Chargers and Rams: What’s in a uniform?

So what’s in a uniform? Style. A bit of pizazz. Some pop, and a whole lot of colors. Just take a cue from the Oregon Ducks. Well, that seems to be the case with the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams as both teams unveiled their new uniforms for all the world to see. 

The Chargers beat the Rams by a month in showing off their new threads in April. The Rams waited until May to flash their new football attire. Both teams look like they borrowed a page or two from the University of Oregon football program, a team never at a loss of causing a buzz and a bunch of hyperbole around their ever-changing glitter and glam uniforms.  

The Oregon football team got their fashion playbook from Nike. Well, the Rams partnered with the NFL and Nike Global Identity to come up with their new versions of uniforms. The Chargers will have six different looks for their fans this season. Both teams have slicker, modern, and more futuristic-looking uniforms they can put on. 

Chargers players are really enthusiastic about the team’s new look. 

The thing that stands out to me the most is the new Chargers emblem,” running back Austin Ekeler said.  “It almost looks like a throwback.”

 Chargers defensive back Desmond King is definitely vibing with the up-to-date uniforms. 

A new look: Los Angeles Charger unveiled the new team uniforms in April 2020. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Chargers

“I can’t speak for everybody else but I’mma be swaggin this uniform out this year,” King said. “I’m definitely going to be the number one best dresser, top swag. I like what they did with this new bolt, man. That’s clever.”

For the Chargers and the Rams, “The Battle for LA” is not just a good sounding talking point anymore. That banter has turned into a real tussle between the Chargers and Rams. It’s really a rallying cry that fans of the two representative teams will probably cling to now and in the foreseeable future. That party got kicked off when the Rams left St. Louis and decided to come back home in 2016. 

The Chargers then said good-bye to their longtime home of San Diego a year later to join the Rams in the Los Angeles market. This fall, COVID-19 restrictions notwithstanding, the  Rams and Chargers will be calling SoFI Stadium in Inglewood home. 

That’s a good thing. With a new home at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood set to house both teams home games, the Chargers and Rams are both competing for a solid fan base. The Chargers and Rams going toe-to-toe with one another for public affection is nothing different than the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels competing against each other. 

For that matter, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers both room at Staples Center. Then there is the rivalry between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks. The Rams, because of their long and storied history in Orange County, before heading to St. Louis and then coming back to Southern California, have a slight advantage in the fan base category. 

Los Angeles Rams unveil new uniforms
Los Angeles Rams unveil new uniforms for the 2020 NFL season. Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Rams

The Chargers, an organization that built up its loyal following in San Diego, is a team working feverishly to become embedded as a household sports name as the other locals. Coming off a 5-11 season, winning ballgames will take of that. But for now, the Chargers uniforms will entice a look or two with their bold and daring visuals. 

Pro Football Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who played nine of his 11 seasons in the NFL with the Chargers, voiced his enthusiasm over one set of uniforms in particular.  

That all-white is sweet, man. Can’t go wrong with the all-white,” Tomlinson said. “Y’all changed the bolt in the helmet to match the uniform!”

Like the Chargers, the Rams want to enter their home at SoFi Stadium with a bang. What better way to do that than to get fans a little bit more revved up upon seeing the team with new uniforms. 

“SoFi Stadium is an iconic, transformative stadium that encouraged us to design uniforms as innovative as our new home,” said Los Angeles Rams COO Kevin Demoff.  “Our new uniforms preserve the storied legacy of the Rams with the horns at the heart of the design while introducing vibrant colors and groundbreaking materials.  We are proud to unveil a modern look for our players to wear as we begin this exciting new era for the Los Angeles Rams.”

All of this may be a moot point if neither the Charges or Rams produce the type of winning mark they hope to achieve during the 2020 season. Both teams are a year removed from a very successful regular season playoff run. In 2018, the Chargers went 12-4 and made it to the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs under coach Anthony Lynn, entering his third year with the ballclub in that capacity. 

With a rash of injuries, the Chargers struggled. The Rams were able to produce a winning mark at 9-7. But the team played like it did not have the same hunger as it did during their Super Bowl run two years ago.  Neither the Charges nor the Rams made the playoffs last season. Hopefully, a new stadium and the impressive new uniforms the two teams will display will help change that scenario in 2020.  

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