The Rams and Chargers have recently been combined as the only two teams in the NFL who reside in Los Angeles. For years, football has been non-existent in Los Angeles and now there are two teams in the area. Since the Rams joined in 2016 they have been all about the fans and building a fanbase or returning to the fans that originally rooted for them. However, with the Chargers becoming the LA Chargers this off-season, there is a new feeling in the air that the Chargers do not want a friendly competition they want to battle for Los Angeles. Over in the NBA though we just witnessed an example of what happens to second team with less history and success in a city.
The Los Angeles Lakers run Los Angles, it’s been a fact since the beginning of time and everyone knows it. Everyone including Los Angeles Clippers fans who felt the wrath of being the second-best team in the city. That’s right, even though the Clippers have had the most short-term success over the Lakers in the last half-decade. It still doesn’t matter to fans who clearly don’t appear to be appealed by them like the Lakers. Why is that you may ask? The Lakers have history, long term success and a standing fan base. Sound like anyone we know?
The Los Angeles Rams now find themselves as the Lakers of the NFL. The franchise has been around now 80 years and 51 of those years the Rams have been in Los Angeles compared to the Chargers going into their second year in the city of angels. During that time in Los Angeles the Rams have one NFL Championship, four conference championships, 11 division championships which leads to a total of 27 playoff appearances. Clearly, the Rams have had some good success in Los Angeles. The Chargers have yet to win a championship yet, some believe the run Los Angeles already.
Going back to the Clippers, they may have had the better roster than the Lakers over the last five years, but what did they have to show for it? Two division titles which are the only division titles in the history of the franchise. The Clippers just were forced to part with their all-star point guard Chris Paul and will likely lose their all-star power forward Blake Griffin to free agency. Just like that, the Clippers are back to their old ways on the bottom of the food chain. Meanwhile, the Lakers continue to build what they hope is a well-oiled machine that will become a consistent winner.
The Rams happen to be doing the same thing as the Lakers. While it may look good now and the Chargers may look primed for a better season. The Clippers have proven that the short-term success doesn’t outweigh the long-term history or long-term success. Like the Clippers, the Chargers window is closing. Even though the Chargers continue to build a nice young roster, they are still a Philip Rivers retirement away from falling off the face of the earth. With no backup or long-term plan put in place at the most important position in the sport, the Chargers are destined to fall right in the same path of the Clippers. Meanwhile the Rams have a young coach in Sean McVay just like the Lakers have in Luke Walton, the Rams have a young top pick to be the leader in Jared Goff just like the Lakers drafted in Lonzo Ball and the Rams have long-term success and fan support like the Lakers do. The ultimate thing, just like the how the Lakers are expected to be a top team soon, so are the Rams.
Let’s be honest here, there is no actual rivalry between the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams. It’s become a talking point or a weak narrative to throw out during the quietest part of the NFL off-season. Just remember when Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said that the Clippers run L.A. because members of the Chargers have been saying that this off-season too and will surely follow the same fate. Second place.