Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown question football in Los Angeles

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Newly minted Hall of Famers Jerome Bettis and Tim Brown spent only a chunk of their long NFL careers in Los Angeles. But as they entered the Hall of Fame over the weekend, they both took some time to chat with Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.

Farmer recounted Bettis and Brown's time in Los Angeles but also offered some interesting words from both on how football was received when they played in the City of Angels.

Bettis, of course, played for the Rams in Los Angeles for two years and spent a season with the St. Louis edition before being traded to Pittsburgh.

"My perception of L.A? You've got to remember, I'm coming from Notre Dame [where] every game is sold out, everywhere we go we're treated like rock stars, every city we show up in there are thousands of fans there," Bettis told the paper. "I get to L.A. and the stadium is half-full, and on the road there's nobody."

Brown, who played in L.A. for seven years before the Raiders moved back to Oakland, had similar thoughts.

"The issue you're going to have in L.A. is, if you're not playing the best football, that beach is awfully tempting on Sunday," Brown said. "And God forbid when the Lakers start playing -- back in the day they were great -- so now people are saving their money to go to those games. We even had to fight with the Dodgers; they were great at that time."

As the NFL examines relocation to Los Angeles, particularly with the possibility of having two teams in town right away, evaluating the market's passion for the game is a huge part of the equation. Clearly, the league feels comfortable that at least one team can be supported.

And while some might see the comments from Bettis and Brown as a potential warning sign for the NFL returning to Los Angeles, it's important to note how much the NFL has grown since the duo last played there. That's not to say the support will or won't be there for a team or teams, just that it's a whole new world for the NFL now compared to the early 90s and before that.


A roundup of the weekend's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein had some interesting thoughts on balancing the mental and physical parts of his job. ... On Friday night, the Rams signed quarterback Nick Foles to a two-year contract extension. ... At first blush, the deal appears logical for both parties. ... In Saturday's mailbag, we offered some early impressions from training camp. ... Saturday night's special teams practice was pretty nondescript but undrafted rookie Jacob Hagen had a good night. ... In Sunday's mailbag, we discussed wide receivers. ... We wrapped up the weekend with a recap of Sunday night's practice.


Former Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is focused on football.

Sad news from the NFL world as Frank Gifford passed away Sunday.

Our NFL Nation team weighs in on which players should be next to go to the Hall of Fame.

At 101sports.com, Randy Karraker offers six factors to consider for the owners at this week's meetings in Chicago.

At stltoday.com, please take a moment and read my friend Bernie Miklasz's farewell column.

Jim Thomas writes that coach Jeff Fisher is pleased with his team's early work in this training camp.