The LA Chargers have long been the butt of many jokes in the NFL. Los Angeles is always regarded as a preseason dark horse and oftentimes comes short for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes it is comically bad luck in actual games, other times it is because of horrible injury luck.
At this point, it has become a theme with the Chargers, so much to the point that NFL pundits have made it a verb: "Chargering". Do the Chargers really have the worst possible luck in sports history, or is there something bigger at play here?
Many fans have long assumed that the issues with the Chargers are organizational; that the issues stem from the top. Bad ownership can significantly hurt a sports franchise and many fans have put the blame on Dean Spanos.
A recent anonymous survey conducted by the NFLPA seems to support that case. The Chargers received bad grades in just about every aspect, pointing out that the dysfunction of the team truly may stem from the top of the iceberg.
The highest ranking the Chargers received was in team travel and they still were barely above the league median. Los Angeles ranked in the bottom six in six of the eight categories that the NFLPA had players anonymously grade.
This shows just how deep the Chargers' problems run.
It is not a coincidence that the same teams in the same sports suffer the same bad injury luck every single season. There is a reason why Los Angeles Angels fans were so estatic about Arte Moreno selling the team, and so disappointed when he backed out.
Everything with an NFL team starts from the top. It starts with the resources that are provided to the team, the money that is put into the team, and the culture that is established with the team. And based on this report card, the Chargers are failing and that is why they have won two playoff games in total over the last decade.
Some of the tidbits from the survey itself are pretty damning for the franchise as well. Here are some highlights to frustrate the fanbase even more:
- The Chargers are one of 14 teams that do not offer a family room at the stadium (the LA Rams do despite playing in the same stadium)
- 0% of players say there is enough room in the cafeteria, quality of food is ranked 29th
- 85% of players feel like they have enough strength coaches (which is the third lowest)
- One of four teams to not provide a steam room, one of six teams not to provide a sauna, and is one of just two teams to not offer either
- 33% of players felt like they had enough hot tub or cold tub space (third lowest). Hot tub is often broken, cold tub is often not cold enough, players called them "gross".
- 67% of players said they had enough space in the locker room (ranked 28th).
So pretty much, everything seems to be off and it does not appear that the team is pouring in the resources that it should be pouring into the team.
Luckily, the Chargers are opening a brand-new training facility in El Segundo in 2024. Hopefully, management looks long and hard at these complaints and makes sure that they do not translate over to the new facility.