Welcome to Los Angeles, Chargers?!?
By: Caleb Rouse
It’s official, the San Diego Chargers are relocating to Los Angeles. They are going to pay the 650 Million dollar relocation fee after sixteen years of frustration trying to get a new stadium in San Diego. The news was met with mixed reactions by the players and fans alike as this move comes as no surprise after a ballot measure of 1.8 billion dollars was not approved by voters for a new stadium and convention center in downtown San Diego.
One question comes to mind as the Chargers come to Los Angeles. Should the team do a complete rebranding and renaming of the franchise? Early reports have already come out yesterday with a new logo for the Chargers in Los Angeles which looks remarkably like the LA Dodgers logo only with the lower portion of the L turning into a Chargers bolt. Spanos has since said that the new logo is not permanent (after hearing of the fan reactions) and has since said that there are new things to come.
The problem I have with this whole transition is that the Chargers have ZERO identity in Los Angeles. Yes, they started their inaugural season in LA in 1960, only to move to San Diego in 1961. But with the Chargers coming to our town, it really just sounds wrong. Think about it, when the Browns relocated to Baltimore, did they stay the Browns? NO!!! They became the Ravens, they completely changed their look, feel, and energy surrounding the team. The Ravens have since become a powerhouse and the Browns have stayed as a bottom dweller. You also got the Titans in Tennesse, they used to be the Oilers and they have rebranded and been successful in that market.
There is zero positive energy around this Chargers franchise heading to Los Angeles. This team lost to the Browns this past season, THE BROWNS!!!, they were a mere 5-11. They are coming off one of the worst seasons in recent memory, and they are getting virtually kicked out of San Diego because the city doesn’t want them enough to pay for a new stadium.
This may seem a bit harsh, but at some point they have to change something to get some support. People in LA love the flashy, we love new, we love things that are “trending.”And at the moment, the Chargers are none of the above. A case has to be made for a complete re-haul of the franchise for their move. Los Angeles practically disowned the Rams who came to town and had a bad season. They actually have a fan base in Los Angeles, and still they were unable to get consistent support at games and in TV ratings. I sure didn’t tune in.
If Dean Spanos is smart, he has to think re-brand and re-make. I know that he is attached to the Chargers name and brand, but they are not in San Diego. And if I know anything about LA fans, we don’t want another city’s rejects. We want winners, or at least a team that has the appearance and feel of something that resembles a winner. We are talking about a town that has recently disowned the Lakers with all of their storied championship years for the Clippers who haven’t won ANYTHING. I don’t know what they should name the new team, but what I do know is that what I have seen so far doesn’t look good, and isn’t going to help this franchise start fresh in Los Angeles.
Another big reason for a complete rebranding is the fact that he just hired a new head coach in Anthony Lynn, and at some point they will need a fresh start at quarterback. Rivers has said quite often and openly that he does not really want or support the move to Los Angeles. He has been adamant that he would like to play in San Diego or back in the Mid-West somewhere. Rivers has been on a constant decline in recent years playing pretty inconsistent, now don’t get me wrong, he is still in the upper half of the league as far as a true passer, but his best days are behind him. So Spanos is looking at bringing in a whole new fresh look in many ways including the coaching staff and quarterback. What a great opportunity this would be. Unfortunately it looks like they are going to try and make the Chargers work in Los Angeles, and they will probably end up changing the name after they realize their mistake. Hopefully the Chargers and the Rams won’t kill football in Los Angeles before it even comes to life.
This is a massive opportunity they have to really gain some momentum and start something special in LA. There needs to be a freshness that comes into town, something that people who weren’t alive in the 80’s could get behind. I believe that a new team, a new logo, and a new franchise would do just that. The move from San Diego is not a bad one, a bad move would be to try and bring what they did in San Diego to Los Angeles. Either way, I am excited for one more opportunities to see more NFL games in my home town. Welcome to Los Angeles, Chargers?!?!