Foofaraw is about football, but another pro sport...

ALL THE

November 24, 1993

ALL THE foofaraw is about football, but another pro sport is meanwhile conferring expansion franchises. Two of them, in fact; recently on one city, in a few days on the other. The National Basketball Association thereby goes international. And what city sorry; make that major-market metro area) will be added to its 1995 roster?

Toronto, of course.

And the second city? Not Memphis or Jacksonville. The other franchise, it appears, will go to Vancouver.

Not Baltimore, either. Otherwise fixated, Baltimore's business community didn't even apply. Additional reasons are evident: the Arena, which seemed such a palace when in 1962 Baltimore finally built an indoor, multi-purpose civic center, has too few seats by 1993 standards (to meet an NBA payroll, you have to sell on the order of 20,000 tickets a game). And Baltimore is once more too close to Washington, meaning Landover (lately, unable to fill its own stands, Washington has been scheduling several games a season over here in too-few-seatsville).

A bit messy, the pro basketball scene too? What it really is, is disgusting. Baltimore's claim to football recognition has nothing to do with the geography of players; they come from all over. But in basketball, for years a main U.S. source for the best new talent has been the public playgrounds and public schools of Baltimore.

To make good, you Reggies and Tyrones and Muggsies, shake the dust of Baltimore. Go perhaps to Charleston, no no Charlottesville; oops, Charlotte. Charlotte already has an NBA franchise.

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