“In the criminal justice system, moving sports team based offenses are considered especially heinous. In the city of San Diego, the dedicated fans who witness these vicious felonies are in an elite squad known as the Save Our Bolts Unit. These are their stories. BUM BUM!” – Parody of Law and Order Special Victims Unit
The date, January 12th 2017, will be forever known as the day the Chargers died in San Diego. Included in the passing, 56 year of hopes and dreams of many San Diego Chargers fans have been buried. Dreams of seeing this team finally win a Super Bowl, which would included a parade throughout America’s finest city, have now perished. With that murdered dream, so goes the possibility of many San Diegans to finally say “Yes we finally have a winner!”
This is not a game of Clue, or an episode of S.V.U that leaves us pondering who the murderer is. The murderer of those said hopes and dreams of many San Diego citizens and Charger fans worldwide, is Dean Spanos. Instead of being the bigger man and really fighting for a stadium, in which the Chargers have been looking at for the past 15 years, Dean chose the easy way out. He walked away from fighting against a market whom is claiming “LA doesn’t want the Chargers,” a failed Proposition C in which he seemed to turn into a ghost, and debating against hoteliers regarding a huge tax hike.
Even with the attendance down, Dean was making more than enough money to keep this team afloat in San Diego. This move, simply put, is about having more money. This is about greed beating out the loyalty of a fan base that had supported this team through tough seasons when in reality, there were way better things to do in America’s finest city.
The loss of Prop C was just a cop out of Dean and his goons to make a few extra million dollars. What does Dean gain? The so called 25% of fan base that’s supposedly in LA? Does Dean not know percentages? He had 75% of a fan base in San Diego or from San Diego, yet he chose the smaller amount. The ironically humorous part of that is those 25% should probably fill the 27,000 seat stadium the Bolts will play in for the next two years.
Funny to think that if he just showed some commitment to put a winner on the field for the past few years, the city would’ve rewarded Dean with a reasonable offer that worked for everyone. Instead, San Diegans are left without a team that they supported from Sid Gillman all the way to Mike McCoy. This fan base never wavered, staying ignorantly loyal up to the very end.
How fitting though; the team that has made it an art form of crushing our hopes for the past 56 years, breaks our hearts for one last time.
As far as I am concerned, I will not follow that goon of an owner to the city most Charger fans have been raised to root against. Dean showed us no respect leaving San Diego and making a crappy LA logo in the same day. Why show him and his team that same respect?
I will keep my jerseys and my memories of which I have so many to share; perhaps unveiling them in another article. As far as the other city that Chargers team now calls home, I wish the players the best of luck, especially my favorite player Antonio Gates. I can not consciously follow this team to Los Angeles and in reading through numerous social media outlets, it appears many will not as well.
For those staying out of LA and ditching Dean and his organization, like he has ditched us, let’s hear the SAN DIEGO CHARGERS ANTHEM one last time and reflect on our time spent as loyal SAN DIEGO CHARGER fans.
That truly is the question in the minds and hearts of so many loyal San Diego Chargers fans. Should I continue to show my loyalty and spend my money on a team that just tore my heart out and moved to Los Angeles of all places? Honestly, I can’t answer that for you. It is an individual decision that there is no wrong answer to. That’s right, I said there is no wrong answer. Despite the personal attacks against fans who are leaving the team and fans who are sticking with them, I say to you that everyone has the right to chose where they give their love and loyalty. All I can do is walk through the process that I went through and see if that helps you make the right decision for you.
You many have noticed that I didn’t write this article last week when the Chargers announced, via online letter (classless), that they are in fact leaving San Diego after 56 years. I was hurt. I was angry. I had a million thoughts in my mind that I had to sort through in order to figure out my next move. Who am I loyal to; the Chargers or San Diego? Whose fault is it? Do I hate Dean Spanos enough to change my loyalties to another team, or to no team at all? Let’s take a look at how I answered those three questions and see what I came up with. Maybe it will help you decide as well, if you are on the fence.
