“Hell no, we won’t go! Hell no, we won’t go!” Will this be the chant heard throughout San Diego before and during the 2015 Chargers season? Will a boycott of Chargers games be the chosen form of protest by Chargers fans? How about boycotting the sale of Chargers gear? That could happen as well. I doubt it, but it could happen and it is already being discussed by fans on various social media and radio talk show outlets. Now the real question: Is boycotting Chargers games an effective way to show the local government and Chargers ownership that the fans want a new stadium deal worked out and that they demand their team stays? I say, absolutely not.
Don’t get me wrong, I would totally understand if the St. Louis Rams fans boycotted in 2015. Their owner has bought land in Los Angeles and has admitted that he will be building a stadium there. Now to be fair, he did say that he is open to staying in St. Louis and renting his new stadium out, but few believe that will be the final outcome. Most seem to believe that that the Rams are once again westward bound for the 2016 NFL season. For all intents and purposes, this is a lame duck season for the Rams in St. Louis. Don’t be surprised if Rams fans stay away in droves and home games are blacked out in the local market. Don’t feel too bad for Rams ownership though, they know that can withstand one bad season as long as it is followed by a lucrative stay in the “City of Angels”.
So why boycott the Chargers? Well, proponents of this plan would tell you that it is obvious that the Chargers want out, but do not want to look bad. They don’t want a lame duck season before they back the moving trucks up to Chargers Park and make like the Colts out of Baltimore. The Chargers are ready to move, but they don’t want to lose their fan base in San Diego. The only way they can accomplish this is to make it appear that the new task force created by the Mayor is a farce and was only create to make it appear that the city tried to keep the Chargers, but the Bolts were determined to leave. Neither side wants to take the blame for removing San Diego from the very exclusive list of NFL cities.
So why not boycott the Chargers? Perhaps this is the naïve way to look at things but neither the Chargers nor the city of San Diego have said that a deal cannot be done. At this point, the Mayor appointed task force has until fall to come up with a plan on where to build, how to fund, and how to win over voters. The Chargers have agreed to wait for one more season before committing either way. The hope of most Chargers fans is that by that time, the task force will have come up with a creative way to get the job done and the Chargers are convinced that the plan has a chance. At this time, a boycott would only serve to show the Chargers that San Diego does not want a team. A boycott would essentially show that the fans have given up and are ready to move on to the Padres, Aztecs, Soccers, minor league hockey, and even smaller events.
I know what you are thinking. “The Chargers want to go make money in Los Angeles.” If they do, it is hard to blame them. Considering the Clippers sold for $2,000,000,000 it is hard to imagine the value of an NFL franchise in Los Angeles these days. That being said, the Chargers could have left at any time during the last 14 years. Yes, they would have had to pay the city to get out of their contract, but that is a drop in the bucket compared to what some believe they will profit in Los Angeles. To me, it is obvious that the Chargers would like to stay in San Diego, but not at Qualcomm Stadium….and who can blame them?
I say, enjoy the 2015 San Diego Chargers. Go to the games; tailgate; buy the gear; show up to BoltBlitz.com meet-ups (shameless plug), and have a great time doing it. It may be your last opportunity to see the NFL in San Diego. Let’s face it, if the Chargers leave, it is not likely that the NFL will ever return to San Diego. It has taken Los Angeles over 20 years and they still seem little more than a bargaining chip for teams to use to get stadiums built. Why would the NFL put a new team so close to Los Angeles, when San Diego has already had problems selling out games and eventually lost their team? I don’t see it happening.
So, put away your picket signs and find a way to support your team and your city. Get out there and show the politicians that you want to keep your team. Show the Chargers that they are wanted and will be supported by the local fans and that they don’t need the Los Angeles, Orange County, and Inland Empire money to survive in San Diego. There are enough people in San Diego to make this happen. They just need to unite and show that failure is not an option and that heads will roll if the Bolts roll up the I5.
So what do you think? Should Chargers fans show the Spanos family that they are tired of waiting and they demand action now? Or, do you think that boycotting the Chargers would more likely just give the Chargers one final reason to pack up and move? Leave your comment below. I would love to hear from you.
(Thanks to pennlive.com and saamfarahmand23.wordpress.com for the pics)