Citizens of Los Angeles rejoiced recently at hearing that their dreams of acquiring an NFL team might just become a reality.
The new stadium for such team would be situated smack dab in the middle of downtown within relative proximity to the Staples Center, the home of both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Other than the impending traffic that such a project would present (as an L.A. resident this is actually terrifying), there have been many questions about the effect an NFL team would have on the support of the city's other sports teams like the Lakers.
As a fanbase, Los Angeles is relatively divided. The Los Angeles Dodgers are well-followed when they actually win games. The Los Angeles Kings were recently propelled into the spotlight after and only after winning the Stanley Cup. The Los Angeles Galaxy are known only for David Beckham and Landon Donovan. The Los Angeles Clippers were ignored until they got Blake Griffin.
But the Lakers have always been much more. The city prided itself on its dominant basketball team and massive collection of NBA championships. It's had Jerry West, Magic Johnson, now Kobe Bryant. A trip to downtown L.A. would reveal a vast array of Lakers jerseys. As far as sports teams go in Los Angeles, the Lakers are on a pedestal.
Considering the popularity of the NFL, there has been some speculation about whether or not this would remain the case if a football team put itself in downtown L.A. Speculation about which team that might be has pinpointed maybe the Chargers, maybe the Raiders, possibly the Bills and a slight possibility of the Jaguars (I hope not).
However, with the rich history the Lakers have in Los Angeles, I find it highly unlikely the position the Lakers hold in L.A. would ever be usurped. The emergence of a new football team would spark some city pride, but the Lakers hold a special place for everyone who grew up in Los Angeles.
The Lakers will always be Los Angeles' team.