Who am I loyal to; the Chargers or San Diego? That was a very difficult question for me to answer. I was born in San Diego in 1966. I continued to live there for the next 20 years, before moving away to go to college in San Bernardino, California. After college I moved around the Inland Empire and finally settled in the Temecula area, about an hour North of San Diego. Until recently, my parents lived in San Diego as well as both of my sisters and their families. So, even though I no longer lived down there, I had a lot of ties to the area and found myself visiting multiple times a year. Recently, my father passed away, my mother moved to Oregon, and one of my sisters moved to Oregon as well. The times, they are a changing.
I started rooting for the Chargers around the time Don Coryell took over in 1978. He brought an exciting brand of football that took me away from my early bandwagon ways. The final act that solidified my support and loyalty to the Bolts was the Holy Roller. I won’t insult you by telling you what that play was. I’m sure you already know. If not, go to youtube and check it out yourself. For the record, IT WAS AN INCOMPLETE FORWARD PASS!!!! Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, I was so upset that a team could get away with that kind of crap against my cities team. It was just wrong and I felt like my family and my city were cheated out of a chance at the playoffs and possibly making history. Once and for all, I was a Chargers fan for life! Or, was I a San Diego fan?
As the years went by, I found that anything San Diego was my favorite. I was a fan of all the local teams. I was passionate about the Padres. I liked the Clippers and the Aztecs. I wasn’t much into Nascar, or golf, or tennis or anything else, but if there was a San Diegan competing, I wanted that athlete to win. For the most part, I still do.
Then the Clippers moved to Los Angeles. What was I to do? Honestly, I was so tired of them losing that I took the opportunity to bail on Donald Sterling and the Clippers and changed my loyalty to the Lakers. As time rolled on, I experienced several championships and was happy about all of them. Happy….not ecstatic. I never reached the level of excitement that I believe I would have felt with a San Diego championship. Would I have enjoyed a Clippers championship in LA as much, or more, than a Lakers win? Hard to says, since the Clippers have not yet won anything.
So, my history shows that my love and loyalty is with San Diego, but I am willing to embrace an LA team if that is the only option I have. That bodes well for the Chargers.
Whose fault is it? That answer is easy. It is EVERYONE’S fault! I would say that the Chargers ownership shoulders the majority of the blame. Followed closely by the City of San Diego and the embarrassing list of Mayors and city councilmen that had been tasked with the job of working something out with the City’s best argument for being a “major league city”. Now that the Chargers are gone, the Padres are the only major league team in town. Here’s hoping that the Padres youth movement can bring a sense of pride back to the city and it’s fans. That may take several years, however. But I digress.
As I said, Dean Spanos shoulders most of the blame. One of his biggest mistakes was the hiring of attorney Mark Fabiani. You see, Fabiani was a bully. It was his way or the highway for years. He insulted local politicians and fans alike. In my opinion, Fabiani did more to drive a wedge between the team and local government than anyone else involved. All along, Spanos could have put an end to what was obviously a bad strategy, but allowed Fabiani to be the tough guy. Here is a tip for anyone reading this who would like to get several hundred million dollars from the city. Are you ready? Here it is. Don’t be an ass! Sit down with officials and actually try to work something out. Yes, the Chargers tried in earnest for several years to no avail. But in recent years, it became more and more evident that the only way Spanos was staying in town was if he had the stadium handed to him on a silver platter. Once he was granted the option to move to LA, his entire focus became, how can we leave without looking bad? He failed at that too.
Dean’s bright idea was to ignore local government, create a measure that had no prayer of passing, and then acting disappointed when it didn’t pass. He even went so far as to say if the approval percentage had been over 50%, he would have committed to San Diego. Perhaps if he had shared that little tidbit of information, more people would have given it their stamp of approval? We’ll never know.
