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Unwelcoming the Chargers to the city of Los Angeles

Everyone has that relative that gets you gifts you don’t need. This isn’t necessarily an awful trait to possess, but maybe sometimes gifts from them are more about them than about you. Looks like the NFL is now that “relative” to the city of Los Angeles. I mean what do you give to the city that already has an NFL team it kinda-sorta doesn’t want: Another mediocre NFL franchise!

After 20 years of neglect, suddenly the nation’s second largest city is a two-NFL team town and the new home for the St. Louis Los Angeles Rams and the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers.

Usually, when a team moves to a new city, people are excited, and this actually happened to Los Angeles in the Rams case, albeit in a minor way. Unfortunately, the gift of the Chargers appears to be one gift too many. The good news is that their new logo did however bring some gifts by way of humor:

Some thought it looks a bit like the child of another Los Angeles franchise and another “electricity” franchise:

This brought on one of the all-time great tweets courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning account (unfortunately the NFL deleted their original post so here’s a screengrab):

Tampa Bay Lightning Burns the new Chargers logo on Twitter

Honorable mention for Twitter roasting goes to the Dallas Stars:

Quick history on the Rams, Chargers & Los Angeles

I’m going to go out on a limb, here. Los Angeles has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment. Major sports teams in each league, ground zero for entertainment — TV, music, comedy, and celebrities — beautiful weather, awesome beaches, mountains within the city limits with great hiking views, and a vibrant nightlife. There’s simply no room for mediocrity in this town. Thanks to the NFL and Dean Spanos, mediocrity is exactly what we’re getting in the Los Angeles Chargers, a team that has never won a Super Bowl title.

Here’s another hot take from Captain Obvious: the NFL has completely bungled the LA professional football experience for pretty much my entire lifetime (est. 1984). The most popular pro football team in LA is the Raiders. Because their fans aren’t exactly the Beverly Hills type and Al Davis basically got into a pissing contest with the league over their initial move to and from LA, the NFL doesn’t seem excited about that loyalty. Instead, we’re stuck with the two teams that finished second and third in popularity out of the three teams that might’ve come here.

Did you know that when the Rams last called themselves a Los Angeles franchise, they were playing in another city in another county, Orange County, in the same stadium that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play in? Contrary to the name, the Angels play a good 30-40 minutes outside of the city of Los Angeles, the key phrase there being a good day of traffic. Just so we’re all on the same page here, we don’t get a lot of good days of traffic in coastal southern California.

Quick side note: Could you imagine a team name like the New York Giants of New Jersey?! The Giants play much closer to New York than the Angels to Los Angeles. Anyway, back to other stupid things…

As I was saying, the Rams weren’t even playing in LA when they last were here. At least they were “here” in a sense of the word for a meaningful amount of time.

Meanwhile, when the Chargers last played in Los Angeles (for a grand total of one season), John F. Kennedy had yet to be inaugurated as president. They then spent the next 50-plus years in the nearest major city, which coincidentally has a healthy rivalry with the city of Los Angeles. Water under the bridge, I suppose.

According to Patriots owner Robert Kraft, LA is a good, close spot for Chargers fans because they can drive up relatively easy from San Diego. He’s evidently never driven (hold on while I do my best Californian) up the 5 from San Diego to the 405 on the westside of LA. If you believe me when I tell you that Orange County’s a day’s trip away, good luck getting anyone from San Diego to drive up to Los Angeles willingly on a weekly basis. That’s a weekend trip of at least two and a half hours if you’re incredibly lucky. With football traffic joining the party, you will not get that lucky on a Sunday morning in southern California.

What do LA’s existing football fans get?

Personally, I’m not complaining. As an Eagles fan living in LA, I get the pleasure of going to two — that’s right, 2 — road games to root the Eagles on in person next year within 15 miles of my apartment in East LA. I love football and welcome the increased chance of having friends and family visit for NFL games as well as a chance to attend a Super Bowl game maybe one day down the road. Who knows maybe the NFL’s saving grace in all of this is that all this football will become a tourist destination of sorts. It’s not like LA needed more tourism, but again, it’s not like LA needed another pro football team.

This could have been accomplished with just one team. Sure, there are a lot of people in LA, but most of them are people from out-of-town. For those that developed a diehard rooting interest in a team from out-of-town, they’re not going to be abandoning their team in unison for chopped liver. How about the fantasy football only fans who never developed any loyalty in any team, and the young, impressionable children in the area? Good luck developing loyalty in those groups on beautiful Sunday afternoons in southern California with a pair of incredibly mediocre/crappy NFL franchises.

Seriously, good luck!

Here’s a hearty welcome to Los Angeles for Dean Spanos and the rest of the Chargers (and, belatedly, to the Rams franchise). Welcome to the biggest city in the world that people aren’t actually from. Welcome to the town that makes apathy one of its hometown exports. Welcome to the town that couldn’t care less about the Clippers until they became a competitive basketball team. Welcome to the town that stopped showing up to Rams games this season when they failed to reach their lofty “mediocre” standards.

Welcome, Los Angeles Chargers, to the town that’s not going to welcome you at all.