Ferdinand Cesarano

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Everything posted by Ferdinand Cesarano

  1. I was actually talking about Ed Tepper. I see now that I somehow neglected to write his name in the first paragraph of my comment. Sorry about that! I have gone back and edited my comment to include his name where I had intended it to be. My comment also included a link to the podcast episode in which Tepper made the remark to which I referred. Here is the URL of that link. http://goodseatsstillavailable.com/listen/2019/3/9/episode-103-the-major-indoor-soccer-leagues-origin-story-with-co-founder-ed-tepper As far as I can tell, there is no relation between Ed Tepper and David Tepper. Your description of David Tepper's style of ownership certainly defines him as an excellent owner, in that he treats the Panthers more as a local institution than as a source of profit. When you combine that attitude with David Tepper's wealth, you have a very good situation indeed. It's unfortunate that this country does not have a culture that produces very many owners of that sort.
  2. Those results are most encouraging. That is certainly not what I would have expected. I thank you for making the effort.
  3. The change in font is slight. But I lament the loss of the globe. I really love that sort of depiction of a globe, as in the logo of the BBC's Panorama.
  4. If the Nationals whipped up some kind of Expos-inspired alt uniform, I would definitely like that. This would accomplish the same end of informing young people (and reminding people who are not as knowledgeable in baseball history as the people on this board are) about the Expos as part of the Washington Nationals franchise. The fact that the Nationals' history as the Expos is written in the Wikipedia page does not necessarily mean that this awareness will make it to the status of common knowledge. Any sort of promotion done by the team would be immensely helpful in this regard.
  5. Seeing the pictures and highlights of this game will create vivid memories. And the game itself will spur many conversations on message boards and on TV and radio (not that young fans listen to radio). All of this will be helpful for the historical knowledge of the vast majority of fans who are not likely ever to get to the Nationals' franchise history page at Baseball Reference to see the Expos players' pictures and the Expos' season totals. Do they, though? It would be interesting to see a survey of baseball fans in the 13-to-15 age group on the question of who were the Montreal Expos. My speculation is that only a very small amount of them would be able to identify the team as the former identity of the Washington Nationals. And, every year that we get farther away from the Expos' move to Washington, there emerges an additional set of young fans who would be even less likekly to know this. These are the fans who will benefit most from the memorable event of an Expos throwback game. No; simply about the fact that the Expos are part of the Nationals franchise. Even if the Nationals were doing a throwback to the Expos' latter-day uniforms that I don't like, I would still be enthusiastically in favour of it. The problem with the racing stripe is not the colours, but the width. The Expos' aesthetic was refined and elegant. The thick racing stripe clashed with the delicate thin lines in the number font and with the understated lower-case wordmark. Compare it to the racing stripe worn by the Mets. While the racing stripe didn't aesthetically benefit the Mets' uniforms, at least in that case there was no thematic clash, as the bold stripe was in harmony with the wide strokes of the Mets' wordmark. A modification of the Expos' original uniform that would have been appropriate would have entailed a thickening of the sleeve stripes to the level of the sleeve stripes that appeared at the ends of the sleeves of the latter-day road jersey.
