The Los Angeles Rams are headed to Super Bowl LIII after a controversial win in the NFC Championship Game. Despite the crazy nature of the outcome, the biggest losers from championship Sunday weren’t the New Orleans Saints, their fans or the officiating crew, no it was Dean Spanos and his Los Angeles Chargers.
Yes, Spanos and the Chargers can now officially kiss their “Fight for LA” mentality goodbye. The Rams rule the Los Angeles market now and will for the foreseeable future. Stan Kroenke’s franchise isn’t just in the lead, it’s lapping the derelict organization across town.
Spanos and his cohorts knew they only had a handful of fans in LA. Their calculation was that they would move north and cut deeply into the market because they would be competitive while the Rams struggled to build. The Chargers’ brass also believed the vast majority of San Diego-based fans would remain loyal. Boy, were those two enormous miscalculations.
The only chance the Chargers had to truly break into the LA market and earn new fans was to be more competitive and compelling than the Rams. If that was the case, they would have had a shot at capturing fans without a rooting interest and kids who hadn’t yet picked a team.
Well, that hasn’t happened.
The Rams are one of the most exciting teams in the NFL, are led by a trio of young, exciting players in Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald and Jared Goff. They also have the hottest current coaching commodity in major professional sports in head coach Sean McVay. They are young, flashy, exciting and will actually own the stadium they move into in 2020. Oh, and did I mention they’re headed to the Super Bowl?
The Chargers have Philip Rivers and a bunch of guys casual fans couldn’t pick out of a lineup. The most exciting talents on the Bolts’ roster are an oft-injured defensive end (Joey Bosa) and a rookie safety (Derwin James).
If you lived in LA right now, why on Earth would you choose to root for the Chargers, when the Rams are right in your back yard? What reason has that organization given you to have faith in it? The answer? None.
The Chargers were a good team this year. They went 12-4, won a road playoff game and many believed they could reach the Super Bowl. Then they got embarrassed by the New England Patriots, as they trailed 38-7 at one point in the Divisional Round and wound up losing 41-28. Way to show up for the franchise’s biggest game in more than a decade, guys!
It was yet another high-profile playoff failure for Spanos’ team. At the same time the Chargers were failing, the Rams were rising to the occasion, earning the city of Los Angeles its first trip to the Super Bowl in 35 years.
Any chance the Chargers had to grab a share of the market through quick success in La La Land has come and gone. Los Angeles now firmly belongs to the Rams.