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NFL Merry-Go-Round: Relocation Roundelay


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Once Baltimore, Cleveland and Pittsburgh agreed to goto the AFC the remaining NFC teams couldn't agree on a division set-up, five different options were put into a glass bowl and Pete Rozelle's secretary pulled out the winning option.

The five alignment plans for the NFC in 1970 were as follows, with Plan 3 eventually selected:

  • Plan 1
    • Eastern - Atlanta, Minnesota, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington
    • Central - Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, New Orleans
    • Western - Dallas, Los Angeles Rams, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco
  • Plan 2
    • Eastern - Minnesota, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington
    • Central - Atlanta, Dallas, New Orleans, St. Louis Cardinals
    • Western - Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco
  • Plan 3
    • Eastern - Dallas, New York Giants, Philadelphia, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington
    • Central - Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota
    • Western - Atlanta, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, San Francisco
  • Plan 4
    • Eastern - Minnesota, New York Giants, Philadelphia, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington
    • Central - Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay
    • Western - Dallas, New Orleans, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco
  • Plan 5
    • Eastern - Detroit, Minnesota, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington
    • Central - Chicago, Dallas, Green Bay, St. Louis Cardinals
    • Western - Atlanta, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, San Francisco

If I remember right one of the reasons the Bucs ended up in the Central was because the Bears, Lions and Packers wanted a warm weather team in their division. Back then late in the season teams from the northeast and midwest would goto a warm weather city a few days early to "acclimate" to the climate, it was mainly an excuse for the owner to write off a vacation as a business expense.

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A Rams, Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos AFC West would be appealing on many levels.

(The AFC South swap with the Jaguars or NFC North swap with the Vikings would have been even sweeter, but those days are long gone.)

Just out of curiosity, why would you want to realign the Vikings? IMO Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings is the absolute best combination of teams of any division in the NFL and should be preserved at all costs.

Agreed. That's one division that should be untouchable, like the NFL East has always been.

Have we forgotten already the Farmers Field mockups in purple and gold?

I know Dallas is out of place in the East, but if the Vikings made good on their hollow threat to move to L.A., do you really think they would have preserved rivalries above all else?

My guess is in this day and age of instant revisionist history, the Vikings name wouldn't have made the trip, let alone the rivalry, but as I said, we're past that "very real" Farmers Field threat that launched this thread in 2011 (and ultimately the Vikings' real new home).

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A Rams, Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos AFC West would be appealing on many levels.

(The AFC South swap with the Jaguars or NFC North swap with the Vikings would have been even sweeter, but those days are long gone.)

Just out of curiosity, why would you want to realign the Vikings? IMO Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings is the absolute best combination of teams of any division in the NFL and should be preserved at all costs.

Agreed. That's one division that should be untouchable, like the NFL East has always been.

Have we forgotten already the Farmers Field mockups in purple and gold?

I know Dallas is out of place in the East, but if the Vikings made good on their hollow threat to move to L.A., do you really think they would have preserved rivalries above all else?

My guess is in this day and age of instant revisionist history, the Vikings name wouldn't have made the trip, let alone the rivalry, but as I said, we're past that "very real" Farmers Field threat that launched this thread in 2011 (and ultimately the Vikings' real new home).

OK, I get it... you mean if the Vikings had moved. I thought you meant realigning them as is. I guess I've blanked out that threatened move... never really saw that happening anyway.

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None of the five options that ltp74 posted made much sense, at least geographically. Everyone of them has something out of whack. Hell, the Vikings were in the East in four of the five.

If you swap the Cardinals and Falcons in No. 3, it would at least sort of make sense (except for Dallas and New Orleans).

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I think I read somewhere that the "drew alignments out of a hat" story was bunk. Plan 3 was always Rozelle's planned alignment, because it completely kept one division intact (the NFL's pre-1969 Central), kept the Coastal Division together (except for replacing Baltimore with New Orleans as a rival for Atlanta), and merged the remaining two (Century and Capitol).

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I think I read somewhere that the "drew alignments out of a hat" story was bunk. Plan 3 was always Rozelle's planned alignment, because it completely kept one division intact (the NFL's pre-1969 Central), kept the Coastal Division together (except for replacing Baltimore with New Orleans as a rival for Atlanta), and merged the remaining two (Century and Capitol).

