Thou Shalt Not Pee

Yates trial judge makes a captive audience of the media

Maybe it's that incisive coverage that got us the team in the first place, if some recent carping from the West Coast is any indication.

The city of Los Angeles was competing with Houston for the expansion franchise back in 1999, and now there are rumblings that the San Diego Chargers may move up the coast to L.A.

Here's how Los Angeles Times sports columnist T.J. Simers analyzed developments February 27: "The L.A. Chargers? Only if We Have the Write Stuff," read his column's headline.

He predicts the Chargers will try to move for the 2004 season. "That presents a dilemma," he writes. "They will try -- but should we help? When the NFL awarded Houston an expansion franchise because it met the NFL's extortion demand of $700 million and public money for a stadium, league leaders blamed the Times for hurting L.A.'s effort to get a team, while congratulating the cheerleaders at the Houston Chronicle for championing their city's cause."

By e-mail, Simers said NFL officials regularly touted the Chron's happy-talk reporting to L.A. boosters. "It was mentioned often to the politicians and people working here for football, who then used it on us in a leverage attempt to get better coverage," Simers said.

Simers's column noted that when the Seattle Seahawks were making noises about moving to L.A., then-owner Ken Behring "expressed great dismay when the L.A. media failed to greet him with puff pieces."

We guess he should have tried Houston. Dude would've been walking on water by now, if he just agreed to blow his own horn a bit.

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