So I just got back to Los Angeles, which is where I live – well, you don’t really “live” in L.A. so much as you float through a surreal strip-mall-and-freeway-exit life – and there is talk, once again, of the NFL coming back to town within a year or two or 200.
Shortly after I arrived in Los Angeles many, many tan lines ago, the Rams and the Raiders left. I immediately thought: What do they know that I don’t? Now, with seemingly half the league rumored to be relocating to L.A., I again think: What do they know that I don’t?
Here is a list of suspects that might relocate to Los Angeles: the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Notre Dame and the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Yes, the Rams and the Raiders – who, as I just mentioned, used to call L.A. home – might come back. Actually, many people here believe the Raiders still play in L.A., which accounts for the 5,000 or so people who show up drunk at the Coliseum every Sunday.
Alas, let me explain to Sports Nation why we in L.A. have little interest in the NFL being here.
For starters, there would be nothing special about NFL Sundays here. In Los Angeles, nobody works – every day is Sunday. New York is the city that never sleeps, L.A. is the city that sleeps in.
And if the NFL returns, it would involve a new venue. Frankly, there are three things L.A. does not need: Another stadium, another Starbucks and another Kardashian sister. We already have the Coliseum, the Rose Bowl, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium and the world’s largest Whole Foods Market, which, I’m told, is the size of four football stadiums. I also believe the Aaron Spelling mansion has a stadium in its backyard, next to the maids’ quarters.
WE DO NOT NEED ANOTHER STADIUM.
This new stadium would be built in the City of Industry, a suburb of L.A. (Note: Everything is a suburb of Los Angeles.) The stadium site would put it within reach of 12 million people in a 25-mile radius. Speaking for most of my fellow Angelenos, we would prefer another In-N-Out Burger within reach of 12 million people in a 25-mile radius. Not to mention, to go 25 miles in Los Angeles, you pack a light lunch and a living will.
Do you think anyone wants to find another reason to drive a long distance in L.A.? Heck, I usually hit traffic pulling out of my driveway.
Besides, I don’t think the NFL would allow 75,000 people to walk into a stadium with bottled water.
Granted, the NFL might need L.A. But the NFL won’t be getting L.A., it will be getting the City of Industry. You think of L.A. and you envision Beverly Hills, palm trees, Hollywood and Disneyland; the City of Industry is more EPA than L.A. It’s a tract of industrial land with some sewer lines, and a 7-Eleven.
When Randy Newman wrote, “I Love L.A.,” he specifically did not mention the City of Industry.
Anyway, the NFL is better on TV. And without the NFL in L.A., we get the best NFL on TV.
When you drive to a game, you only see that game. At home, I watch several games and avoid bathroom lines; meanwhile, Toni, a.k.a She Is The One (And Then Some), cooks better food than any stadium fare and she charges less.
Most importantly, L.A. doesn’t need the NFL because we have the greatest franchise in sports history: The sun.
It’s the best home-field advantage in America: warm weather, year-round. Given a choice between sitting in the Santa Monica sand gazing at the Pacific Ocean and sitting in a stadium gazing at, say, a Rams-Buccaneers game, trust me – the beach is a 131/2-point favorite.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Shouldn’t President Obama be ashamed that he does not allow women into his White House hoops games? (Tim Silver; Indianapolis)
A. The president prefers to play basketball with men only. The Slouch has a similar policy with Yahtzee.
Q. So how long is your ban-on-NFL-Sundays going to hold? (Janine Carter; Cypress, Texas)
A. I was glued to the NFL’s Red Zone Channel less than 24 hours after finishing that column.
Q. Like parents teaching their kid a lesson by having him smoke cigarettes one after another, hoping he’ll get sick and quit, should Fox make Tim McCarver work alone for a game? (John Swope; Irwin, Pa.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.