I attended the first game the Los Angeles Galaxy ever played in Los Angeles. It was at the Rose Bowl and the attendance was over 69,000 people. For an MLS game. To this day, that remains the highest single game attendance number in the history of the league.
Why do I bring this up? Because almost 90,000 people went to the Coliseum last week to watch a Los Angeles Rams pre-season game. They went there for the exact same reason the 69,000 showed up at the Rose Bowl in 1996: It was a brand new thing and everyone wanted to be a part of it. Attendance, of course, fell off for the Galaxy and, although they have consistently been among the league leaders in average attendance before the Seattle Sounders joined MLS, they have never reached those previous heights. Keep in mind that during their history, the Galaxy have won the MLS Cup more times than any other team (5), have had the league’s best regular season record four times, have won the U.S. Open Cup twice, and have won the Concacaf Champions Cup once.
The Rams have won one Super Bowl. That Super Bowl happened when they were in St. Louis. During their time in LA, the first time, they won exactly one NFL Championship, in 1951.
People in LA like events. They like special things. The Olympics have been a huge success in this city. Twice! Once the shine comes off, though, we move on to the next new thing.
This is exactly what will happen to the Rams.
I have a friend at work that actually bought Rams season tickets. Once I got over the shock of discovering I have a mentally-deficient friend, I asked him why. Turns out he had been a fan back when the Rams were first here as a child growing up and he had stuck by them. I asked him if he was going to go to every game. After a good bit of hmm, well, uh, he finally confessed that he would probably only attend one or two at the most. The rest he was hoping to sell to out-of-towners in order to at the very least recoup the money he invested and hopefully make a profit.
Have I mentioned that Los Angeles is full of entrepreneurs? This is your season ticket base, NFL!
We went down the line looking at the schedule to see which games would be potentially profitable:
Sunday, September 18 – Seattle Seahawks – 1 PM local time
Upside: The flight from Seattle is fairly short and there are a lot of flights. USC plays at Stanford that weekend.
Downside: This coincides with Mexican Independence Day weekend. All Mexican football fans will be most likely hung over or watching the Raider game from the rim of the toilet bowl.
Prediction: Good attendance. It will be the first real game, so interest will be high and the opponent is good. My friend will probably attend or bite the bullet and try to make up his $ outlay in one day. That’s probably his best bet.
Game prediction: Rams will get their asses kicked.
Sunday, October 9 – Buffalo Bills – 1:25 PM local time
Upside: It’s the second game. The weather will still be nice enough for all the girls to wear flip flops and potentially distract Rex Ryan into making bad coaching decisions.
Downside: USC plays Colorado the day before. If you think they will be able to clean the puke off the Coliseum floor and Febreeze away all the pot smoke in the bathrooms, you are a bigger optimist than me. Also, CicLAvia will be happening that day. For those of you that don’t live here, that is the day when they shut down many streets in Los Angeles so that the bikes can take over. Yes, they will be doing this in downtown LA too. Good luck getting in and out of the Coliseum that day!
Prediction: Reduced attendance. This may turn into a prototypical LA Lakers/LA Dodgers home game in that people will arrive late and leave early in order to beat traffic. My buddy will be lucky to get any takers for these. Since the Bills suck, he may end up going to this one.
Game prediction: The Rams will have started the year 1-3 after losses to the Seahawks, Niners, and Cardinals plus a win against the Buccaneers. Jeff Fisher loves a .500 record, so let’s chalk this up as the first home victory for the Rams.
Sunday, October 23 – New York Giants – 6:30 AM local time
Upside: It’s the Giants! There are a lot of NY people in LA! My buddy will make a killing!
Downside: The game is in London.
Prediction: My buddy literally said, “Fuck me!”
Game prediction: The Rams will add another loss to the record to go with the previous week’s win over the Lions. 3-4 so far.
Sunday, November 6 – Carolina Panthers – 1:05 PM local time
Upside: The defending NFC Champions are in town!
Downside: It’s going to be an ass-kicking. Again.
Prediction: Attendance will tick up as even the barista in Silver Lake with the clit ring and her boyfriend with the ebony ear plugs have heard of the Panthers since they attended an ironic Super Bowl party last February. My buddy will sell these for sure.
Game prediction: The Rams will get their asses kicked. 3-5 record so far.
Sunday November 20 – Miami Dolphins – 1:05 local time
Upside: Daniel Tosh will be there!
Downside: Daniel Tosh will be there!
Prediction: The USC-UCLA game happens the day before at the Rose Bowl. If you think this town will support two 100,000 football games back to back, I have some beachfront property in Riverside I’d like to sell you. Reduced attendance as all the money will go towards the college game and no one in Miami wants to fly to LA. My buddy may end up having to give these away.
Game prediction: After another road win at the Jets, the Rams will continue their quest towards .500 with another win over a NFC East opponent. 5-5 record so far.
Sunday December 11 – Atlanta Falcons – 1:25 PM local time
Upside: USC Football Regular season is over!
Downside: The Falcons come to town with no stars and probably a shitty record.
Prediction: Attendance will improve as there is a reasonable chance of a victory over a weak opponent. The one WILD CARD BITCHES! is that winter may decide to show up and it may rain. It happened last year around this time. My buddy will be able to sell these.
Game prediction: After a win at New Orleans and a loss to the Patriots, the Rams will climb tantalizingly over the .500 mark for the first time this year with a victory over the Falcons! 7-6 record so far!
Saturday December 24 – San Francisco 49ers – 1:25 PM local time
Upside: Rivalry game!
Downside: A game on Christmas Eve?!? Are you fucking kidding me?!?
Prediction: The only people showing up to this game are those that got the tickets as Christmas presents and that completed their Christmas shopping. The Venn diagram of these two groups shows a very small intersection. My buddy will give these away as Christmas presents. They will most likely be regifted. Several times.
Game prediction: The Rams will get their asses kicked. Rams fans will be stabbed in the Coliseum parking lot by Niners fans. Gotta love the Christmas spirit! After a loss in Seattle, the Rams record drops to 7-8.
Sunday January 1 – Arizona Cardinals – 1:25 PM local time
Upside: Rivalry game!
Downside: A game on New Year’s Day?!? WHY ARE YOU YELLING SO LOUD?!?!
Prediction: People will barely be awake let alone ready to drive to the Coliseum by 1 PM. If people show up, it will be another one of those show up late and leave early kind of games. The hangover will be strong in this one. My buddy will sell these.
Game prediction: The Rams will get their asses kicked and will finish the year 7-9 and out of the playoffs.
Overall, not a bad first season in LA. A 3-4 home record along with some good attendance numbers for the first few games. Enjoy it, Rams! As the Galaxy knows full well, it’s all downhill from here.
We’ll miss you in ten years.