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Bob Matthews' Column

How About The Washington Pigskins?

 

 

HOW ABOUT THE WASHINGTON PIGSKINS?

 

Rochester sports maven Doug Brei thinks he has the perfect nickname for Washington’s pro football team.

 

In fact, years ago, he tried to “trademark the nickname, register the web domain and then sell it to the team for a huge sum of money.”

 

Interestingly, someone else had already attempted to trademark the nickname and was challenged in trademark court by…the Washington Redskins.

 

Brei theorizes that the team intends to use the new nickname when it finally is forced to change from the Redskins.

 

Doug’s nickname: “Washington Pigskins.”

 

1—Pigskin is a football term.

 

2—The “Pigs” connotation relates to the “Hogs”, which is already associated with the team. Many more fans wear pig noses than wear Native American outfits to the games already.

 

3—They’d remain the “Skins”, both in newspaper headlines and in common vernacular. People on the street still would refer to the team as the “Skins”.

 

4—Washington Pigskins would roll off the tongue just like Washington Redskins does now. It would barely seem like a change.

 

5—They wouldn’t need to change color schemes like they would if they were the Washington Federals or Washington Americans

 

6—Even the traditionalists should be comfortable with the change (EDITOR’S NOTE: I don’t know about that).

 

THE CASE FOR AGAINST ROCHESTER FOR THE NBA D-LEAGUE

 

Rochester this week was mentioned as a future franchise in the NBA Development League. Former Kendall and Syracuse basketball star Roosevelt Bouie is the point man for the project.

 

The NBA D-League is billed as the home for the NBA’s top prospects. According to the NBA, 149 current NBA players have D-League experience.

 

Could the NBA D-League be successful in Rochester? I’m not sold on the idea. But it could be a smash hit.

 

Here some of the pros and cons:

 

Why it could work:

 

The NBA is a powerful brand. It would be attractive to part-owners and sponsors.

 

The caliber of play is way above the Premier Basketball League.

 

It would be the new team in town.

 

Roosevelt Bouie is a popular and charismatic native son.

 

Bouie says the team wouldn’t have to play at the Blue Cross Arena. That’s good because the Amerks, Knighthawks, Rhinos and perhaps even the RazorSharks (if they survived) would presumably have first call on the Friday-Saturday dates the D-League needs.

 

A few former Syracuse U. players and local products could be on the team.

 

Some potential problems:

 

Rochester already has eight pro teams. Few of them finish in the black. They have owners that love their sports and are prepared to lose money to have teams.

 

In-season competition from the Amerks, Knighthawks, Lancers and maybe even the Razorsharks. They all have loyal fan bases.

 

Competition from cable TV – the full schedules of the NBA Knicks and Nets, plus a steady diet of games on TNT and ESPN.

 

Where would the team play? Bouie says the break-even mark would be 2,500-to-3,000 fans per game. I assume that means full-price fans. He suggests the Main Street Armory is a possible home base. Is it large enough?

 

The 50-game regular season (including 25 home games) is relatively long for a minor-league basketball team, particularly if it is not a playoff-calibre team.

 

Would the fans buy the quality of the D-League? Most of the most-talented young NBA players are on NBA teams. Here were the 20 players in the D-League All-Star Game in New Orleans, Feb. 15, on NBA TV: centers Hilton Armstrong, Dewayne Dedmon, Jarvis Varnada; forwards Robert Covington, Ike Diogu, Devin Ebanks, Melvin Ely, Justin Hamilton, Othys Jeffers, Kevin Jones, Malcolm Thomas, Chris Wright; guards Isaiah Canaan, Seth Curry, Troy Daniels, Manny Harris, Ron Howard, Pierre Jackson,Christopher Johnson, DeAndre Liggins. They’re all fine players but would fans flock to see them?

 

The Rochester Zeniths were an excellent team in the Continental Basketball Association in the early 1980s. They consistently entertained their loyal fans on the Dome Arena’s green carpet but there weren’t enough of them.

 

Would an NBA D-League team fare significantly better here? What do you think?

 

MATT HOLLIDAY JOINS THE 1,000-RBI CLUB

 

St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday this week became the 277th Major League Baseball player on the 1,000 career-RBIs list.

 

The top five all-time RBI men: Hank Aaron 2,297; Babe Ruth 2,214; Cap Anson 2,075; Barry Bonds 1.996; Lou Gehrig 1,995; Alex Rodriguez 1,969; Stan Musial 1,951; Ty Cobb 1,938; Jimmie Foxx 1,922; Eddie Murray 1,917.

