This is exactly what Dean Spanos and the Los Angeles Chargers’ organization did not want.
The Chargers have started the 2017 season at 0-3 and they’ve looked bad in the process, particularly in the most recent loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. But that’s not even the biggest problem.
The Chargers are in a brand new sports market that is rich with options. Because of that, failure won’t be tolerated or better yet, failure will be ignored. Just look at the array of options at the disposal of fans in the Los Angeles area.
At 99-57, the Los Angeles Dodgers have the best record in Major League Baseball and could soon be bringing a World Series championship to the city. By the way, according to ESPN.com, the Dodgers lead the league in average attendance at home games.
In college football, the USC Trojans are ranked No. 5 in the most recent college football poll and the school has arguably the best pro quarterback prospect, Sam Darnold, running the team. There’s every reason to believe they will have a tremendous shot to be among the four teams competing in the national playoff at the end of the year.
The 2017-18 NBA season tips off in just a few weeks and the Los Angeles Lakers will unveil their new superstar, some guy named Lonzo Ball. Heavy sarcasm on the “some guy” part of that sentence, as Ball is the most talked about prospect coming into the league in years. Even the team the Lakers share the city with, the Los Angeles Clippers, have qualified for the playoffs in each of the last six seasons.
Even over in hockey, though it will likely never be a huge sport among Californians, the Kings have won two Stanley Cup titles since 2012 and the Ducks of Anaheim reached the Western Conference finals last season. Larry Fisher of The Hockey Writer’s predicts they will finish the season as the second-best team in the Western Conference this coming year as well.
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And if that’s not bad enough, the Los Angeles Rams are playing good football and boast one of the league’s most exciting young rosters. At 2-1, they’ve played much better than the Chargers.
The final slap to the face is seen in the stands of the StubHub Center where in the last two weeks, you’ve seen what seems like just as many Dolphins and Chiefs fans as you have of the supposed home team. Did anyone else catch that loud “Chiefs” chant break out on Sunday?
It’s not just that the Chargers have started 0-3, it’s the fact that the team has been so frustrating to watch. Against Miami, Younghoe Koo’s missed field goals cost the team the game. Against the Chiefs, Philip Rivers looked like an aging quarterback incapable of making the right reads and decisions. If the team can’t get better play from its leader, than this is going to be one ugly season.
So where do the Chargers go from here? Well, if they don’t turn things around, pretty much into oblivion. That’s where the fans supporting the Los Angeles sports market will dictate they go, just by turning a blind eye.
The organization might think that things will get better once the new stadium opens, but with the brand of football they are putting on the field, that couldn’t be more wrong. The stadium might be luxurious and it might be beautiful, but that’s not going to mean much if the seats aren’t filled with happy, enthusiastic Chargers fans.
The Spanos’ will never admit that moving to Los Angeles was a mistake. But through this portion of the 2017 season, it certainly can’t be deemed a success.