Hard not to get chills while watching the victorious Lakers walk down the steps of the Coliseum to a sea of 90,000 purple-and-gold clad Lakers fans.
Thankfully all of them had their furloughs on Wednesday. Wasn't that convenient?
Watching the Lakers greats of the past combined with the new generation -- Pao Gasol and Adam Morrison are going to get me to watch a regular season game yet -- was just a sight to behold. A great day to be a Southern California sports fan. But a sad day, too.
Watching the city rally around the Lakers, you can't help but wonder why the region couldn't rally around an NFL team. Sure, you can make the argument that Southern California fans are too splintered. But seriously, 90,000 people at the Coliseum and hundreds of thousands more on the parade route?
And we still don't have a football team.
But then you realize that the NFL just isn't geared for Southern California. The Eastern seaboard and fly-over America is suited for the fickleness of the NFL. Teams are good one year, bad the next. That doesn't fly out here. Southern Californians have this weird notion that if you are going to pay $100 to watch a football team, that team must be good.
We're morons, right? We should bankrupt our cities even further by funneling money into a franchise that might go 8-8 one year, followed by a 5-11, with a 9-7 playoff team the following year.
Sports like the NBA and MLB are more suited for Southern California where the inequities of incomes and an hour-glass dispersal of teams are common place. The Lakers, Angels and Dodgers can spend the money to be competitive each year. (Though that doesn't explain the Clippers.)
You don't get that in the NFL.
But still, you have to wonder what the NFL in Los Angeles would be like with an owner like Robert Craft who has sustained excellence. Or maybe a team modeled after the Steelers -- a team that's in the playoffs seemingly every year. Of course, we would probably end up with a Jerry Jones or Daniel Snyder.
So forgive me if I dream a little bit, if but for a moment. Pretending that this crowd was filling to Coliseum to welcome the 1999 Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.