  6. The question of national identity is not petty. The Quebecois people clearly consider their nation to be Quebec — the provincial parliament is called the National Assembly — and see Canada as a confederation of nations. If English Canada is not prepared to accept this characterisation (one which describes the traditional relationship between the founding peoples of Canada), then it should have no problem letting Quebec chart its own course democratically. In other words: the deniers of Quebecois nationhood should not wonder why those in whose eye they have just spit wish to use democratic means to formalise and protect that nationhood. This is an ironic comment, because Quebec independence would have created a relationship very similar to that which exists in the Eurozone (a grouping which never included Britain, even before Brexit) — namely, one between independent countries with a common monetary policy. Canada would have played the dominant role of Germany or France, the ones who actually set the policy, with Quebec comparable to a small economy such at Belgium or Portugal. If Major League Baseball and the NHL can operate on both sides of the Canadian-U.S. international border, then these leagues could easily have straddled an international border between Canada and Quebec. Fans like this constitute the most important reason for the Nationals to wear the Expos throwbacks. The throwbacks are necessary on the grounds of education. Someone is bound to retort that the team is doing this not in order to educate anyone, but simply to sell merchandise. To which I reply: I don't care. I care only about the outcome, which will be that baseball fans (especially the youngest ones) will be reminded that the Expos are part of this franchise. Knowing the facts of history is a good in its own right. I can agree that the Nationals have a beautiful look, especially at home. This... ...is one of the finest looks in baseball, though I would simplify the piping to red only, as the Rangers of the mid-1990s showed how good red-on-blue lettering looks next to simple red piping. And these particular gentlemen make the uniform even nicer by knowing how to wear their socks (even if they all should be wearing the same design). BUUUUUUT ... that's no reason to denegrate the Expos' gorgeous look. The team's original uniforms were fantastic, with that iconic logo (even if some people claim to be confused by it), the lower-case wordmark, the tri-colour cap, and the elegant number font. Do not even try telling me that this... ...is not a beautiful uniform, because I am just not having it. The introduction of the racing stripe was unnecessary; this gaudy feature clashed with the overall aesthetic. But that still did not destroy the unique beauty of this uniform. The only problem with the original uniforms was that the road set was always powder blue rather than grey. But, if the Expos had kept this set past 1991, they surely would have switched to grey on the road, as they did with the new uniforms; and the road look would have experienced the same improvement that the Phillies' and Brewers' road uniforms did when those teams replaced powder blue with grey. I think the Expos' latter-day home uniform was pretty bad. That uniform, with its generic cursive wordmark, had no identity. And without the tri-colour cap the team lost a feature that was just as fundamental to the look as is the logo. That set pales in comparison to the real Expos uniforms. However, the road version was pretty solid, especially with the fleur-de-lis right above the wordmark. And, while I prefer the tri-colour cap, I suppose that I could accept the solid blue cap on the road. I would like to have seen this road uniform paired with the classic home uniform, but with the Expos' classic number font. I'd remove the racing stripe from the home set and add to the home jersey the sleeve stripes we see here on road jersey. I could even see using the blue hat on the road instead of the tri-colour hat; this would keep a consistent theme of road cap and the road jersey being less ornate than their home counterparts.
  7. The Bills had an excellent helmet, the standing red Buffalo. So I can see why you would have chosen that. I was lucky that, when I first saw football, the Giants were still wearing their classic ny logo. And then in 1975 they went to the logo that you can see in my sig: I liked that logo so much that that was the one that I drew all over my notebooks for years after the team dropped it in favour of the wordmark logo that you accurately describe as lame. That Breakers' helmet did have a gorgeous design, and the team had wonderful colours. As with the Buffalo Bills, I can understand your choice. While I really liked the Generals' colours, and while their logo was good from the purely aesthetic standpoint, I absolutely could not get with the military theme. So I tried to consider the Philadelphia Stars as my team, as they, too, had a great colour scheme. But the Generals had Herschel Walker, and then, in 1985, the great Doug Flutie; so I wound up rooting for them in spite of myself. However, I could never wear their gear. I had hats from various USFL teams, but not the Generals; and, seven years ago when I did my first century on a bike, I rewarded myself with the purchase of a fitted Stars hat. And, on a trip to Philadelphia last year, I went into Franklin Field, and was pleased to be in the same place where the Stars defeated the Generals in the 1984 playoffis (after the Generals had handed the Stars their only two losses of the regular season).
  8. The team eventually known as the Boston Braves had the right idea. From the early 1880s to the early 1910s, this team was called the Boston Beaneaters.
  9. This is totally misplaced. The Expos could have survived in Quebec ruled by the PQ — or even, if all had gone well, in an independent Quebec — if they had had competent ownership.
  10. And I believe that he was the first AFL star who was "counter-poached" by an NFL team.
  11. I would disagree with this. Perhaps you have not heard of the American 7s Football League. The A7FL plays tackle football with no helmets or pads. These players, like rugby players, tackle while protecting their heads. This particular league features players on a broad spectrum, from very athletic to a bit comical; the level of play is not much higher than in a pickup game. But it nevertheless makes the point that you can perfectly well play real tackle football without dressing the players in armour and encouraging them to use their heads as weapons.
  12. This guy should get one of those uniforms that was worn by Gaylord Perry and Casey Stengel.
  13. I can understand this. My interest in the Nets has been severely damaged by their terrible uniforms. (And also by the team's decision to name itself not after my City, but after a particular part of the City with which I emphatically do not identify. But, if the team had kept its previous uniforms, or if it had returned to its classic set, I think I could have overlooked this transgression.) I am struggling to avoid falling into a total dislike of the team, and am currently just holding at a state of indifference tinged with discontent.
