Chargers All-Time Lists

Los Angeles Chargers: Top 5 villains in team history

8 Aug 1998: Quarterback Ryan Leaf #16 of the San Diego Chargers prepares to throw the ball during a pre-season game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Chargers defeated the 49ers 27-21.
8 Aug 1998: Quarterback Ryan Leaf #16 of the San Diego Chargers prepares to throw the ball during a pre-season game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Chargers defeated the 49ers 27-21.
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SAN DIEGO, CA-OCTOBER-14: San Diego Chargers football team owner Dean Spanos and his son John Spanos follow the action against Indianapolis Colts at Qualcomm Stadium October 14, 2013 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA-OCTOBER-14: San Diego Chargers football team owner Dean Spanos and his son John Spanos follow the action against Indianapolis Colts at Qualcomm Stadium October 14, 2013 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Spanos Family

An enemy from within?

Though the Spanos’ own the Chargers and have since 1984, at least in part, they are wildly unpopular within the team’s fanbase.

Alex Spanos bought 60 percent of the team in 1984 for $48.3 million and the team is now worth over $1 billion. That would be considered a success by most.

But fans of the Chargers have never really been enamored with the front office.

Many fans never liked former general manager A.J. Smith, but he clearly had a strong relationship with ownership as they would not move on from him. The height of this came following the 2006 season, one of the best in Chargers history. Smith decided to fire head coach Marty Schottenheimer despite coming off a 14-2 season.

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It was soon revealed that Smith and Schottenheimer had a contentious relationship with one another.

Then there’s the fact that Junior Seau and LaDainian Tomlinson, likely the two best players in team history, finished their playing careers elsewhere.

If fans had to give just one reason as to why they dislike the Spanos family, it would be lack of loyalty. Not only have beloved players finished their careers while wearing another jersey, there’s also the matter of the team being relocated.

Even if there was a shred of respect remaining for the Spanos’, that all changed in January 2017 when Dean Spanos chose to move the team from San Diego to Los Angeles. It was a crushing blow for longtime fans, many of which are no longer fans. Spanos will never be let off the hook for that.

For these reasons, the Spanos family might be the biggest villains of all if you’re a fan of the Chargers.

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