Pro football in L.A.: Paging James Cameron
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.
-- Paul Whitefield
Photo: A look at the inside of Gensler's proposed football stadium for downtown L.A. Credit: Gensler