If we build it , they will come , but what happens if we don’t ? Who gives a fu#k ?
The NFL yearns for an NFL franchise back in the city of Los Angeles, but here lies the continued idiocy of the issue. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell knows the very fact , the city has severe financial budgetary woes, but still, as usual, the league will try to suggest the addition of a franchise would be of benefit to the municipality and the state . California and its legislature are odds over how to deal with the state’s fiscal issues and Governor Jerry Brown has yet to come up with a satisfactory solution and both legislative chambers in Sacramento , continue to bicker among themselves as who is ultimately to blame for the financial morass. Brown’s predecessor former Hollywood action star Arnold Schwarzenegger was like a ” bull in a China shop” during his tenure as the state’s top elected official, having, not come up with one economic solution for the state’s economic crisis. If that were not enough, the debt has increased, along with a litany of other growing issues for the state, with several municipalities statewide facing severe budget crunches.
California might well be one of the most populated states in the country and the city of Los Angeles might well have the nation’s second largest advertising market behind New York City , but the underlying issues are , teams that were once domiciled within the city chose to leave for a litany of reasons. Clearly , if those reasons have not been addressed and clarified by the league hierarchy and the primary political leaders at the municipal , county and state levels , then the likely return of a franchise to the city of Los Angeles will not come about for the foreseeable future. Teams such as the San Diego Chargers , St Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders are said thought to be the likely franchise that would benefit from brought to the city , because of the uncertainty concerning their various stadium issues .
The Chargers are currently playing in the archaic Qualcomm Stadium and were team owner, Dean Spanos to uproot the team to move the franchise , then the organization would be subject to a large financial penalty , having broken their existing lease with the city of San Diego, who are the owners of the municipally owned venue. Mark Davis , owner of the Oakland Raiders , long dissatisfied with the O. Coliseum in Oakland, California , would like nothing better than to return to the city of Los Angeles where the Raiders’ name and franchise still resonates with reverence among some NFL fans. Yet, it is my belief, there still remains a deep hatred of the franchise by a large sector of Los Angeleans, because of the antics of Davis’ father the late Al Davis , and how he left Los Angeles, when he took the franchise out of the city under a cloud of suspicion. The Raiders still have a long and passionate fan-base across the nation , but their greatest stronghold remains among the greater Los Angeles area and within the city of Oakland . Whether or not, that would prove to be enough of a lure for the envisioned return of a franchise back in Los Angeles, remains to be seen.
The St Louis Rams had a presence in Los Angeles, when they were known as the Los Angeles Rams , but their later move, to St Louis Missouri, brought about a name change and then the change in ownership, with the franchise now owned by billionaire businessman Stanley Kroenke . His other sporting interests also include the Denver Nuggets , Colorado Rapids , Colorado Mammoth and Arsenal FC of the English Premier League (EPL) , with retailers Dick’s Sporting Goods , also being a part of Kroenke’s other business and sports’ holdings , through his Kroenke Sports Enterprises holding company.
If the NFL can continue without an NFL franchise being within the city of Los Angeles for over a decade , then I see no reason why they cannot continue to be without a team for the foreseeable future ! It is not as if the fans of the league within Los Angeles, have made an impassioned plea to the league hierarchy for the return of football to the nation’s second most populated city . This whole issue has been driven by the NFL , the team owners and specifically of late, by Roger Goodell , who saw his predecessor’s attempts failed miserably , with Paul Tagliabue in the end acknowledging , the time simply wasn’t right for the return of an NFL franchise to the city . What has brought this issue back into focus, have been recent events surrounding the pending sale of the Los Angeles Clippers , which now seeks the approval of the NBA Board of Governors and com league hierarchy before billionaire Microsoft co-founder and former Chairman Steve Ballmer becomes the NBA’s newest franchise owner. Ballmer , if nothing else, now becomes the wealthiest owner in the NBA and perhaps the wealthiest of owner in all four major professional team sports . I guess that when the Clippers meet the Brooklyn Nets during the 2014-15 regular season, both Steve Ballmer and his opposite number Mikhail Prokhorov , can compare notes, concerning the size of their respective fortunes and which of the two franchises , does indeed have the better team ?
The NFL sees the city of Los Angeles as providing a revenue windfall, with what they believe to be untapped resources and the tens of millions of dollars that can be provided as an extra revenue stream . The likelihood also, would also bring about a rise in value of any franchise now residing in the city. That however is purely speculative in nature , with the basis for that coming from this unprecedented value in the sale of the Clippers . Granted, we should not have been really surprised by this all, when in 2013, a private consortium led by Mark Walter , Todd Boehly , Magic Johnson and Peter Guber , paid over $2 billion for the Los Angeles Dodgers , with many suggesting that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , pulled strings behind the scenes, to insure that the winning bid, would be extortionate high and absolutely preposterous . The NFL, like any other business entity, is simply about making money for themselves and their known associates, in this case, the owners and adjunct , joint interests . With billions, reaped annually, in revenues , the league has almost reached its zenith, in terms of exposure with regard to the North American marketplace. And where, there are said to be untapped streams , it is hard to see how the league can actually have a major presence there, without their being a franchise or a large following of fan-base within close proximity. In the case of the city of Los Angeles , the choices within the state, beyond the college programs within the Pac 12 , the craving for the NFL at the professional level is not necessarily hard to gauge, but the question one might have to ask, are the fans ready to accept the alternatives ?
