Been asked several times since last night about how I feel about the Chargers’ move from San Diego to Los Angeles.
My answer has been pretty consistent — the actions of the team having been pointing toward this development for 18 months and it is like the day has finally arrived.
Anger? Nope, not from me. I put on the journalistic objectivity cap a long time ago. I also covered that team so I am also quite aware from the inside perspective of what a poorly run organization it is.
Sadness? For others. For all the fans that loyally supported the franchise since 1961. For all the younger folks who may not have a team to watch and support for future decades.
Good riddance? Sure. Dean Spanos is a horrible leader and he will be an even bigger failure in Los Angeles, where the stakes are higher. San Diegans want to keep their team but they despise the ownership. So yep, get your sad-sack meek self out of town, Dean.
And stay out!
Dean Spanos is the son of a very wealthy man named Alex Spanos. Dean didn’t EARN his way to being a pro sports owner. He got there by being born into the right family. He has always been in way over his head when it comes to running a football team.
Heck, his leadership skills were horrible when the Chargers posted a franchise-best 14-2 record in 2006. General manager A.J. Smith wouldn’t acknowledge coach Marty Schottenheimer and little Deano was too afraid to make the two grown-ups sit in a room and work out their differences.
And remember, the same situation occurred in 1996 when Bobby Ross had to exit as coach because he and general manager Bobby Beathard could no longer co-exist.
So it happens again a decade later and Spineless Spanos still can’t figure out how to handle it.
Schottenheimer was fired and a few days later, a few of us reporters got an audience with Dean on the second floor of the facility.
There was nothing more surreal than seeing his flustered face as he began telling us that the organization was dysfunctional.
This after a 14-2 season!
Imagine how dysfunctional things were when they went 1-15 in 2000.
Things were dysfunctional because Dean Spanos doesn’t function properly.
He made it clear he was done with San Diego in the fall of 2015 as he worked overtime on getting the Carson project approved. What a hit to the ego it had to be that other NFL owners trusted Stan Kroenke the Donkey with the Los Angles market more than Dumbbell Dean.
So he came back to San Diego with his tail between his legs and began talking this big game about how he was going to get the stadium thing solved. I just chuckled at that stuff.
Dean Spanos was unable to get it done the previous dozen years. Why would he suddenly become this stadium magician?
The ballot measure in November never had a chance and the fact that even 43 percent voted yes tells me there were a lot people who voted for it that felt desperate to keep their football team.
That’s exactly what it was — San Diegans wanting to keep their team. Nobody was voting to keep Dean Spanos or his two sons, who now have major roles (Again, two kids born into the right family, no EARNING things when you are filthy rich).
The best thing is the Chargers have taken the plunge to Los Angeles and nobody in that smoggy city cares that they are coming.
USC football will always be 20 times more popular than the Chargers … heck, the football pecking order goes like this:
USC, Rams, UCLA, Chargers … Spanos should be happy Long Beach State no longer has a program.
Oh, so reflective? Certainly.
I attended dozens of Chargers’ games as a kid. The cost was $1.50 the first time I went. There probably isn’t anything in the stadium that you can get for $1.50 now.
I waited overnight to get playoff tickets — in the Don Coryell era, playoffs were a yearly thing — and I later covered the team for seven seasons as a professional. Spent a lot of time in that complex in Murphy Canyon, both during the era the Chargers let reporters in the building and again in a later era when they threw the reporters in a stinky trailer that probably couldn’t pass code.
That also means I spent a lot of time at Qualcomm Stadium. It was a good place when I first started covering games there — including two Super Bowls — but it certainly had declined over time.
One time they were doing the Sky Show fireworks after a San Diego State football game and I went into a back room in the press box to write. And with every loud boom, I was surprised the stadium didn’t collapse to the ground.
During my last season covering games, I was on board with everybody that said it needed to be replaced. It was officially a dump.
But Dean Spanos never got his stadium. The San Diego voters said no to the infinitely rich guy who could have built his own stadium a decade earlier. Part of why they voted no is that San Diegans don’t respect Dean Spanos or his cronies.
San Diego loves its football team. It just despises the guy who moved it.
It sure has been a fun time on Twitter since news of the move broke Wednesday night. Here are some of my contributions:
Good-bye #Chargers … don’t forget to pack all your #SuperBowl trophies … oh, none of those? … Hmmm, pack all your losing seasons.
Marlon McCree is telling people tonight he’d still run with that interception he fumbled to set up #Patriots rally. #SpanosEraChargersFail
A.J. Smith still bragging to people that getting third-round compensation pick for Drew Brees was an outstanding move #SpanosEraChargersFail
That time #Chargers took bust Craig “Buster” Davis in first round & his college WR coach slammed him in my feature. #SpanosEraChargersFail
If the eggs were off the mark or fell incomplete, they were thrown by Craig Whelihan. #ChargersSpanosEraFail
Can we slide in the Galaxy at No. 11 and drop the #Chargers to 12? Heck, slide in the WNBA team too. No. 13 it is.
Two words: Ryan Leaf. #ChargersSpanosEraFail
This might be as fun as day the fan at training camp serenaded Ryan Leaf with “Lonesome Loser” and Leaf tried to fight him. #SpanosEraFail
1-15 in 2000 with 11 straight loses to start season & coach Mike Riley led team in “Hip, Hip Hooray” after lone win. #ChargersSpanosEraFail
350-pound Chris Mims drunk at downtown Del Taco, urinates outside, beats 150-pounder with belt, steals his four tacos #ChargersSpanosEraFail
Not sure what this 4 thing is … perhaps #Chargers will play in Los Angeles high school section 4A level during time at tiny StubHub.
That #Chargers logo with the 4 … got to be the Spanos way of celebrating all those fourth-place finishes in the AFC West. #SpanosEraFail
The time Dean Spanos looked at me & said the #Chargers were a dysfunctional organization. After going 14-2. Look at them now. #SpanosEraFail
The night in Boston when Dean Spanos looked me in eye & said Philip Rivers didn’t have torn ACL. Two days later: Rivers torn ACL #SpanosFail
LA Galaxy still assured of being highest-scoring team playing in #StubHubCenter with arrival of #Chargers this fall. #ChargersSpanosEraFail