Looking past the government officials of years gone bye, let’s take a look at Mayor Faulconer. Some people seem to be giving him a pass, since he gave his endorsement of Measure C. But let us take a closer look. During the rather lack-luster campaign that the Chargers were rolling out before the vote, Mayor Faulconer was nowhere to be found. He had no comment and was no help. Finally, with just three weeks left, he said that he ironed out some details and now supports the measure. Three whole weeks. To top it all off, the Chargers approached the Mayor with a request that he do a commercial showing everyone that he was in support. That kind of coverage could swing a decent percentage of voters who may not be paying attention to the sports talk shows or pages. The Mayor refused to do the spot and went back into his hole. Obviously, this was his was of trying to get rid of the Chargers without looking at fault.
I tried to give Faulconer the benefit of the doubt until he immediately announced that he would be putting a measure on the 2018 ballot that would expand the convention center. Why is that concerning? Because he says that project will be funded by a four percent increase in the TOT tax. That is the same plan that the Chargers had to pay or their “convadium”. That explains why the Mayor took so long to get on board with Measure C. He needed that money for his own plan. Maybe the hoteliers will be behind this plan. (Don’t even get me started on them)
Even the fans carry a little of the blame. Sure, they could have voted for Measure C and the Chargers would have stayed. But, the county was not allowed to vote and that took a toll on the number of fans involved. Also, there were serious concerns on how the measure would effect traffic downtown. The only real negative toward the fans is the large number of fans who have taken to selling their tickets online. Those sales caused The Q to look like an away game many weeks of the season for the last several years. That was topped off by approximately 55,000 Raiders fans infesting Qualcomm shortly before Dean Spanos had to make his decision. Now let me backtrack a little by saying, if the Chargers had put a winning product on the field, the seats would have been filled with Chargers fans.
Do I hate Dean Spanos enough to change my loyalties to another team, or to no team at all? Time will tell, but I don’t think so. Yes, I have no love for Dean Spanos. I think it is terrible that he tore the fabric of San Diego apart by taking his team away. I do give him credit for bringing this problem up 16 years ago, only to be ignored by the city. I give him credit for bring multiple plans to the city in hopes of getting some cooperation, to no avail. That being said, I don’t believe that he wanted to stay any longer and wanted a way out.
Let’s look at the choices. Do I want to start rooting for another team? Well, who would that team be? When the Clippers left, I rooted for the next closest NBA team. If I did that, I would be rooting for the Rams. I can’t justify rooting for the Rams after what they did to their St. Louis fans, and their Orange County fans before that. They are not the poster children for loyalty to a city.
So what other California teams are there? The Forty-Niners come to mind. No. Just, no.
Finally, there is the Oakland Raiders. Honestly, there is no way in hell that I will become a Raiders fan. They are the mortal enemy of the Chargers and they too are not loyal to their cities. They move or threaten to move with the regularity of a healthy man on Miralax. Not to mention that they are planning a move to Las Vegas as we speak.
How about rooting for a team out of state? The Cardinals aren’t far away! This is true. However, I couldn’t give a flying rat’s behind about the Cardinals. They too left St. Louis in my lifetime, they are not even in California, and I won’t be able to listen to local talk radio discus my team. Doesn’t sound very fun to me. Then again, that would give me an excuse to stop listening to that clown Dan Sileo in the mornings. Again, I digress.
Of course there are traditional winning franchises like the Patriots and the Steelers. Again, they just don’t move the needle for me. Great franchises, but no connection. Moving on.
That leaves me two options. Giving up on the NFL, or staying with the Chargers. Personally, I really enjoy NFL football. Maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I should stand on higher moral ground and not support a league that obviously is only about their profit and doesn’t care about the fans or the safety of their players. I suppose that is all true, but dang-it, I really enjoy NFL football and I really enjoy having a team to root for.
It has become obvious to me that the only logical answer I have for myself is to stick with the Chargers. Yes, the Los Angeles Chargers. Who knows? I may change my mind when the games start, but as for now, I’m supporting my team. Let’s be honest, there has never once been a day where I have uttered the words, “I hope they win this one for Dean!” I am here for the players and my own enjoyment. That’s supposed to be what this is all about. It is a game that is designed to be enjoyed by the masses. I personally cannot enjoy it without a dog in the fight (my apologies to Michael Vick).
