In case you missed it, measure C, the plan that would have given the Chargers a brand new, non tax payer funded, downtown stadium got struck down with a vengeance by the citizens of San Diego. So what is next for the San Diego Chargers? Vegas? Los Angeles? Franchise disbandment?
If you ask me, someone who is currently studying sports business, the answer to that is none of the above.
The reason that it would not be Las Vegas, is because the Oakland Raiders have already been in talks with the city of Las Vegas and a move there is all but official. However, with the large amount of gambling that goes on in Las Vegas, something tells me Mr. Goodell is going to do anything in his power to not let that move happen. The Raiders fanbase or “Raider Nation”, is the perfect candidate for Las Vegas because of the large amount of residents that migrated from California. It is one team that is guaranteed to bring in a lot of money not just for the organization itself, but for the city of Las Vegas as well. So Vegas is out for the San Diego Chargers.
The issue with Los Angeles is that it is now Rams country after the team recently left St Louis. Before the Rams left for St Louis, they were the longest tenured team in Los Angeles, so as I stated before, they practically almost had an established fan base, minus of course the ones that became Raiders fans when the Raiders spent their time in LA. Citizens of Los Angeles do not want the Chargers; several fan polls done by ESPN and Fox Sports proved that earlier this year (2016). Not to mention there is a reason that the Chargers left the Los Angeles area in the very early stages of the franchise.
Now to franchise disbandment: This is a possibility so do not think that it is not. It is a highly unlikely possibility but it is still there. Let’s call it the worst case scenario. The reason this is a possibility is because San Diego is a bandwagon sports town – a transplant city. If you do not believe me, just look at the stands from this past Sunday, or look at how much measure C lost by. In places like San Francisco, you can not walk a city block without seeing at least seven 49ers logos. In San Diego, you are lucky to walk two miles to see one bolt on the window of a bar. They can not trust the fans in their own city to show up to games, and the answer to that is a whole other discussion/debate.
What I honestly believe will end up happening is the Chargers are going to have to look somewhere in San Diego county for a beachfront stadium. Why the beach you ask? It brings more people in and it encompasses what is so great about San Diego.
How great would a tailgate on the beach be?
The Chargers would be able to enclose an area specifically for that and charge per tailgater, similar to what the Arizona Cardinals do with the great lawn. There is a large amount of the population that likes to go to the beach, so not only would it give the Chargers a new stadium location, but you will see an increase in single game tickets, and more importantly, season ticket sales. On top of all of that, it will make San Diego eligible to host the greatest money makers in all of sports; like the Super Bowl, the Final Four, and the college football championship.
Just my take, thank you for reading.
Do you remember what is was like to simply be happy with a Chargers victory? Those good ol’ days when it didn’t matter if your Bolts won 3-2 or 50-0. You were just thrilled that they left the field with a “W”. If you are like many Chargers fans these days, those feelings are long gone.
Maybe it is because you know more about football then you did when you were young. Maybe it is because you have been a Chargers fan so long that you are tired of playing a certain type of football that you know will not yield you a Super Bowl ring at season’s end. Maybe it is just because you have been disappointed so many times, that you refuse to let your guard down. Whatever the reason, many Chargers fans cannot enjoy victories. They must pick the game apart and focus on the negative.
I’ll be the first to admit, that I fit that description for many years. I clearly remember commenting after wins, “Sure we won, but if we play like that against a good team, we don’t stand a chance.” Or, “We didn’t win. The other team lost.”
It is fair to feel that way. Too many times in the past, the Chargers have gotten their fans hopes high, only to crush them like one of Gallagher’s watermelons. Be honest, it is not easy to be a Chargers fan.
All that may be true, but I think it is time to change our way of thinking. We are talking about the NFL. A league where on any given Sunday, (almost) any team can beat any other team. Winning a game is a difficult thing to do! That should be evident by the Chargers 4-12 record last season.
Look at this season. The Chargers seemingly should be 6-0 right now. They should be the talk of the NFL, for all the right reasons. Instead, they serve as a punchline for jokes and the guinea pig for various studies. What a difference a few plays can make.
So, why should you try to put your cynicism behind you and appreciate every win your favorite team manages to secure? Because right now, you are looking into the future. The Chargers are playing games with kids all over the field. They just beat the reigning Super Bowl champions, with six of the eight players who were just drafted month ago! Joey Bosa, Hunter Henry, Jatavis Brown, and Drew Kaser (yes, that Drew Kaser) all were impact players in that win. Fourth-round pick Joshua Perry and sixth-round pick Derek Watt also participated in significant snaps and made some plays as well. That bodes quite well for the future of this team.
Going back to the 2015 draft, players like Melvin Gordon, Denzel Perryman, Craig Mager, Kyle Emmanuel, and even Darius Philon are all still with the Chargers and are important players moving forward.
What I am saying is that 12 of the last 14 players drafted by the Chargers are playing important snaps for the 2016 team and the team is competing every week. Sure, they are struggling to close out games. They are kids! Yes, it could be that they are not playing for a coach who can take them to the next step as well. That problem is a lot easier to solve than trying to replace failed draft picks.
Okay, I’ll admit it. Some of these young kids are playing because of need more than because they beat someone out. Injuries have forced the Chargers to play kids before they may be ready. Ready or not, these kids just beat the Broncos. That should be celebrated!
Do yourself a favor. Watch these games with your heart, rather than your head. All that matter at the end of the day is who has more points on the scoreboard. There will be plenty of time for us to mope and complain about heart-breaking losses. It feels good to celebrate the wins. So take off your annalists hat and go back to being a fan. You will probably live longer too. Remember, the longer you live, the more chances you have to see our Chargers hoisting up that Lombardi trophy!
