Sports column: Los Angeles Vikings?

From the May 3 edition of The Jamestown Sun.

Los Angeles Vikings?

As the clock continues to tick on a potential new Minnesota Vikings stadium, and no agreement is reached, it appears increasingly possible that Los Angeles may be a very real possibility for the franchise that has called Minnesota home for more than half a century.

The Los Angeles Vikings? Stranger things have happened. Plus Los Angeles has a storied history of keeping the names of teams that have left for greener pastures.

If you’ve never been to Los Angeles it doesn’t take long to notice there are no lakes. But there are plenty of lakes in Minnesota where the team was one of the most successful in the National Basketball League.

The Lakers relocated to Los Angeles in 1962 where it is considered the most successful expansion team in NBA history as NBL team records were not accepted by the NBA.

Los Angeles also stole the name Dodgers, when Brooklyn saw the team leave in 1958.

The term Dodgers is a slur placed upon those unable to afford the trolley in the teams early days. These people hopped on illegally and were referred to as trolley dodgers during the 1911 season (thanks Ken Burns).

Both teams also saw substantial success after the relocation. The Dodgers with five championships and nine pennants and the Lakers with 11 championships and 25 conference titles.

This might be a good move for Vikings fans desperate for the Lombardi Trophy. The stadium would likely be located next to the Staples Center and both teams could don the purple and gold — at least for a year.

But with a move in this day and age comes a name change. At least it should.

Salt Lake City is the least deserving city in the union to have a basketball team with the name Jazz (it belonged to New Orleans prior from 1974 to 1979).

The Browns changed to the Ravens and Cleveland was awarded an expansion team a few years later and took the old name back.

There was even a season in the NFL when a team was known as the Tennessee Oilers, after it left Houston, before it became known as the Titans.

I don’t want to get into the Al Davis debacle here, but one team, two cities and one name.

Point being, if the Vikings move, there will be one season with the old name and its Minnesota roots still attached before those are cut off.

But what would the name be? What name fits the Los Angeles and the surrounding city? What name is there that doesn’t sound like something out of the WNBA or MLS?

Most of the world is already obsessed with them so why not the L.A. Kardashians? Maybe the L.A. Low-riders? How about Lumberjacks, why not steal from Minnesota’s roots again?

If the Vikings relocate it’s going to be awfully hard to identify and root for a team owner that choose L.A. over Minneapolis, losing traditions and mangled roofs aside — whatever the name is.

Rodgers is a news writer at the Jamestown Sun