Boston vs. LA, once more: How fandom round Patriots, Chargers differs | NFL


It is a story as previous as time: Boston vs. Los Angeles.

There are few clashes in sports activities and/or popular culture that carry as a lot bitterness as this East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry.

Boston vs. LA carries a particular chapter within the annals of mutual distaste, from famed Celtics-Lakers matchups spanning a number of many years to the 2018 Crimson Sox-Dodgers World Collection. On Sunday, the custom will proceed with a brand new installment, with the Chargers heading to Gillette Stadium to tackle the Patriots within the divisional spherical of the AFC playoffs.

As somebody who has lived in Boston and Los Angeles and has an curiosity in how every metropolis’s soccer tradition differs, I interviewed folks on each coasts and analyzed social media tendencies main as much as the much-anticipated playoff recreation.

As quickly because the Chargers gained their wild-card recreation over the Ravens final week and it was decided they might play the Patriots, Boston followers have been in full swing selling the “Beat LA” hashtag. Even the Patriots, Crimson Sox and Celtics’ Twitter accounts have been having enjoyable with it.

“Beat LA” goes again to the enduring Celtics-Lakers rivalry and their many conferences within the NBA Finals. Secure to say nearly each C’s fan has one thing that claims “Beat LA” on it. On the 2008 NBA Finals, the Celtics handed out “Beat LA” shirts to each fan in attendance. This 12 months, Patriots star Julian Edelman made his personal model of the shirt for followers to put on main as much as Sunday’s matchup. 

Even given the Chargers’ transfer to LA being so latest, there’s a clear distinction in fandom between LA and Boston.

New England is consumed with Tom Brady and Co., and anyplace one goes in the week main as much as an enormous recreation in New England, she or he will hear rumblings of predictions or scorching takes from followers donning Patriots gear. In Los Angeles, the main focus shouldn’t be all the time on the approaching recreation.

“In New England, it’s a whole-week occasion; that is all you speak about for the week when there’s a Pats recreation, but it surely’s extra low-key in LA,” stated Cara Straus, who has lived in New England and presently attends college in LA.

Connecticut-turned-LA resident Emma Soviero stated, “I haven’t seen one factor concerning the Chargers or the sport.”

Soviero famous that, in Connecticut, the soccer tradition was the other and, as Straus stated, unavoidable.

“It’s not as a lot in-your-face as it’s on the East Coast,” Straus stated. “In-your-face” is the right approach to describe the soccer tradition in Boston. In LA, they’re restarting their professional soccer tradition. 

Brooke Mommsen used to stay in Connecticut; now she’s an LA resident, working in movie manufacturing with LA-based Fortitude Worldwide. Her statement of the distinction: “Los Angeles is happy to have a group to root for, but it surely’s not the identical as with the Pats … households have raised their children to like the group, so there’s nostalgia there.”

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Straus echoed the nostalgia concept, noting Los Angeles is way more of a melting pot with folks coming in from throughout, whereas many New England residents have been born and raised there.

“It was by no means a sports activities metropolis,” Straus stated of LA. “They’re creating new followers.”

Nici Bentivegna used to work for the Chargers and is from the Boston space. She stated LA “continues to be within the part of creating their soccer tradition,” which raises an necessary level: The latest historical past of every metropolis’s soccer groups has helped form the respective cultures.

“You must speak about file,” Straus stated. “In case you take a look at how effectively the Patriots have achieved in comparison with the Chargers prior to now, there is a clear distinction.”

Bentivegna notes the benefit of being a Boston sports activities fan: “The folks of New England have grown accustomed to profitable, and that all the time makes it simpler to cheer for a group. However I believe all sports activities play a serious function within the lives of New Englanders. Boston is nicknamed the ‘Metropolis of Champions’ not by mistake.”

A metropolis’s feeling about its group is impacted by promoting, as effectively, and Straus says there’s a clear distinction between Boston and LA in that regard. In Boston, a buyer can purchase discounted espresso from Dunkin’ Donuts after a Patriots win. Billboards in all places show New England gamers and the group brand. Not in LA; not for the Chargers.

LA, in fact, has two NFL groups sharing the professional soccer highlight, by no means thoughts the whole lot else happening within the metropolis. And Southern Californians do not appear to know methods to really feel concerning the group’s latest transfer from San Diego.

“There’s a whole lot of unfavorable power concerning the Chargers, particularly in San Diego,” Bentivegna stated. “A few of that negativity has dissipated with the group’s present success, however San Diegans undoubtedly nonetheless maintain some animosity in the direction of group possession for shifting them to LA.

“The Rams have had larger success within the final two seasons with Sean McVay on the helm, so I believe anybody within the LA space who did not develop up cheering for any NFL group gravitated in the direction of the Rams for (these) causes.” 

Time zone and climate are different components, too.

In LA, Thursday, Sunday and Monday night time NFL video games begin at roughly 5:30 native time, so many individuals miss the primary half of the sport whereas touring residence from work, and so they’re high-quality with it. After they can go for walks on the seashore, journey the Pacific Coast Freeway or take pleasure in a meal exterior all 12 months spherical, why would they need to spend time indoors watching soccer?

“In LA there’s lots to do, so watching soccer is not the primary selection for lots of people right here,” Straus stated. “The groups need to reply (the query) ‘How do you make soccer a precedence on a Sunday when there’s so many different issues occurring in LA?'”

In New England, the place it may be 18 levels with a wind chill of minus-10 and there are 5 inches of snow exterior, staying in and watching soccer is the No. 1 precedence. That, paired with the Patriots’ historical past, makes for a completely different image on Sundays.

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