 

The 19 active players on the list: Alex Rodriguez (suspended but not retired) 1,969; Albert Pujols 1,539; David Ortiz 1,471; Jason Giambi 1,441; Paul Konerko 1,405; Bobby Abreu 1,361; Carlos Beltran 1,345; Adrian Beltre 1,341; Miguel Cabrera 1,315; Aramis Ramirez 1,306; Miguel Tejada 1,302; Derek Jeter 1,276; Torii Hunter 1,262; Raul Ibanez 1,202; Alfonso Soriano 1,158; Mark Teixeira 1,145; Adam Dunn 1,133; Ryan Howard 1,006; Matt Holliday 1,001.

 

There are 12 former Rochester players or managers on the 1,000-RBI list: 7th Stan Musial 1,951; 20th Frank Robinson 1,812; 25th Cal Ripken Jr. 1,695; 91st Johnny Mize 1,337; 99th Ruben Sierra 1,322; 121st Don Baylor 1,276; 157th Boog Powell 1,187; 163rd George Sisler 1,178; 170th Steve Finley 1,167; 181st Ken Boyer 1,141; 254th Dixie Walker 1,033; 259th High Pockets Kelly 1,020.

 

KNIGHTHAWKS COULD HAVE THEIR SECOND LEAGUE MVP

 

The National Lacrosse League on Thursday announced the three finalists for 2014 league Most Valuable Player – Toronto’s Garrett Billings and Rochester’s Cody Jamieson and Matt Vinc.

 

 The league’s Board of Governors, coaches and GMs voted at the conclusion of the regular season but the winners of the individual awards won’t be announced until the NLL’s first Season Awards Ceremony, Sept. 21, in Oakville, Ont. Better late than ever – not!

 

Here’s hoping teammates Jamieson and Vinc don’t hurt each other’s hopes in the voting.

 

Since the MVP award began in 1994, only one Rochester Knighthawks player won the award – John Grant Jr. in 2007. Several other former Knighthawks won league MVP honors while playing for other teams (Gary Gait, Paul Gait, Steve Dietrich, Dan Dawson, Casey Powell, Shawn Evans and Grant).

 

SHORT SHOTS

 

Portugal remains the favorite to beat the United States in their World Cup Group G match Sunday. Typical odds: Portugal 8-to-11 (bet $11 to win $8)…United States 7-to-2 (bet $2 to win $7)…Draw 13-to-5 (bet $5 to win $13).

 

The Texas Stars are the very worthy 2014 Calder Cup champions. They posted the best record in the American Hockey League’s regular season (48-18-3-7 record; 106 points; AHL-best +77 goal differentia: 274 GF- 197 GA). They were 15-6 (70 GF-51 GA) in the playoffs. They won the Finals 4 games to 1 over the St. John’s IceCaps. The Stars were 6-0 in overtime in the playoffs, including three straight OT wins in St. John’s to capture their first Cup.

 

NFL Week 1 updated lines from Las Vegas Hilton sportbook: Seattle 5 ½ vs. Green Bay…Atlanta – 1 ½ New Orleans…St. Louis -6 Minnesota…Pittsburgh 5 ½ Cleveland…Philadelphia 11 Jacksonville…Jets -5 Oakland…Baltimore 2 ½ Cincinnati…Chicago 6 Buffalo…Houston 2 ½ Washington…New England 3 ½ Miami…Carolina 1 ½ Tampa Bay…San Francisco 2 ½ Washington… Denver 7 Indianapolis…Detroit 4 ½ Giants…Arizona 3 ½ San Diego.

 

Another Cuban slugger has defected: outfielder Yasmani Tomas. The Communist Party nrespaper, in confirmed the development “through unscrupulous, illegal human traffficking.” Like forbidding people from leaving the country is OK.

 

Cheers to Yohan Pino for a solid performance in his Major League Baseball debut Thursday night: 7 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 earned runs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts. He had no decision in Minnesota’s 4-2 home win over the White Sox. The 30-year-old right-hander had spent his entire 10-year pro career in the minors. He was 9-1 with a 1.92 ERA with Rochester this season to earn his promotion.

 

Entering Friday, there were 66 goals through 23 games:2.87 goals per game. The past two World Cups averaged 2.27 goals for 64 games in 2010 and 2.30 goals for 64 games in 2006. The over/under betting line was 154 ½ goals when the 2014 World Cup began. Scoring generally falls off in the Round of 16.

 

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