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Forbes' annual report on the NFL is in the current issue, complete with team valuations. The average team is now worth an estimated $898 million, up another 9-10% over the previous year. Also included is a story on Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders. Among several interesting items in the piece is a discussion of Davis' current lawsuit against his NFL partners, in which he claims ownership of the territorial rights to Los Angeles. Davis got rich by being independent and aggressive towards fellow owners, including his partners with the Raiders. The piece suggests that this strategy is now harming the franchise, as they lag behind in developing the recent income streams accruing elsewhere in the league.

At USA Today, Steve Weiberg examines the impact of the recent rule changes in College Football. Compared to opening weekend last year, there were 13 fewer plays (a decline from 139 to 126), and scoring decreased by 4.5 points. The objective - to shorten game times - was achieved, with a 17 minute decrease to an average of 3 hours and 3 minutes. I'm not sure the tradeoff is favorable though, unless one believes there were too many plays to begin with. A time savings of 8.5% was achieved by reducing the number of plays by 9.4%. The savings are real, but a rather big chunk of the game has been tossed aside to get them.

Update: Here's an informative story, with commentary from USF economist Phil Porter and others, on an attempt to build a new spring training complex in Sarasota for the Cincinnati Reds. Among Porter's better lines is this: "The hotels are the only people to benefit, and they've already told you the tax isn't worth it."