The long anticipated move to Los Angeles is official. But where does that leave fans of the former San Diego Chargers?
For fans that don’t want to give up on the franchise, they can make the two hour drive up north to watch the Chargers play in a 30,000-seat soccer stadium before joining the Rams in their new facility.
Of course, there are fans who may feel like it’s OK to root for the team since it is still in California. Still, many, many more will be so disenchanted with what Dean Spanos has done that they will discontinue not only following the Chargers, but the entire NFL.
Which side of that do you fit into?
A letter from Dean Spanos pic.twitter.com/rTNIvrsN1A
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) January 12, 2017
Spanos penned a letter to fans in San Diego, explaining his decision, but shouldn’t he have done that before ESPN broke the news? Shouldn’t he have been the one to essentially “break” the news?
This is what makes Spanos so difficult to like. From an economic perspective, you can understand his decision. But from a moral perspective, you can’t. He left the city the team had spent over five decades in just like that.
So what do Chargers fans do?
Do they suck it up and root for these same Chargers? Do they follow the NFL only to hope for the Chargers to be dismal for the rest of time? Maybe some will find another team in the league to get behind? Or, maybe some will hope that one day the team could land an expansion franchise.
And what about that? Could football some day return to San Diego?
When the Cleveland Browns left for Baltimore following the 1995 season, football returned to Cleveland in 1999 and the Browns were still the Browns, as the team had retained all of its naming rights.
That wouldn’t be the case here, as it appears that Spanos is not going rebrand the team, as was once rumored.
The Rams left St. Louis last season, also for Los Angeles, leaving the NFL with two empty markets. It’s not far fetched to think St. Louis and San Diego could each be awarded expansion teams in the future, should those markets prove that they could support an NFL team.
Meanwhile, the city is left with only the Padres and an empty stadium. Perhaps that could be used for a new soccer team in the MLS? Of course, that won’t settle the appetite for football that many fans in San Diego are going to have.
That makes this a sad, sad day for the NFL.