There is nothing more gut-wrenching to hardcore football fans than the loss of their home NFL franchise. Many dedicated sports fans around the country have known the pain of watching their favorite team move from their current location to represent another area. The San Diego Chargers had lived in the area for well over fifty years. Their conflict with the city in trying to build a new venue was well documented. The negotiations drug out for many years until Chargers ownership decided to take advantage of a lucrative opportunity in Los Angeles. San Diego football fans were outraged and showed their displeasure by burning jerseys and protesting the move. However, it did not stop the inevitable circumstances.
Other cities that suffered the same fate have been able to rebound and acquire new NFL franchises. Houston, St. Louis, Cleveland and Los Angeles are all locations that lost their teams and were able to obtain another NFL franchise. Some made out better than others. St. Louis has lost two different NFL franchises over the years. Oakland lost the Raiders to Los Angeles and is losing them again to Las Vegas all due to failed negotiations over new stadiums.
San Diego remains an interesting destination for NFL owners. However, the previous issues remain with building a venue to host an NFL franchise. The city has looked to other methods to fulfill the entertainment void of losing the NFL. Soccer has become an attractive option. There are discussions of building a 30,000 seat soccer stadium where the old Chargers venue currently sits. There will also be room on the site for a new NFL-caliber football stadium should a franchise decide to move to San Diego. Expansion is also an option with the NFL. These types of transactions take many years to figure out. Developers of the San Diego site estimate a window of about 5 years for landing a professional football team. If there is no commitment by that point the space will be cited for housing development.
Rams fans were absolutely stunned this Monday when the news came out that Jeff Fisher had been terminated by the LA Rams Organization. Fisher had been head coach of the team many years. Not long ago, he signed a two-year extension to his contract. His termination occurred just a few months into it. The interim head coach will be Jim Fassel who currently serves as special teams coordinator.
Kevin Demoff, executive vice president of football operations, commented that the firing was due to performance problems. He felt that the best way for the team to move forward is to focus on finishing the season with hope. The Rams organization is in a state of failure that it hopes to get out of by replacing its coach. It recognizes the need to make improvements across the board. The firing was largely prompted by the Rams losing eight of their last nine games. It was the straw that broke the horse’s back against head coach Fisher.
It may be that Les Snead the team’s general manager will be sacked in the near future too. Fisher had been with the Rams since 2012. His overall record with the team was 31 wins vs 45 losses. Under his leadership, the team did not manage to make any playoff appearances. Fisher was also criticized for selecting Jared Goff as his number one draft pick this year. The Rams organization felt that it had no choice but to terminate Fisher. You can read more about the difficult decision it had to make here.
The city of Los Angeles went for more than 20 years without having an NFL team. Obviously, it was not a great situation to have the second biggest city in the United States without a team in the country’s most popular sports league. However, the NFL thrived after the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders moved back to Oakland. It appeared as if Los Angeles would never get another team. There was talk about it on several different occasions. Nothing ever came of it. Then the Rams came back to Los Angeles for the 2016 season. Now it would seem that the Rams will be getting some competition in their new city. There are reports that San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos is going to move his team to Los Angeles. Nothing is confirmed at this point. Spanos has not sent an official notification to the league of his intention to move his team. Insiders in the Chargers organization are saying that the move is imminent.
The move of the Chargers to Los Angeles would not be much of a surprise if it eventually does come to pass. It has certainly been talked about quite a bit in recent years. It would be a big understatement to say the stadium situation in San Diego is not the greatest. Also, Los Angeles offers many more opportunities to turn his team into a national brand. The ability to market the team to a national audience would be much easier in a huge market. Spanos has expressed his desire to do this on many occasions. However, many people questioned his desire to pull the trigger on a move to Los Angeles if push came to shove. The news is obviously heartbreaking to Charger fans who will not have a team for the first time in 50 years.