49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

June 20, 2011
L.A. candidates? Niners would prefer some over others

Peter King had an interesting note about Los Angles and the NFL in today's MMQB column. The two teams most often linked to L.A. in the last year have been the Chargers and Vikings because of their respective stadium issues.

"But don't overlook St. Louis," King writes. "The Rams' lease at the Edward Jones Dome expires after the 2014 season, and if the league doesn't address revenue inequity in a serious way in this round of bargaining, the Rams might be in the discussion."

The 49ers are very much hoping that L.A. lands a franchise, but they would prefer some teams over others. My guess is that the Rams are atop that list. Most important, a Rams return would rekindle the old NorCal-SoCal rivalry the 49ers had until the mid 1990s. Sure, the two teams still have a historic rivalry. But proximity always seems to add another layer of spice. Just ask Raiders and Chargers fans. Or Browns and Bengals fans. Or Giants and Dodgers fans.

With that in mind, the 49ers would be best served if an L.A. team landed in the NFC West. That wouldn't occur, of course, if the Chargers moved a couple of hours north or if the Raiders, another team that was recently linked to Los Angeles, moved south. There would be no changes in the divisional status quo if those moves occurred.

But it's easy to envision scenarios in which the two other franchises that have been discussed, the Vikings and Jaguars, moved into the NFC West. The key is St. Louis, which lies in the center of the country. From a geographic standpoint, St. Louis easily could replace the Vikings in the NFC North or the Jaguars in the AFC South.

In fact, about the only division in which St. Louis seems to be an ill fit -- geographically speaking -- is the West.

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The next member of the 49ers hall of fame will be picked by the fans. The team announced today that while the hall's selection committee will come up with the finalists, the team will leave it up to the public each year to make the final selection. This year's choice will be among RB Roger Craig, former head coach George Seifert and end/kicker Gordy Soltau.

Voting, which runs through July 15, can be done on the team-run website, 49ers.com. In addition to the public selection, team owners also will select an inductee each year, presumably to offset the bias toward more recent players and coaches who are fresher in the public consciousness. (Especially those who vote on the Internet). The winners will be featured in a halftime ceremony of the team's Nov. 13 game against the Giants.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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