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Let’s Pick a New Name for the Chargers

If the team moves to Los Angeles, it will need a rebrand. We can provide it.

(Ringer illustration)
(Ringer illustration)

It appears that the professional football team that likely relocates from San Diego to Los Angeles this summer won’t be called the Chargers. The team is looking to rebrand if it moves to L.A., and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to name the team ourselves. Here are our best ideas:

The Los Angeles Lettuce Wraps

Rodger Sherman: The Chargers don’t need to rebrand. They already have a perfect brand: That of Joel Price, one of the team’s digital media managers. Back in 2007, he created a Twitter account, then realized the team he worked for should have a Twitter account, so he turned his own account into the Chargers’ official account. Now it’s verified and has 600,000 followers, but it still has all the tweets from when it was just Joel — mainly about new social media platforms, how hard Joel works, how late Joel stays up, and a much-anticipated but eventually abandoned trip to South by Southwest. But the Chargers’ greatest tweets are about P.F. Chang’s:

In switching cities, the Chargers have to retain their roots. And if Twitter is any indicator, they have loved casual sit-down Chinese dining experiences longer than they have loved even football.

The Los Angeles Gridlock

Mallory Rubin: A good team name says something about the city. There are tigers and wildcats across the land, but Los Angeles is far too specific for such a ubiquitous mascot. When I think of my adopted homeland, I think of a lot of lovely things, like sandy beaches, and rolling hills, and juicy tacos. Because I am not blind to the less ideal aspects of life in sunny SoCal, however, I also think of the traffic. Thick and inconvenient, like an effective nose tackle. Smelly and loud, like a pesky coordinator. Always threatening, like concessions-stand nacho cheese. Gridlock is an inextricable part of L.A. life, and if the San Diego Chargers hope to be so as well when they relocate and take on a new identity, they could do no better than assuming the name of the thing that every L.A. citizen is forced to think about every day. Bonus: The name will also serve as a built-in excuse when no one shows up to the games.

The California Dream

Katie Baker: I feel like the NFL could use a franchise with a little bit of chill, so I envision the California Dream as a team with a general Spicoli vibe. (The game-day experience should definitely include a Prop 64 Lounge, and the mascot should be these homies.) The beauty of the name California Dream is twofold: One, it allows for annual headlines like “The Dream Is Dead” (or “The Dream Are Dead,” if you’re in England), and two, just imagine the trolling potential. I can already hear the Bay Area dweebs and the Jefferson weirdos screaming that this team does not represent them. It sounds like beautiful music.

The Hollywood Franchise

Ben Lindbergh: A recent graph at FiveThirtyEight revealed a steady overall increase in the percentage of annual box office revenue from films that are part of a planned franchise. Twenty years ago, roughly a quarter of the total domestic box office gross came from franchises. Today, more than half does. Franchises are Hollywood’s specialty, so why stray from the formula? The Franchise’s viability as a cool-sounding sports nickname has been vetted by several successful athletes, and it signals the team’s superiority to the 31 NFL franchises with a lower-case f. The only problem is the potential for Franchise/franchise confusion, especially if the Franchise ever uses its franchise tag.

The Los Angeles Football Lakers

Craig Gaines: You could call this team just about anything, but Angelenos will always know it was initially a San Diego product. This won’t earn the new team much enmity in the City of Angels, but it will generate waves of “you know, it’s such a pleasant team, and its people are nice enough if a little conservative, and its weather is perfect, and it has great Mexican food, but … I just never have much of a reason to watch it, you know?” The solution: plaster the helmet with purple and gold, add a nonsensical name with Minnesota roots, and give Jack lifetime seats at the 50-yard line.

The Los Angeles Rivers

Bryan Curtis: Not only do you namecheck the QB, but you also connect the team to an L.A. institution: an eyesore always on the verge of rejuvenation.

The Los Angeles Bulldogs

Riley McAtee: One of the advantages the Rams have over the Chargers is history. The Rams played in L.A. for 48 years before they moved to St. Louis, and their return this year was a homecoming (if a disappointing one). The Chargers, though they played one season in L.A. in 1960, have no such connection with the city. But the L.A. Bulldogs do! In naming themselves the Bulldogs, the franchise can resurrect the first major professional football team based on the West Coast. Plus they can lay claim to the 1937 AFL championship. (That version of the AFL disbanded after that season.)

All right, so no one in Los Angeles knows anything about the Bulldogs, who disbanded in 1948, two years after the Rams began operations in Los Angeles. But the name would at least provide a nice excuse to build a replica of the Bulldog Cafe outside the stadium.

The Los Angeles Super Chargers

Zach Kram: Change “San Diego!” to “L.A., L.A.!” and bring back the theme song. That — along with the powder-blue uniforms — is the best thing with which the franchise has ever been involved.