The Los Angeles Chargers are proving a lot of critics correct. Not only is the team 0-4 to start the season, nobody seems to even care that they are struggling.
Dean Spanos and the Los Angeles Chargers left the city of San Diego, which hosted them since 1961, for the bright lights of Los Angeles. The move to LA was a long time coming for the Chargers, as they were approved to move to the city a year before they did and were given a one-year deadline to make their decision.
Then, in January of this year, the team officially decided to move the franchise back to Los Angeles, where they spent a lone season in 1960. The reception was mixed; some fans stayed loyal to their team despite the change in city and others burned their once beloved San Diego Chargers gear.
Nine months later the Chargers sit with a 0-4 record, looking to do worse than the 5-11 mark they put up last season. The same bad luck that haunted the team in San Diego has traveled up the 5 freeway to the StubHub Center in Carson.
Yet, despite all of the muffed field goals, the near wins and the first 0-4 start since 2003, the Los Angeles Chargers biggest concern seems to be whether or not they have fans. These same struggles were around back in San Diego, and now, the team is failing to even fill a 30,000 seat soccer stadium.
Last week, the Philadelphia Eagles’ faithful took over the StubHub Center. This is not an immensely popular team such as the Pittsburg Steelers or the Oakland Raiders, this was the Philadelphia Eagles – a team that won its first game against the Chargers in California since 1974.
The argument can be made that fans do not want to fork over the hefty ticket costs that the Chargers are offering. With such a limited amount of seats, LA had to raise the prices in order to make some sort of profit. However, it is apparent that the fans at home also don’t really care.
The Colts-Seahawks game makes sense, as it was slotted in prime time for Sunday night. The Rams-Cowboys and Raiders-Broncos games also make sense, as those are four pretty popular teams in the diverse LA market. The same argument could be made for the Steelers-Ravens game, but that is a stretch.
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However, the huge head-scratcher is the Dolphins-Saints game. That, of course, took place overseas in London and aired at 6:30 A.M. More people woke up at 6:30 A.M. on a Sunday to watch two southeast teams play in London instead of watching their hometown Los Angeles Chargers.
That raises doubts on whether or not the Chargers can even make it to the new stadium in 2020. The Bolts don’t even seem to be relevant in LA, and quite frankly, there is likely more Raiders fans in the city than Chargers fans.
Talks of the team moving back to San Diego have already flared up, but they were quickly shot down by the NFL. While four weeks may be too small of a sample size for the NFL to even consider moving the Chargers back, if this trend continues, they may be forced to.
Like it or not, the NFL is a business. Churning money is the league’s main goal and the costs far outweigh the rewards of the team playing in a soccer stadium; that they cannot fill up.
Perhaps the best move is to move back to San Diego. If the team continues to struggle, perhaps the Spanos family can sell the team and initiate a move with the new owner. The long-term future for the Chargers is unclear, however, for now, we should still get used to calling them the Los Angeles Chargers.