Judging by his awkward, dishonest Tweets, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appears to want people to believe that he successfully brought 2021's Super Bowl LV to the City of Los Angeles. He did not.
Tiny neighboring city Inglewood landed the Ram's franchise, billion dollar stadium and the big game. While some allege Inglewood cooked its books, what is indisputable is that the NFL chose it, not the City of LA, for the good times ahead.
It seems that Garcetti wants prospective president Hillary Clinton, at whose side he regularly appears, to believe otherwise, as he has long tried to position himself as a prototype for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development despite LA's chronic homelessness especially among veterans, affordable housing crisis and inability to build a football stadium that would lure a franchise rather than the crumbling relic known as the LA Memorial Coliseum that is approaching its 100th birthday.
Nearly a week after the NFL awarded the 2021 Super Bowl hosting privileges to Inglewood, as I predicted it would do in my recent CityWatchLA.com article, Garcetti and the City Hall public relations machine is still taking an awkward social media "victory" lap pretending to have won something it lost. His extended glee is very telling.
You can understand Garcetti re-Tweeting last week in his official account the NFL's announcement that the game was coming to "Los Angeles." The name has glamorous cache while Inglewood's does not. The game is in Los Angeles County in which the cities of Los Angeles and Inglewood co-exist with 86 others. And several immediately surrounding cities, including Santa Monica, will enjoy enormous financial benefit in terms of tax dollars from hotel, restaurant and other NFL-related receipts, and the jobs that come with them.
And you can understand Garcetti re-Tweeting the Rams' announcement, since he says he was a fan during his childhood. He included a link to his phone interview with the NFL Network. But why the NFL interviewed the mayor of the city that did not win the Super Bowl is curious. While Garcetti is listed as an adviser to the Casey Wasserman-led committee that brought the game to Inglewood, he did not appear to be in the room celebrating with the committee's other members when the NFL aired its announcement.
Garcetti then Tweeted an awkward video of himself in front of a fire truck, saying "Hi, I'm Mayor Eric Garcetti. I'm so proud to announce that here in LA we will be home to the Super Bowl in 2021. This is where it started. The very first Super Bowl was at the Coliseum. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena. And now the great new stadium in Inglewood will host it. We hope to see you there. It's a great day for LA."
By here, LA, we and home, Garcetti must mean the County of LA (which he does not run), rather than the City of LA (which he does). Truth be told, the name "Super Bowl" was not used until the fourth AFL-NFL Championship game. The iconic Roman numerals were added to the fifth. The Super Bowl moniker has since been retroactively applied to that first game in Los Angeles, where just 61,496 occupied its January 1967 capacity of 97,500 seats.
Then Garcetti Tweeted an even more awkward video of himself, which read "the exact moment Mayor Garcetti was told LA would be hosting Super Bowl LV, which he then told a South LA audience." In the embedded video, a grinning Mayor pumped his fist and said "Oh boy! Do you guys want to hear some cool news? They just announced we got the Super Bowl in 2021!"
That, of course, depends on the meaning of we. Oh boy, indeed!
Two days later, Garcetti Tweeted "Throwing it back to some great SoCal #SuperBowl moments as we look forward to #SB55 in 2021! #ThrowbackThursday #TBT."
Except one of the photos was of the Oakland Raiders' Super Bowl XV victory....which took place in New Orleans.
And on Sunday, nearly a week after the announcement, Garcetti again Tweeted the video of him announcing that we got the Super Bowl.
Garcetti's Super Bowl obsession progression can be seen here.
The Mayor and his 17 elected colleagues gush as only politicians can that, while we are all one people, there are different communities to be celebrated within the city. From Fairfax to Chinatown, the NoHo Arts District to Beverly Center Adjacent, they continually remind us to celebrate the differences. Similarly, it's time for Mayor Garcetti to drop the Super Bowl charade and stop blurring the lines between these two distinct cities. There will be big financial benefits for all neighboring cities and residents. The Rams will temporarily play in the crumbling L.A. Coliseum before its big move to Inglewood, when the ruin will be 97 years old. It will be years before the NFL reconsiders whether the City of LA is a candidate for a permanent NFL presence.
There is much to be said for the sportsmanship of being a good loser. It means knowing when to stop shaking the winner's hand in congratulations and leave the playing field. It is time for Garcetti and LA's other officials to do exactly that.
Daniel Guss, MBA, is a journalist and corporate communications managing editor who blogs on humane issues.
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