It could be bunk but that's the story that has been around for ages. I'll have to dig up my copy of "America's Game" it goes pretty in depth on the whole thing.

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They should've just moved the Cards to the West and put the Panthers in the East in 1995. Maybe a rivalry with the Redskins could've developed with them being pretty close(I know they belong in the Sputh now, but still). I know the Cards were reliant on the Cowboys and them selling out a game when they played in Tempe, but another rivalry could've started up with the Niners who were a juggernaut then.

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There was potential for a Redskins-Panthers rivalry. For a long time North Carolina was considered Redskins territory before the Panthers came into existence. IIRC most of the south was considered Redskins territory until the league began expanding.

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  • 3 weeks later...

There may have been a few other bits of news in the past couple weeks—in fact, I'm pretty sure there has been. But I've been swamped and not staying on top of it all.

Just received a breaking news alert here in St. Louis though. The local judge has ruled St. Louis' city ordinance requiring a vote on the stadium funding invalid.

Whether I believe in funding the stadium or not (I lean slightly toward doing it under the current plan but strongly against the way this is being done), this is a sham. But regardless of my opinion, there are only a few hurdles left before St. Louis formally commits money for the stadium. I expect that to happen.

Then the ball will be in the NFL and Kroenke's court (I suppose it always has been really).

EDIT:

The ruling also addressed the softball counter claim by the city of St. Louis. That counter claim called out the stadium task forces interpretation that they could build this stadium as adjacent to the convention center (something required by the law the task force is pulling the legality of the stadium from).

This was never a true counter claim, but one designed to let the judge rule against and thus provide precedent for the case at the state level that sues partly on that same point.

The judge indeed walloped the softball, ruling that adjacent has consistently meant nearby and not just contiguous. The judge ruling on the state court case doesn't have to cite this as precedent, but he'll now have every opportunity to.

Like I said, this process is a sham, and as a result, I think St. Louis will do their part to get the stadium built.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/no-vote-on-city-money-for-new-stadium-judge-rules/article_51c33b67-9b72-5055-ba56-94cc9e1b46e2.html

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There's no "almost" about it. He's willing to pay for his own stadium, isn't soaking the city for something he can afford. That's a very good thing for our country and deserves a great deal of support.

I really hate relocation, and I'm predisposed towards wanting Midwest cities to do well. But St. Louis started off botching the process and is ending up hip-deep in fetid muck. Disgraceful.

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There's no "almost" about it. He's willing to pay for his own stadium, isn't soaking the city for something he can afford. That's a very good thing for our country and deserves a great deal of support.

I really hate relocation, and I'm predisposed towards wanting Midwest cities to do well. But St. Louis started off botching the process and is ending up hip-deep in fetid muck. Disgraceful.

There is still very much an "almost to it". Because he could just pay for it (at half his current cost) in his home state in their current market. The paying $1.8 billion for his own stadium is a very good thing, but you'd have to have a really negative view of St. Louis to think Kroenke is all around doing something admirable here.

St. Louis will be just fine given any outcome. Losing the team. Keeping the team in a taxpayer driven deal. Whatever. The money involved here isn't dramatically cringe-worthy or crippling (as a result, it requires a commitment from the NFL or the team owner which we don't know the status of yet).

But the process to get the money is downright disgusting.

John Oliver nailed it the other week. Cities need to finally stand up to this garbage. The problem is that nobody is willing to be the leader in doing so. The NFL has mastered the game.

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Wow. That's just awful forcing citizens to see their taxes be used for a stadium project that looks more and more like a pipe dream as the days go on. Could probably be used on a ton of more important things.

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There is still very much an "almost to it". Because he could just pay for it (at half his current cost) in his home state in their current market. The paying $1.8 billion for his own stadium is a very good thing, but you'd have to have a really negative view of St. Louis to think Kroenke is all around doing something admirable here.

...

John Oliver nailed it the other week. Cities need to finally stand up to this garbage.

And that's precisely why Kroenke is now the hero of this tale. Forcing the Rams to stay in St. Louis against the wishes of their owner would be to fleece the taxpayers once again.

Kroenke isn't holding Missouri hostage. He's not asking them to go into debt to support him. He knows what he wants and he's willing to pay for it himself. That makes him far and away the most admirable person in this whole story.

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