Instead of dabbling around my topic and teasing you with metaphors and similes, I thought I’d quit with the small talk and go straight to my point. Well, here it goes…Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wants two football teams in the city of Los Angeles, CA. Now Governor, you cut our school funding, depleted jobs, and constantly butcher the name of our state, so please, at least leave football alone and stick with what you know (or think you know).
What worries me is that it’s not just Governor Schwarzenegger that wants a football team in L.A., but NFL team owners and Commissioner Paul Tagliabue have all expressed interest in bringing a franchise to L.A. I don’t see how expansion is going to help the NFL when all I can think of are all of the negative aspects.
Currently, there are thirty-two teams in the NFL, sixteen in each conference, and four teams belonging to four divisions in each conference. The way the divisions are set up as of now are great. Each team faces a team from their division twice a year, the schedules and bye weeks-a week in which a team doesn’t have to play a game-are set up fairly, and the playoff format is arguably the best out of any sport. But, if there were to be one expansion team, or even two, then that would change a lot of things with the NFL. For example, there would be divisions compromising of different amount of teams, meaning that there would be teams that have to play more games within its division than others, and the playoff format would have to change a bit to accommodate a new team. If there were an odd number of teams in the NFL, then that means that there would have to be at least one team on a bye week for every week in the sixteen-week season. But with an even number of teams, the schedule makers are allowed to stop handing out bye weeks until about week eight, because the NFL wants the competition to increase in the second half of the season, and they also don’t want a team, especially a playoff-bound team, to get a rest late in the year.
People say that history doesn’t repeat itself, but in this case, it might. Between 1982 and 1995, LA had not one, but two football teams. Beginning to sound familiar? Because of factors such as a recession in the L.A. County area, an inability to upgrade the arena, unable to garner much fan interest, and being known as NFL “doormats” because they couldn’t win very many football games, the two teams moved on to cities with better facilities and a higher fan interest. Known as the L.A. Rams and L.A. Raiders, the two franchises would eventually relocate to different cities, as the Rams moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and the Raiders returned to Oakland, California.
Obviously, we’re all aware of the lore that comes with L.A. The only reason why there’s interest in having a team in L.A. is because it’s a huge market, and there’s a serious amount of money to be made. But as I reiterated, even though there’s the potential of making a lot of money in a certain city, there’s no point in having a franchise there if the fans aren’t interested in the sport. Let’s take the L.A. Dodgers for example. The old joke is that their fans come to the game at somewhere around the second inning, and leave before the seventh.
I’m sure that there are some football fans in L.A., in fact, football fans are everywhere. However, if the NFL wants to introduce a new football team, then at least offer it to a city or county in which the population not only cares for football, but will also attend the games. Don’t let the home of blonde hair and fake breasts have the franchise.