"He doesn't have much presence, not much of a leader," said another league executive, who spent a great deal of time studying Smith before the draft. "I don't think he's a bad person, but that's not enough to be a quarterback in this league."
Two sources indicated that when Smith went on some visits to teams, rather than interact with coaches and front-office people, he would spend much of his time on his cell phone. Instead of being engaged with team officials, he would be texting friends or reading Twitter or a number of other distracting activities.
"All these other players who were in there were talking to the coaches, trying to get to know people and he was over there by himself," one of the sources said. "That's not what you want out of your quarterback."
Here's a new paper by Johnson, Whitehead, Mason, and Walker on the willingness to pay for public goods associated with sports-related development in downtown areas. Here is the abstract.
North American cities have long encouraged redevelopment of their downtown cores to counteract the flight of residents and business to the suburbs in the postwar period. Building subsidized arenas and stadiums for professional sports teams downtown became common in the 1990s. In recent years, downtown stadiums and arenas have been proposed as components in larger redevelopment projects containing a number of other amenities, as well, including housing and other entertainment attractions. The justification for such developments rests in part on the public goods generated by vibrant, prosperous downtowns. Yet little is known about the value of such downtown public goods. This paper reports the results of two Contingent Valuation Method surveys to determine willingness to pay for new National Hockey League arenas in downtown Edmonton and Calgary in the Canadian province of Alberta. The hypothetical scenarios in both surveys varied to include affordable housing, a casino, and cultural space in addition to the arena. The surveys provide the first estimates of willingness to pay for downtown public goods for sports arenas, and also provide the first estimates of scope effects, that is, the willingness to pay for expansions of public goods, in the sports economics literature.
I don't have access to the paper via my university, but the highlights section at the link gives a hint at what may be one (or two) of the important findings in the paper.
Based on survey results in Calgary and Edmonton, downtowns produce valuable public goods that suburbs do not. ► Public goods may not justify a downtown arena if costs are 7 or 8 percent higher than suburban costs.
Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be Olympians.
It may not have the ring of the original Willie Nelson/Waylon Jennings song title, but it certainly applies – considering some of the financial back-stories at the London Olympics. Think about U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte, whose divorced parents are facing the foreclosure of their Florida home. Or U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas, whose mother filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. One of four children, Douglas all but acknowledged earlier this week how her budding Olympic career took an economic toll. “It was definitely hard on my mom, taking care of me and my siblings,” she told the New York Post.
This has lead, predictably, to this.
Making the situation all the more difficult for U.S. athletes: there’s no direct federal support, as is the case in most other nations. ...
Given those horror stories, it’s perhaps no surprise that lawmakers have recently started to talk about tax relief for Olympic athletes – or at least for those athletes who are fortunate enough to win medals. (The honors come with cash prizes awarded by the United States Olympic Committee: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze.)
I suppose you could make the argument that there is some sort of positive externality argument that can be made in favor of tax support: winning medals in the Olympics leads to national pride, and so on. But I really wonder how much value, long term external value especially, there is in winning a medal.
Folks of my age remember the decorated swimmer Mark Spitz. Can you remember how many medals he won and in what Olympics? No googling for the answer.
OK, if you knew and you are an American, did you feel a welling of national pride? I didn’t think so.
Sure there are stories that still send shivers up some folks’ spines. How about the US hockey team beating the Soviets is 1980 and taking the gold? But those are the exceptions (and there was some unique political back story to that victory).
The US has a vibrant private sports market that leads to a lessening of the national importance of the Olympics and I am far from convinced that Olympic training is something that would be an efficient use of federal tax money.
You root for the Packers in this Super Bowl because if the Steelers left Pittsburgh there would still be the Penguins, who won the Stanley Cup in 2009, and the Pirates. True, they stink, but Albert Pujols visits all the time. If the Packers left, Green Bay's major attraction would be the L.H. Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve. But some people would still take Packerland Drive to get there.
That's ESPN's Rick Reilly who, at least it seems to me, is trying to make the Packers out to be the little guy in the classic Super Bowl match-up this Sunday. Keep in mind that the Steelers have won 6 championships while the Packers have won 12. Sure, the Steelers have won 6 Super Bowls, the Packers 3. Does the fact that we call the championship game a "Super Bowl" lessen the importance of the league championship game that was played without this name?
With all due respect to my Packer-loving friends, if the Steelers happen to win this Sunday, I'll be happy and that happiness won't be tempered by a feeling that Goliath beat David.
I thought that changing the Omaha Royals' name to the Omaha Storm Chasers was stupid, but changing the MLS's Kansas City Wizards to Sporting Kansas City is, like, stupider. That sounds more like the name of some rent-seeking sports activist group.
They're definitely on the right track, though. I think the problem is that they just haven't taken the fan voting and the focus groups and the branding expertise quite far enough. I'm just spitballing here, but how's about ... BenevolentRailBombingHuskerStorms?
Neyer is rightly skeptical about the influence of a "fan vote." The comments to this Omaha World Herald article are simply scathing. I know a comments section is not a random sample of fans, but given how vociferous the commenters are against the name change, Neyer's probably right that marketing people were more influential than a fan vote.
Here's one of the new mascots, Stormy.
A picture of the actual mascot is here. What is this supposed to be? It looks like the Philly Phanatic. Is that supposed to be a tornado on the nose?
I'm glad my sons and I took in one last game at Rosenblatt Stadium this summer on our minor league road trip. I knew that the 'blatt was doomed, but I didn't know the O-Royals' name was also doomed.