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November 14, 2005

Two teams for L.A.?

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue made headlines last week when he declared that not only will the NFL likely return to the Los Angeles area in the near future, but it could two teams there. "We're not looking at this as an either-or," Tagliabue said at an L.A. City Hall press conference, in reference to talks with the L.A. Coliseum and with the city of Anaheim for a new stadium.

L.A. has had two franchises in the past, of course - the Rams and Raiders, both of which hightailed it out of town in 1995 - but as always with Tags, it's unclear how much of this is reality and how much spin. For example, the commissioner was careful to leave open the door for either relocation of existing teams or new expansion franchises - owners of the San Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings, after all, would be ticked if they couldn't hold the L.A. threat over their current cities - but also insisted: "We're not discussing the Saints in Los Angeles as a priority. We're discussing the Saints in Louisiana as a priority."

Meanwhile, some still suspect that the NFL plans to play the two sites off against each other, with L.A. Daily News sports columnist Billy Witz opining: "In the end, perhaps Anaheim is simply another stool pigeon for the NFL." Stool pigeon?

COMMENTS

One wonders how much role the TV networks, hovering in the background, are playing in all this. You can be certain that Fox would love to ditch the New Orleans market for Los Angeles; CBS would probably like to do likewise with Jacksonville. Perhaps Tagliabue will try to satisfy both, if only to avoid playing one against the other and losing leverage at renewal time.

Posted by Vincent on November 16, 2005 01:37 PM

One wonders how much role the TV networks, hovering in the background, are playing in all this. You can be certain that Fox would love to ditch the New Orleans market for Los Angeles; CBS would probably like to do likewise with Jacksonville. Perhaps Tagliabue will try to satisfy both, if only to avoid playing one against the other and losing leverage at renewal time.

Posted by Vincent on November 16, 2005 01:37 PM

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