March 1, 2010: Ndamukong Suh gets loose on the field in Indianapolis. He got loose on NFL offenses last season.
Is the National Football League regretting its decision to hold the Super Bowl in Arlington, Texas near Dallas? I think so. The “L” in NFL could stand for lawyers or lawsuit.
Shout out to the seating fiasco at Cowboys Stadium. The league is forking out free tickets like they were slices of birthday cake at Jerry Jones’ surprise party. Or was it a party full of surprises? That's a rhetorical question—but ouch.
The icing on the cake, surprisingly, was the icy weather during Super Bowl Week. With the Arlington fiasco in mind, I thought the Lone Star State could use some professional American football redemption.
The NFL Combine could help to redeem us by coming here. San Antonio is a warm weather wonderland where professional football is currently without a permanent presence. Such a move of the Combine could boost the NFL’s fan base in South Central Texas—Roger Goodell.
His NFL will hold its annual National Invitation Camp—or NFL Combine—from February 23-March 1. Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., is the host site.
By invitation only, over 300 hopefuls and prospects for the draft are slated to attend. I’m sure the next great workout warriors would appreciate some sunshine. While they probably won’t be hitting up any River Walk pubs, the coaches, general managers and scouts probably will be.
The Alamodome is available to host professional football and anything with “Alamo” in it screams of warrior. From visiting or revisiting the actual Alamo, the workout warriors could find inspiration.
In hosting visitors during three different NCAA Basketball Final Four weekends, the River City held its own. Good weather, great events and an overwhelmingly supportive community made the 2008 Men’s Final Four a rousing success.
The Women’s Final Four returned in 2010 after being held in San Antonio in 2002. The 2002 Women’s Final Four set an event-record with 29,619 fans both days. That record is still golden.
The president of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament Committee, Tom O’Connell, gave San Antonio an “A+ with a gold star” for 2010.
While there could be other events going on in town, hotel space should be cool for the NFL Combine contingent.
The NCAA asks for at least 8,500 “first-class” hotel rooms. According to economic projections from organizations including the Indiana Sports Corporation in 2004, Final Fours have a $20-30 million positive impact on the host community.
The fans obviously have more impacting things to do in Indianapolis during the Combine. March Madness is approaching, and Butler University is trying to make it back to the Final Four.
Football is finally the undisputed king of the four major sports in America, but it has room to grow. The daily attendance at Dallas Cowboys camp looks to me as if it surpasses the total attendance at the Combine in Indianapolis.
Some cities are football hungrier than others. Hoping for an NFL franchise, subliminally, San Antonio is one of the hungrier cities—although hopes have waned. Rumors of an NFL franchise coming to town have gone from running rampant to fading over the years.
When real estate maven Red McCombs owned the Minnesota Vikings, there was talk about the franchise coming here. McCombs owns a couple of car dealerships here and once owned the city's sports jewel—the Spurs.
New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson is a San Antonio resident. There was speculation surrounding the Saints possibly relocating in 2001—and San Antonio was the primary target.
In 2005, he brought his team to town to play its Hurricane Katrina schedule in the dome. It was then one of the few positives coming out of the destruction unleashed on New Orleans. I saw the Atlanta Falcons and Michael Vick—for the first and only time—in person at the Alamodome.
Dallas Cowboys camp, of course, draws nice-sized crowds there. It’s more than a nice gesture by the Cowboys to show up at the dome and around town. Jones is also benefiting by building his fan base from South Central Texas to Central America.
It would be nice to have the NFL Combine in sunny South Central Texas—San Antonio. To Roger Goodell, don’t worry—I won’t take credit if you decide to make San Antonio the Combine's new city. I just want as much NFL football as possible in the Alamo City.
We’re getting a new Division I football program with a coach who’s won a national championship already in his career. Greater San Antonio gobbles up football—maybe more than basketball—in certain areas like Schertz and Cibolo.
The city would welcome and wolf down the chance to see NFL coaches and players in person via the Combine. Lone Star State NFL redemption. Let’s do it.