  14. On an episode of the Good Seats Still Available podcast, Ed Tepper, MISL co-founder and former owner of the league's New Jersey Rockets made a comment along the lines of: losing a little money is OK; but only if you're losing a lot of money does it become unsustainable. So perhaps there was too much attention to the Cosmos — which, on account of my having named Steve Ross as the ideal owner, is entirely my fault. (I just love the guy!) But a better example of a good owner is probably Tepper. It's not necessary to engage in unlimited spending to bring in the best players in the world; it's necessary only to be willing to absorb small losses in order to sustain the team at a respectable level. There may be a few dozen or so people in the country who could spend like Ross; but every city has thousands of people who could act according to what Tepper said and express their love of a sport by being a team's patron. The basic point remains the same: a start-up league can no longer be run from the standpoint of a traditional business, at least not at first. Unless you have owners who are not expecting immediate return and who are willing to pay the league's costs for many years until the league's teams can perhaps (if they're lucky) become entrenched in various cities' local cultures, then the chances of survival are near zero.
  15. He's baseball's answer to Kevin Glenn, the only player to have been on all nine CFL teams (even though he was acquired by and then traded by two of them before actually playing for them).
  16. Atlantic City, not Atlanta. The remarkable thing is that this is the first time that the AFL is not the consensus top level of indoor football. The IFL is currently at least as strong. (Side note: the IFL's Nebraska Danger have an announcer in Steve Stein who is one of the best I have ever heard. Find any of that team's games on YouTube to hear a master in action.)
  17. Oops! Sorry. And a tip of the hat to @jmoe12.
  18. That's some good 1940s radio stuff right there. I listen to a lot of Jack Benny; and many of the recordings have a local station identification after the end of the episode in which the announcer says "This is KFI Los Angeleez." A more bizarre radio quirk of the day was to pronounce "Los Angeleez" with a hard G sound! That was relatively rare; but it did sometimes occur. David Letterman used to enjoy employing this archaic pronunciation. Or San Pedro as "San Peedro". You must have dug the episode of The Office in which Dunder Mifflin was acquired by the company Sabre. Before any of the characters had heard the new parent company's name pronounced, they all assumed it was "Sa-bray". Michael even wrote a song in which he extolled the virtues of "Sa-bray". [Edited to add my regret at having missed a reference to this earlier in the thread.]
  19. The beautiful uniforms of the Oakland A's of the early 70s constituted a major reason for my picking them up as my second team. I took a liking to the Blue Jays when they debuted in 1977 for the same reason. And my feelings for that team really intensified in 1989, when the team went to a button-down / belted style.
  20. Right! Florida is for spring training.
  21. Nor as high. Those numbers show that the Expos six times had better than league-average attendance, in 1970 and for five straight years from 1979 through 1983. (They ranked second in the league in 1983.) Whereas, the Rays have had attendence above the league average only once, in their inaugural season. Indeed, even the claim about the Tampa Bay never having gone as low as Montreal is questionable, considering that the Rays have been last in their league in attendance for 6 of the past 8 years, rising all the way to next-to-last in the other two years of that period. The Rays have ranked last or next-to-last in attendance in their league in 16 of their 21 seasons; and, in a truly impressive feat, they currently rank last in attendance while being in first place. Meanwhile, the Expos ranked that low in their league in 12 of their 32 seasons (including ranking last in each of their final seven seasons, after it had become clear that their owner had given up on them and that a move was imminent). So, based on historical trends, it would be reasonable to expect that a move to Montreal would improve the Rays' fortunes.
  22. I'm sure they didn't. But that is irrelevant. Washington Senators fans would not have been expected to have allegiance to the Minnesota Twins when the team moved in 1961, considering that an expansion Senators team was placed in Washington in the same year. Yet the Senators/Twins and the expansion Senators (later the Texas Rangers) are two separate franchises. And the Twins and Rangers have each worn throwbacks to their respective former Washington identities. The continuity of a franchise is purely a definitional thing. (Side note: Hamilton is wearing his stirrups absolutely perfectly. That is what a ballplayer looks like.)
