun violence. It wasn't appropriate to have that name because of the gun violence all over the world.
Delgardo Franklin – District Heights, MD: I'm a life-long Bullets/ Wizards Fan. What was the rationale, if any, for the team name change?
Abe Pollin: It has been awhile since I have been asked this question. Believe me when I say it was not an easy decision. I won a World Championship under the name Bullets. However, too often during the mid to late ‘90s, I would hear the word “bullets” associated with guns and violence instead of my basketball team. While the name was longstanding, I finally reached a point that I was simply tired of the association between the two. Then, my good friend, Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated in Israel. That was the final straw. It was time to change names. With regard to the name “Wizards,” we held a three-tiered contest to determine a new name. The name “Wizards” was selected by the fans and has adorned our uniforms since that time.
It's time for Daniel Snyder to tire of the association between the word redskins and his football team like Abe Pollin did with the Bullets name. If Bud Adams can change a name just because the fans wanted him to, Snyder can do it too. And Snyder has a better reason to change the name than Adams did.
And Adams didn't change the name because "he completely had to change his brand so Tennesseans would adopt the team." First the reason they only drew 18,000 a game is because for their first season in Tennessee the Oilers played in Memphis. Memphis fans were pissed off because after trying to get a NFL team for years, they'd only get the Oilers for two years until they moved to Nashville after their new stadium was built. Memphis didn't want to support a team that would be leaving in two years anyway and Nashville fans didn't want to drive 200 miles to see a "home" game. They might as well go see a Falcons game if they were going to drive over 200 miles to see a NFL game. Them being a mediocre 8-8 didn't help matters either. The name change didn't have shit to do with getting Tennessee fans to adopt the team. The fans called for the name change and so Bud Adams said let's change the name.
Stuck in a state of apathy Oilers: The NFL team has been given the cold shoulder from Memphis and, more surprisingly, has received a lukewarm reception in Nashville, where the club will move for good in 1999.
September 19, 1997|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF
Pepper Rodgers is no stranger to the hard sell and Memphis, Tenn.
Once, as coach of the U.S. Football League's Showboats in the mid-1980s, he sold springtime football as a viable alternative to the NFL. A decade later in a similar role, he pitched Mad Dogs and the Canadian Football League to the discerning populace in western Tennessee.
Now, though, comes the most chilling and challenging sales job of Rodgers' football life.
He is trying to promote the Tennessee Oilers in the city the NFL spurned four years ago in expansion. He's trying to fill the Liberty Bowl's 62,380 seats against the knowledge this is strictly a short-term, albeit expensive, arrangement.
After two decades of lusting for an NFL team, it has come to this in Memphis: The city is baby-sitting the Oilers for two years until the team's new stadium in Nashville can be completed.
And this: On Sunday against the Ravens, in only their second home game in Tennessee, the Oilers are expecting -- well, hoping for -- a crowd of 20,000. That's if they get a brisk walk-up sale.
Make no mistake, Memphians are not thrilled with their role in the Texas two-step out of Houston.
"I don't think it's the Oilers that people are mad at," Rodgers said. "I think it's the NFL more than anything."
Rodgers, 65, defines his role with the Oilers as trouble-shooter in Memphis. So far, the Oilers have kept him busy with a scorching trail of brush fires.
Like the one this week, when Oilers defensive linemen Josh Evans and Anthony Cook were scheduled to attend a news conference in Memphis to promote Sunday's game. But Monday's practice ran long, and Evans and Cook missed their flight out of Nashville. Not surprisingly, news spots with Rodgers have gone past stale in Memphis.
"We have no presence here," he said of the Oilers. "It is so hard. They don't want to hear me in Memphis, they want to hear the players."
The Oilers' road to Tennessee is littered with oversights, poor calculations and terrible judgment. A sampling of their mistakes: When Oilers owner Bud Adams reached a two-year agreement to play regular-season games in the Liberty Bowl, he requested travel expenses to take the team back and forth from Nashville. ** Only he asked that those expenses be paid by the folks in Memphis. This affront was not well-received, and after a severe backlash, Adams withdrew his request.
Adams initially said he would change the Oilers' name and let Tennessee fans choose a new one. But then he changed his mind on changing the name, and that spawned more controversy.
In a college market that supported the USFL and CFL in varying degrees, the Oilers implemented the second-highest increase in average ticket price in the NFL. Their average ticket jumped 28.8 percent to $40.36, second only to the Washington Redskins' increase of 48.3 percent to $52.92, according to the Team Marketing Report, a Chicago newsletter.
Combine all that with the late start -- the Oilers weren't able to sell tickets until late June after their move -- and it's not hard to see there would be problems.
Yet, incredibly, the team had no inkling of the resentment of the NFL that awaited it in Memphis. This is a city that jumped through NFL hoops for two decades, playing host to 14 exhibition games during that time, in an attempt to get an expansion team, only to be rejected twice.
