Give Los Angeles an NFL team or else the LA Times will get very sad

In just one day on the Los Angeles Times sports sections, there were two impassioned pleas from writers to get an NFL franchise in Los Angeles.

Appearing online first was Bill Dwyre's story about how the City of Baltimore has embraced the Ravens and how nice it would be for Los Angeles to have the same feeling:

But there is no escaping what an NFL team can bring in the way of entertainment and unity to a community, even a community such as Los Angeles, which is more sprawling megalopolis than city.

Maybe bygones will be bygones in time for our grandchildren's children to wear an NFL jersey to school on Fridays in the fall, and the words on the jersey will include "Los Angeles."

Might be kind of fun.

I never knew Ray Lewis could inspire the city of Baltimore so much.

Later, TJ Simers weighed in on an NFL franchise for Los Angeles, embracing the AEG plan to build a domed stadium/convention center in Downtown.

I've gone through Simers story trying to find out just why it is such a good idea to have a stadium, even if it is privately financed (and not everybody buys that idea), built in Downtown Los Angeles. It's mostly just a matter of prestige it seems. Or possibly just to give Simers something to write about.

Simers also believes that Dodger Stadium needs to be replaced:

The Dodgers are going to need a new stadium. If football comes first, the rich folks here will be putting down serious cash for luxury suites and club seats. Many will have already done so to remain close to the Lakers in Staples Center.

This assumes that there is a huge groundswell of support among Dodgers fans to replace Dodger Stadium. But there isn't. It might not be a great place for Simers to work, but the fans are still turning out in large numbers as always. Yes, the access isn't great. The parking is expensive. But, people still show up. If people disliked Frank McCourt now, just wait to see what the response would be if he tried to ask for a new stadium.

(And what would you do with the existing Dodger Stadium? I've got an idea. Tear it down and build public housing! Oh wait.... )

However, will people immediately take to an NFL team. Simers supposes that the St. Louis Rams could return home (the Los Angeles home, not the Cleveland home or the Anaheim home). Are fans going to re-embrace the Rams as their home team? That would be highly dependent upon how well the team would play.

Dwyre and Simers are both missing the time when they got to cover the NFL, which is the most prestigious beat in a sports department. (Very popular sport, easy travel, fairly short season, no three-day road trips to Pittsburgh, or mid-winter trips to Minneapolis) They can reminisce about Dieter Brock quarterbacking the Rams to the NFC championship game. Or they can discuss how a lot of the players they covered back in the 1980s are now suffering from debilitating brain injuries or chronic knee pain. Or how they can all feel warm and fuzzy about a sport that exists to give a lot of people the chance to gamble illegally.

If the people of Los Angeles need something to unite themselves around, I hope it's not an NFL team. The NFL cares about the people of Los Angeles about as much as the people of Los Angeles cared about the Rams and Raiders before they both left town, which is to say, not much.

The NFL and AEG are not in the business of making Los Angeles a better place. They are in the business of getting the NFL and AEG to make more money.



More by Bob Timmermann:
"It's Time for Everton Football"
UCLA starting to make Omaha a regular destination
LACMA mounts an exhibition that may be the best thing hardly anyone sees
Baseball's International Final Four comes to California
UCLA stumbles, falls, wanders around, and wins the Pac-12
Previous Native Intelligence story: The other football team in town resumes its trip to irrelevance

Next Native Intelligence story: Angeleno Datebook-November 11, 2010

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