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Morning Briefing

NFL could go long with L.A.

October 18, 2006|Mike Penner | Times Staff Writer

Latest theory as to why the NFL has apparently decided to peg its return to Los Angeles to the year Peyton Manning's first-born son becomes draft-eligible: Our proposed football stadiums are in the wrong places.

Downtown L.A. belongs to USC. Anaheim is a hockey town. According to a report on MSNBC.com titled, "Where Will Your Favorite Team Move?", a more likely local choice for the NFL's return is ... Riverside.

Riverside is included on a list of 10 U.S. cities with growing populations that could be ready for a major league team within the next 20 years. MSNBC.com asks, "Did you know Riverside was the fastest-growing metropolitan area among the top 20 most populous [in the U.S.]? Did you even know Riverside counted as its own metro area?

"Forget putting an NFL team in Los Angeles -- there's got to be somebody in this area willing to shell out for a team to give Riverside its own identity. And it would still count as the L.A. television market!"

Now, what to name this new Riverside franchise? Ideally, it would be something that pays tribute to our Rams and Raiders heritage.

The NFL's featured game from the 2026 Week 7 schedule: Chicago Bears at Riverside Ramblers.

Yeah, Texas needs more teams

Others on MSNBC.com's list include:

* Austin, listed as "the biggest city without a major league team of any kind. Combined with San Antonio ... there's a potential fan base of about 3.6 million people."

* El Paso, which by cultivating "the local fan base on both sides of the border could not only strike gold on their own, but they also could elevate the eyes of their particular league among Latinos."

* Omaha, home to one resident named Warren Buffet, who is "rich enough to buy a team in every league and build a stadium for each one of them."

* Tucson. Although "Phoenix has tried to head off the inevitable by naming half its teams 'Arizona' ... Tucson is growing enough to support its own teams."

Trivia time

Omaha once had ties to which major league professional team?

Low attendance levels explained

The employees and media entrance at Staples Center now features a sign that charts the day's terror threat level, which was yellow for Monday's 3-1 loss by the Kings to the Detroit Red Wings.

Staples Center employees and media covering the Kings are still awaiting the sign that reads, "If the threat level jumps any higher, please bring duct tape. But not the Ducks. We can't beat the Ducks."

A-Rod remains Mr. May

Twenty-nine years ago today, Reggie Jackson hit home runs in three consecutive at-bats to power the New York Yankees to an 8-4 victory over the Dodgers in the sixth and final game of the 1977 World Series. Jackson batted .450 with five home runs and eight RBIs during the Series, which earned the Yankees their first World Series title in 15 years and Jackson the sobriquet, "Mr. October."

Trivia answer

The NBA franchise now known as the Sacramento Kings spent three seasons (1972-75) as the Kansas City-Omaha Kings, splitting home games between those cities.

And finally

New York Islanders Coach Ted Nolan, to Newsday about his team's goal-scoring slump:

"It doesn't have to be painting a portrait. We've just got to start painting barns."

Nolan is setting his sights too high. Before you can paint it, you first have to be able to hit the side of a barn.

mike.penner@latimes.com

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