The Chargers have begun their first season as a Los Angeles team (despite currently playing in Carson, CA), and a change in location hasn’t brought a change in luck. They’ve lost each of their first two games on missed field goals in the final seconds, dropping them to 7-20 in games decided by one possession going back to the start of the 2015 season.
The team’s continued misfortune has left spurned fans in San Diego ecstatic — a local Mexican restaurant is giving away free tacos every time the Chargers lose — while the folks in Los Angeles don’t really seem to care. Sunday’s game at the StubHub Center was lightly attended, and those who did attend got to see a banner disrespecting team owner Dean Spanos flown over the stadium.
While the lack of enthusiasm is historic, it’s not surprising. Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti even admitted in a recent interview on The Dan Patrick Show the city would’ve been just fine without the Chargers:
“We embrace any team that comes, we’re certainly happy to have the Chargers in L.A. But I think we could have been happy with just one [team], too.”
That one team is the Rams, who beat the Chargers to Los Angeles by one season and went 4-12 in their inaugural year. Garcetti is a self-professed Rams fan, so maybe that’s why he doesn’t care much for the Chargers coming to town.
The Rams, who spent nearly 50 years in L.A. before moving to St. Louis in 1995, have averaged over 58,000 in attendance through the first two games of the year. The Chargers barely broke 25,000 last week. Granted, the StubHub Center (capacity 27,000) is a significantly smaller venue than Memorial Coliseum, and the Rams’ attendance has taken plenty of criticism of its own, but the Chargers couldn’t even fill their tiny stadium for their first-ever game as a “Los Angeles” team. So it seems Garcetti has a pretty good handle on his constituents’ football fandom.