Sports commentary: How now, Hagar?

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Los Angeles is aiming at the Vikes. This is typical LA behavior.

By Mike Forster

  The L.A. Vikings.  The L.A. Vikings?

You’ve got to be kidding.

Nope.  Los Angeles is looking for an NFL team.

And, the City of Angels is eyeballing Minnesota.

I love getting columns that write themselves.  Like this one.

That’s because Los Angeles is the parasite of the sports world.

By and large, it does not develop franchises.  It poaches them from other locales.

Take, for instance, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Did you know that the Lakers were originally located in Minneapolis?

That’s why the team has the nonsensical nickname.

You see, Minneapolis has many, many lakes.  

There are no lakes in L.A.  But, there are Lakers.

This is what is known to linguists as a “misnomer.”

It’s like the New Orleans Saints.  

Folks, I’ve been to New Orleans.  If that is the way saints behave, I’m not sure heaven is a very nice place.

It’s like the Utah Jazz.  

I like jazz music.  But, given the choice between the music scenes in Memphis, Monterey, Chicago or Utah, I know which finishes in last place.

Another team the Los Angelinos stole away is the Dodgers.

Breaking the collective heart of Brooklyn, the team headed to sunny California along with the (then) New York Giants.

Why are the Dodgers so named?  Well, they started out as the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers.

What is there to dodge in LA other than the paparazzi and an onerous tax code?

The city’s other NBA entrant is the Clippers.

LA stole them away from San Diego, which had lured the team away from Buffalo.

Let’s not forget the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Nice easy ring to that one.  Why not rename our NFL team the Washington Redskins of Landover, Maryland”?

Catchy, no?

At least the Angels were home-grown.

In fairness, LA also developed, as opposed to stole, its NHL franchises:  The LA Kings and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

The Kings then enticed Wayne Gretzky from Edmonton, in a successful effort to save themselves from oblivion.

I’m not even going to comment on the goofiness of that Mighty Duck moniker.

And now, L.A. turns its loving gaze north and eastward.

Seems the Vikings are sick of playing in the Metrodome.

Minnesotans, having just picked up the tab for a new baseball stadium for the Twins and new digs for the University of Minnesota football team, are less than enamored of putting up (i.e. “paying for”) yet another new sports complex in the Twin Cities.

So, the Vikings are set to become the latest in the “Give us a new stadium or we’ll leave” extortion racket.

Interestingly, in 1994, LA wouldn’t play that game when the Rams deserted Southern California for the wonder that is St. Louis.

Neither would it give in when the Raiders tried to play the city for a dozen years, before they meekly returned to Oakland.

Now, L.A. is playing the other side of the coin.

It has been nearly two decades since L.A. had an NFL franchise.

As our nation’s second biggest city, that void has been remarkable.

Yet, the NFL has survived absent that presence.

Let’s hope it won’t take a raid of Minnesota to remediate that situation.

After all, Vikings are supposed to be the pillagers, not the pillagees.


Editor’s note:  I offer apologies, in advance, to Liberty’s Jeff Steele, an Angelino of the first order.  Sorry I don’t share your love of LA.