  23. [What is the deal with this problem of not being able to quote a post? The way I have done it here is to highlight my own quite within pmoehrin's post. This gives me a quote box with his name on it, but with my highlighted comment. Then I replaced the text of my response with the text of his comment.] The word, as I have mentioned a few times, is "patronage", just as with a museum or a symphony. While the costs of a top-flight soccer team are greater than that of any museum, so is the soccer club's potential to ultimately become profitable (after a decade or so). I'm not wondering at all. The NASL owners who did not have access to the capital that Ross had could not follow the Cosmos' lead. And the other people who did have access to that sort of capital had no desire to pour money year after year into a project in which they saw no merit.
  24. ...it (exploitation) might be worse. NCAA D1 baseball programs can award a maximum of 11.7 scholarships per team. Very few are on full rides, most players get half or quarter scholarships if they get any money at all. Compare this to D1 men's basketball (13), women's basketball (15), FCS football (63) and FBS football (85). It's up for debate whether less notoriety for NCAA baseball means less (or more?) exploitation, but the awards given to NCAA baseball players pale in comparison to other sports, especially when you consider roster sizes. I am not clear on how being a lower profile sport can lead to more exploitation of the athletes. By "exploitation", I am referring to the process by which the players' work leads to monetary gain for other people and not for the players themselves. In most states, the highest paid public employee is the coach of a university football or basketball team, never a baseball coach. The baseball coach is also not likely to be getting endorsements thanks to the work of players. [I cannot quote @pmoehrin's post by highlighting or by hitting the "Quote" link. So I have to type the dang thing in myself.] This is all correct. However, no one says that the LA Aztecs needed to play in the Coliseum. The team's management could have elected to rent a smaller college stadium somewhere in the area. (By the way, Cruyff had a verbal agreement to play for the Cosmos, and even appeared for them in a couple of friendlies. He then changed his mind and signed with the Aztecs.) Well, not exactly. Other teams don't behave like the Yankees because they don't need to in order to make money. An ownership group can operate a Major League team at a low level of competitiveness indefinitely, while happily collecting luxury tax money and national TV money. Or, more starkly, it can sit back and do nothing at all: it can buy a club, watch that club appreciate, and then sell the club at a hefty profit a few years later. By contrast, owning an NASL team required the willingess to accept the near inevitability of losing some money in return mainly for the thrill of producing top-flight soccer. Though such an owner would be getting tremendous promotion for the company, as well. Warner Communications got plenty out of the backing the Cosmos; the rise in its profile led directly to the merger with Time, Inc., which later allowed the company to develop profitable properties such as MTV. A Hollywood movie studio could have leveraged this publicity in a similar way, as could have other media companies located in Chicago and other large cities. (Though, admittedly, not many cities. The NASL should never have had more than ten teams.) The critical difference here is one of scale. Your imaginary dream team's payroll might reach half a billion dollars; while the payroll of the mid-1970s Cosmos was a comparative pittance (even including the international stars' salaries), and was well within the capacity of a major corporate entity to withstand. Moreover, if the other teams had been willing to pay what it took to bring in international stars, then the Cosmos would not have had so many of these stars, and could not have towered over the rest of the league as they did. Anyway, it all comes down to will. Some other person could regale me about what a great time he or she had on a cruise; but, if I don't like cruises, I am not going to pay one cent for that experience. Likewise, if you don't care about soccer, then you will not find the idea of paying to own a team to be attractive. American soccer in the 1970s needed patrons to subsidise the league for a good decade at least, until it might have had the chance to become self-sustaining; but those patrons simply did not exist.
  25. (@SFGiants58 - For some reason I cannot quote your post.) First of all, I am talking about actual kiddies — children who are like 13 or 14 years old, and who are making formative memories. The Nationals have existed for these fans' entire lives. Kids that age likely don't know a thing about the Expos. Expanding to Montreal was a good thing (unlike either of the horribly misguided expansions to Florida). The stadium was a boondoggle; but the same is true for nearly every stadium built outside of California, and even for some in California (such as the refurbished Oakland Colliseum). The Quebec economy is robust, with Montreal's citizens enjoying a good standard of living and having plenty of disposable income to use for entertainment, such as baseball. Also, the province's language law is essential for the protection of Quebecois culture. And that culture includes baseball. The Majors will probably go back there eventually (perhaps by moving the Rays, thereby solving two problems). It's true that the Nationals have given only scant recognition to their Expos past. I was terribly disappointed to see that they are wearing no memorial patch for Frank Robinson, who perfectly straddles the Expos and Nationals portions of the franchise history. But now, on the franchise's 50th anniversary, is the perfect time to correct that policy, and to start embracing franchise history.