1-Man’s Opinion Column-Monday— “Chargers-What Does the Excitement Really Mean?”xcitement Really Mean?
What Does the Excitement Really Mean”
It was electric, it was fun, it was colorful, but did it really mean that much?
The Chargers unveiled the architectual drawings of their idea for a covered stadium, attached to a Convention Center Annex late last week.
Then they held their pep rally on Saturday morning in the Tailgate Parking Lot where they want the new stadium to be built.
Commissioner Roger Goodell was there, inciting the crowd to get out the vote, and making the statements, the Chargers belong in San Diego, and so does a Super Bowl game. We’ll hold you to that.
Alot better than the last Commissioner who visited here, Paul Tagliabue, who insulted the city after they spent 75M to expand the Stadium to host Super Bowl games. Ingrate, Paul Tagliabue, ingrate.
Future Hall of Fame running back LaDanian Tomlinson showed up in a powder blue blazer and talked about the 55-year history of the team, and his hope a new stadium will be for the next 55-yeasrs of the franchise.
Philip River intoned his Alabama twang ‘Dad-gum-it’, referincing the grand idea to build it so all will come to the East Village.
There were no Chargers from the Air Coryell era, none from the since forgotten Super Bowl team either.
Owner Dean Spanos faced a smattering of boos, then some applause, though it is going to take awhile for fans to forget how he treated the Mayor, the County Supervisor, and the fans over the last year, in his failed bid to take the team to LA in the best interest of his family.
No-one introduced the toxic Mark Fabiani, the Chargers version of San Diego obstructionist.
Not much of a hand for Coach Mike McCoy nor GM-Tom Telesco, the end result of the ill-wind that blows when you go (4-12)
Congressional officials and favorable City Councilmen were there, but no sighting of Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
The couple of thousand of fans, wearing Chargers gear, stretching from old AFL days-thru the Dan Fouts era, and the Sujper Bowl team and the modern day Powder Blue, hooted and hollered like it was a tailgate party.
So they got 2,000 signatures but need another 65,000 to put the Stadium-Annex initiative on the November ballott.
This will be a challenge for sure. This is a city that rejected a bond for more fire department help, even as Scripps Ranch and Rancho Bernardo burned badly in 2003 and 2007 firestorms.
The voters, who keep rejecting bonds for more police and better education funding.
And now we expect them to say yes, I’ll vote for a new football stadium and convention center, knowing the history of legal challenges, and the longterm anger over all the Spanos deals that were slanted his way, as the city teetered on bankruptcy.
Memories are awful long around here.
Rivers was right. Last year’s suffering showed how much the team means to the community, and how much the community means to the franchise.
But there are budgets to be balanced, work industry layoffs continuing, and a Mayor committed not to make the same mistakes past mayors have made dealing with that NFL owner. And you know the mayoral history here, from drunks to thieves to perverts.
Kevin Faulconcer deserves credit for his cautious approach. Dean Spanos deserves credit for stepping up and finally talking to the media after a year long disappearing act, as if he was above everyone else.
Now he knows he doesn’t have lots of friends around the NFL willing to do favors for him. The (30-2) no vote to Carson said it all. Now he will spend some of his wealth to run this campaign. He’s got the bank, considering what he pissed away trying to get to Carson, and then Hollywood Park. Time for him to invest in this city, for his own benefit.
But in the end, as much fun as Saturday morning was to see, and be part of, everybody wanted selfies with the TV anchor-talkshow host-voice of the team, and everyone wanted to ask what I thought.
,The question really remains out there. Will people approve the hotel tax increase? Will they become educated enough about the referendum? Will the convention people allow this annex-rather than an expansion of the current center on the Bayfront? And do the hotel people actually carry clout to stop this type of progress?
22-lawsuits later, the general consensus, as we stood in the shadow of Petco Park, everyone agrees John Moores and Larry Lucchino saved the Padres, and that ball yard is now a destination point for the beauty of the Gaslamp Quarter.
Now a real chance to add to our cities beauty and infrastructure.
Does a pep rally mean very much? I’m not sure. Just ask those people in Carson, who thought they were getting the Chargers-Raiders or even the Rams.
Time will tell. But at least this was a start, better than the garbage we have had to live thru thanks for the Spanos family, over the last calendar year.
Hopefully this will end better than his attempt to ‘run with the big dogs’ and move to LA.