The inevitable happened, in that at least one team was gonna move to LA. ESPN is reporting that sources say that the Rams are moving and the Chargers will probably join them. I’m not surprised in the slightest.
Originally, I thought that it would be the Chargers and Raiders. St. Louis is a pretty good sports town, and while Oakland is full of tons of fans who will literally kill you if you say anything bad about the team, the organization has never really embraced Oakland since the team moved back there in the 90s. The Chargers… well, they had to leave. You simply can’t have a football team when half your stadium every game is full of opposing fans.
But there was no chance that the NFL wouldn’t have a team in the biggest market in the US other than New York, and it was very unlikely that they wouldn’t have 2. A third team seemed completely unrealistic for a city that has almost as many traffic problems as it does fairweather fans.
Speaking of those fairweather fans, that’s why I still don’t think that having 2 teams in LA is smart. Not having a single team is dumb because of the market of LA, and the Chargers should have just moved up the 405 to LA and capitalized on the bigger market. But a 2nd team? I’ve spent considerable time in LA recently, and the people there really don’t care much about gaining an NFL team. If you follow Bill Simmons on Twitter, you’ll know that he reports the lack of interest of an NFL team that the people of SoCal have.
If you’re gonna move a team to a new city, they should probably really, really want a team to come. Remember how pumped OKC was when the Sonics decided to move? It’s hard for me to believe in a team’s move to a city if the city’s reaction is almost the opposite. LA is an obvious exception to some degree because of the size of its market, but that exception should be worth 1 team and not 2 in this case.
In case you’re wondering (and you obviously were), the Pats next play the Chargers in San Diego/Los Angeles in 2020, and they next play the Rams in St. Louis/Los Angeles in 2020 as well. The Raiders host the Pats in 2017, so from our perspective as Pats fans, that’s a negative aspect of the Raiders staying put in Oakland.