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Pro football in L.A.: Paging James Cameron

LA Football stadium

For a city that doesn't even have a team, the NFL sure has been getting a lot of ink lately in Los Angeles.

There's Times sports columnist Bill Dwyre's suggestion Thursday that the NFL should award L.A. two teams. And warnings from Times columnists Tim Rutten and Steve Lopez, and Op-Ed writer Greg Nelson, about a raid on city taxpayers by those seeking to bring pro football back to the Southland. Even The Times' architecture critic, Christopher Hawthorne, jumped in, critiquing the stadium-design proposals.

Sheesh, if we actually got a team, there wouldn’t be enough newsprint to handle the strain.  

Trouble is, they're all wrong. 

Not about L.A. needing a pro football team. It's the old-school thinking.

What L.A. needs –- what fits this town exactly -– is a pro football fantasy team.

Someone call James Cameron. King of the world, right? Tell him we’re gonna have a fantasy team, and he's going to coach -- I mean, produce -- it. Everything in 3-D, including the cheerleaders.

First, the new stadium. We'll build it on a sound stage at Universal Studios. It'll be 8 feet by 4 feet, and it'll cost about 100 bucks. But when Jimmy gets through with it, it'll make the Titanic look like a rowboat.

Then the team. That's easy. As The Times’ Mike DiGiovanna wrote, L.A. is full of fans, and they're all rooting for other teams because of course everyone in L.A. is from somewhere else.

So we'll draft the best players from everywhere. At middle linebacker, Dick Butkus. At quarterback, Joe Montana. Running back? Gotta be Jim Brown.

These guys are too old, you say? Guess you haven't seen Joan Rivers lately -- she's 77 but looks 25 (OK, 45). And look what Cameron did with that guy in "Avatar."

Besides, every kid in America has Madden pro football or something like it at home in his game console. So it's not like we have to invent the wheel.

Really, football today is a TV show. Sure, a few folks go to the stadium and freeze, or get rained on, or get in fights.  And drink. But mostly pro football exists for TV, for gambling, and for fantasy football leagues.

All I'm suggesting is that we cut out the expensive stuff, like the stadium and the players.

It's what L.A. does best:  It’s all a fantasy.  And it'll make a lot of money.

Oh, and tell Cameron I want 10%, and I want it on the front end.


Protecting L.A.'s pocket

Resist the NFL blitz

For L.A., a football fix?

Cartoon: Ted Rall on pro football alternatives

Discuss: Should downtown L.A. have a football stadium?

-- Paul Whitefield

Photo: A look at the inside of Gensler's proposed football stadium for downtown L.A. Credit: Gensler


Comments () | Archives (23)

The comments to this entry are closed.


The NFL thinks it needs a team in LA, but the residents of LA know they can survive very well without a team to root for. Any plan to build a new stadium comes with some taxpayer expense and that's a non-starter. Go away NFL, we don't need you anymore.


Not everybody in LA is from out of town.. Us true LA natives are dying to have a team.....


And where is the money going to come from? Isn't California 25 billion dollars in debt. What's that's not enough? Can't even take care of it's taxpaying citizens now someone someplace thinks that people can afford to go to a freaking football game. 25 BILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT. Take a hike, NFL...which stands for Not For Long in L.A. NFL-LA.


LA had its team, the LA Rams and the NFL allowed it to be move to ... Saint Louis????? of all places by the wicked witch of the east. We have been pretty well since and unless you NFL cough up the money we don't need you. Anyway the NFL only needs LA as a thread to lure other rubes to come up with their ransom money.


What is strange hear is that AEG has come up with this stadium that proposes to tear down the West Hall of the convention center and the Mayo and City council have not taken a position or said a word.


If the NFL and it's billionaire owners want their league in LA then they need to totally pay for it themselves.... just like any other business.... and quit begging for WELFARE from taxpayers.


How about a nice Soccer nook? 45,000 seats will be more than enough, every seat in the stadium will be a good seat. Soccer fans enjoy the urban life so no need for a huge parking lot train and buses will do fine. You can have matches year round instead of the short season the NFL has. Also NFL fan base is forecast to be reduced in about 20 years.

marvin williams

The NFL doesn't want an NFL team in LA. Why? because that way every owner who wants a new NFL stadium built can threaten the city they play in of leaving for LA so tax payers will agree to their demands and fork over the money to do so. It's called leveage and has worked since the Raiders and Rams left. Don't believe me, watch the Chargers and see what they do!