Getting back to where I started this therapy session, your choice may be different and that is okay too. To each his/her own. Good luck with whomever you choose to follow (except the Raiders).
Thanks for reading. Comment below and tell me where your loyalty lies. #GOCHARGERS
As with others, fellow blitzers, this is my last article for boltblitz.com. Dean Spanos can rot in hell for all I care.
When your wife leaves you after years of lies, deceipt and emotional abuse, there are no more tears to shed, only anger remains. That’s where I am right now. Angry with the betrayal. More than that, I’m angry with Dean Spanos’ cowardice. Angry that he announced the move via a letter on the team website which I have since unfollowed and unliked. Really?
I should thank you for this, Deano. You saved me a chunk of change being I won’t need to continue to subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket. I can take my gear money and spend it on the Padres, Gulls and on the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
The people of San Diego, the fans who backed your sorry ass for years, deserve better than that. May your flesh rot in a toxic dump in Smell-A. I hope the Padres start to act like a major league franchise for once now that they’re the top sports dog in town.
I have been a Chargers fan since 2004. I was 11 years old when I first watched Drew Brees and LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates shock everyone and win the West only losing to the Jets in heartbreaking fashion. Drafting Eli with the 1st pick overall only to trade him for an even better QB in Rivers plus more. 2006 when the team was by far the best in football only to have Marlon McCree fumble away the Superbowl vs the Patriots.
I have been to countless amounts of games over the past 10 years, seeing LT break the record, beating Denver in 2008 to come back from four games down with four to play. I watched as Antonio Cromartie intercepted Peyton Manning three times and Chargers picking him off six times total on a raining Sunday Night. Ryan Succop missing the field goal in week 17 and the Chargers running a fake punt to clinch a wild card berth.
All these memories, gone thanks to greed and arrogance by an owner, who I can truly say as factual, just doesn’t get it. Spanos may be the worst owner in sports, and has all but lost the San Diego fanbase and doesn’t have any one in Los Angeles who will go to him. There is no one but yourself to blame for this. The city of San Diego tried for 15 years to get a stadium and what did you do? Put out ONE plan that you knew would fail….one. This isn’t on the city. This is on you. You have become the laughing stock of, not just the NFL, but in all of sports. Here are some examples for you Mr. Spanos:
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) January 12, 2017
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 12, 2017
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) January 12, 2017
These are just three examples of national teams/media bashing you. Here is one from my personal Twitter page:
— Padres SZN (@WilMyersGOAT) January 12, 2017
You got what you wanted. You wanted LA, well, have fun.
For the last time blitzers, I leave you. I appreciate everyone who supported but this will be my last post on boltblitz.com. I can not, and will not support this team in Los Angeles. I hope to still engage with you guys on social media, and one day, just maybe one day, we will get our Chargers back. But until then, here is me checking out saying, Fuck you Dean Spanos and Fuck the Los Angeles Chargers.
-Zak Darman (@WilMyersGOAT)
… where the Good Lord split ya!
EDITOR’S NOTE: The area in which the Lord split you happens to be the buttock cheeks region, so to speak.
The dismissal of Mike McCoy has finally arrived! He didn’t even make it to Black Monday. This move by the Chargers front office is at least a year overdue.
I’ve written many times over the last two years that I didn’t think McCoy had the stuff to be a head coach in the NFL. This year only served to reinforce my opinion.
Putting aside a 28-38 record as a head coach for a minute, his inability to finish games reared its ugly head far too often during his tenure with the Bolts, especially during the last two seasons. Too many times, we saw the Chargers come out of the locker room at halftime with an entirely different attitude. We watched them nurse leads, thinking they could just shorten the game and run the clock out on offense. Defensively, we saw a much more passive defense. This conservative playcalling cost the team countless victories in 2015-16.
Why McCoy felt comfortable sitting on leads is something I just don’t understand. If a coach doesn’t have a killer instinct, how can he expect his players to employ said killer instinct, allowing them to finish games with a victory in the win column. If a lead is built by playing aggressive, full-throttle football, wouldn’t it make sense to continue that attitude for 60 minutes instead of 30 or 45 minutes? McCoy’s lack of killer instinct, much like his predecessor, is just one of my gripes with him. I won’t bother to get into his many crimes against the game clock or his pathetic, useless rhetoric during post-game press conferences.
