The Chargers are moving from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2017, joining the Rams as the city’s second team. Although it’s not as far of a move as the Rams made, they’ll still have to build a fan base in their new home.
That won’t necessarily be the easiest task, considering how furious fans in San Diego were, but Philip Rivers has one idea to make it happen: win.
“It’s easy to say we’ve got to go up there and win – that’s the way to do it,” Rivers said, via ESPN. “And that’s the obvious answer. But I think controlling what we can control, being a team that competes and fights every play and that plays with passion can make a community proud to have us up there.”
The Chargers have had a tough time winning in recent years, going 9-23 the past two seasons. If they continue their ugly streak of losing, it’ll be difficult to excite anyone in L.A.
At least it won’t take much for the Chargers to fill their new stadium. The StubHub Center is the smallest in the NFL by a wide margin, holding just 30,000 fans – about half the size of the average NFL stadium.
They’ll be there only for the next two seasons with their new stadium set to open in 2019. Whether Rivers will be there for their first season in Inglewood remains to be seen, but he acknowledges the very real possibility that he’ll be replaced at some point.
“We’re going to at some point,” Rivers said of the Chargers drafting a quarterback. “I’m not going to be here forever. And part of this business if you look around the league — in New England they’ve drafted a handful of guys the last few years, and they’ve got one of the best to ever play. And it looks like he’s still got a lot left in the tank.
“That’s just one example, and there’s been many. I think that’s just part of it. I certainly don’t fear that day when that comes, whatsoever. But I don’t take it as my role, ‘Oh we draft a young guy so get him ready.’ But at the same time, I enjoy sharing things I’ve learned and letting a young guy see how I’ve done things. And at the same time, shoot, I’m always going to compete.”
Rivers is 35 years old, so he’s not the youngest player in the league anymore. But he still has plenty left in the tank, having thrown 33 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions in 2016.