I'm glad I moved to Los Angeles a decade ago. Don't get me wrong: growing up in Pittsburgh, "studying" for four years in Bloomington, Indiana, and "working" in Chicago were all grand, but Hollywood has provided some unique experiences.
One of the best was writing on "The Man Show." Yeah, it was as much fun as you might imagine but, perhaps more importantly, I'm proud to say I worked on the show that featured "The Juggy Girls." If you're not familiar with these demure young ladies, they'd enhance the work of two guys named Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla by dancing about in scanty versions of outfits like "Nurse," "French Maid," and "Policewoman." So why do I say I'm proud? Because I believe the Juggy Girls inspired this century's greatest tweak to a holiday: women dressing like tramps on Halloween. On behalf of Hollywood, you're welcome, America.
I know a lot of people prefer to sit up on Mt. Pious and look down at the decadence and vapidity of this town, but you gotta admit your life would be a whole lot emptier without the movies, TV shows, and human freak shows we provide for your viewing pleasure. As a token of your appreciation, then, isn't it about time you rewarded us with an NFL team?
Maybe it's just my generous heart, but I'm glad St. Louis and Green Bay have teams. I consider it payment for all the beer their denizens brew for my -- I mean, our -- consumption. I think it's great that the people in the Bay Area, after toiling all week on cutting-edge technological advances, get to unwind with some pro football (although two teams might be a bit excessive). I even believe all the politicos in D.C. should have the opportunity to put their differences behind them for one day a week to join arm-in-arm to root on their team with the politically incorrect name.
But where's the justice for L.A.? Fair's fair. We work all week to entertain America. Don't we deserve to be entertained on Sundays by a team we can call our own? Believe it or not, we do care about sports. Trust me, we're not all too busy surfing, as the stereotype contends. Matter of fact, the closest I've ever gotten to surfing is watching the movie "Point Break" on cable.
One semi-legitimate issue, though, is that so many L.A. residents are from somewhere else. Those transplants - yours truly included - typically continue to root for their hometown teams, which results in some odd viewing experiences. I watch the games with three Patriots fans, two Giants fans, a Raiders fan, a Cowboys fan, a Niners fan and a Saints fan. Between our respective hometown interests and various fantasy-related concerns, it's almost impossible to keep straight why one of the guys starts cheering at any given moment. The conversations usually go something like this:
COWBOYS FAN CHEERS.
STEELERS FAN: What happened?!
NINERS FAN: Andre Johnson just scored.
COWBOYS FAN: I've got Johnson in my East Coast league!
GIANTS FAN: [Expletive].
SAINTS FAN: So what? The Texans are playing the Falcons. The Giants don't play 'til tonight.
GIANTS FAN: I know, but I'm playing a guy who started Schaub.
And so it goes … over and over again.
Instead of repeating some variation of the above scene for 17 straight Sundays every year, I'd prefer if we could instead begin working on season tickets for our NFL team.
I realize desperate times call for desperate measures, but it's plum shameful for any Angelino to still be supporting these teams. The Rams ditched the city more than three decades ago and Southern California altogether 16 years ago, yet cheers aplenty could still be heard cascading down from the Hollywood Hills when Titans receiver Kevin Dyson got tackled a yard shy of a touchdown to end Super Bowl XXXIV. Isn't rooting for the St. Louis Rams -- who play two time zones away -- the equivalent of going to the wedding of a woman who dumped you so you can cheer for her happiness with her new fella?
As pathetic as that is, it doesn't begin compare with L.A.-based Raiders fans. When the marriage of Al Davis and his wife named Oakland got rocky in the early '80s, the managing general partner turned his gaze to that foxy, tanned blonde called Los Angeles. For 13 years, the Raiders and L.A. hooked up for what amounted to an extended extramarital affair, but things ultimately wound up as they so often do in these cases, with the Raiders running back up to the ol' ball-and-chain in northern California. The unusual part of it is, the mistress doesn't seem to realize she's been dumped; matter of fact, she's still in love with the scoundrel. It's all enough to make one of the town's countless transplants shout, "Move on, L.A.! He doesn't love you anymore!"
Anyhoo, for those reasons and many others (including the fact that this city is the second-biggest in the nation), the bill is post due. It's time for the NFL to return to Los Angeles. That's why I was so pleased to hear that Magic Johnson is now getting involved in making it so. The guy's got juice in this town. I'm actually so confident that Earvin can push this across the goal line, I've already mentally begun rolling out the red carpet.
I guess now is a good time to let you know that I hope and expect to one day be named the first-ever Uniform Czar for All of Sports. That's right, I'm a uniform aficionado. I know what works (the Niners' home reds; the Redskins' new/old gold pants; the Raiders home and away) and what doesn't (the Jags; the Bills' non-throwbacks; the Texans' all-reds), so it only makes sense for me to design the uniforms of the soon-to-be L.A. team. But first things first: What should the team be called?
Don't worry: Just like LeBron James in his new sneaker-slash-misguided-effort-to-rehab-his-image commercial, my last question was rhetorical. I already have the answer. Matter of fact, I have a few answers from which Magic and his partners can choose. Before that, though, a few guidelines for naming a team:
- It must end in "s." It's just too grammatically confusing otherwise. The Miami Heat IS a good team? No! They've twelve players. The Heat ARE a good team. (Or maybe they're not. Sorry. I don't mean to pick too much on LeBron.)
So with those in mind, let's proceed. Instead of going with 'Los Angeles', how 'bout we jazz things up by going with "Hollywood?" Cool, right?
Next comes the all-important nickname. Again, it should reflect something about the town. I've got three options: Blockbusters; Stars; or Knights. A football team called the Hollywood Blockbusters'! Could it get any better? (Sorry, that was another LeBron-style question. With the two other options excepted, the correct answer is "no.")
I don't want this to be a one-man committee, though. I'd like to hear your thoughts. Go 'head and write them in the comments section. Don't worry, we have a little time. The Jags' and Chargers' seasons may not be going well, but they won't officially be over for a couple more months.
In the meantime, let's hope my pal Commish Goodell, Magic and the other powers-that-be do the right thing and deliver a team to L.A. sooner rather than later. If we can't figure this out amicably, I'm not above sending Chaz Sheen over to NFL headquarters.
Good to be bad?
A quick fantasy-related thought before I go trick-or-treating:
If you've got a player who's gotten himself into some sort of trouble off the field, he's probably a great start this week. It's the hidden trend at the halfway point of the fantasy season. Let's look at the facts:
» Braylon Edwards got arrested for drunk driving, then went for 87 yards and a touchdown in his next game.
» Brett Favre, in his first game after the cell phone scandal broke, posted a more-than-respectable 264 yards and three TDs.
» And most recently, Kenny Britt - after sitting out the first quarter as punishment for his mid-week bar fight - went crazy with 225 yards receiving and three TDs.
In other words, make sure you keep your eyes on the police blotter. It just might contain the name of your fantasy savior.