It’s been a week since the fateful decision that wasn’t for the team and the fans of the San Diego Chargers. A week later we have as many answers as we did when every owner of every team went behind closed doors to discuss the fate of our favorite team in Houston.
The 33 most powerful men in football went into a room. By the time they came out, much like the Chargers own front office, even they could not figure out what to do with the Bolts. The Los Angeles Three-for-all ended with the St. Louis Rams getting the green light to go to the City of Angels by a whopping 30-2 vote.
San Diego gets approval to move to Los Angeles and share the new stadium Rams owner Stan Kroenke will build in Inglewood. That is, IF he and Chargers owner Dean Spanos can come to an agreement on co-habitating the facility in one year. The Raiders get left with nothing but the right to be next in line to barter for co-habitation with Kroenke if the Chargers fail to do so.
The NFL offered a parting gift to the Chargers and Raiders in the form of $100 million towards building a new stadium in their home cities IF they can come to an agreement to build there. We all know how well that has gone so far.
Still, this is a victory for fans of the San Diego Chargers. The team is not moving. Yet.
Dean Spanos is part of the old school of NFL owners. Stan Kroenke is part of the boisterous, defiant, rebellious new school of NFL owners. Spanos is tight with his money as all Chargers fans know. Kroenke throws around money like there’s no tomorrow. The two don’t get along to say the least, which bodes well for Bolts fans.
Imagine you just built your dream home. You’ve moved in, decorated and it is finally perfect. That night the doorbell rings and it’s the person you can’t stand but tolerated because you know punching this person could equal time in jail. This person says, “You have a great new house, we should BOTH live here for the next fifty years!”
A little over-the-top, sure, but not far from the truth.
Chargers fans couldn’t have hand-picked a better foil for the Los Angeles plan than Stan Kroenke. Kroenke is set to build his dream stadium. If the renderings are to be believed, this stadium will be nothing short of futuristic. Into his office walks frumpy Dean Spanos.
We should both live here…..
The NFL owners are not a mutual admiration society. There are distinct factions behind the scenes. While Kroenke made his victory speech last Tuesday night Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis left the room and did not return. When reporters asked Spanos when he was going to begin discussions with Kroenke his Chargers owner first comment was “I’m going to take a day off.” Doesn’t sound like a man looking forward to moving onto another man’s property, especially that man.
The fate of the Chargers remains in limbo. Spanos has reportedly applied for the trademark rights to the names Los Angeles Chargers and L.A. Chargers but that’s about all he’s been able to accomplish. The rights haven’t been granted to him yet.
When Spanos and Kroenke finally met in person on Monday to discuss sharing the new venue the only thing they decided was to keep everything private until there’s something to report. Thanks for nothing, guys. It’s not like there are players lives and families and fan allegiance riding on these ‘discussions’.
Oh wait, there are…
Again, this pairing could be the best thing to happen to San Diego when it comes to keeping the Chargers in town. If both owners were gung-ho on getting these teams in place as soon as possible a deal would be done by now. In my humble opinion Spanos would rather stay, use his $100 million consolation prize toward building his own stadium than be Kroenkes’ tenant. I’ve never believed the Chargers would leave and still don’t. Looking at the way the situation is unfolding, now I have a basis to go from and not just hope. As do we all.
Sit back and enjoy the first world billionaire problems.
The struggle is real.
The Greg One
There are some that would love to see the San Diego Chargers move to Los Angeles – mostly those involved in the business aspect. There are even a few that would root for the club if they became the L.A Chargers. I, on the other hand, feel absolutely sick to my stomach even at the thought of it, and here’s why.
I was born and raised in San Diego and currently reside in Arizona. I have many fond memories of my hometown and visit fairly often. My memories include such things as jet skiing in the bay, bonfires on the beach and hanging out at Horton Plaza mall. Even my late father’s ashes lay in the frigid water of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Coronado. Yet, my most favorite recollections are watching the San Diego Chargers on TV. Supporting the Chargers is what keeps me close to home, and keeps those memories alive and vivid in my mind. For the past few years, there have been multiple articles written and many discussions articulating the possibility of the Chargers moving to L.A. That being said, I could never root for the L.A Chargers.
I do not like L.A. It could be the traffic, the vanity of everyone that lives there or even the annoyance of how everything feels so rushed. There has always been an undisclosed tension between the people of San Diego and Los Angeles, but I don’t think anything compares to the football pressure. Yes, the Chargers spent a year in L.A, but left in 1961 for one reason…no fans! Most recently, many were left bitter when the Rams left there and headed east to St. Louis after the 1994 season. Since then, the city has been searching for a team to wake up the city’s sleepy football community. Here’s where I will say, with my heart on my sleeve, “Look somewhere else because it can’t be the San Diego Chargers”.
San Diego is a city everyone loves. Have you ever heard someone utter “meh, I really don’t like San Diego”? I have so much love for where I’m from and for the Chargers! I sometimes blab on about how Philip Rivers, even without a Super Bowl ring, is a top-five quarterback, or that the team is extremely underrated, or even going as far as wearing a shirt with Manning’s name and an inappropriate symbol embossed on it. I love San Diego and I love the San Diego Chargers. Hell, I even love that Father Time stadium we call the Q. I couldn’t possibly see it any other way. Envisioning “The Los Angeles Chargers” makes me cringe and snarl. But more importantly, I feel a heavy heart with even the possibility of a move; a heaviness that cannot ever be mended. The San Diego Chargers are one of the last things to give me solace in the city I live that isn’t considered home.
One of San Diego’s greatest athletes was born in Los Angeles, the late Tony Gwynn, but spent his entire baseball career in the nation’s finest city playing his entire career with the Padres. For many reasons, Gwynn migrated to San Diego and remained there. Even his final resting place is in Poway. In addition, Junior Seau spent his beginning and remaining years in San Diego. With such a rich history, there’s absolutely every reason to be a fan of any San Diego professional sport.
I despise Los Angeles, and the fact that the city was once home to the Raiders gives me an even more burning hatred. I want the Chargers to forever claim San Diego as their finest city, and having the best fans in the NFL. I couldn’t see it any other way. Fans like me will agree it wouldn’t be the same and, personally, the loss would perpetually scar my football heart. It might be that the Chargers have a very special fan base or that they continue to have an underdog reputation and never get the credit they deserve. But I wouldn’t want it to be any different. The San Diego Chargers are imprinted on me, like a scalding brand to a calf’s hindquarter. I cannot, and will never, support a team called the L.A Chargers.