It's been a fast-paced fall for former Salt Lake Golden Eagles' public relations director Alisa (Acuna) Spilman, who's now director of public relations at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena.
First there was the mystery about whether the Raiders would remain in Los Angeles or move back to Oakland.And the past several weeks, Spilman's had to deal with national media attention focused on the Raider fans and their activities in the stands.
A fan was nearly beaten to death Sept. 23 in an incident during a Raider-Pittsburgh Steeler game, and Coliseum officials and police have enforced heavily publicized crack downs on violence. Sunday was beerless in the Coliseum, a one-time ban on beer at concession stands, a move to show the public that officials are serious about stopping the problems.
"It's been crazy," said Spilman about her personal life the past few weeks. She's been working 100 or more hours each week, having to handle all media requests regarding violence and drinking, setting up daily interviews for the Coliseum's general manager, attending meetings with police and city officials and handling all the public complaints about the beating and the drunkeness. "We try to return every call," she says.
The job pressure "has been really intense. I now consider myself a PR veteran," says Spilman, 26, who started her career with the Eagles after graduating from University of Southern California. After two years with the Eagles, 1986-87 and 1987-88, Spilman returned home to Los Angeles to work in the USC sports information office. She later took a PR job with the Los Angeles Cobras of the Arena Football League and has had the Coliseum/Sports Arena position for seven months.
"It's definitely a change from Salt Lake, a real learning experience," she says. "I guess this is what I was preparing for."
Despite the hassles, lack of sleep and no time to eat meals, Spilman says she's enjoying the challenges and experience.
In addition to SC and Raider games, and Clipper games at the Sports Arena, Spilman deals with concerts and all other events in the two facilities. She's been involved recently with a Nelson Mandela visit and concerts by Madonna, Billy Joel and David Bowie, among others.
Former Weber State cornerback Darryl Pollard of the San Francisco 49ers had six tackles for the second week in a row Sunday in the Niners' 45-35 win over Atlanta.
That gives him 25 tackles for the season, putting him second to Ronnie Lott on the 49ers' list. All 25 of Pollard's tackles this season have been solo tackles - no assists. Lott has 21 solos, so Pollard's the team leader in individual grabs. He has one quarterback sack and two passes defensed.
Houston's Al Smith, whose career record for tackles made at Utah State was just broken Saturday by Aggie linebacker Kevin Bouwman, had another good-tackling week for the Oilers, making nine tackles, five assists and a quarterback sack in the Oilers' 48-17 win over Cincinnati. He had eight tackles and five assists last week.
After a fumble-filled first quarter that ended up 3-2 for the New York Jets, the San Diego Chargers got things in gear while the Jets never did. It ended up 39-3 for the Chargers.
Said Jets' guard Trevor Matich, out of BYU, "When you get blown out like this, you just have to shrug, take a cold shower and get on with it." Matich, the long snapper, was involved in a mishandled first-quarter punt that resulted in a fumble recovered on the Jets' 19 by San Diego. Matich's snap was low to punter Joe Prokop. Prokop said later, though, "I should've caught it, whether it was low, high or outside."