It has been fifteen years since the Raiders moved to Oakland and the Rams to St. Louis leaving Los Angeles without a professional football team.On every level it is ridiculous that LA, the nation’s second largest city, is not represented with a franchise in the National Football League.
During this time the City of Angels has proven itself fiscally able to enrich two baseball teams, two major college football programs, one NBA team and the LA Clippers. It seems a no brainer that if they planted a football team in Southern California it would be one of the hottest tickets in town and would draw much more revenue from merchandise, sponsors, and ticket sales than po-duck towns like Jacksonville or Charlotte. But perhaps the owners that profit from the NFL’s fortunes have purer motivations than greed.
For Los Angeles is a unique city. No one is from here. Some move to LA from Philadelphia, others from El Salvador. There’s the Armenians and the Ethiopians and the Chicagoans. They all come here with a dream. Sure, the dream gets stomped on, but before they get a chance to dust off the shoeprints twenty other immigrants from far away lands like Thailand or Boston have crossed the city’s borders.
No place represents LA’s eclecticism like a sports bar on a Sunday. You have your Giants fans and your Eagles fans. You have the Cholo in the Raiders hat and the mountain man with a Broncos jersey. It’s the United Nations with Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap.
If LA had a football team all this variety would vanish.
The great aspect of this for native Angelenos is growing up without a football team gives them the freedom of choice. I am stuck with the Dolphins and all the frustrations they provide because I was raised in Miami. But a child born in LA can root for them because he likes the aqua hues of their uniform or they can support the Buffalo Bills because they are self-loathing or they can root for the New York Jets because there is darkness in their hearts.
Some cherish sports because of the unity it can bring a community. I for one, prefer the dysfunctions that stem from diversity.
Note: Just a reminder I am writing about the NFL and more specifically the Miami Dolphins throughout the football season on http://blogblitz.nfl.com/miami-dolphins.