Column: Chill out, there is little downside to the Chargers coming to Los Angeles
The Chargers are moving from San Diego to Los Angeles. Will there be a turf war with the Rams? Gary Klein and Lindsey Thiry discuss the possibility.
The backlash against the Chargers’ move was immediate, as a proud city that regards itself as a home of champions recoiled at the idea it had become America’s dumpster.
Los Angeles had already taken in the Rams. Who was next? The Arizona Diamondbacks? The Minnesota Timberwolves? The El Salvador national soccer team?
Even the local weather system was repulsed. News of the Chargers’ decision broke and down came the rain, as if the city was trying to drown itself before getting stuck with another loser.
OK, are we done now?
I’m telling you to relax. Take a step back. There’s really no downside to this.
We don’t have to love the Chargers. But we don’t have to hate them, either. We can do to them what we do with almost everything in this city: ignore them.
One day, maybe next year, maybe in 10 years, the Chargers will emerge from this smoldering mess and entertain us. And the moment they stop doing that, we can resume neglecting them.
Look at the Angels. Look at the Clippers. They have spent the majority of their existence in this market largely ignored but provided us with some unforgettable memories. The city is richer because they are here.
In other parts of the country, people like to point fingers at Los Angeles and make references to its “bad fans,” as if supporting incompetence is some kind of virtue. Are people supposed to grovel at the feet of four-win teams such as the Rams and continue to waste their money and their Sundays? Oh, please.
This is the entertainment capital of the world. There are standards and if the Chargers think they can meet them, let them try.
There is no cost to Los Angeles as the Chargers will be moving into an the Inglewood stadium that was already being built for the Rams.
The only people with legitimate gripes are the diehard fans of the Galaxy, the Major League Soccer franchise whose home field at StubHub Center will be torn up every other Sunday for the next couple of years. I send my sincerest condolences to all 20 of them, who will have to watch technically limited players further compromised by an uneven terrain.
In the meantime, stop pretending to care about the fans in San Diego who lost their team. When the Rams announced their return, did we feel sorry for the people in St. Louis? They have to live in St. Louis, you know.
And stop pretending to be upset that another polarizing owner is coming to town. Donald Sterling and Frank McCourt were here. Chargers owner Dean Spanos can’t be much worse than Rams counterpart Stan Kroenke, who is known in almost every other country as the man who transformed traditional English powerhouse Arsenal into an emblem of soccer mediocrity.
As for the city’s clear preference of the Raiders over the Chargers — or even the Rams, for that matter — be thankful the will of the masses didn’t dictate which team would play where. Are the Raiders still Los Angeles’ football team? Absolutely. Does the city need or want the problems that would accompany them? Absolutely not.
There is the small problem of the NFL forcing the Chargers on to local television sets on Sundays, but this has been happening on a semi-regular basis ever since the Raiders and Rams skipped town after the 1994 season. It’s business as usual.
The chances of Los Angeles having a competitive football team are better with two teams than one. The Rams and Chargers will fight for visibility, not only among themselves but also against the likes of the Lakers, Dodgers, USC football and UCLA basketball.
They will have to be bold, as the Rams were when they mortgaged their future to draft Jared Goff, only smarter. They will have to show more personality than the Rams did over the last year, which created the opening for former player Eric Dickerson to emerge as the franchise’s greatest star. Above all, they will have to win.
And if they don’t? They will be relegated to the background, as the Rams painfully learned this season. The loss will be theirs, not ours.
Follow Dylan Hernandez on Twitter @dylanohernandez
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