It's been 20 years since a professional football game was played in Los Angeles. For our second-largest city, with all of its wealth, entrepreneurial spirit and energy, that's simply not acceptable.
True, you have near-professional quality some years with UCLA and USC. Unfortunately, it's not quite the same.
True, also, the city has space and enough money to put up a new stadium in any one of the many spots that have been proposed, whether downtown at L.A. Live or near Hollywood Park or in a town away from the city.
What you don't have is a viable option for a team. The Raiders returning? Not likely nor, from what I read, are they wanted. The Rams coming back? Also not likely.
So as someone with a great affection for L.A. (I have a daughter who lives there), allow me to offer a modest suggestion. Mayor Garcetti and some of the local movers and shakers should invite Daniel M. Snyder to move his Washington Professional Football Team to Los Angeles. Yes, I'm one of those who doesn't use the Official Team Name, and for the purposes of this discussion, it's a good thing.
Look, the NFL wants a team here. Snyder could use a change of scenery. He has worn out his welcome in Washington, where he has owned the WPFT since 1999. That kind of thing happens all the time at lower levels of an organization. Executives come and go, employees/players come and go. For a football team owner, it's hard to accept the reality that the people you thought should worship you just plain don't like you any more.
Moving West would allow Snyder to indulge his Hollywood fantasies on a big scale. He's buds with Tom Cruise, having invested in Cruise's production company as far back as 2006. Snyder has even produced a couple of movies, one starring Cruise. Don't believe me? Look it up on IMDB.
He likes partying with the Hollywood types and would fit right in with the mini-mogul set with the jelled hair and outsize ego. He likes players with that kind of star appeal also, like Deion Sanders or Robert Griffin III. He sues people like Hollywood producers do.
He could either be in the town's team owners club with Ted Lerner of the Nats or Ted Leonsis of the Wizards and Caps, or with Magic Johnson, the lead owner of the Dodgers. Is that a hard choice?
We know he likes to live near water. Snyder cut down a bunch of trees so that he could view the Potomac River from his mansion. In L.A. he could buy a little place in Malibu or the Palisades and really see water. As a bonus, he would get lots better seafood in L.A. than in D.C. He could drop down to Neptune's Net or one of the other great little places on the PCH any time he wanted.
Most of all, moving to L.A. would give him what he really wants -- a fan base that can't wait for football to come back. It wouldn't matter, for a while at least, how good the team is. It's like when D.C. got baseball back. For some of us natives who remember the Washington Senators, it was a fabulous day when the team was reborn as the Nationals.
Moving to L.A. would allow Snyder to do what people moving West traditionally do -- start over.
Going West would also solve another of Snyder's biggest problems -- the team name. He's been on the receiving end of a lot of bad press for refusing to change the name given to the team by a racist team founder in the 1930s. He wouldn't have to pay money for Native Americans to say they see nothing wrong with the current team name.
He would have a built-in excuse for changing the name. What after all, do R***s have to do with Los Angeles? As much a lakes do for your NBA team or for trolleys for the National League baseball team. Perhaps those aren't the best examples. But the point is, he could change the name and be done with all of the tsouris he's had to put up with.
And what of the D.C. fan base? In Snyder's view, the ungrateful wretches who put up tickets for sale at $3 (for standing room) would get what they deserve.
For the rest of us, a little break from the drama of pro football might be welcome as we watch the Nats, Wizards and Capitals do well. We could calm down, chill out and let the drama of the team drain away.
Of course, part of the deal to move Snyder's team would include a provision that D.C. get the next team to move. Or else.