At a reception last Thursday in Newport Beach, Calif., hours after the league announced the Seahawks' return to Kirkland, Behring acted as if Tagliabue's salvo had barely grazed him. He assured Orange County leaders that he's resolved to move his team to Sportstown, the proposed entertainment-and-sports complex envisioned as a replacement for Anaheim Stadium.
The NFL's stand against Behring is probably motivated less by a desire to protect the fans of Seattle than by the hopes of controlling the valuable L.A. market. Nevertheless, the league should be applauded for trying to end the relocation anarchy. And there's one reason the NFL believes it can defeat Behring in a legal battle: He was among the owners who in March '95 approved a resolution allowing the commissioner's office to regulate moves to the L.A. area.
Touching Important Bases
While the NFL was taking steps to get its house in order, baseball's owners moved to bring stability to their game. On March 21 they approved a revenue-sharing plan and presented a proposal to the players' union that at last offers hope for a labor agreement.
Under the revenue-sharing plan, which still needs union approval, high-revenue teams like the New York Yankees would pay millions to help their low-revenue brethren in places like Pittsburgh and Montreal. That's progress: After all, the Yankees' George Steinbrenner, who under the plan would contribute approximately $5.9 million to a $58 million pool (which could grow to as much as $80 million in two years) for the needier teams, once said he would never pay a penny to help a troubled rival franchise.
The owners' proposal, presented by chief negotiator Randy Levine, reduced the length of the agreement from seven to six years and contained modest concessions to players on the issues of the luxury payroll tax and salary arbitration. Even the usually skeptical Peter Angelos, owner of the Baltimore Orioles, says he thinks there will be an agreement in 60 days. Considering that players and owners scarcely talked during the long, cold winter, that news is as welcome as spring.
Recently we told you about a pair of Indiana congressmen who were sponsoring a bill to mandate the use of instant replay to review close calls in pro sports (SI, March 18). Well, they're not the only lawmakers working hard in the public's interest. Florida state senator Howard Forman has introduced a bowling safety act that would regulate "the duties of bowling-center operators, bowlers, spectators and other customers" in the Sunshine State. The bill, which according to Forman is intended to curb rising insurance costs, calls for the posting of a sign in bowling alleys warning of "the risks that are inherent in bowling and in being in a bowling center." It also includes this valuable tip to keglers: "When bowling, maintain reasonable control of the bowling ball." The bill is currently up for discussion before the judiciary committee, where we hope it won't veer into gutter politics.
Image Is Everything
Andrew Levy, who teaches literature and cultural studies at Butler University in Indianapolis, doesn't exactly see swastikas in the image above. But the shapes he does see are "too much like swastikas to ignore." The design, of two torch-bearing runners, is displayed on a T-shirt in a glass case at Chicago's Nike Town—a five-story, museumlike retail outlet draped in Bullsiana and graced with a statue of Michael Jordan. Levy notes the swastika resemblance in "Play Will Make You Free," which is among the essays to be included in a soon-to-be published collection, The Americanization of the Holocaust, and which is excerpted in the April issue of Harper's.
The image adorns the BUILDING NIKE TOWN shirts that were printed to celebrate the store's 1992 opening. Designer Alan Colvin wanted to create an image that would evoke both runners and construction workers. "In four years we've never had a complaint," says Nike spokesman Lee Weinstein. "This guy [Levy] is using an overactive imagination to make an extreme intellectual point. We don't see anything there."