As i’m writing this, the Fox crew is still showing highlights of the Patriots’ convincing win over the Chargers in the Divisional Round. No one in LA except the players, the coaches, and their families is particularly upset about it.
You may ask yourself why.
It’s actually a pretty easy and self-evident answer for anyone that has lived in LA for any amount of time. And it shows just how out of touch and greedy the Spanos family is that they decided to move the team despite the things I’m about to explain to you.
Let’s talk some sociology, anthropology, and geography.
People living in LA, like all cities, can be classified as belonging to two different groups:
- People born in LA
- People born somewhere else
The people born in LA can be further subdivided into two groups for NFL fandom classification purposes:
- Rams fans
- Raiders fans
Both of these subcategories are easily explained.
The older segment of the native population still remembers when the Rams were here and were good in the 50s. They followed the team to Anaheim and kept following the team from afar when it moved to St. Louis.
There are not many of these folks and they are dying off. Luckily for the Rams, they instilled Rams fandom in their children and so there are a healthy number of native Angeleno Rams fans.
The younger natives were here during the 80s when Al Davis moved the Raiders from Oakland and promptly won a Super Bowl here. They adopted the Raiders and have remained fans even though the team moved back to Oakland. They routinely go on road trips for Raiders home games and are super excited about the upcoming move to Las Vegas. They too, have passed on Raiders fandom to their kids.
One interesting sociological side note: Rams fans tend to be white and rich while Raiders fans tend to be brown/black and poor.
I’m not sure if official statistics are kept, but you ask a person living in LA where they were born and there is a VERY good chance it is somewhere else. Just ask Rikki Tikki Deadly, Yeah Right, Brick Meathook, Brett Favres Colonoscopy, and me. I think Son of Spam may be a Native and grew up as a Rams fan, which supports my hypothesis.
As it pertains to NFL fandom, the people born somewhere else nearly always arrive to Los Angeles as adults or teenagers. Young children will most often follow the team their parents follow. Thus, rooting interests are already set and will rarely waver. This accounts for a large percentage of the Los Angeles population and severely limits the Chargers’ potential fanbase.
But wait, you say, what about the people born in San Diego that have moved to LA?
The people that say that have never been to San Diego.
Are you fucking kidding me? San Diego, specially North County with the beach cities west of the 5 and the golf communities between the 5 and 15, is heaven on earth.
People in Los Angeles ASPIRE to move to or retire in San Diego!
Trust me, there is no one in LA coming from San Diego. Just ask our very own Low Commander. At one point, he had the opportunity and decided, very smartly, to stay put and live in the American Riviera.
So, yeah, there are no Chargers fans from San Diego in LA. On the other hand, there ARE Raiders fans in LA that arrived from somewhere else BESIDES Oakland! How is that?
For that, let me take you back to the 1970s. That was the decade in which the NFL started airing games in Mexico. The three most successful and popular teams at the time were the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Oakland Raiders.
Times grew hard and many people started to leave Mexico for the US in hopes of a better life. They brought their fandom with them. Thus, you will find many Mexicans in LA that are Raiders fans yet have never stepped foot in Oakland.
I have a theory, and some serious academic study should be undertaken to prove me right or wrong, but I firmly believe that the pattern of Mexican migration in the United States can be directly attributed to NFL fandom preferences.
Plainly put, I think Mexican Cowboys fans left Mexico to go to Texas while Mexican Raiders fans left Mexico to go to California.
Mexican Steelers fans probably wanted to go to Pittsburgh but decided it was too fucking cold and ended up somewhere in the South and Mid-west.
So, where does that leave the Chargers? Up shit creek, I say.
There are no people born in LA that will give up either the Rams or Raiders as their team.
There are no people born elsewhere that will give up their childhood team.
The way the team left San Diego burned so many bridges that almost all the former fans in San Diego gleefully delighted in Sunday’s destruction by the Pats and will not travel north to support the team. Just re-read Low Commander’s comments in that open thread.
The Chargers can barely fill the soccer stadium in Carson and that’s thanks to all the fans from the visiting teams. Can you imagine what it will be like when they move to Inglewood with the Rams?
It will be embarrassing.
The only hope the Chargers have is for young children either born in LA or coming to LA with their parents to break away from their parents’ preferences and choose the Chargers. The thing is, that’s a long-term solution and we live in short-term thinking times.
The best thing that can happen is for the league to force the Spanos to sell their team and move it somewhere else like London or some dipshit American city willing to build a stadium for free.
I hear Portland has a really nice soccer stadium they can use!
Plus, Old School Zero lives around that area. That’s at least ONE fan!