LA Rams & LA Chargers Will Learn This City Won’s Suport Losers
Los Angeles is a crowded place – just drive on any of its freeways as proof – but not just with people.
It also has a crowded landscape of sports teams, and after the Chargers announced they would move from San Diego to put two NFL teams in L.A., people are starting to ask how (and if) Los Angeles can support all these teams.
Here’s the answer from a long-time (25+ years) resident of L.A.
But with a caveat.
For teams to not just thrive but even to survive in Los Angeles, they need to win.
And not just win, but win championships. This is a city that is used to championships and a team that doesn’t win them won’t last long (sometimes win one and you won’t even last long, right Raiders!?)
The lone exceptions are the colleges, which of course aren’t going anywhere. Fans of USC football and UCLA basketball, two of the most successful programs in L.A. sports history – still go to the games in the hope that the administration will finally hire a coach to bring back the results of John McKay and John Wooden. But if either goes too long without winning Rose Bowls or making Final Four appearances, there’s lot of empty seats at the Coliseum and Pauley Pavilion.
The Dodgers and Lakers are the only two pro franchises that can go through occasional downturns like the colleges because they have been here so long and they have produced enough titles to keep the hope alive that another one is just around the corner.
The Clippers? Well, there was excitement as they started to win but enthusiasm has dwindled as the team has produced more teases than titles.
The Kings sell out every game and have done an excellent job in making hockey recognizable in this land of sunshine and palm trees, but other than the diehards there’s little other attention paid to the team. Unless they make the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Anaheim Ducks were cute a few years ago but walk down the street and ask if anybody can name even one player on the team. Or the coach. Or even the mascot.
And the Angeles? They’ve not been a thought since Albert Pujols came to town. And he quickly fizzled rather than sizzled.
So if the Rams and Chargers want to succeed here, they need to win and win big. The Rams are certainly off a poor start; they went 4-12 in their first year in L.A.
The gleaming new Inglewood stadium will buy the two new NFL teams some time with fans – after all, anything new and shiny here attracts attention like drunks to the bar at last call – but there’s just too many other distractions to keep fans in the seats for long to watch a losing or even mediocre team.