Owners put more zip in site names

THE BALTIMORE SUN

In Monday's editions, it was reported incorrectly that Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell has one son. He has two, David and John.

The Sun regrets the error.

Well, at least he didn't name it after his dog.

Coco, Md.

Can you imagine?

Jack Kent Cooke can.

In case you missed it, the Redskins' owner is naming the site of his new stadium after his two sons, Ralph and John.

Raljon, Md.

Cooke said he dropped the "h" so it would look better.

Always looking out for the state, isn't he?

Governor Glendening is right -- Maryland didn't give away the store.

The name of a town, maybe, but not the store.

Cooke's new stadium will be in Landover, but by golly, the datelines from his temple of greed will read, "Raljon."

Why not Coco?

That would be beneath The Squire's dignity.

But get ready for Schottzie, Ohio.

Those owners, what will they think of next? First, they named their stadiums after the highest corporate bidder. Now, they're renaming the sites after their closest relatives.

Old question for an owner:

"When are you going to move?"

New question for an owner:

"What did you name your kids?"

Orioles owner Peter Angelos has two sons, John and Lou.

Parity, please!

Oriole Park at Camden Yards at Johnlou, Md.

Or, better yet, Loujon.

Ravens owner Art Modell has one son, David.

David, Md.

Not to be confused with Camp David, of course.

Angelos has too much pride in his hometown to pull such a stunt, but if he ever buys the Dodgers, he can rename the city "Los Angelos."

Modell?

He wanted the entire state named after him, but that's where tough-guy Glendening drew the line.

Talk about opening up a can of worms.

Brewers owner Bud Selig is negotiating for a new park in Milwaukee, and he has a daughter named Wendy.

Small-market heaven!

Selig can name his park McDonald's (after Ben) and his site Wendy's, creating promotional tie-ins with two national hamburger chains.

Then there's Atlanta owner Ted Turner.

He can name his site after his wife, Jane Fonda.

Hanoi, Ga.

Wait until the New York Yankees get their new stadium.

George Steinbrenner won't name the site after any of his kids.

It will be Bosstown, N.Y. -- or N.J., whichever the case may be.

As for the NFL, any city interested in expansion had better be prepared to name its site after the Sun King, commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

Either that, or build a museum.

Here's an even scarier thought:

Did Al Davis reproduce?

Indeed, the next increase in the price of stamps will be directly linked to the 6,723 new addresses created by the egomaniacs running professional sports.

Actually, Cooke once had a 16,000-acre ranch in California he called Raljon, and the name has taken on greater meaning after the death of his son, Ralph, a year ago.

He also has an 8-year-old daughter, Jacqueline, but Cooke resisted naming the site Raljon-Jacque, apparently fearing that Prince George's County would be confused with the south of France.

It's not that Jacqueline's name detracts from the elegance of "Raljon." It's just that she's the subject of a child-support dispute between Cooke and his ex-wife.

Sorry, kid.

Daddy is paying for his own stadium, with the state contributing $70 million in infrastructure.

He can do whatever he wants.

The U.S. Postal Service approves. Cooke's wife, Marlena, approves.

It could be worse.

Imagine what the name of the town would be if Cooke decided to name it after all of his wives.

"Live from Barbara-Jeanne-Suzanne-Marlena, Md., it's the Baltimore Ravens against the Washington Redskins!"

Instead, it will be live from Raljon.

What if Cooke had stayed in Washington, D.C.?

Would he have renamed part of the nation's capital?

Two other towns that rejected Cooke -- Alexandria, Va., and Laurel -- should consider themselves even luckier than before.

Unlike Landover, they won't be divided up like Berlin at the end of World War II.

The truth is, Cooke is onto something. In future years, owners won't simply name sites after their children.

They'll sell the little darlings the rights.

A new revenue stream!

Glory be!

News flash from the year 2000:

"Richie Rich Jr. today paid $10 million to his father, Dallas Cowboys owner Richie Rich Sr., ensuring that the site of the team's new stadium will be called Junior's Farm.

"Junior, 12, outbid his brother John, 15, and sister Mary, 18, but promised to name parking lots after each. Rich Sr. broke down in tears of gratitude, and promised to re-sign Junior's favorite player, Deion Sanders."

Just remember, it all started in Raljon.

Pub Date: 5/06/96

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