I’m glad there will be no more post-game pressers filled with clichés, with McCoy saying a bunch of nothing words. The phrases “next man up” and “we need to finish” make me want to projectile vomit all over everything I enjoy in life. He thinks he’s “the hoodie,” but he’s lacking something a little bit important: Belichick’s credentials.
When you’re Mike McCoy, talking to a soft media which is accustomed to mediocrity and ready to cut you slack, try being a little forthcoming.
My apologies go out to members of the media who may read this. I think you know what I mean. How long did we put up with Norv Turner? How long did we put up with Bud Black? How long did media members make excuses for both?
Now, I digress.
I can only hope that Dean Spanos breaks a perceived habit and decides to spend for a quality head coach.
Additionally, before anyone puts words in my mouth, I don’t mean Chuckie, Cowher or Coughlin.
Thanks for reading. Let me know your thoughts!
Before I begin, I want to say there are two groups of fans this does not apply to: the first is season ticket holders who did not sell their seats to opposing fans and went to all games; the second group is “Save Our Bolts.” It was very admirable what you guys did and you all should be very proud. It is also worth noting that the whole “Chargers to LA” thing is still mostly speculation at this point.
Obviously, there are more fans that this applies to, but I wanted to make sure to take the time to mention the folks who stand out in my mind. Again, thank you all for everything that you have done and that you’ll continue to do as we near a resolution regarding the stadium situation in San Diego.
Now, let’s get to the reason that the Chargers fan base is not without fault should the move occur.
First, the San Diego Chargers in 2016 are ranked 31st out of 32 in attendance. Behind them is the Oakland Raiders, so at least we are beating them in something this season. The sad fact is we are a lot better team than a lot of the teams above us, such as; Cleveland and Jacksonville. How is it that the fans of San Diego expect the team not to look at other options when they do not even show up to the game. Not to mention if anyone saw the games vs the Denver Broncos or Miami Dolphins this season, it looks like an away game for our squad. Here is an article USA Today created about this very phenomenon this season (http://broncoswire.usatoday.com/2016/10/13/san-diego-home-game-denver-broncos-chargers-tnf).
Second, fans of San Diego are letting the players down. Even more than they let us down on Sundays. Some may remember when the choice was announced that some Chargers players took to twitter and said, “every home game better be sold out.” Well, as previously stated, the Chargers are ranked 31st in attendance out of 32. So even though the players and organization are dying to get more fans to the stadium. To which the Chargers fan base plainly stated by their actions, no, we will not show up until you start winning games. In other words, a bandwagon mentality. (http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2016/1/29/10873822/san-diego-chargers-players-reactions-los-angeles-show-up).
Third, the failure of Prop C, although the team did all they could, and so did the citizens initiative. The citizens of San Diego, do not want the Chargers, even though the plan actually included creating a permanent situation with comic con and zero taxpayer dollars. That was not enough to keep the team around.
It does not make sense for a team to stay someplace that they are not making money, that is what the bottom line is in the case of the Chargers. They are not making enough money off of tickets. Also with the low attendance numbers that does not help the other way that a lot of teams make money. They are called sponsors, how can you sell sponsorship or advertising space when you rank second to last in attendance and have not been higher than 19 in the past six years.
At least if they end up playing in the Stubhub Center in Carson, California as a temporary venue it is much smaller attendance wise and maybe just maybe, there is a chance for a 100 percent Chargers sellout game.
On the flip side, there is some things that the Chargers could have done marketing wise in order to get more and more CHARGER fans out to the game that have not been done. For example, maybe putting a winning football team on the field, or creating more advertisements and deals to specific groups that create a better image to the community of San Diego. Instead of just visiting places and doing community service, maybe invite those who do not have a lot to the game and grant them experiences that will last a lifetime. Usually if the public has a high opinion of a team, they are more likely to support that team. That is one reason why the Chicago Bears and every team in Chicago has some of the most loyal fans on earth.