It is hard to put Philip Rivers’ career in the NFL into context , as I believe he was dealt a lousy hand . Were it not for selfish attitude of Eli Manning and the connivance of his father Archie Manning , during the events of the 2004 NFL Draft and the aftermath of the behind the scenes backdoor dealings that were said to have taken place . Manning found himself with the New York Giants and Rivers, having been taken by the San Diego Chargers as Eli’s replacement and the rest as they say , “ is history “ , with the New York Giants going on to success, with their two Superbowl victories and Peyton Manning’s younger sibling leading the franchise to those triumphs. Philip Rivers for his part, has labored over the years , with repeated changes in the team’s lineups , changes in the coaching philosophies of the coaches he has played for and the complete denial of the Chargers’ front office that the supporting cast that surrounded Philip Rivers was never truly good enough. At the same time , when you have the likes of Antonio Gates and LaDanian Tomlinson, as part of your offensive artillery and you are still failing miserably , there has to be something wrong either with the play calling or there just doesn’t seem to any type of real vocal leadership on that team .
Coming off a 9-7 season , in what was a highly competitive AFC West division , the San Diego Chargers’ third place finish might well have been extremely disappointing , but it was not without merit in 2013. Consider the teams within the AFC who made the postseason , but who were nowhere near as competitive as the Chargers showed themselves to be over the course of last season .
Chargers’ head coach Mike McCoy and GM Tom Telesco will seek to have this team for the 2014 season ready to play, with their main aim likely to be, dethroning the Denver Broncos as the divisional champions , with a mindset also in making the postseason . That task is likely to be a very tall order with the Broncos certainly having gotten better with their off-season acquisitions, but also by way of the NFL Draft . The same claims can also be made of both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders , albeit , that the bone of contention remain that the Raiders are likely to find a way to make a complete mess of their season , as they have done for last the decade . Mark Davis GM Reggie McKenzie continue to mystify not only the franchise’s fans but also, the majority of fans and analysts, who cover the NFL. The Raiders’ draft history and trades , still remain a source of ridicule and amazement , with many of those players becoming complete busts in a short space of time , while the franchise has paid out millions in terms of bloated contracts . Oakland will enter into their season with a number of expectations, of which the biggest is likely to be , not to repeat last season’s form or performances that resulted in another last place finish within the AFC West.
While I believe that the AFC West will once again provide the fans with a great deal of excitement this upcoming season . I firmly believe, that the San Diego Chargers could very well pull off a major surprise by making things extremely tough for both the Broncos and Chiefs during 2014 ! As great as Peyton Manning and his teammates were said to be last season , that Superbowl defeat , suffered at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks , was damaging psychologically , as well as physically for the franchise. Seen as the consensus favorites, to waltz through the postseason, that match-up against the Seahawks was further proof , how overrated the Broncos were said to be , with that lasting impression of a downtrodden Peyton Manning exemplifying how disappointed he and his teammates were , with their overall performance against Pete Carroll’s players.
Week one of the regular season, will see the San Diego Chargers pitted against the Arizona Cardinals in a Monday night game played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix , Arizona . The Oakland Raiders will be the guests of the New York Jets , in an AFC contest played in East Rutherford , New Jersey . Denver will host the Indianapolis Colts, in a game, where Peyton Manning will renew old acquaintances, with his former team. Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium , in Kansas City , Missouri , in what is sure to be an intriguing contest on the first Sunday of the NFL regular season .
With the teams around the NFL now conducting preseason practices with their organized team activities (OTA’s) , it will be interesting to see how the franchises and their rookies acclimatize to the rigors of this upcoming regular season. In 2013, we were asking, which players drafted , would be making a sizable impact on the season . In 2014 , it is likely to that very same premise arising along with, will this be the last opportunity for seasoned veterans such as Peyton Manning , Tom Brady , Philip Rivers and Tony Gonzalez to have one last opportunity to add to achievements to their illustrious careers with some postseason glory ? This is likely to a season where those questions are likely to be answered , with other areas of drama likely to be thrown in for good measure . What thoughts, if any do you have concerning this topic ? Also, do you believe, that the NFL is in need of a franchise within the city of Los Angeles for the fans there to still show an interest in the league ?
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) California Governor Jerry Brown (D-Ca) is being pressured by certain state and Los Angeles’ dignitaries to have a bill introduced within the state legislature that would see the state finance in part the building of a venue that would house a potential NFL franchise within the city of Los Angeles. Efforts , concerning private enterprise have either stalled or are bogged down by bureaucracy or have simply no real interest in the project. Meanwhile , NFL Commissioner is still pressing ahead with his efforts to bring about his bold ambition to succeed where his predecessor Paul Tagliabue failed . LA Times / Ernesto Torres …..
(2) Dean Spanos of the San Diego Chargers is seen here at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego , California , home to the franchise that he owns . AP Photo / Mark Thompson …..
(3) Mark Davis , owner of the Oakland Raiders , whose season in the NFL will come under a great deal scrutiny by fans and analysts in general . AP Photo / Tom Monroe ….
(4) Eli Manning ,left, is seen her with Philip Rivers . The two players were part of the 2004 NFL Draft class , with the pair of quarterbacks creating a great deal of drama during the draft process that year . AP Photo / Mark Fisher ….
(5) St Louis Rams’ owner Stanley Kroenke , seen here alongside the team’s head coach Jeff Fisher as the two discuss with the convened press their hopes for the team’s aspirations in 2013 . It is being reported that Kroenke would indeed be opened to the idea of relocating the Rams elsewhere., if he cannot get a new arena built for the franchise within the state of Missouri . The state’s legislature is not in a position to make the funds available for such a project in spite of calls, that monies can be raised , with small incremental increases in some state fees and services . Something that the state’s governor , Jay Nixon is set against and would likely veto , if he felt that this were not in the best interests of his state. AP Photo / Richard Hart …..
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