Just a few hours after this story appeared on MSNBC’s site:
For years, Los Angeles has been where the downtrodden of the sports world dwell. Yes, the widespread agony went on hiatus when the Lakers held the occasional parade. But that hardly made up for the rest of it.
There were the Los Angeles Dodgers, owned by a parking lot kingpin and his wife. They brought unease, which evolved into dread. Then scandal ensued over a messy divorce and the beating of a fan by cretins. When they finally left the scene, the collective sigh swept through the L.A. basin like a Santa Ana wind.
But there was more sorrow. Much more.
The Clippers had long been mirth makers of the negative kind. USC football was banned from postseason play. UCLA seemed to ban itself from relevance. The Angels had underachieved. And the two NHL teams in the area might as well have been playing on a pond in Moose Jaw for all the attention they received.
But the tired, poor, huddled masses of Gucci-clad sashimi-eaters longing for sports satisfaction in and around El Lay might finally be enjoying their renaissance. Los Angeles is the sports capital of the universe right now.
New York, you had your Eli-te Manning and the Super Bowl champions, the East-leading Rangers, Linsanity, Tebowmania and the ever-present Yankees. Boston, you were an amazing David Tyree catch away from a NBA-MLB-NFL title sweep in 2006. Dallas, there was Dirk and another World Series heartbreak last year.
But Southern California is where it’s at now.
And then this happened:
Ty Lawson scored 32 points, fellow spark plug Corey Brewer added 18 and the Denver Nuggets forced a Game 7 in their first-round playoff series with a dominating 113-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.
The free-wheeling Nuggets are one win from running the lumbering Lakers right out of the playoffs. Game 7 in the Western Conference series is Saturday night at the Staples Center.
The Minnesota Vikings, long considered one of the prime candidates for a possible move to Los Angeles, will remain in Minneapolis for at least the next three decades. The state’s House and Senate approved a bill Thursday that will provide $498 million in public money for the construction of a new stadium on the site of the Metrodome.
The bill was expected to be signed by Gov. Mark Dayton, the bill’s most fervent champion. The stadium is expected to be ready for the 2016 season, and Minneapolis is almost certain to host a Super Bowl not long after, a pattern the N.F.L. has established to reward teams and communities with new stadiums.