Saturday, May 20, 2006
L.A. Says Yes to NFL.
The National Football League is finally about to return to Los Angeles. All I can say is, "What took you so long." Since 1996, the greater Los Angeles area - known as the southland - has been without a NFL team. In a bit of irony, the Rams and Raiders moved at the same time. Looking back, the Cleveland Rams relocated to Los Angeles in 1950 winning the NFL title in 1951. Twenty years later, Baltimore Colts' owner, Caroll Rosenbloom, traded franchises with the Rams, Dan Reeves. Roosenbloom took the Rams and the team won nine consecutive divisional crowns including one conference championship and a trip to the Super Bowl; however the Rams lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tragically, Rosenbloom drowned off the Florida coast and a nasty fight over ownership ensued between Rosenblooom's wife, Georgia, also his son, Steve. Georgia won moving the team from the ghetto like atmosphere of South Central to the cool, relaxing, lilly white confines of Anaheim, CA. As the only female owner in the NFL, Georgia couldn't believe her eyes when homely St. Louis offered 25-million dollars to leave plush Beverly Hills. Georgia accepted, but now what does she think about a new Los Angeles franchise being worth a cool $800-million. Meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders left the Bay area and moved to Los Angeles winning a world title in 1984. But when the city of Oakland offered Davis $10-million, he backed out of an agreement for a new stadium in Inglewood, CA and headed back to Oakland...A move he probably regrets. In Southern California, the NFL has two alternatives: a refurbished Memorial Colisuem or a 53-acre lot to build their own state of the art facility next to Anaheim stadium. A mile from Disneyland. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, former owner, Art Modell, described the Colisuem by saying, "Why would you waste a new dress on an old hooker?" Although city council members want to revitalize downtown, it would appear the stodgy NFL owners would rather be within ear shot of Disneyland rather than worrying about their hubcaps being stolen in rowdy South central. As for a team, the timing couldn't be better for the Chargers. Their lease with San Diego expires in 2010; a time when both stadiums could be up and running. New Orleans, meanwhile, has yet to be rebuilt, therefore its doubtful the Saints can hang around much longer. Jacksonville, FL does not have the economic vitality to remain a premier NFL town. So anyone of these clubs could be heading west.