The bottom line is, the San Diego Chargers have not ranked higher than 19th ever since 2009 when the Chargers went 13-3.
After proposition C got struck down with a vengeance by the voters from the city of San Diego, even though the stadium was going to be built using no taxpayer dollars what so ever. That leaves one logical spot, and that is to revamp the current mission valley location. It is a prime location because even though it is not close to downtown, it is surrounded by several major freeways and in a highly populated area. What is Dean Spanos thoughts on revamping the mission valley spot? In an interview with U-T San Diego, Dean said,” I am not a believer in Mission Valley — I don’t think I would ever go back there.” So, if he was being 100 percent truthful, that knocks out the Mission Valley option, leaving only Los Angeles on the table.
As many have seen through all sorts of mediums, the time is finally here; it is time to vote on the building of the new Chargers stadium in downtown San Diego. It almost seems like people forget the impact that PETCO Park had on the San Diego landscape, transforming the area it was built in from a lonely ghetto to one of San Diego’s most valued real estate areas.
During last year, when the NFL was having its meetings about the Chargers, Raiders and Rams and where they would all end up, there were all sorts of fan polls taken as to who they would prefer in the Los Angeles area to represent the NFL.
The team at the very bottom of every poll presented was none other than the Chargers. Although polls can be misleading because of the sample size of each, driving through the Los Angeles and Orange County cities, one can see who really runs the city of angels, meaning the Rams and the Raiders.
Dean Spanos has ruled out rebuilding on the current site of Qualcomm Stadium, guaranteeing to everyone that the Chargers organization is putting all of their eggs in one basket, going full force for the downtown stadium. Of course, it would be wonderful if it does pass and does get built. However, what happens if it doesn’t pass? After all, this is the city who allows the away team to overrun its own stadium. The amount of Chargers fans in Los Angeles is extremely dismal, and one would think that after lasting only one season in Los Angeles that history would repeat itself.
The Chargers are going against well established LA teams, and hoping to pull a fan base out of thin air. It makes it worse that one of those established fan bases in Los Angeles is already a hated rival of the Chargers.
My question is, how do you expect to build a sports franchise when MOST of your future stakeholders have grown up hating your brand? It’s like R/C Cola creating a factory and headquarters right next to Coca-Cola in Atlanta, GA. Just bad business.
There is no future for the Chargers in Los Angeles.
So, the bottom line is, vote yes on C, or else in 2-3 years, we will have no team to root for. No let’s go Chargers; everything we own will become franchise wear similar to those who own Houston Oilers’ merchandise. The Chargers are a staple of San Diego, and to let them leave would be a catastrophic disaster.
This team, this organization called the San Diego Chargers, is a roller coaster that never lets you off. It’s a roller coaster that makes its passengers, the fans, want to throw our arms up in the air and yell for joy one minute, and the next minute vomit like we’re filming a Jackass movie. It’s a roller coaster that defies the physics of most roller coasters because it, somehow, has more downs than ups. It’s a roller coaster that can’t find the finish line, leaving you stuck on the ride until you decide whether or not to stick with it or jump off of the ride, ending your fandom of the San Diego Chargers.
What does finishing even mean? I don’t know, I’m a San Diego Charger fan. I suppose it means winning, but I wouldn’t know much about that either. This organization has failed in almost every way imaginable for decades, on and off the field. Sunday’s most recent soiling of the bed, while trying to spoon the Saints, came as little surprise to most Charger fans. Either someone (Tom Brady) put Crisco on the footballs, or the Chargers found yet another way to lose a game. It’s gone beyond embarrassing, isn’t it? What’s wrong with this team, this organization? Why can’t they finish?
Well, there are many theories out there as to why this team can never seem to finish. Mike McCoy is the front-runner, followed closely by the Spanos Patriarchy. John Pagano, Ryan Leaf, Joey Bosa, Marlon McCree, Norv Turner, AJ Smith, Qualcomm Stadium and the ghost of Ray Kroc round out the Top-10 of 3rd place qualifiers. My point is, what is wrong with the Chargers can’t be put on one man’s shoulders.
