Out West, Teams Are Few And Far Between

As a native San Diegan and fan of both the Padres and Chargers, you grow up hearing about a so-called 'east coast bias,' especially in the sports media world. Over the years, this bias has become more and more apparent to me.

When it comes to football and national sports media outlets, there clearly seems to be a priority placed on the teams of the east. Lots of talk about the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Giants, with plenty of nods to the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins. Heck, the dang NFL corporate office is based out of New York City, isn't it?

So where's the love for the West Coast teams? Can't we get equal treatment too?

It got me thinking; You know what? Theres a heck of a lot more teams on the east coast. I mean A LOT more. Just look at this map:

See all those bunched up team logos? See all the empty space as you cross the Mississippi? Notice how bad the Arizona Cardinals and the Oakland Raiders are? Outside of the Chargers, and maybe the Broncos and Seahawks, there aren't a whole lot of good teams out west.

If the Chargers left San Diego for Texas (San Antonio is heavily courting the team) that would be a serious blow not only for the San Diego region, but for the western region in general.

I realize that there isn't quite the population density necessary to support an NFL franchise out west like there is in the established east coast, but there is certainly room to add a couple of teams, in my opinion.

Los Angeles, although they're not exactly crying about it, doesn't have an NFL team right now. Las Vegas is a growing area and it certainly has the population to back a team as well. San Antonio would love a team and Texas loves their football; there is certainly room for three teams in the Lone Star State.

Adding three additional teams to the western United States would make for an even more exciting league and would help to spread football evenly across the country. There would have to be 7 division of 5 teams, or vice versa, but it's doable. There is an abundance of talent in the league with guys like Michael Turner itching and scratching to be a starter. More and more talented players are coming out of the college ranks and into the NFL. There is an established pipeline between the NCAA and all of it's teams, and the NFL.

Is this idea slightly crazy? Maybe. But it's still cool to wonder what new franchises the NFL could implement and how it would effect the league. And with many cities courting the Chargers, there is obvious interest in bringing the NFL to cities without a franchise.

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August 8, 2007

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