Today, Sunday, is the day of the Superbowl. A day on which much of America eats unhealthy snacks, drinks a lot of beer, and watches TV adverts and a big name rock act. It is also a day on which a parochial version of Rugby has its final game of the season.

The season started back in late summer, with supporters across the country hoping that their team would be in the final game. In America’s second most populuos city, however, fans knew that no Los Angeles team would make the Superbowl. They have known that since 1995. This is not because LA fans are most realistic about their prospects than elsewhere in the country. It is because on Christmas Eve 1994, the LA Raiders and the LA Rams palyed their last games in the city before moving to Oakland and St Louis respectively.

Those events put me in mind of The Importance of Being Earnest : "To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness." Teams in American sports leave cities on a fairly frequent basis, but two in the same year is noteworthy. It did happen in the fifties in baseball, when the Giants and Dodgers left New York and headed West, but at least they left the city with the Yankees.

LA has had no team in the NFL from the 1995 season onwards. The city has an ice hockey team, a Baseball team, two basketball teams, and two football (soccer teams). The nearby city of Anaheim adds another hockey team and a baseball team. The latter even implying that it is an LA team by sporting the moniker of Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. But when it comes to the most popular sport in the US, there are no teams.

The lack of teams has not prevented two sepearte schemes to build an American football stadium in the city; on the Field of Dreams principle – If you built it they will come. Then just this week, the owner of the St Louis Rams, formerly the Los Anegeles Rams, purchased sixty acres of land in LA. No matter that this is not enough real estate for a stadium and parking, rumours are now flying of a possible return of the team to LA.

Published in: on 2 February, 2014 at 7:00  Leave a Comment  

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