I hope this article only came out online because otherwise it would be a complete waste of ink.


See I'm all for a new stadium to be built in L.A., hell the Chargers have been wanting a new stadium for years. I say build a new stadium, and move the Chargers to L.A., but then again we are $25 Billion in debt and I really think what happened for the new Florida Marlins stadium would happen in L.A. What Happen you ask? See the Florida Marlins threw a fit, on how they needed a new stadium, and the Marlins could have paid for a significant amount of the new stadium’s construction themselves and still turned an annual operating profit. Instead, they cried poor to con feckless politicians that sold out their constituents.

Somehow a team that listed its operating income as a healthy $37.8 million in 2008 alone swung a deal in which it would pay only $155 million of the $634 million stadium complex. Meanwhile, Miami-Dade County agreed – without the consent of taxpayers – to take $409 million in loans loaded with balloon payments and long grace periods. By 2049, when the debt is due, the county will have paid billions. In 2009, when the Marlins started spending some of their profits on their portion of the stadium, they still had an operating income of $11.1 million.

The team fought to conceal the $48.9 million in profits over the last two years because the revelation would have prompted county commissioners to insist the team provide more funding. So local governments, gifting them a new stadium that will cost generations of taxpayers an estimated $2.4 billion.


Why is this still being discussed? State and county coffers are about to be hit up. The entertainment of the NFL can wait, unless they pay for it 100% themselves, WITHOUT ANY BONDS ISSUED.

End of discussion. Economic sense trumps the desire to have an NFL team to anyone with any logical sense.


LA Native here and I've never given a damn about having a team. Hearing anything about the NFL is like hearing about how well the stock market is doing - completely irrelevant to 99.999 per cent of the people, unless you care that the billionaires can buy more yachts.

Cosmo Kramer

LA wants a team? The NFL has allowed two teams to leave LA? If the NFL wants into LA, then let the NFL, AEG and the new owners put up every cent that is to be invested in a new arena. AEG has sucked enough money from public coffers and received enough tax breaks.

You build it, you pay for it..maybe we will come.


Wow, this article was so terrible it gave me cancer!


Let the NFL float some bonds to pay for the team.

Don't Care Native

Not enough of us care about a team in LA and we are not willing to use public funds to build stadium even if we had the money.


Let's make a deal: you Billionaire Owners can bring your team to Los Angeles IF:

1) You profit-share 15% of all annual profits with the City of Los Angeles for education and social services.
2) You pay for 100% of your stadium costs out of your own pockets, with 0% coming from the taxpayer.
3) Pay for Responsible Drinking and Anti-Domestic Violence ad campaigns in Los Angeles.

Then I think we got a deal. But don't come to us asking for a taxpayer handout when your bank account is already full.

s. security

Is LA swamped with spare cash? If not, read on...


Cory Beach

Why doesnt LA just do like Green Bay does, there is no one owner its owned by the people. I think theres plenty of money here in LA to allow something like that. However it will only make driving much much worse :(


No offense, but talk about a waste of ink... or eh... key strokes.


There's so much more to the NFL than this guy says on his Op. LA natives want a team. We've been left in the dust come Super Bowl Sunday. Sure it would cost money to build. What doesn't? Think if the Super Bowl came to L.A. and how much revenue the surrounding businesses would get. The place the new stadium would be built is in serious need of a makeover. Basically, I want an NFL team in L.A. And by the way, the NFL is also a goal for certain kids. Keep them off the streets. Hell if it's not a book then I'd rather it be a football.

Benny Lee

We need a new football team here.....sounds like a great idea to me...

John Dingler, artist

I don't want a retread team, you know, from some other city. I want an original team created right here in Los Angeles.

I also want a socialist team, one like the Green Bay Packers who are owned by the people not by some rich dude who says he's a free enterpriser but who then seeks financing, a socialist move, from the strapped city of Los Angeles.

That friggin' Rightwing NFL prohibits any team to be financed in that fashion except for the GBP. Why? It needs to explain that Stalinist exception to the people of LA.



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