Raiders? Rams? Guide to finding your ideal California NFL team
I'm from the city where a longtime NFL franchise left Cleveland after 49 years and then, as a rebranded entity five years later, won the Super Bowl.
So, as someone who finished out high school during one of Cleveland's most traumatic sporting events/exits, it's super strange to realize, with no NFL in LA for so many years, we now find ourselves with two teams based in the Southland.
With the Rams already in tow after a dismal 4-12 season in 2016 and the Chargers playing in StubHub Center this fall ... not to mention, the Raiders (who are still loved like they play home games at the Coliseum) moving to Las Vegas in two years ... it's rather difficult to know which NFL team (currently) based in LA is best to root for.
Since I'm an outsider, here's a quick attempt to break all this madness down.
As the franchise was born in Cleveland in 1936, I'm leaning toward the Rams. Not only do they have the deepest (current) roots to Los Angeles, they are already in town and have been successfully re-establishing their fanbase. Of course, the product on the field has to improve dramatically and hiring Sean McVay was a bold move much needed by this team.
QB Jared Goff should be better, RB Todd Gurley is due for a big third season and the Rams defense is one of the best in the NFL. And, hopefully, the Coliseum won't run out of water again during the insanely hot home games. Wow factor: 8
Welp. From what we've seen and heard and read and have had tweeted at us, a good majority fans are (really!!) not happy about this move. However, the Chargers recently announced they've sold out all season tickets for the 2017 season and will hold their training camp in Costa Mesa to rope in the Orange County fans. Interesting.
One thing is for sure, a football game at a soccer stadium (Stub Hub Center) will be an intimate experience unmatched in the current state of the NFL. The Chargers do boast one of the best, young defensive players in Joey Bosa and, paired with fan favorite veteran QB Philip Rivers, this LA squad has some ground to make up. Wow factor: 6
Some fans wanted to stay in Oakland, others wanted to return to LA. Instead, the franchise will move to Las Vegas in two years. This move will be tough for some, but if there's a better city to embrace the Raiders mantra, please let me know. Sin City will have its hands full with the Silver and Black. Two years is a long time, but the Raiders are the biggest news in the sports world right now.
Great quarterback and receivers, young and nasty defense, and just a key injury away from what could have been a long playoff run in 2016. Hold onto something, the Raiders rock! Wow factor: 9
I had to throw them in here (since the headline reads 'California NFL team') but must admit I know nothing about this club, other than their storied history. From what I've read, this franchise is not doing well ... but that stadium sure is sweet! Wow factor: 5 1/2