Professional Football Passes On Los Angeles, Thank Goodness
This is a great blessing to this community, and, to its credit, the Times editorial accepts it with good grace, if it doesn't exactly applaud. The editorial points out that it would have cost someone $2 billion to bring a team here, by the time they rebuilt the Coliseum and paid franchise fees.
I applaud, because I think pro football is an abomination and that the college sport is much better. L.A. has two great college teams, in USC and UCLA, and most weeks they outdraw the pro teams across the nation. Now, the Coliseum Commission is free to make a long-lasting deal with USC, and the grand old stadium can keep its more than 90,000 seats and won't have to be downsized to NFL television needs.
The Times editorial remarks, "After a decade of dithering by NFL owners on the question of whether and where to put a pro football team in Los Angeles, during which time construction costs have skyrocketed, the economic equation has changed so much that it may no longer pencil out."
The Times is not wasting time agonizing. In fact, this year, under sports editor Randy Harvey, its college football coverage has been improved, and we saw that demonstrated again last weekend with the tremendous coverage Times sportswriters gave UCLA's near miss at upsetting Notre Dame.
This was a game for the ages, and the Times had the grace to put a nice picture of Fighting Irish heroes Brady Quinn and Jeff Samardzija beside the top of the lead article. It was Brady's pass to the all-American Samardzija that won the game for the Irish.
There was quite a bit of criticism of UCLA play calling after the game, but T.J. Simers, the Times' impudently humorous sports columnist, came back to the subject a day or two later to show, in one of his serious articles, that the options to pass instead of run the ball, when UCLA was trying for a game-clinching first down, were not all that good. After all, Notre Dame defeated Michigan State on a pass interception when State tried to run out the clock by passing. It is very hard, teams have found, to spoil the luck of the Irish.
I don't want to shock my audience too much, but the only thing better than having USC and UCLA playing in L.A., would be to have Notre Dame move here permanently. That would be far more satisfactory than acquiring a pro team.
L.A., as the Times editorial points out, hardly needs a pro football team to esteem itself. Now, if we can only get a home-owned newspaper, we'd have everything.