To quote a line from one of my favorite movies, V for Vendetta: “…how did this happen, who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those that are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again, truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.”
That’s right, fans are responsible, too. After all, some of us have been supporting this team financially for most of our lives; I know I have. Support is not translating to wins, but why not?
Let’s boil the Chargers down to a failing bar that has been featured on the popular TV show Bar Rescue. The bar is a mess. The manager of the bar and head bartender are getting drunk and playing darts but none of the darts are hitting the board and the head bartender is constantly losing track of time. The employees are bumping into each other behind the bar, constantly fumbling glasses and mixing utensils. The kitchen is minutes away from catching fire or giving someone salmonella poisoning. The loyal customers are wondering why they even come here anymore.
The star of the show, world-renowned Bar Expert Jon Taffer, enters the failing bar and immediately seeks out the owner. The owner and his son’s come waddling out of the tiny office in the back, rubbing their eyes from the nap they just got rudely awakened from. Taffer begins yelling at them. They immediately start making excuses that the bar is too old and dilapidated to attract new customers, and that the town they are in doesn’t want to build them a new bar closer to the center of town. They say they are going to have to move to the next town over if things don’t change, the customers hear this and some of them leave the bar they used to love.
In this scenario, it’s easy to see that the problem with this bar is the owners; the problem with most failing businesses starts with the owners. The same can be said of the Chargers. The main difference is the Chargers can fail and still make money because they have the only “bar” in town. The owners hired the manager and head bartender who can’t get the staff to stop bumping into each other and fumbling the glasses. Some of the staff may not even be bartender material, but the head bartender wouldn’t even know because he can’t even get them to work together.
Many fans want Dean Spanos to sell the San Diego Chargers. Let me just tell you, that’s not going to happen, because Alex, Dean, John and AG Spanos all like money. The NFL makes owners LOTS of money. Most of the Spanos family’s 2.4 billion dollars (Forbes) we’re talking about came from Alex Spanos’ real estate investments in apartment housing. The Spanos family made its money in real estate, not football, and boy is it starting to show. The Spanos contingent like money so much they tried to keep about three hundred thousand dollars away from first-round pick Joey Bosa, causing an unprecedented contract holdout, injury and missed games. Withholding $300,000 when you have $2.4 billion is like chopping up a penny into four or five pieces. Let that sink in.
So what would Jon Taffer do? Well, often when he encounters a dysfunctional bar owner group that is made up of family, he suggests that one or more of the family members step away from the business and appoint a general manager who has experience to right the ship. If Dean were to sell his family’s stake in the Chargers down to a non-controlling interest, say 49%, to let’s just say AEG for argument’s sake, this would do several things.
First, and most importantly, it would get the “family” out of the “football” operations. Secondly, it would serve to preserve Dean’s legacy because if it works, he is the hero for doing what was necessary for the team to start winning. If it doesn’t work, he can point to whomever is the majority owner. Plus, Deano and Sons are still the owners in the eyes of the media and fans, they are just no longer running the team.
This potential decrease in ownership stake is not going to happen as long as the Chargers are playing in Mission Valley, because they aren’t worth enough.
Let’s just say that a new downtown stadium gets approved and built.
The Chargers are suddenly worth substantially more. They are now worth enough that Deano can sell a portion of the team; have way less responsibility; have more money to invest in the family’s true cash cow of real estate; and still make the same, if not more, money from football than when he was majority owner.
In my opinion, the only way this roller coaster, this failing bar, will start trending up is if the Spanos family is no longer at the helm. The only way that’s going to happen is if the Chargers Downtown Stadium Initiative is passed and the facility is built. Only then, when the team is worth its maximum, will Dean consider selling the team, or a portion of it.
