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THE CELEBS: L.A.'S FORGOTTEN PRO TEAM.

Byline: JACK MCGRATH Local View

BACK on May 5, with the possible owners' decision a few weeks away, I thought it would be fun to think up a name for the likely NFL pro football franchise in Los Angeles. I thought it should be something about the entertainment industry, the No. 1 job generator in the Southland.

I came up with Moguls, Stars, Pretenders, Performers and less-charming ideas. But settled with L.A. Celebs, because it was catchy and only two syllables.

So I printed up some bumper stickers, and sent the graphic to laobserved.com, a Los Angeles blog. That day I received a phone call from Judy Battista, staff writer for The New York Times, who had seen the laobserved blog. I was shocked that The Times would take such interest in my plan. But Battista was quite serious in her questions about the name and its relevance to the entertainment industry in the Los Angeles area.

The more I thought about the history of the feature film, television and music industries, the more I was convinced we have taken this economic powerhouse for granted. We have not shown proper respect for their impact on all of our lives.

How often do we think about or read anything in the media about Carl Laemmle, the founder of Universal, or Jack Warner and his brothers at Warners, or Lew Wasserman, Kirk Kirkorian or Sumner Redstone at the other major studios?

Every one of us knows someone who is a grip, electrician, set decorator, transportation coordinator, or one the many other craft positions in the film, television and music industries. These craft people are the lifeblood of Studio City, Burbank and many other communities in the L.A. region.

This industry will never be eclipsed by any other country. Our movies and television shows are sent to almost every other country in the world, translated into more than 100 languages, and broadcast for international audiences' viewing pleasure.

Our musicians, based in Los Angeles, can be heard on CDs in every country in the world. Sting, Eminem, Madonna, Alicia Keys and many other performers fill stadiums all over the world. None of them could walk the streets in China without being mobbed.

Maybe we have become jaded, when our Hollywood celebrity shows spend 10 minutes on Paris Hilton, and no time on Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, or young directors or writers. They pander to the actor category when in fact actors are economically a small segment of the entertainment industry.

Our television ``celebrity'' outlets have forgotten the many creative geniuses such as writers, directors and producers who create the dialogue for our many successful feature films and television shows.

The New York Times thought the name L.A. Celebs was worthy of discussion, as the future name of our Los Angeles pro football franchise, if it comes to be.

Until such time as we have a team, and team owner, I will refer to our possible pro football team as the L.A. Celebs. This is my individual way to pay homage and respect to the greatest creative group of people on our planet -- the American entertainment industry.
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:May 25, 2006
Words:528
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