GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) — Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't want one NFL team in Los Angeles. He wants two.
The California governor will probably have to be satisfied with half of his wish — at least in the near future.
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and a committee of 11 owners heard presentations Tuesday from officials representing Los Angeles, Anaheim and Pasadena, three cities that want a club. The area has been without an NFL franchise for more than a decade.
Schwarzenegger went first. After meeting with the owners, the actor-turned-politician emerged to say he was there to make sure "we're getting not only one NFL team to the Los Angeles area, Southern California, but to actually get two teams. That's why I came. Why limit it?"
I dunno...because your constituents don't want 'em?
Or maybe they do. But they sure held the door open to make sure both the Rams and Raiders made it out safely a decade ago, and nobody squawked too much when the league expanded twice without glancing to its left. But then several mid-market teams--Indianapolis, San Diego, Arizona, Minnesota--faced stadium contract expiration dates. Suddenly the league was almost desperate to regain a foothold in the nation's Number Two Teevee Market.
The NFL is aware that it milked the LA business as far as it could go without making a realistic-looking move toward getting back into the market, and booster groups sprung up around renovating the LA Colosseum, the Rose Bowl, or building a new $800,000 M complex in Anaheim.
Even assuming that people care, why would they care enough to want two? Why would a politician, even one as tone-deaf as Arnie (who could've seen that comin', huh?) call for dueling franchises at god knows what expense in a state whose budget crises brought about his unlikely election in the first place? Schwarzenegger isn't going to be anywhere near an elected office should a second expansion club come So Cal's way, and he probably doesn't have much say about the first one, either. You'll forgive me if my primary focus is on the cost overruns for Hey Rube Lube Stadium in my own backyard, but I can look up long enough to wonder whether Arnie gets paid by the inanity, or whether threatening the rest of the league with another round of "We'll move to LA!" is part of the up-front money Cali had to provide.