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Debate Friday: New team for L.A.

Would you like to see football return to Los Angeles? Cast your vote in our Debate Friday poll.

A report this morning on the ProFootballTalk website added a fresh element to calls for a new NFL team for Los Angeles.

The report cites a representative for billionaire Philip Anschutz, who is apparently seeking to purchase a majority interest in a team and move it to L.A. Five candidates are listed: the Vikings, Chargers, Rams, Raiders, and Jaguars.

Two of those teams - Oakland and St. Louis - have been based in Los Angeles before, of course, and the NFL has been insistent on putting a team back in the City of Angels since both clubs fled town after the 1994 season.  

With so little going on involving the Patriots this week, we thought we'd weigh in on the L.A. question in Debate Friday:

Should NFL football return to Los Angeles?

Read the arguments of the Patriots Football Weekly writers, then cast your vote in our poll.

Erik Scalavino says, "No ..."

If ever there was a misguided reason for giving a city an NFL franchise, it's this one. The league purely wants this to happen because of the money it expects to generate. It has absolutely nothing to do with what fans want.

Remember when the Browns left Cleveland in the mid-1990s? Those fans were devastated. Their despair even made the cover of Sports Illustrated. But they never gave up on their team and were soon rewarded with a new version of their beloved Browns.

No such zeal exists in L.A. for NFL football. One of the main reasons both the Rams and Raiders skipped town was because their fan base was so lethargic and disinterested. There has been no Cleveland-like outcry from Angelinos to bring the pro game back to their city. They've proven enough times that they can't support an NFL team and shouldn't be given another chance.

The teams rumored to be in consideration certainly have grounds to want to move or build new stadiums in their current areas. If they need to move, I suggest finding a population center that actually likes football and would be capable of supporting an NFL club - San Antonio, Texas, for example, or the Portland, Oregon area ... even Utah. All of those states have passionate fan bases from college and even high school football teams, as well as pro franchises in other sports.

L.A. shows up for Lakers, USC, and UCLA games ... even Dodger games remain fashionable. But for whatever reason, fans there couldn't be bothered with the NFL. Fine with me. I say, who needs 'em?  
~ ES

Paul Perillo says, "Yes ..."

How can there be three teams in California with none based in Los Angeles? It makes no sense at all to have the nation's second-largest television market without a team, especially when there are more than enough franchises around that could use a change of scenery.

There are rumors about talks having already taken place with five teams - San Diego, Oakland, Jacksonville, Minnesota and St. Louis - regarding the possibility of relocating. It simply has to happen when considering the struggles these teams have had in filling their seats and generating consistent interest in their areas. A new stadium in LA would be perfect, especially for the California teams who could benefit from the larger potential fan base (not to mention a football-starved area that would welcome them).

The Raiders were wildly popular in LA the first time around while playing in the antiquated Coliseum. The Chargers have been one of the league's most talented teams for the better part of a decade and yet still don't garner consistent interest in San Diego. Either would love to break in new digs in LA.

I never like to see cities lose teams but if the people don't seem to care then why not try something different? LA is big enough to house two fairly relevant baseball teams yet can't support one NFL franchise? I'm not buying it and it's time to change that.
~ PP

Your turn! Cast your vote in this week's Debate Friday poll.

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