By Jerry MackeyDUBUQUE, Iowa (July 17) – The IMCA Weekly Racing Series action at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds Speedway on Sunday night included a fantastic Out-Pace Racing Products IMCA Late Model feature that saw two Dubuque drivers battle for the entire 25 laps.Luke Merfeld and Joel Callahan delighted the fans with plenty of wheel-to-wheel action and slide jobs were a big part of the tight racing. When the checkered flag flew it was Merfeld scoring the win and the $300 bonus money from sponsors, Pro Care Auto of Dubuque and Associated Real Estate Counselors of Preston. Callahan settled for second with Luke Goedert taking third.The Merfeld Brothers Automotive IMCA Modifieds also put on a hotly contested race with Matt Gansen getting to the checkers with less than a half car length win. Mark Schulte raced Gansen very hard but came up just short at the finish line.Tyler Soppe scored his 19th feature win of the 2016 season by topping the GSI Collision Specialists IMCA Northern SportMod feature. Troy Bauer got into second with five laps to go but was unable to get by Soppe as the laps ran out.Jerry Miles returned to victory lane on Sunday night with a feature win in the 15 lap IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature.
It seems that every year another “NFL to Los Angeles” headline pops up. The Los Angeles Rams and Raiders fans appear in mass numbers, the NFL dismisses the notion, and a few weeks later it’s as if the rumor never happened.This NFL offseason has produced not one, not two, but three possible teams heading to L.A. as soon as the 2016 season. Rams owner Stan Kroenke has publicly said he will be moving his team to Inglewood to play in an 80,000 seat stadium built on the former site of the Hollywood Park racetrack.The Raiders and Chargers have proposed a joint stadium located in Carson that would host both teams and contain a large number of restaurants and other venues surrounding the stadium, similar to L.A. Live next to the Staples Center.All this happened while a proposal for a stadium located next to the Staples Center with funding, a naming sponsorship and city backing sat waiting for a team to commit.That plan now joins the approximately one million, just maybe a slight exaggeration, other stadium/team proposals that L.A. has seen since the Rams and Raiders bolted in 1994.Now, these stadium proposals sound nice and all, but I’m not buying into it yet. Not until shovel hits dirt will I believe that America’s biggest sport will return to the City of Angels.In my 21 years of life, I’ve been let down too many times from these fake rumors.Let’s just go over a brief history of the past 20 years since the NFL left before I explain why you shouldn’t get too excited over these new stadium proposals.In just over 20 years, Los Angeles has been linked to almost half of the teams in the NFL. In 1997, the Seahawks were supposed to move before getting a new stadium.In 1999, the expansion team was supposed to be in L.A. before Houston swooped in and convinced the NFL otherwise. In 2002, the Colts were supposed to move from Indianapolis before getting a new stadium.In the late 2000s, the 49ers, Vikings and Bills were all linked to Los Angeles before getting new stadiums from their respective cities.The reason I’m pointing this history out is because owners have used Los Angeles as a bargaining tool against cities that threaten to provide no funding for a new stadium. Owners have been taking advantage of L.A.’s vacancy as a way to leverage themselves.Imagine you have two friends: one who will buy you lunch, and another who won’t. You’d be much more likely to go to lunch with the friend who will buy you a nice sandwich than with the one who is going to leave you with the bill.Or, simply put, why would a small market team with an ancient stadium stay in a place like Minneapolis or Buffalo when sunny, beautiful California is awaiting?This is the main reason I am not willing to buy into these rumors that L.A. will have three teams playing here in fewer than two years.All these teams — the Rams, Raiders and Chargers -— play in some of the oldest stadiums in the NFL and have long been trying to get public financing for new stadiums.Adding to the controversy is the fact that the NFL has not backed either plan. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke Wednesday at the annual NFL meeting, and his words were not comforting to L.A. fans.“First, let me just say we’re focused on doing this right,” Goodell said. “If we go back to the Los Angeles market, we want to succeed for the long term, and we have a lot to do to get to that place. So we’re not focused on ‘16.”The fact that the NFL is not in the nation’s second largest market is inconceivable. L.A. teams such as the Lakers and Trojans are international brands that stretch all across the globe. With the NFL’s recent obsession with becoming a global game, one would figure L.A. would be the first step.The fact that the NFL has yet to back any of these plans has me feeling iffy on the whole subject.Furthermore, any team that does relocate to L.A. would have to play in a temporary stadium, such as the Rose Bowl or the Coliseum.The Rose Bowl is the most viable and realistic option, but if two teams were to move here like many expect, that would mean the stadium would host three teams.The venue is already limited to a certain number of days it can host events, meaning one team would have to play in the not-fully-suitable Coliseum.The NFL might very well return to Los Angeles in the near future, and it absolutely should.For now, however, I’m not buying into any rumors until I see a stadium being built, whether it be in Inglewood, Carson or some other city in Los Angeles.Nick Barbarino is a junior majoring in business administration. His column “Beyond the Arc” runs Fridays.