Thanks for reading. Please leave comments below. I will be sure to get back to you.
Go Bolts!! #VoteYesOnC
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!
Let us begin with one seemingly simple, yet frequently argued truth: the Chargers made the right decision when they let Drew Brees get away.
Those with 20/20 hindsight see how great Brees became and know that he won a ring with New Orleans. They look at his accomplishments after leaving San Diego and compare them to the success, or lack thereof, of the Chargers under Rivers, and envy the fans of the Saints.
That being said, be honest with yourself, Drew Brees was seriously injured in his last game in San Diego and, quite frankly, his performance with the Chargers was average at best.
Please allow me to refresh your memory.
During the Brees’ tenure in San Diego, he was very hit-or-miss. In his first season, he sat the bench and learned behind fan-favorite Doug Flutie. In his sophomore year, 2002, he won the starting role, but was only able to throw for a little over 3200 yards with 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, adding two fumbles. Not bad for a first-year starter, but he lead the team to a middling 8-8 record.
Brees came back as the starter in 2003 and only amassed 2100 yards with 11 touchdowns, 15 picks, and four fumbles. He was benched by then head coach Marty Schottenheimer and replaced by Flutie. Despite the efforts of Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson, the team ended up just 4-12 that season. With Brees seemingly heading in the wrong direction, the Chargers’ brain trust decided that it was time to draft a quarterback.
Enter Philip Rivers.
In 2004, Brees could see the writing on the wall. The Chargers traded for Philip Rivers on draft day and he was the heir apparent to the starting QB job.
Brees’ days were numbered indeed.
Fortunately for Drew, Philip decided to hold out for more money and missed most of training camp. Coach Schottenheimer decided that he could not afford to start their new $40 MIL rookie and put Brees back in his familiar role.
Well, one thing we all know about Drew Brees in current times is that when his back is against the wall, he will come out fighting. He went on to throw for over 3100 yards with 27 touchdowns, against just 7 interceptions and four fumbles. This was by far his most productive season, as he lead his team to an amazing 12-4 record.
What do you do with a quarterback who just lead your team from worst to first in a single year? You start him the next year!
The 2005 campaign rolls around and Rivers is sent to the bench once more. That holdout is proving very costly to the sophomore QB. This was the last season on Brees’ contract. Something had to be decided by the end of the year. Two quarterbacks’ futures were on the line as the season wore on. Brees was quite inconsistent in 2005. He amassed just under 3600 yards and 24 touchdowns, but his interceptions ballooned back up to 15 and his fumbles up to eight!
The decision was going to be tough.
With the team going 9-7 and Brees showing signs of greatness along with signs of ineptitude, no one was sure whom the Chargers would keep.
Word was leaked out that general manager AJ Smith wanted to keep Rivers. Head coach Marty Schottenheimer liked Brees.
Who would win the job?
As it turned out, that difficult decision was made quite easy. Despite many who thought Brees should not play the meaningless final game of the season, Schottenheimer decided he should. Many speculated that Brees got the start because Schottenheimer did not want to showcase what Rivers could do and keep AJ Smith from offering Brees a contract extension.
Whatever the reason was, it backfired in a big way.
While attempting to recover a fumble, Brees suffered a severely torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. This injury is not considered an automatic career-ender, but many do not return with the same arm strength. Brees was not considered a strong-armed QB to begin with, so the thought of him coming back weaker was not attractive. Also, the thought of letting go of their $40 MIL bonus baby was eating away at AJ Smith.
Smith made the call. With Brees’ numbers declining and it being impossible to determine if and when he would recover from his injury, it was time to part ways; thus opening the door for Philip Rivers, who lead the Chargers to a 14-2 record the following season.
With Rivers and Tomlinson playing at an extremely high level, it was obvious that Smith made the right call. Hell, even the Dolphins, who brought Brees in for a workout, refused to sign him. They opted instead for aging veteran Daunte Culpepper. That proved to be an extremely poor decision.
Yet again, when you tell the undersized Drew Brees that he can’t do something, he gets determined to prove you wrong. Brees rehabbed his shoulder and came back stronger than ever before. The New Orleans Saints decided to take a shot and signed him as their new starting QB. Just four years later, Drew Brees was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy high in the air and celebrating his Super Bowl victory with the Saints. He was the king of New Orleans and the top passer in the NFL.
Sunday, October 2, 2016, Drew Brees returns to his roots. He will once again grace the field at Qualcomm stadium in front of thousands of adoring fans who think about what could have been.
You see, Drew Brees didn’t leave San Diego in an ugly fashion. There may have been no love lost between Brees and the Chargers’ front office, but with the community, all was well. In fact, Brees still lives in San Diego in the offseason and is a pillar of the community.
There is no question that the success that Brees has seen in his brilliant career in New Orleans has helped revisionist historians question the decision to let him go. That being said, what choice did the Chargers have? Keep an ailing, undersized, average quarterback? Or, give the young stud who they had invested so heavily his opportunity to shine?
In reality, the decision worked out for both teams. Brees found the perfect situation, team, city and coach to allow his skills to flourish. Rivers stepped in and quickly made fans believers. In fact, they are both considered to be future Hall of Fame QBs by many experts.
My question is, if Brees did not get injured, would he ever have had the chip on his shoulder that allowed him to build up his strength and become a far stronger and more deadly quarterback than he was in his first five years?
We will never know the answer to that question, so the debate goes on.
Thanks for reading. Please leave your comments below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.
Go Bolts! #VoteYesOnC