by Bob Sparrow
With Suzanne’s well-written admonitions still echoing in our heads from last week, I thought the weighty topic of Los Angeles and professional football would be an appropriate blog subject as a break from our tax-dulled senses. Metaphorically speaking, if taxes and dying in San Francisco were a rodeo, this blog is the clown that jumps out of the barrel to distract the bull, maybe in this case to sling the bull.
Like many of you, I couldn’t care less whether LA ever gets a professional football team; I am a 49ers fan for life who wouldn’t drive to LA to see a game if I had a seat next to Kate Upton . . . OK, maybe then, but I wouldn’t be watching the game! I do, however, miss that 49ers-Rams ‘north-south’ rivalry and so have paid some attention to all the talk lately around various billionaires building space-age stadiums (paid for with our tax dollars – Oops, I was trying not to mention taxes) in various parts of the city to attract an NFL team. So why am I convinced that the country’s second largest media market, which once had two NFL teams, will not be getting another one anytime soon?
First, after USC’s Reggie Bush took a pay cut to go to the NFL a few years back, some would suggest that LA already has a professional football team, but that would be a cheap shot.
The main reason for no team in LA is the make up of the LA fan. I have observed three types; the first have luxury boxes and are notorious for ‘making an entrance’ sociably late to the game, wearing the latest fashions and then, after being seen, leaving early to avoid the congestion getting out of the parking lot. The limited time they are at the game is used for consuming their Beef Wellington hot dogs, truffle fries and Bombay Safire martinis. These are the fans that would root for their team to ‘kick a touchdown’.
The second type of fan are those that are not originally from Los Angeles, which is about 80% of the southern California population. The only time they go to a game is when their hometown team comes into town to play. Those from Chicago, for example, even though they left the ‘Windy City’ 20 years ago, would not give up rooting for ‘da Bears’ in favor of rooting for the ‘L.A. La De Dahs’. I personally was part of this group when Rams games were being played in Orange County; when the 49ers came to town, I’d go to the games and there would be a sea, make that a bay, of San Francisco red and gold covering the entire stadium. The NFL is concerned that these are the fans that would get beat up, by the third type of fan, in the parking lot after the game for wearing the visiting team’s colors.
The third type of fan are the ones left over from the Oakland Raiders 12-year, forgot-to-pay-the-rent visit to Los Angeles. This group, who dressed like every game was Halloween, are not so much crowd members as they are ‘gang members’. With this group the NFL would be concerned that if an LA team lost a game or the refs made a bad call that these guys would riot in the streets and then go home and burn their own houses down. Game food for this gang is Beer Chicken, hold the chicken.
The other NFL franchise owners are another reason why LA will never have a team. They must approve any move to a new city by any other current team, so each team’s owner, always looking to get stadium up-grades (from city taxes – dang, there I go again!), threatens to move to LA – eventually their city acquiesces and the owners breathe a big sigh of relief that they don’t have to move their team, and themselves, to ‘the land of fruits and nuts’.
The NFL might also be concerned that a ‘Tinsel Town’ team might employ people like Miley Cyrus, the Kardashian sisters and Bruce Jenner as their cheerleaders.
In the true spirit of Los Angeles football, one potential owner already indicated his choice for a mascot when he said, “ The team mascot should be The White Broncos, to commemorate O.J. Simpson’s infamous police chase through the city.”
Don’t worry, it ain’t gonna happen!