Sunday, January 22, 2017

A non-sports enthusiast on football returning to L.A.

Let me say up front that I am not a sports writer, but I did once see "Black Sunday," so I feel qualified enough for this column.

Saying I do not follow football is like Donald Trump saying he is not a big fan of CNN Sports. I can name more dudes from the original Broadway cast of "Hamilton" than the roster of the Patriots. But football in L.A. is in the news, and as a journalist I feel compelled to cover it.

(Note to new readers—I am a "journalist" in the same way that Hillary Clinton is a "president.")

The Rams came "home" this fall after a hiatus of over 20 years. ("Hiatus" is a Latin term meaning "more money.")

The Cleveland Rams were founded in 1936, then moved to L.A. a decade later in order to feel their toes again. Then they moved to Anaheim, then they moved to St. Louis, whose taxpayers agreed to build them a stadium. (St. Louisians will be paying off the bond on the empty stadium for another five years, giving credence to the old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you, hey, whoa, where ya goin'?")

The Rams played 2016 in their temporary home, the L.A. Coliseum, while a brand new stadium is built for them in their ancestral homeland, Clevel—I mean Inglewood.

This fall, their record of four wins and 12 losses provided fans with a level of entertainment not seen locally since "The Day of the Locust." But they succeeded in the most important aspect of sport, indeed, life, in L.A.—doing better than San Francisco.

In 1961, the L.A. Chargers went out "for a pack of cigarettes" and are just now returning from San Diego 55 years later. They will share the Inglewood stadium, along with the Rams colors of blue, gold and white, saving a fortune on changing the banners every week.

With a record of 5-11, never let it be said that they, um, let's see, that they did not help bring football back to Los Angeles. Woohoo! Football.

If you really want to see the Rams at their best, find the movie "Heaven Can Wait" with Warren Beatty from 1978. He plays a Ram quarterback in, I think, the best romantic comedy ever. I could name you half the cast, but I wouldn't want to bore you. I know the conference championships are on. I looked it up.

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