The NFL will play games this fall, it was reported Monday.
We are told this is a good thing because, had there not been a labor settlement, fantasy league players would continue to throw themselves off tall buildings at an alarming rate. Now, sadly, it will be the spouses of fantasy league players who will be taking stairs to the rooftop.
We hadn't followed this closely, because the NFL has been pretty much dead to us, and most of Los Angeles, since Oct. 5, 1999. That's when the best efforts of Los Angeles businessmen — and we might put little quote marks around the words "best efforts" — were drowned by a Texas oil gusher.
Harken back: In the spring of that year, the NFL had awarded, in principle, the 32nd franchise to Los Angeles. It had been four years since Georgia Frontiere took her Rams to St. Louis and Al Davis took his Raiders back to Oakland. In those four years, Los Angeles had wrinkled its collective brow and wondered whether losing Frontiere and Davis in one year was a bad thing, or if we had hit the jackpot.
Nevertheless, when an NFL team leaves a city there is always community hand-wringing. Two departures double the angst.
Soon, people with money and skill at putting big projects together were doing just that. Through the efforts of the likes of Michael Ovitz, Mayor Richard Riordan, Ron Burkle, Eli Broad and Ed Roski, the deal seemed done. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue stood on the Coliseum steps, had his picture taken and said it would be so.