According to Modell, the league wants to include the pay-per-view experiment in the next TV contract it negotiates with the networks, after the '93 season. He thinks pay-per-view football will work, unlike the pay-per-view Olympics. "The TripleCast taught me that pay-per-view will work for only special events," Modell says. "You can't charge people for something they get a load of on regular TV."
But isn't that just what the NFL plans to do? Most weeks, five games are available on free TV. "But if you want to see your favorite team, it may not be on locally," says Modell. "You only have 16 chances to see your team in a year."
But That Team Was Awful
Fifteen years ago Eddie DeBartolo Jr. paid $17 million for the 49ers. Last week DeBartolo paid $7.8 million to have Jerry Rice play wide receiver in San Francisco for the next three seasons.
The early line on the 1993 draft is that it will be mediocre. On one team's draft board only two players are rated 7.0 or higher (immediately helpful as rookies, on a scale of 9): Notre Dame quarterback Rick Mirer and Washington tackle Lincoln Kennedy.... With all the attention paid to the Astros' 26-game road trip, consider this: The Oilers racked up even more mileage playing five preseason away games in August. The total was 19,468 miles—from Houston to Tokyo to Houston to Detroit to Houston to Dallas to Houston to New Orleans to Houston to Los Angeles to Houston.... The Aug. 26 trade that sent sack artist Charles Haley from the 49ers to the Cowboys looks like a good one for Dallas. Haley is 28 and in reasonably good health, and here's what he cost the Cowboys: a second-round pick in 1993 and San Francisco's choice of either a swap of first- and third-round picks with Dallas in '93 or a third-round pick in '94. The Cowboys got assurances from their doctors that Haley has recovered from shoulder and knee injuries, both of which required surgery in the off-season. And Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson may be the only coach east of Al Davis who can handle Haley's mood swings.
Game of the Week
Washington at Dallas, Monday. The Rivalry is back. In February players from the Redskins and the Cowboys barnstormed through Texas together, playing charity basketball games. There wasn't much mingling, though, between the Cowboys and the Skins. "We'd be in the back of the bus, playing cards, listening to loud music, having a few beers," says Dallas wideout Michael Irvin. "They'd be in front, being quiet, reading. We're like, 'What is this, a library?' Strange dudes."
The End Zone
Lamar Hunt owns the Kansas City Chiefs and is one of the 29 partners who own the Chicago Bulls. In the final round of last April's NFL draft, K.C. took a flier on Oklahoma State basketball guard Corey Williams, who hasn't played football since he was a defensive back in the ninth grade. In June's NBA draft the Bulls chose Williams in the second round. Thus Hunt could be spending money to pay Williams both in basketball (the Bulls have signed him, and he'll give basketball a shot first) and in football. "I guess it's one step beyond the Bo Jackson thing," says Hunt, "although I don't see how it's possible to play both sports."
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