Creme dela Cramer

It seems fairly obvious, from the trend of the franchise proliferation, that after the WFL, ITA, WTT and lacrosse leagues have run their collective course, pro sports magnate Gary Davidson and company will probably turn to a few ridiculous extremes.

Noting the speed in which new initialed combinations have joined the pro sports alphabet soup, it is only a matter of time before the moguls throw in the WTC, or World Team Crew.

Consider the possibilities: The pro crew circuit offers unlimited television potential. It is a safe bet that at least one obscure UHF station would offer a TV package to the "fledgling" league. A few cameras stationed on a couple of key bridges, several name announcers to add legitimacy, and the league is immediately on parity with most of the existing franchise operations.

Okay, maybe the big money will be skeptical. The colleges seem to have a monopoly on most of the sports' fans, and the turnstiles don't seem to be clicking too fast even at the university level. But we must have faith that the pro sports pushers can come up with some new twists, maybe breaking some of the old rules, to lure fans away from the traditional pro sports.

One can already imagine Davidson's first closed-door session when he secretly plans who will be drafting whom, hashing out the team names, and coming up with the inevitable "improvements" which will help revolutionize the "backward" sport...


"I suggest that in order to be more competitive--to beat the colleges at their own game, we've got to put more punch back in the boats," Davidson says. "We need a gimmick--motors. That's it-we will put motors on every shell. That oughta please those defense weary fans."

The crew bosses will also, by necessity, have to shorten the width of the boundaries--conceivably with massive landfill projects--to heighten the possibilities of collision, violence and general oar clashing. A natural outgrowth will be a finely-honed double-edged oar blade, sharp enough to cause at least a little bloodletting. "We need more donnybrooks, more bloodshed. We've got to get those hockey fans out on the banks," the profit hungry owners will be screaming.

Some of the larger cities, which don't naturally lend themselves so well to crew races, will require some rechanneled and diverted rivers, and possibly a few well-placed dams. Then franchises in such rapidly growing cities as Phoenix and Tucson, and the as-yet-untapped Death Valley Market, will fit well into the pro crew circuit's national scheme.

If not feasible financially, the World Team Crew league lends itself easily to promotional activities. Names rapidly come to mind, all of which follow the existing motifs of the already established pro sports outfits--the Chicago Boat for instance, or the Cleveland Canoes. But inevitably, if the team owners show their usual ingenuity in name choosing, we will no doubt see a team name in harmony with the Jets, Bets, Mets and Nets--the New York Wets.