I'm here today to announce my candidacy for the office of Grand High Poobah of Sports.
If elected, I promise to abolish the wildcard playoff system in baseball, order referees to actually call traveling in NBA games and officially declare that golf isn't a sport, since you can't play defense.
But most significantly, I propose to revoke every professional franchise and award it to the city where the team now plays. Except for the Yankees -- I'd wipe them off the face of the earth, just because their fans are so obnoxious.
And to all those whining NFL fans in Los Angeles crying "what about us?" I say sit down and shut up. I don't care if you live in the second-largest TV market in America. I don't care that you have two pretty fair college teams in your town. You've had three shots at the NFL -- four if you count the expansion team you lost to Houston -- and you don't get another one.
The Chargers used to play in L.A., way back in the early '60s. The Rams and Raiders played there, too. All three moved out. Anyone else see a pattern here?
Now the movers and shakers of the San Andreas Fault have set their sights on swiping somebody else's team. And some greedy owner -- Chargers? Colts? Cardinals? -- will take the bait.
If L.A.'s absolutely, positively gotta have a team and can come up with some significant graft for the Poobah's office, maybe I'll toss 'em the Jets. There's no logical reason for two teams to be playing in the same city, even if it is New York. And there's certainly no reason for two teams to be playing in the same stadium. The Giants get to stay because their name is on the front door.
Better yet, I'll offer the Bengals to Los Angeles, just to see how desperate they really are.
Otherwise, forget it. I've had enough of professional teams turning their backs on loyal fans and skipping off to greener Astroturf pastures. You don't see this happening in college sports. The Ohio State football team doesn't just up and move to Ann Arbor because there's a bigger stadium there. Why should the pros get to do it?
I have good reason to be bitter about this. Ten years ago, I rooted for the Cleveland Browns (moved to Baltimore, now thankfully reborn), the Charlotte Hornets (gone to New Orleans), the Hartford Whalers (moved to Carolina) and the Montreal Expos (sure to move or be contracted after this season). As a wise man once said, I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more.
I say it's time to stop rooting for the carpetbaggers. Screw the Sacramento (Rochester Royals, Cincinnati Royals, Kansas City-Omaha Kings) Kings, New Jersey (New York) Nets, Los Angeles (Minnesota) Lakers, Atlanta (St. Louis) Hawks, Golden State (Philadelphia) Warriors, Los Angeles (Buffalo Braves, San Diego) Clippers, Memphis (Vancouver) Grizzlies, Utah (New Orleans) Jazz and New Orleans (Charlotte) Hornets.
Hockey fans should turn their backs on the Phoenix (Winnipeg Jets) Coyotes, Colorado (Quebec Nordiques) Avalanche, New Jersey (Kansas City Scouts, Colorado Rockies) Devils and the Dallas (Minnesota Northstars) Stars. We can cut the Calgary (Atlanta) Flames some slack for moving to Canada.
Owners of baseball's Oakland (Philadelphia, Kansas City) Athletics, Atlanta (Boston, Milwaukee) Braves, Los Angeles (Brooklyn) Dodgers, San Francisco (New York) Giants, Minnesota (Washington Senators) Twins and Texas (Washington Senators) Rangers walked out on their fans. Do they really deserve our support?
And in football, I say to hell with the Tennessee (Houston Oilers) Titans, Oakland (Oakland, Los Angeles) Raiders, St. Louis (Cleveland, Los Angeles) Rams, Baltimore (Cleveland Browns) Ravens, Arizona (Chicago, St. Louis) Cardinals, Indianapolis (Baltimore) Colts. The San Diego (Los Angeles) Chargers and Kansas City (Dallas Texans) Chiefs get a pass, but just barely, because they walked out during their AFL days.
In the entire recorded history of professional sports, there's only been one move that worked out for the better. That's when the Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles, clearing the way for the birth of the original Cleveland Browns. But even that team was ripped from the city by The One Who Shall Not Be Named (hint: the letters in his name can be rearranged to spell "Lard Motel").
Somebody's got to put a stop to this madness. And I'm just the guy for the job. Vote Stiletto for Poobah!