The San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have made plenty of off-season changes that could be exciting to a new fan. For starters, their new GM, John Lynch, was raised in San Diego, attending Torrey Pines High School. Lynch was a three-sport athlete, excelling in football, baseball, and basketball. Lynch has made some exciting moves since taking his GM position, including 11 free agent signings which include Brian Hoyer, Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, Malcolm Smith, and Kyle Juszczyk. After the 11 signings, the 49ers still have the most cap space in the NFL with $73.9M, which means they aren’t finished yet.
The San Francisco 49ers are also the only other team in California that isn’t in Los Angeles, or named the Oakland Raiders. Cheering for them keeps it in California. The 49ers also have a new head coach, Kyle Shanahan. He did some pretty special things with Kirk Cousins and the Redskins, and is now reunited with Pierre Garcon, and potentially Kirk Cousins, after multiple reports surfaced that Cousins wanted out of D.C. immediately. John Lynch wanted to trade for him, but if the Redskins don’t bite, Cousins will be a free agent in 2018.
The San Francisco 49ers have also done something quite remarkable with their roster. They’ve taken out the garbage of last year, with players that became free agents this off-season. SF had about 18 unrestricted free agents this off-season, and 14 of them still remain unsigned. The 49ers are one of the worst teams in football currently, so you wouldn’t be bandwagoning on anything. The future does looks bright though.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are “the other L.A. team.” Nothing would get back at the Chargers move to L.A. than going against their “Fight for L.A.” campaign and rooting for the other football team in Los Angeles. It’s no secret that probably 80% of Los Angeles didn’t want the Chargers, or that 10% aren’t even aware the Chargers moved. L.A. Chargers’ fan base will be minimal, while the Rams will be much larger.
The Rams are the only team that actually makes sense to be playing in Los Angeles. It is where they came from, and it could at least be viewed as a welcome home. (one season in the AFL doesn’t count). Being based in L.A., fans from San Diego could make the short drive up the five to see their new home team, which is another plus.
Stan Kroenke, the Rams owner, ACTUALLY owns the stadium that the two L.A. teams will be playing in.
I know this seems a little random, but bear with me. The Houston Texans are the newest franchise in the NFL, being introduced in 2002 with the NFL expansion. This means the Texans’ history is very limited. Why not start following the newest team that has yet to build its legacy? Years and years from now you could basically say you were a Texans fan from the start. Supporting the Houston Texans really would be the closest thing to being apart of a new legacy and history. Houston was a city that felt the devastation of their NFL team leaving with the Oilers moving to Tennessee and becoming the Titans. They understand the feeling, and were lucky enough to have the NFL return to the city.
Rooting for a team in Texas would also mean taking away your interest from west coast NFL football, which could be a good thing. It would seem like a new start with a new team, new city, and new players.
Needless to say, J.J. Watt is the best defensive player in the NFL. He’s the face of the franchise, and in reality, he is a pretty damn good guy, full of giving back and helping those in need. It’d be nice to root for a team with the face of the franchise being a tremendous football player, and an even higher-caliber person.
The Houston Texans made the playoffs last year, and seem to still be rising. Watt was hurt most of last season, and other big time play makers surfaced on the defense. It could be a very fun group to cheer on. Lastly, Houston is in desperate need of a quarterback. This need could end with a trade for Tony Romo, or a trade up for a high draft prospect. I’d like to see where the Texans could be with an actual quarterback behind center.
Arizona is the closest team east of San Diego. The Cardinals would be an easy team to follow, and the team isn’t a great distance away. The Cardinals have consistently put a good football team on the field for years now.
Bruce Arians, the Cardinals’ head coach, has earned much praise through the league over the years. He’s a class act, and has a solid football mind.
If you’re completely sick of the NFL, and just feel done with professional football, your answer may be in Arizona with the Cardinals. Many people decide to retire, and move to Arizona, so why not retire being a fan, and move that passion to Arizona, like all the old people.
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