Thursday, January 12, 2017

What all the cool kids are doing

Why, moving to Los Angeles, of course!

It's the New Old World for the National Football League, which left it 20 years ago and had been pining to come back since. Last year, the Rams moved back, where they entertained L.A. -- craving the return of pro football the way a gourmand craves food, or so we were told -- with a product they advertised as "pro football," but which looked less like it than what USC and UCLA were playing on Saturdays.

And now?

Now the Rams, who went 4-12 in their return to L.A., are apparently being joined by the Chargers, who went 5-11 down in San Diego. This is doubly fine news for the NFL, and less doubly fine news for Los Angeles -- which, remember, didn't support the Chargers the first time they were in town, in the Bolts' inaugural season of 1960.

After one season of playing to yawns, they Bolted to San Diego. This despite the fact the inaugural Los Angeles Chargers were actually very good, playing in the AFL's first championship game at the end of the '60 season.

Imagine how well this version of the Chargers will go over!

The 1960 L.A. Chargers had a Hall of Fame coach, Sid Gillman, and a quarterback, Jack Kemp, who should be in the Hall of Fame, and a running back, Paul Lowe, who's in the Chargers Hall of Fame. The new L.A. Chargers have Philip Rivers and Joey Bosa and, um, some other guys.

Hard to imagine how L.A. won't fall in love with the latter after not falling in love with the former. Eyeroll.

And, sure, OK, this is not 1960. Pro football wasn't the Colossus standing bestride American sport the way it is today. So probably more people are going to show more interest in the Chargers (And the Rams! Don't forget the Rams!) than they did the first time around.

But track records are persistent things, and the fact is, L.A.'s track record as a pro football town is spotty at best. Four different franchises (the Chargers, the Rams, the Raiders and the Express of the USFL) have fled the place, after all. Does anyone seriously believe the city will find room in their USC-loving hearts for not just one but two chronic losers -- unless, that is, those losers turn into winners?

Winners, L.A. will support. Even if they do play on Sundays instead of Saturdays.

Sunday football. Why, how ... quaint.

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