With the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers on the horizon, it should be noted that for Rams fans the “Fight for Los Angeles” is no contest at all.
The who says ‘you can’t go home’ Los Angeles Rams. The new but possibly visiting kids on the block Los Angeles Chargers. The Oakland but not for long Raiders. The no real dog in the hunt Dallas Cowboys.
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The Fight for L.A.
That “Fight for L.A.” thing is a farce. It’s a joke. A game even. Oh, but not for the city crown. One team belongs in and to Los Angeles, the other is reaching desperately to invade somewhat foreign grounds. A third is holding on to past beliefs, and the fourth…your guess is as good as mine as to their audacity. You can buy in if you want to, if only to be mildly entertained, just don’t believe it’s real. Real Rams fans know the truth and defend it passionately.
The truth is, as little as three years ago when Los Angeles had no team you weren’t hearing any of this. Out of sight and out of mind, no one appeared to want us. To the NFL and fans of all outside teams, we were irrelevant. And why not, we didn’t have a pro football team. Heck, I even named one fantasy football team representing my hometown, the Dark City…whatchamacallits. This city’s been NFL dark for over twenty years.
Now Los Angeles has two pro teams and our NFL market is trending upwards. We’re set to be home to one of the best state of the art stadiums in the league. Sponsors are wanting to throw money at us again. Cameras are permanently pointed in our direction with bulbs flashing again. It’s almost as if the whole world is watching. Perhaps it is because suddenly everyone wants a piece of us in one way or another.
Yes, even other teams want to claim us. In so many words they’re proclaiming, “you’ve been our homies all along,” in their rhetoric. They’re attempting to assure and persuade us, “we’ve been here for you all along.” Stuff that probably never got printed in their cities about Los Angeles is now in print in here. They meet in secret to come up with ways to tell us how to think and feel about them, what to believe. I’m sorry, but is this football or politics?
In my best Rick James voice, “that social media’s one hell of a drug!”
“Believe only half of what you see and none of what you hear.”
Credited to both Benjamin Franklin and Edgar Allen Poe on the net, that quote could use an upgrade to fit our new technologically-advanced society. Or, we can simply stick to, “don’t believe the hype.”
I have personally seen, with my own eyes, at least one tweet that states (not implies) that ordinary people were paid to attend the Chargers’ Los Angeles arrival and happily receive them. I’ve laid eyes on — and you can, too — photos of Ice Cube, a member of the rap group that made wearing Raiders gear cool, posted online wearing the jerseys of several teams of various cities. And I’m certain the entire football world is aware of both the Raiders’ and Cowboys’ comments nearly implying some cosmic Jedi stronghold on most Angeleno minds.
So where does their hope reside?
I have to admit that this city is far more susceptible to following trends and jumping on the next best band-wagon than…say, Green Bay or Buffalo. All of the largest, funnest cities are. It is also true that in a city like Los Angeles, the fair-weather types that do not support their team through both the wins and losses are plentiful enough. The chosen smoke screen?
For the record, these are the fans that are up for grabs, if not already doing pirouettes on the fence waiting for regular season trend reports. You can fight for them, they don’t tend to stick around.
As far as the heart of Los Angeles football is concerned, the Rams are its lifeblood. They have the fan base that prides itself on its loyalty to the team. They’re the ones that never blaspheme with talk of trading legends like Eric Dickerson or potentially Aaron Donald. They are the untouchable. The Buffalo and Green Bay combined and within this vast Metropolis. And if there is currently a game of thrones, they are the only kingdom in the region with dragons.