Los Angeles Dreaming Big
In the last ten days, some of the biggest names in sports - Tiger Woods, The Jacksonville Jaguars, Albert Pujols, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard - have provided so many story lines to the 213 area code, some are wondering if the Los Angeles sports landscape is changed forever.
It started last week when longtime Jags owner Wayne Weaver gave up his beloved team and in doing so, most likely said good bye to NFL football in North Florida. The only thing worse than being pathetic on the field is being pathetic off of it. The Jaguars can’t sell out and can’t win, the two main ingredients to any pro sports team’s success. Soon new owner Shakid Khan will deliver to Los Angeles the one thing missing from one of America’s finest cities…an NFL franchise.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are not only a mouthful, but throughout their 45 years of existence, they’ve been the younger brother to the wealthier, more powerful L.A. Dodgers. The tide officially shifted south to Anaheim this week when owner Arte Moreno opened his checkbook to pay baseball’s greatest hitter Albert Pujols $254 million over the next ten years. Moreno also threw $77 million to new starting pitcher C.J. Wilson. For the first time ever, the Angels are dominating the L.A. baseball scene.
After the on-again, off-again deal of Chris Paul to the Lakers was squashed by NBA dictator David Stern, L.A. turned their attention to Orlando’s superstar big man, Dwight Howard. The imminent acquisition(s) of Howard and/or Paul set the Lakers up to not only beat Miami’s Dream Team in the busy NBA news cycle, but even more importantly, on the basketball court.
And finally, Tiger Woods won the Chevron World Challenge just north of Los Angeles to win his first tournament in over two years. Tiger returning to the winner’s circle in Los Angeles is more coincidental than meaningful to the city. But it was no coincidence that the most prolific athlete of our generation set the tone for the most prolific ten days in Los Angeles sports history.