How about the "bad news, good news" NFL scenario coming LA's way today.
Yikes, It feels like we're back in New York in the '90s and Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner would do almost anything as he fought everybody in town for the back page on the tabloids -- every day.
One big difference. George had some really good teams. And good managers. And those classic pinstripes.
What does LA get? One more bad football team -- make that three now -- in blue and gold. And when the Rams drop the navy down a notch to go to their original colors, a lighter blue at that.
But other than the pleasant colorscape, or maybe thanks to it a bit, USC can be confident as can be that the Trojans' Cardinal and Gold spot in LA's football hierarchy is not in danger if it progresses the way we see it going.
Just as you'll be happy to hear that SI.com's Pete Thamel told the SEC Network's Paul Finebaum today about how the first thing he thinks about when looking to next season -- after agreeing that the SEC has dropped way off with only one quality program right now -- is about USC. And Sam Darnold.
Someone should send the transcript to Larry Scott. Not only is the Pac-12 much better off when USC is good, all of national college football is better off, Thamel says, "when USC is good." It's a brand, Thamel says, that with an improved Washington under Chris Petersen, will allow the Pac-12 to challenge the newly invigorated Big Ten for the top spot in the nation.
So the challenge is there for USC to stay in the place where LA pays attention. On top. Nationally relevant. In sync with its history.
And just keep looking down or back at the three programs chasing it. One has almost no history here -- the Chargers. One turned its back on LA more than once -- the Rams. And the third -- the Bruins -- have all the issues associated with having to chase its "big brother" for seven decades.
But enough about UCLA. Like they say when these two programs run into one another on the recruiting trail, "If you want to play AT the Rose Bowl, go to UCLA. If you want to play IN the Rose Bowl, better head to USC."
But we digress. Today is about the NFL in LA. And what a day it is.
First the really good news for USC. The word we'd heard about the Chargers' landing spot was correct. No second NFL team at the Coliseum.
They're going to the StubHub Center, a great place to practice for visiting Rose Bowl teams. But it would be the smallest stadium in the Pac-12 even with its increased capacity to 30,000.
Not that they're going to need it. Except for the few who will come up from South Orange County, despite what the NFL flacks have been trying to say, they have turned their backs on the loyal Chargers fans after 55 years and they will get the same treatment -- as they should,
But the Chargers are taking a shot at "a half-filled Coliseum" where the Rams play -- and saying it will be more fun "to get up close and personal" at StubHub, you know, like for a big high school playoff game.
But let's say it again: NO ONE CARES. Before anyone comes to the games, will anyone know about them? The toughest question in town right now will be for the media. Do we bother to cover these guys? Can we? For the newspaper people fighting decreased circulation and even more decreased staffing and space, how do they dedicate scarce resources to cover a team no one cares about? We don't think they would even if they could, which they can't.
And let's face it, LA will never care about the Chargers as much as they'll care for the Las Vegas Raiders. It's not even close.
And there's only so much time on radio and TV here. Let's say the Dodgers are making another run, the Trojans are ranked top three and playing Stanford and Texas at the Coliseum and the Lakers and Clippers are starting camp with the Ducks and Kings, do you really think the Chargers will deserve more attention any of them -- or St. John Bosco, Corona Centennial or Mater Dei? Only if they're playing the Raiders, Seahawks, Cowboys or Packers
But at least they're trying. The Chargers came up with a new logo today. It's basically the Dodgers LA logo with what looks like a bolt of lightning zapping it with electricity. So bad is the new logo when compared to the classic San Diego lightning bolt, it had other pro, college and even minor league teams mocking it all day long by adding lightning bolts to their logos so there's an electrified tail on the SMU Mustang, for example. Getting mocked is never a great start.
But heh, if this helps Stan Kroenke pay off his $2.6 billion stadium in Inglewood, we guess it works for somebody and you'll be able to go to concerts and Final Fours there so that works for us.
We just can't figure the math here and how it works for the Chargers. It's going to cost owner Dean Spanos a $550 million relocation fee over 10 years. And he passes on the $300 million his fellow NFL owners were going to give him for a San Diego stadium.
We have to assume that like a typical NFL owner, he wanted people to give him even more of their money and when they said "No," he said it's time to go. So he'll go with the economists who say his franchise, once it picks up the "LA" in front of its name, increases its value from $1 billion to $2 billion. And that's what it's all about. Forget the "rah, rah" crap, it's all about the bucks.
So what, said the Rams. You can bring your lousy team here, we can go out and top that and hire a 30-year-old head coach who is younger than some of our players. And how could they not hire Sean McVay? He's the Washington Redskins offensive coordinator responsible for the development of -- wait for it -- Kirk Cousins. Wait. What? Who?
And don't tell the Rams their new coach is too young. After all, he's just a few months younger than USC assistant Lane Kiffin, then 31, was when the Raiders hired him and we all know how well that went.
And it's not like McVay, a "lifelong" NFL assistant, is the youngest ever in the NFL. After all, the then-Cleveland Rams in 1938, according to the ESPN Stats and Information people, hired Art "Pappy" Lewis when he was just 27. And remember how that worked out? Neither do we.
So now these Rams have a "grand-pappy" to make us forget the desperation six-player trade-up deal to get quarterback Jared Goff in the No. 1 overall pick last year that could not have worked out worse. We'll credit Clay Travis with this snark as he tweeted that Goff drops to the No. 4 quarterback in town now behind Philip Rivers, Darnold and Josh Rosen.
Actually, this might be worth watching. Probably not for an entire season, though.
Again, it's Southern California and as much as we like winners, we like to watch those car chases on TV -- as long as they don't take too long.
We're thinking this won't either and you can get back to USC football.
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