Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports
On Tuesday afternoon, just over a week before the 2015-16 NFL season kicks off, the NFL on CBS and Thursday Night Football broadcast team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, along with Bill Cowher, Tony Gonzalez and Bart Scott from The NFL Today, and NFL Network’s Deion Sanders hosted a conference call to answer questions about the upcoming season.READ MORE: 3 Arrested, 1 Suspect Still Wanted For Drive-By Shooting That Injured 4 In Yonkers
The guys fielded a range of questions from local beat writers on their cities team’s in anticipation of the start of the year and gave some insight to some situations that have developed over the course of the pre-season thus far.
But perhaps the most interesting moment came when Los Angeles Daily News writer Tom Hoffarth asked Simms and Nantz the following question:
“Jim and Phil, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, would you assign a number to the chance of you being a part of an NFL telecast in 2016 and 2017.”
Nantz answered first, and mentioned that he would “love” to see it happen as a “West coast guy.”
“There’s just way too much chatter, there’s so many different stories, not just coming out of San Diego, Oakland and St. Louis, but stories coming out of Los Angeles. Things that are being discussed about the Coliseum that you hear on the street out West, that it’s a possible site for one or two NFL teams for maybe a year or two as a place holder until a stadium is built. I really think the race is truly on right now, there’s enough of an aggressive pattern here with those three franchises that something’s happening. And I for one am very excited about it. We’ve gone a long time without a team, much less two teams, in the second largest market in the country. I can’t tell you which ones I ultimately think will end up there but I do think we’re finally honing in on it.”
“I have to say, I thought 10 years ago, not at this level, but I thought that the league would have this all resolved by this Super Bowl. I had in my head in 2005, or 06, the for the Super Bowl in 2016, it would be coming back to L.A. for Super Bowl 50, right where it all started. But we’re going to miss out on that by a few years of having football back in that market but it’s on the way.”
Simms stated that he thinks things will move even quicker than Nantz suggested, rating the chances of the NFL having a team in Los Angeles “a 10” by the year 2017.READ MORE: Campaign 2021: Polls Open For Early Voting In New York City Primaries; First With Ranked Choice Voting
“Putting numbers on it, I’m going to say a seven for next year just because I think that once it heats up, it’s going to go so fast and they’re going to be so aggressive in what they’re going to do. And then in 2017 it’s a 10. I’ll be shocked if there’s not a team – at least one, probably two in there – by 2017 and I think it’s going to be unbelievable, I really do. I think the city of Los Angeles and that area is going to go crazy over whoever decides to relocate there. The stadium’s going to be awesome and it’s just going to be a terrific thing to be a part of. It’s going to be great for the NFL. People say ‘oh, it didn’t work here last time,’ but that was a long time ago. They’re ready for it now and the NFL has changed dramatically since the last time a team was in L.A.”
Besides basing their predictions on the countless rumors that have swirled for months, Nantz even offered up what he acknowledged was “a conspiracy theory” regarding the potential relocation.
“Obviously we don’t set the (NFL) schedule, but we look at it with great scrutiny. If Phil is right, and there’s a better than two-thirds chance that there’s going to be football in Los Angeles, that means something is breaking, realistically, I think by Thanksgiving (…) So we’re talking about a story that’s going to evolve in the next 90 days if it is a better than 50 percent chance. But isn’t it interesting, that St. Louis’ last home game of the season, is a Thursday night game national telecast on NFL Network, And isn’t it interesting, that Oakland’s last home game of the year, is a Thursday night game, on the NFL Network, on Dec. 24? Maybe it’s just pure coincidence, but would it be both of those teams? Would it be one of those teams involved? The odds are that one of those two would be involved in it, so that means that if it does break here in 90 days, we’re going to be broadcasting the last appearance by that team in that town, maybe even on two occasions.
Only time will tell whether Nantz’s theory is correct, but it certainly does lead you to wonder just how good the chances are of announcement coming sooner rather than later.
Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for just one championship for either of his other three teams.Biden And G-7 Partners Launch Infrastructure Initiative For Developing Countries