As you know from my book, “The Evolution of Professional Football,” the American Football League begin in 1960 as a direct competitor of the NFL. Among the original eight teams were the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers moved to San Diego in 1961, after playing their first season in LA. Yesterday, the Chargers announced they are moving back “home” — 55 years later! Click here to read more on this.
The Chargers have consistently worn the coolest uniforms in the NFL – the Bolts and Powder Blue!
One of the first NFL games I remember watching was the Green Bay Packers vs. the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football. Who was I rooting for? The team with the coolest helmet of course! That being San Diego in case it wasn’t clear.
This move obviously sucks for the many dedicated fans living in San Diego. But it represents a bonanza for Los Angeles which got the Rams back from St. Louis last year and now have the Chargers on the way. Both teams will ultimately play in the new billion dollar stadium being built by the Rams. In the interim, the Rams are playing in the ancient Coliseum and the Chargers will play in the local soccer team’s stadium, which holds about 30,000 people – making it the smallest stadium to host an NFL team by about 30,000 seats (the Oakland Coliseum seats around 60,000). The only problem for the Rams and the Chargers, regardless of where they play, is no one in LA gives a crap about either team. Which is why both teams ultimately left in the first place. But the new stadium will instantly double the value of both franchises because it is a license to print money from seat licenses, parking, concessions, suites, etc. The Chargers did try to stay in San Diego – but wanted the City to contribute toward a new stadium. The voters said “No thank you” and now here you are. You can debate the value of having an NFL team in terms of dollars and cents, but you cannot place a value on the damage to the City’s psyche of being another also-ran in the NFL team department (just ask two-time loser St. Louis and Baltimore before the Ravens came).
While I am sorry to see San Diego lose the team (and watch out for the Raiders moving to Las Vegas next), the bottom line is that cities that want teams are going to need to pay up or shut up. The owners have a rare product and it’s a seller market. While the sun will come up tomorrow in San Diego, lightning storms will never be the same.
While I have your attention, here are my picks in the four divisional playoff games:
Chiefs over Steelers
Cowboys over Packers
Patriots over Texans
Seattle over Atlanta
That’s all for now football fans,
PS Get the full history of NFL teams leaving and moving in my book!