Football follies

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the-oakland-raiders-san-diego-chargers-and-st-louis-rams

There is a lot of craziness going on in the NFL right now. From multiple teams trying to relocate to a certain former Heisman Trophy winner’s need to party, there seems to be a lot of distractions from what should be the focus for the league at this point and that is the start of the playoffs. Twelve teams are still playing for a chance at the Lombardi Trophy and due to injuries the field appears more wide open than in years past. However, we first must address the insanity.

In case you missed it, I already went on record as being against the Chargers leaving San Diego. During my time as a sports writer I have had the chance to cover the Chargers, and honestly, the people of San Diego are solid supporters of their team. Thus, it should not be taken away from them. I think I can say the same for the people of Oakland and, while I have never been to a game in St. Louis, I am guessing the Rams’ fans there don’t want to lose their team to Los Angeles either.

Oh yeah, all three of these teams filed papers to relocate to L.A. earlier this week (just in case you missed that). So, what is the league to do? Will L.A. have three teams next year? My guess is no. What I find particularly funny about this whole story is all three of these teams played in Los Angeles before. The Chargers played just for a year, so they have the least amount of history. The Raiders relocated there in the 1980’s, won a Super Bowl, inspired N.W.A.’s hat choices, and then headed back to Oakland when they couldn’t get the city to build them a new stadium. The Rams had the longest tenure in Los Angeles and would make the most sense to move back because of that. But what would that do to St. Louis? After all, the only Super Bowl win in the Rams’ franchise history came in St. Louis, so I am guessing the team has plenty of support in the Midwest. As you can see, it is quite a conundrum.

I am not sure how this all plays out. There is a lot of money at stake and the NFL is certainly tired of not having a team in the second-largest city in the country. If they asked me (which they didn’t) I would tell them to just expand. Put a team in Los Angeles and one in San Antonio and move on. There is certainly enough support in both places for a professional football team and, both cities also have the facilities for a franchise to use until they could build themselves some ridiculously lavish stadium which would appease the wealthy owners who think those things matter. While I realize this is not even a possibility, I find it to be the most logical option, as it will not take away a team from an already established market/fan base while also expanding the league’s footprint throughout the country.

Finally, a brief word on Cleveland Browns’ quarterback, Johnny Manziel. Yes, the same Manziel who was so desperate to get out and party, he donned a disguise and flew to Las Vegas on Saturday night, just a few hours before a scheduled meeting with the Browns’ doctors to discuss his concussion. I am not sure how much more I can say here on Manziel. I will say, I think it is funny that he disguised himself so he could sneak out. I don’t think there has ever been a more immature player in the NFL, especially at the quarterback position. Manziel’s talent, and prospects, as an NFL quarterback are debatable at best, but it seems clear to me that his character is simply not up to the level it should be for a professional in any sort of business. I am sure this will get him released by the Browns and he can then try and resurrect his career in Dallas, but I just don’t see it working out for him. He would have been better off staying in college where maybe he would have matured into a decent human being, if not a good football player.