Right the wrong, make some money…
With all the commotion regarding the potential of the future return of the NFL to Los Angeles, wouldn't it be wise to maximize the benefits of having a team in LA, and conversely minimize the negatives? We all know the main benefit of the NFL being in Los Angeles is money, supposedly big piles of money if you listen to some pundits. The obvious negative of putting a team in LA is now it has to come from another city, since further expansion is not in the near or far future of the NFL.
So we know and understand the upside and the downside, but how do we increase the good and constrict the bad?
The apparent place to start would be to look hard at the cities that might have to give up their team in the name of higher revenues for the NFL. It seemed early in the crescendo of hype surrounding the Awshucks Group as if San Diego was possibly headed to LA, but would the NFL sanction that? Certainly there would be no justice in the Bolts bolting to Los Angeles, and this would not be a popular move amongst NFL fans nationwide. The NFL knows it has to be conscious of its image and they are expert marketers. The San Diego Chargers are a team that represents a part of the legacy of the NFL, both in the sense of representing the old AFL lineage, but more importantly as a symbol of what entertaining football should look like, even when it isn't winning football. The Chargers moving north would be overly controversial and contrary to the concept of minimizing the damage of moving an existing team.
There has also been speculation that THE EVIL ONE, Al Davis, may want to once again return to the Los Angeles market. Based on past evidence, it would be reasonable to assume that the NFL will do everything in its power to keep THE EVIL ONE from benefiting from another move. Can two wrongs ever make a right? The evil excellence of the empire of Raiders is best controlled in its original nest, where they are distracted by the Golden Ones across the Bay.
Most of the other potential teams to move are unlikely prospects when all the issues are considered, except possibly one team. And it may be the one relocation target with the most potential to achieve the above stated goals. An old line NFL franchise, an old boy owner, a perennial loser that may end up without the sweet stadium deal it thought it had in the bank, the Arizona Cardinals just might be the perfect candidate to satisfy the greedy need of the NFL to be in Los Angeles.
As the unquestioned cheapest owner in the NFL (yes he is worse than the lost seed in Cinci), Bill Bidwill is the perfectly pathetic patsy to do the will of the money moguls. He is so lost in his lust for financial redemption that he has almost single-handedly botched a publicly financed stadium deal that was approved by voters just two days after the Browns had victory stolen from them in Sun Devil Stadium two seasons ago. By trying to force the new stadium onto unsafe land near Sky Harbor airport so he could profit on nearby land investments, Bidwill has jeopardized his already tenuous foothold in Phoenix. The Cardinals are a team without a true rival, without a true fan base, without a real reason NOT to go to Los Angeles. Besides, can a team not owned by Jerry Colangelo be successful in Phoenix?
So, possibly the Cardinals are the team that could most easily (least painfully) move to LA, which would in effect satisfy the first criteria of minimizing the negative of a franchise move, but how about the enhancement of the positive? Do the Cardinals have some special appeal to LA or America that will translate into more dollars into the coffers of the NFL? No, this isn't about the money. The NFL doesn't need any help when it comes to maximizing profits.
The opportunity here is to move the Cardinals to LA because an additional step can be taken that would bring balance to the whole sordid affair. Possibly even some redemption. Almost unfortunately, it also likely will increase the revenues realized by the NFL. And more importantly it would significantly increase the odds of a team actually sticking in Los Angeles.
One simple stroke of NFL justice. One simple condition to the Cardinals moving to LA and Bidwill getting rich along with the other already rich owners is all that's needed.
Here is the one way the move of an existing team to LA makes sense:
The Cardinals upon arriving in Los Angeles would agree to send their logo, team colors, history and records to St. Louis in exchange for the logo, team colors, history and records of the Rams. The Rams in LA, the Cards in St. Louis, the Browns in Cleveland….
Now if we could only get the people of Indianapolis to consider the nickname Ravens…
The Zero Effect.