Periscope Depth

the world’s ours

So there was a football game last night; whatever.

Fraley, Auston and I were watching some injured Packers flee to the locker room just before halftime. “Are they running into a T.G.I. Friday’s?” Auston asked.

“Close,” Fraley said. “Jerry Jones, in his megalomaniacal quest to monetize every square foot of Cowboys Stadium, has created a sports bar abutting the player’s tunnel with glass walls. You can pay extra to watch the players enter and exit. And, um, yell things at them.”

Auston shrugged. “Not a bad plan.”

“It’s hard to lose money with a professional football team,” I said.

Fraley slapped me on the arm. “We should save up and buy one! Who do you think’s going for cheap?”

“Detroit?” I offered. “They’re doing better this year, but no one wants to live there.”

The Chiefs were floated, then the Browns. We ran down a list of the dogs of the NFC, but nothing seemed obvious.

“Ooh,” Fraley said. “What about the Rams? They’re terrible. I can get like seven grand if I sell my car; would that do it?”

I spun to face Fraley head-on. “Shut up,” I said.

He shut.

“We could buy the St. Louis Rams … and bring them back to L.A.! We could bring football back to L.A.! We’d be the heroes of the 21st century! We’d live like kings!

Someone commented that we might not want to live like Kings in Los Angeles, but I was already turning to Sylvia. “How much money would we make if we brought professional football back to L.A.?” I asked.

She winced. “Could you? Where would you put the stadium? There’s too much politics; no one wants a stadium in their neighborhood.”

I hadn’t expected to find a city with a sensible attitude toward the bankrupting cost of stadiums – especially in California – but I was not rebuffed. “Fine,” I said, “we’ll construct a giant floating atoll and build the stadium there.”

“How will people drive there? You’ll need parking for every single person; no one’s going to take public transit.”

“We’ll buy some coastline – coastline’s cheap in L.A., right? – pave it into a parking lot, then create a long pier that will ferry people to our island of death sport. Trust me! It’s a sure thing!”

Fraley tapped me on the shoulder. “She signed an NDA, right? You all signed NDAs?”

And then Greg Jennings won a Super Bowl and everything was okay.

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