When Jane Bradley Pettit donated 93 million dollars to buidl the Bradley Center in 1988 she was adamant that naming rights were not sold to some company. Fans have agreed over the years that the name of the home of the Bucks, Marquette, Admirals and Mustangs remain commercial free. That changed yesterday as Pettit's daughter & son changed their minds and agreed to allow naming rights which would ensure the viability of the arena until a new one can be built. It was announced that the Bradley Center will now be known as The BMO-Harris Bradley Center in a 6 year deal. It should be worth around 18 million dollars. Unfortunatly it is a necessary sign of the times. The naming of stadiums, however distasteful to purists is not going to be ignored by owners trying to maximise their investment, or in many cases trying to pay the bills. The next step will be advertising on uniforms. Don't laugh..its coming. I expect the NBA and NHL will be the first of the major sports to follow in the footsteps of soccer...but football and even baseball will eventually have team naming sponsors adorning their uniforms. I dont expect it to get to the exteme of NASCAR but the owners see an ignored revenue stream that will not be ignored much longer.
In another example of the inmates running the asylum, Stan Van Gundy was fired yesterday as the Orlando Magic's head coach. The profane basketball lifer had a very public run-in with the teams' superstar Dwight Howard this past season and we all know who will win those confrontations most of the time. GM Otis Smith was also let go. Van Gundy is a good coach and should be snapped up buy somebody.
The Oklahoma City Thunder moved on beating the Lakers last night. The Thunder-Spurs series may be better than the finals. Whoever comes out of that should be able to handle the East champion even if it is Miami.
Eric Dickerson has joined the concussion lawsuit by former NFL players against the league. The suit was filed in Texas yesterday and in part it says that the "NFL has put its profits ahead of the health and well-being of its players". Its one of dozens of similar suits across the country. Its hard to imagine pro football being knocked off its pedestal as the most popular sport in the country...but these lawsuits if proven, will drastically change the game that most fans have come to know and love and it will be interesting to see if fans will be willing to spend as much to support a kinder, gentler NFL.
Its doubleheader high school baseball today on Foxsports1390. First up is DC Everest and Wausau West. That will be followed by Wausau East-Merrill. All of the action starts at 4:30.
Songs of the day (from my I-pod)
Jack & Neal-Tom Waits (1977) a Beat journey across America from his excellent 'Foreign Affairs" LP. I know Waits is an aquired taste but you will find his jazzy poetry will grow on you the more you listen
Jack In The Green-Jethro Tull (1977) another slice of 1977 from the forests of England. Tull always mixed Rock & traditional English folk music...never better than on the "Songs From The Wood album