Who is to blame for the Los Angeles Chargers?
By Louis Gorini
It is official: The Chargers will be ending their 55-year marriage with the city of San Diego and will be moving 120 miles north to play second fiddle to the Los Angeles Rams. Correction, they will be playing third fiddle to the Los Angeles Rams and the Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders. Fans are divided and understandably angry and are asking themselves, “How did we get here?”
The answer to that question is quite complicated. Fans are livid at the owner of the Chargers, Dean Spanos, for being a greedy little liar. And yes, Spanos is certainly to blame here. The fact that the Chargers’ owner would rather pay a relocation fee of up to $650 million rather than spend an additional $180 million of his money to come to terms with the city of San Diego is both baffling, and short-sighted. Spanos’ justification is that the Chargers would be able to repay the relocation fee over ten years, and that
the PSL’s for the Chargers will be able to generate more revenue in Los Angeles than San Diego.
This goes to show fans two things: First, Spanos was not genuine with his efforts to stay in San Diego and decided to follow the money; secondly, Spanos has no business owning a team he can’t afford. He is doing himself, fans and the team a disservice by owning the Chargers because of his own fiscal issues.
Spanos’ cheapness and financial challenges appear to be the real reason why the Chargers didn’t want to get rid of an offensive coordinator that they just hired last year. The Chargers did not want to be on the hook for both a fired Ken Whisenhunt and a new offensive coordinator. That being said, it seems that the endgame for Spanos all along was to move the team to Los Angeles so that the Chargers become a more marketable team in which he can then turn around and sell.
However, Spanos isn’t the only one to blame here. San Diego Mayor, Kevin Faulconer, also contributed to the exodus of the Chargers from Southern California. For over 16 years, Spanos and the Chargers have attempted countless times to get a deal done with the city of San Diego, but to no avail. Spanos painted a vision that if the city of San Diego assisted the Chargers in upgrading their stadium, then the NFL would make San Diego a popular destination for future Super Bowls, which in turn would generate additional revenue and tourism for the “Finest City in America.” Mayor Faulconer never truly supported the notion of helping the Chargers staying in San Diego until the witching hour. At the last possible minute, Faulconer appeared to give “genuine” support and attempted to rally the citizens of San Diego to support their Bolts!
Apr 23, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers fan Dan Jauregui aka Boltman poses with Charger fans during rally to gather signatures for citizen
This now leads to the last guilty party of this tragedy, the fans of the San Diego Chargers. Yes, the same fans that are pointing their fingers at the greedy Spanos and Faulconer, need to look in the mirror. They have also contributed to the creation of the Los Angeles Chargers. Where were all of these upset fans during game day on Sundays? Where were all of these supportive fans at the polling booths to vote on Measure C?
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Fans will be quick to make excuses, like they were tired of the countless rumors of the team moving to Los Angeles that it destroyed their morale. Or, why should they support a losing team? Ask that question to the plentiful fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars who came out to a pointless game against the Titans at the end of the season after their coach was fired. Instead of showing up to games, Chargers fans sold their tickets to the fans of the opposing teams. How many times has Philip Rivers stated that playing at Qualcomm Stadium often felt like a road game instead of a home game. That is pathetic!
Lastly, where were these passionate fans on election day? They had the opportunity to approve a measure to keep the Chargers in San Diego. And you know what they did? They failed to show up, like they would on game days. Only 43 percent of the citizens of San Diego voted for the plan to keep the Chargers in San Diego. What did the fans think was going to happen?
What has happened today is simply a shame. It is sad that an NFL team, a fan base and a city did not learn from the past mistakes of teams like the Baltimore Colts and Cleveland Browns. No one is a winner after yesterday. All engaged parties now have to live by that painful cliche’ “Time heals all wounds.”