Don MacLachlan, the Oilers' senior vice president whose duties recently were expanded to include overseeing the Memphis operations, said no one from the league cautioned Adams that playing games in a city spurned during expansion might not be a good idea.
"No [they didn't]," MacLachlan said, "and I guess some of our marketing research shows a lot of avid football fans still in Memphis and surrounding communities. By the time we were able to hit the ground running and sell tickets, a lot of people had committed to college games and weren't able to commit to season tickets.
"We knew the situation we were in in regard to Memphis [not] getting an expansion team. I don't think there was any way we could gauge what was going to transpire, or what has transpired."
Even though the team has played well in splitting two overtime games, ticket sales have been nothing short of disastrous. A crowd of 30,171 turned out for the Oilers' Tennessee debut on Aug. 31, a rousing 24-21 victory against the Oakland Raiders. Projections were for crowds of between 50,000 and 55,000.
Only 10,000 season tickets have been sold, and only 4,000 of those went to Nashville fans willing to make the three-hour-plus drive to Memphis.
Additionally, only 27 of the Liberty Bowl's 40 skyboxes were sold. Clearly, skybox revenue was one of the big reasons Adams chose to play in Memphis rather than at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
Even Nashville has been shockingly lukewarm to the Oilers' arrival. In two preseason games at Vanderbilt, the Oilers drew an average of 23,065 fans. Television ratings for the Oilers' 16-13 loss at Miami in Week 2 were modest, too. The team had a 13.2 rating with a 31 share in Nashville, and an 11.0/21 in Memphis.
The frustration is beginning to surface with a team that believed it had left apathy behind in Houston (the Oilers averaged 31,825 fans in last year's lame-duck season). After winning the home opener, running back Eddie George said he was puzzled by the low turnout in Memphis.
"I'm not a politician, I'm a ballplayer," he said. "We're the Tennessee Oilers. We represent the whole state of Tennessee, not just Nashville."
In a conference call with Baltimore reporters this week, George's frustration became more apparent.
"I think Jeff [Fisher] is a great coach and a great motivator," George said. "He's done a great job of getting us together in the midst of all this madness the last year or so.
"This is only temporary. It will not happen the next five, six years. Hopefully not."
Said Fisher: "If anyone followed Memphis, they would understand their plight. To a certain extent, there is some frustration. We feel like in anything, winning should bring people around."
Ross Bartow, executive director of the newly created Memphis Sports Authority, cited ticket prices and the Oilers' request for travel expenses as factors contributing to the slow start. But the biggest problem, he said, was the city's pain over not getting an expansion team.
"I found it surprising just how deep the NFL scars were in this city," Bartow said. "It surprised people who have been here all their lives."
R. C. Johnson, athletic director at the University of Memphis, shares the Liberty Bowl with the Oilers. The Tigers averaged 38,000 fans last year.
"My theory is, if it was the Dallas Cowboys here, I think the [stadium] would be full," Johnson said. "Or the [San Francisco] 49ers. That would supersede all the other stuff. There's not a whole lot of loyalty to the Oilers to begin with, not a lot of magnetism to them."
There will be plenty of competition for Memphis' entertainment dollar this weekend, though. The Tigers play Minnesota tomorrow night, and the Mid-South Fair at the fairgrounds runs through the weekend.
Even though only some 3,000 non-season ticket holders have purchased tickets for the NFL game, the Ravens won't have to take a hit in their share of the visitor's gate receipts. Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne said that Adams has a guarantee in place for visiting teams until the Oilers move to Nashville.
Despite the ominous start, the Oilers refuse to panic.
"We have a two-year agreement with the Liberty Bowl," MacLachlan said. "I would say it's not a true barometer for the entire season. We'll let a little more time go on to evaluate things, rather than base it on two games early in the year."
As you see the Oilers/Titans had a lot of problems that first year in Tennessee that caused them to only sell 18,000 seats a game. It had more to do with Memphis vs. Nashville than Tennesseans (Memphis and Nashville) not adopting the "brand."
BTW, since you want me to keep naming Native Americans, Bud Adams is Cherokee. So there you go, an OWNER who should be sitting next to Snyder at the owner meetings and pushing for a change... right? I mean since it's soooooo offensive!
With your way of thinking if I beat the shit out of two innocent people and they don't complain about it, then that must make what I did alright. Bud Adams is Cherokee and a NFL owner. Good, he is the perfect person to lobby Dan Snyder to change the name. Or maybe Adams is a sellout. I don't know. Maybe he has lobbied Snyder privately to change the name. I hope he has or will before he dies. But just because Bud Adams hasn't been vocal in public doesn't mean that the Redskins name should stay. It doesn't mean keeping the name is cool. Just because somebody keeps quite about something that is wrong, doesn't mean that wrong thing is okay. Wrong is still wrong.