So, what can we do besides cry ourselves to sleep every Sunday? Well, trying to punish Dean and Sons buy voting no on Measure C is definitely not the answer. This thinking is so backwards it actually makes my head spin. Voting no on C does nobody any good. Measure C is about way more than the Chargers. It’s about jobs, economic growth and a major improvement to our city. If you’re not on board with that, vote no. A yes vote on C does not guarantee the Chargers will suddenly figure out how to finish. Just like Petco Park did nothing to guarantee the Padres would be winners. I don’t follow baseball anymore, but I love going to Petco Park, and you know what? Every now and then the Padres actually win a game when I go.
The bottom line is the Chargers are never going to finish and win a Super Bowl with the Spanos family running the team. That’s not to say they are bad people, in fact, their generosity to the San Diego community over the years actually points to them being concerned about this community. They are obviously shrewd real estate moguls, but they are a totally incompetent football family. It’s time for fans to start calling it like they have been seeing it for so many years now: a failure of ownership.
Let us know what you think in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!
Over the weekend the San Diego Chargers released a brand-new four-and-a-half minute sizzle ad, launching their movement to win the stadium vote in November. The ad, narrated by Chargers’ legend and Hall-of-Fame quarterback Dan Fouts, shows a beautiful 3-D rendering of the stadium, complete with improvements to the cityscape both physically and financially. Edited versions of the ad will be seen on local television soon.
The ad spearheads a full mass media campaign blitz which will also cover print, radio and social media. In addition to the Chargers’ efforts, citizen-led fan groups such as Save Our Bolts, Die Hard Bolt Club, San Diego Chargers Backers, Bolt Pride and others will cover the streets of San Diego by foot, detailing the stadium plan and encouraging citizens to vote YES in November.
To view the full-length stadium ad, click on the image below.
The ad is funded by Citizens for Sports, entertainment and Tourism with major funding from Chargers Football Company LLC. Major bulletpoints in the video stress the fact that there will be no new taxes levied on San Diego citizens. The funds would instead come from tourists, convention-goers and out-of-town business people staying in local hotels.
The 55-year history of the Chargers in San Diego is highlighted going back as far as Fouts’ famed ‘Air Coryell’ era to the current Philip Rivers-led era. The CGI-renderings show a beautiful state-of-the-art facility with a convention center annex. The deck of the annex would feature multiple viewing balconies and a grass-covered rooftop ‘sky garden’ where patrons can enjoy a panoramic view of the San Diego skyline.
The stadium would hold 61,500 fans and when they host the Super Bowl, seating could be expanded to hold 72,000. As Fouts so eloquently asks in the video, “What could be sweeter than Raiders, Broncos and Patriots fans all helping pay for the project, when they pay their hotel bill?”
The video is capped by Chargers’ owner Dean Spanos, speaking on behalf of the entire Chargers organization.
“This new facility will be much more than a stadium, it will be a world-class event center for San Diego that will create new convention space and attract new sports and entertainment events year-round. I hope you’ll take some time to consider our proposal and know that we’re here to listen and respond. San Diego is our home, and I believe the best is still to come for all of us together. So please, join with us.” Spanos said.
The video is remarkable and would be a boon to the San Diego economy for decades to come. In the short-term, tons of new city and government jobs will be added. Stadiums take time to build and this stadium could take 5-7 years to complete. Money from the approved hotel rate hike would go into the general fund after the stadium revenues are fulfilled. That money can go anywhere from repaving roads, improving schools and improving outdated features of the city.
San Diego is the greatest destination city in America, every travelling convention, trade show, major concert act would make San Diego a priority. Special attraction events such as the Olympics, World Cup, Final Fours, Wrestlemania and the yearly return of Comic-Con would ensure there is no off-season when it comes to the amount of money the city stands to make.
Citizens of San Diego, you owe this to yourselves and to your families. All it takes is a Yes vote at the polls in November to provide the brightest future, not just for the Chargers, but for the city of San Diego and its’ people for decades to come.
When all those annoying Broncos, Raiders and Chiefs fans roll into town bragging about how great their team is, we can just smile and thank them for building our new stadium. What do you think Bolt Nation? Will this get a YES vote from you in November? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
The Greg One