Los Angeles fans may look like they don’t care about football and talk like they don’t care about football, but don’t let that fool you. They really don’t care about football.

We’ve heard all about the Chargers struggling to fill the tiny StubHub Center with a capacity of 27,167. It’s been so bad that there have already been rumblings the franchise may have to return to San Diego with its tail between its legs.

While the Chargers’ attendance issues have been embarrassing, the Rams haven’t done much better. After a successful first year back in L.A., the Rams are on pace for the biggest year-to-year drop in attendance of any NFL team in the last 25 years, according to FiveThirtyEight’s Daniel Levitt.

Through two home games, the Rams’ average attendance is down 26,087. As Levitt notes, the Rams also had more room to drop because they drew terrific attendance last year for a team in a new city, with an average attendance of 84,457. But that’s still an insane drop, and, so far, they’re breaking this 25-year record by a long shot. The next worse drop comes courtesy of the 1996 Buccaneers at 17,525.

Here’s where things get spooky. Could the Chargers arrival in Los Angeles, as uneventful as it’s been, be pulling fans away from the Rams? The Rams’ drop in attendance (26,087 per game) is very, very close to the Chargers’ average attendance (25,384 per game). If fans have simply jumped off the Rams’ bandwagon to join the Chargers’, that’s some questionable decision-making.

Rams fans showed up for a 4-12 season. Now 26,000 are missing out on something way more fun. The Rams were supposed to be better this year, and, so far, they have been better. They blew out the depleted Colts in Week 1 and outlasted the 49ers in Week 3, which doesn’t mean much, but at least shows improvement.

The Rams are one of the NFL’s exciting stories this season with with a pair of young stars, quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley, leading an offense that has scored 107 points through three games.

We may have to wait until next year’s crosstown matchup to see if those 26,000 fans find their way back to Memorial Coliseum and settle this mystery once and for all.


About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for SI.com and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.