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Scott Ostler

Earth to the Boz: L.A. Is the Place to Find Your Space

May 14, 1987|Scott Ostler

Dearest Boz:

Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know how excited we are here in Los Angeles about the upcoming Brian Bosworth National Letter of Intent Day.

That's the day when you mail out letters to most of the NFL teams, advising them not to bother drafting you in the special supplemental draft because you hate their team and their city and if they draft you you'll sit out the entire 1987 season and hold your breath until you turn blue, or your hair does.

What a fabulous concept--holding America hostage! You rascal, you know we fans can't go an entire season without our Boz. I can relate to what you're doing here. This is the same kind of power play I frequently use with great success in dealing with movie studio executives and fast-food-stand employees.

I have to tell you, Boz, we're thrilled and honored that you have singled out Los Angeles, and the local football team, as your No. 1 choice. However, there are a few things we should talk over before you make your final decision.

You might want to consider a new hair style. For one thing, you would get swallowed up in Los Angeles, you would be just another kid with a rainbow Mohawk and a ponytail. Also, I've heard rumors that Raider owner Al Davis, though he appreciates individual expression, feels that one punk hairdo in the Raider organization is enough. And I'm pretty sure Al's not going to go Ivy League on us.

As for that ponytail, or rat-tail, well, you have to remember you're going to be a rookie, and the Raiders are tough guys. If Lyle Alzado was still around, he'd use that rat-tail of yours for dental floss. I'd hate to see you get off on the wrong foot with your new teammates. Just remember, if they hang a Raiderette uniform in your locker, it's intended as a form of affectionate kidding.

The three earrings you wear in your left earlobe are no problem, either. They probably help you get better cable reception. However, I'm afraid three earrings might be last year's style. By now, Steve Garvey probably has three earrings. Nose rings and pins through the cheek are hopelessly passe , too. In this city it's important to be a step ahead of the crowd. You need something new and ultra hip. How about getting a door-knocker welded to your forehead?

Be prepared for a bit of a Boz backlash in Los Angeles, Boz. Even though you haven't insulted our city yet, some fans here think you're a little arrogant with the way you're calling your shot, draftwise.

"Now that I have received my degree," you said the other day, "it's time to go on and begin my professional career just like any other college graduate ."

(Those italics are mine, Boz. I couldn't resist.)

You said you want to play for "a winning team in a major market."

"Tell him to try Safeway or Alpha Beta," I overheard someone say.

Your request should be no problem, though, since most college stars prefer to launch their pro football careers by playing for lousy teams in cities that don't have TV stations or daily newspapers.

You narrow down your list of approved cities, saying you'd prefer not to play on artificial turf. I understand. That artificial turf is dangerous stuff. You could snag an earring. Well, you won't have to worry about artificial turf if you play for the Raiders. The Coliseum Commission is committed to a natural surface. For the '87 Raider season, the commission is installing quicksand.

The Raiders, I'm sure, appreciate the fact you're willing to forgive their quarterback shortcomings. "There's no perfect team," you said. "The Raiders have no quarterback. The reason I like the Raiders is I like their attitude."

I can almost see the tears of gratitude welling in the eyes of Lester Hayes and Howie Long when they read that last sentence. The admiration is mutual. I'm sure the Raiders dig the way you look an opponent square in the eye, clear your throat and "hawk a loogie" in his face. That will fit right in with the Raider motto: "Pride and Poise."

By the way, Boz, a point of information: The Raiders actually do have a quarterback. It's just that his name and number are unlisted, probably so he won't get a lot of junk mail.

Anyway, I won't keep you. I know you're busy narrowing your list of teams, writing sensitive, tactful letters to all the teams that didn't make the final cut in the Boz Sweepstakes.

The important thing is that you want to come to Los Angeles, and we want you. We won't present you with the keys to the city, because that would be too stuffy and maudlin. We'll just leave a crowbar by the front door. Let yourself in and make yourself at home. Let's party.

Sincerely,

Boz Fan No. 1.

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