The first response I had when hearing about then reading about the proposed move of the Chargers and Raiders to Carson was to laugh out loud. The Chargers and Raiders will not be moving to Carson because they cannot afford to build a stadium on their own and there is no way the people of L.A. will fund it. There is also the real possibility that one or both could work out stadium deals in their current city.
So, please stop with the sound bites and the stadium renditions and the waste of air on anything to do with this until they have broken ground and packed the moving trucks. If you are waiting for either of those things to happen, please call me for your beachfront property in Iowa.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer promises to push for a new stadium solution, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's "No. 1 priority" is to build a new stadium, and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said in a written statement that "St. Louis is an NFL city and I am committed to keeping it that way."
Sound familiar? Before everyone starts drinking the Relocation Punch, be reminded of the same 20-year-old story where L.A. is used as leverage for other cities to get new stadium deals. And counting on 24 out of the 32 relatively conservative NFL owners to approve a team's move is optimistic, at best.
To the people of Inglewood and Carson: The stadiums are beautiful, but before you give any money to either team, please ask Irwindale if the Al Davis ever returned their money which he used to leverage a better deal with Oakland.
Off the air
Business section columnist Michael Hiltzik writes, "I think it's a good thing if the Dodgers get blacked out." Other Hiltzik judgments no doubt include: 1) the Lakers should extend Kobe's contract, 2) the Clippers should sign Doc Rivers' other children; 3) Don Mattingly should counsel Clayton Kershaw to pitch like it's the playoffs; 4) UCLA ought to abandon the eight-clap for an up-tempo finger snap; and 5) USC should replace Traveler with a dog that can catch Frisbees.
Bill Plaschke writes that the Dodgers' brand is "slowly wilting" without a TV deal. That is the wishful thinking of all tubeless Dodger fans right now, but it simply isn't true. That's why there's no deal yet. If there was any chance of the Dodgers' $2-billion value diminishing because of this, a deal would have been struck long ago. But all parties know that once the Bums are back on TV, we're all going to rush to our sets and party like it's 1988. If Christmas were to be canceled one year, do you think the next Christmas would be devalued? No, it would be twice as exciting.
San Luis Obispo
While I understand Bill Plaschke's frustration regarding the lack of a Dodgers television agreement, can he please stop complaining that we won't able to "begin the season with the national treasure that is the voice of Vin Scully"? I just spoke to my friend Marconi; he told me about some new-fangled device called "radio" or something.
Andrew M. Weiss
Playa del Rey
According to Bill Plaschke, there is still no progress on the Dodgers TV stalemate — nor is there likely to be for some time to come. Speaking for many of the team's oldest and most devoted fans, I have a message for Dodgers management: Out of sight is out of mind. The Angels televise nearly every game, and after 58 years, I am disgusted enough to swap my Dodger Blue for a bright red Rally Monkey. I only hope enough fans stay away from Dodger Stadium this season for management to feel the pinch in their overstuffed wallets if not in their indifferent hearts .
Total scam on the Dodgers' part. Their ownership agreed to the Time Warner Cable deal. They sold themselves out, no one made them do it. The ownership is playing naive, pretending they are blameless. What ownership signs a contract where they don't agree upon the details or know about the details?
I would be far more interested in Mark McGwire's current opinions on Yasiel Puig [Feb. 17] had he chosen to be as honest with Congress as he is now with your reporters.
Doc Rivers says he's not bothered by the Hack-a-Jordan tactics employed by opposing coaches. That may be because he's not paying exorbitant prices for tickets to view the unwatchable mess that results from the use of those tactics. There's a reason why the strategy is not allowed in the last two minutes of an NBA game. There's no reason why it's allowed in the other 46.
Love the Clippers and DeAndre Jordan, but c'mon, make a stinkin' free throw.
Jack Von Bulow
Bill Plaschke missed a few key points in his piece on the sparse and often comatose crowds at Pauley Pavilion. First, the pricey seats on the lower level are mostly sold to well-heeled alums, or corporate buyers, who can write off the expense of an unused ticket. Neither group is motivated to attend games, especially against weak competition, or at inconvenient times dictated by the TV contract. Demographics are changing the mix of fans, with loyal older alums phased out by high ticket prices, or the passage of time. The UCLA students who regularly attend games are generally enthusiastic, but small in numbers. Sadly, the AD (Guerrero) seems to be clueless, or in denial, about what It is going to take for UCLA to resurrect its once-dominant basketball program. A fancy new building was obviously not the solution at USC, and it is not working at UCLA either.
In Ben Howland's last season at UCLA, the Bruins won 25 games and the Pac-12 title. They also beat Arizona three times, and their "deliberate offense" led the Pac-12 in scoring. His successor, Steve Alford had a good first year with the players that Howland left behind, who were a year older and presumably improved. However, this season with only a couple of Howland's recruits still on the team, the Bruins are mediocre at best in a mediocre conference.
They shoot quick, and defense is an afterthought. Oh, and another criticism of Howland was that crowds were down at Pauley. His departure doesn't seem to have changed that.
I've always thought that Bill Walton was an outstanding basketball player. However, as an analyst/commentator he falls somewhere between Petros Papadakis and Todd Schrupp. I would wager that half of the people watching the game don't know who the Grateful Dead is and the other half could care less that Bill loves his bike.
Hey, big fella, put a cork in it so we can enjoy the game. Please!
I had a horrible nightmare last night. I dreamed that I was on trial for murder and my only alibi witnesses were Lance Armstrong and Alex Rodriguez.
Personally, I'm happy the Lakers didn't make any unwise moves at the trading deadline. Now Steve Nash can retire a Laker.
My prayers have been answered — I can finally play golf like Tiger!
La Mesa, Calif.
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