* “This is their perfect new home.” That, alas, was Orlando Magic co-founder Pat Williams extolling the virtues of the Orlando market as the future–non-split-season–home of the Tampa Bay Rays. More than Montreal, Charlotte, Nashville, or Las Vegas, Orlando makes the most sense. From geographic symmetry to tourist hordes to corporate Disney and Universal to mass transit to burgeoning TV market. “We would not be taking away Tampa’s baseball team at all,” quipped Williams. “We’d just be moving them a little to the east.”
Message to Rays’ owner Stu Sternberg: “Sell it or just move it down I-4. We want the Rays here.” Message to the Tampa Bay market: “Be concerned. Be very concerned.”
* In hockey, basketball and baseball, teams don’t go undefeated. They play too many games. But in football, it’s still possible. In fact, the two college teams that played for the national championship, LSU and Clemson, were both 14-0. And the team, North Dakota State, that won the NCAA 1-AA championship went 16-0. So it seems a bit of an anomaly that in the NFL’s final four, one of the teams that is but a game away from the Super Bowl is Tennessee. The Titans are 9-7. In a league of parity and other variables, a 7-loss team could be in SB LIV. Still seems weird.