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Sports Then and Now



WPS Troubles: Here We Go Again 3

Posted on May 14, 2011 by John Wingspread Howell

Action on the feld has been good in 2011, but off the field issues persist for the WPS.

It seems a decade ago but it was only last Fall, when rumors abounded that two WPS Franchises were on the verge of folding. One: The Bay Area’s FC Gold Pride, had just captured the league championship. The rumors turned out to be true. The other: Washington Freedom appeared to be rescued by telecom startup mogul, Dan Borislow, who would eventually move the club to South Florida and re-name it after his company: Magic Jack.

A third franchise, The Chicago Red Stars, not even rumored to be in trouble, was unable to attract additional investors and suspended play for the 2011 season.

Chicago and Gold Pride joined Los Angeles and St. Louis in the dumpster of defunct original league franchises, leaving only Boston, Sky Blue FC (New Jersey) and Magic Jack of the original seven clubs, along with expansion teams Atlanta and Philadelphia. League officials had already stated that they needed six clubs in order to have a season. Enter Buffalo Meat Mogul Joe Sahlen, who upgraded his W-League Champion Buffalo Flash to the WPS as the sixth franchise. That move appeared to save the league for the 2011 season.

Now comes the announcement from WPS that Magic Jack is non-compliant and under sanction. At issue is the team’s staging its first three home games without complying with several league rules, including those requiring display of sponsor field boards and submission of match video. Read the rest of this entry →

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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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