“Family-Different Meanings-Different People”
You can use the word family to describe many situations. What happens in your home. How a pro sports organization describes its operation.
But in this case, the use of the word ‘family’ seems fraudulent, after what happened Monday at Chargers Park.
The NFL team slapped its defensive captain Eric Weddle with a 10,000-fine, for breaking a club rule, in the final home game two weeks ago when they played Miami.
Weddle, who is ailing with a groin injury, elected not to go to the locker-room at halftime with his teammates, while the team was up (23-0) to the Dolphins. Playing his final home game before he becomes a free agent, Weddle elected to stand near the end-zone to watch one of his daughters perform a dance routine before the 62,000-fans at Qualcomm Stadium.
In a season of losses and injuries, yes Weddle violated protocol and team rules. Maybe he should have asked for permission. Maybe it would have been granted, maybe it wouldn’t have.
Then he was placed on Injured Reserve, taking him out of the Broncos game on Sunday, with the Chargers saying they needed to clear roster space to get healthy bodies on the practice field.
Added to it all, the club announced Weddle could not fly with the team to the final game in Denver, because there was not any room for the 15-IR players the club has on that list.
But there is a history of ill-will that has boiled all season long, the aftermath of Weddle’s unhappiness when the club decided not to offer him a contract extension from his 8M a year package before the season began. Edgy comments, borderline nastiness from the player, arrogance from the organization.
It brings us back to the word ‘family’, the Chargers like to throw around in public. GM-Tom Telesco, upon taking the job, mentioned it time and time again, that things would change from what they were before, before being the AJ Smith era.
But Team Spanos has this history of bad endings with lots of people, star players, front office execs, media and broadcasters.
It’s Dan Fouts calling a retirement press conference at his Rancho Santa Fe home with no salute from the Spanos family has he exited his career, one that eventually took him to Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
It’s the dispatching of linebacker Junior Seau to Miami. It was the release of Rodney Harrison, who wound up playing so well in New England. Add to that the elimination of LaDainian Tomlinson, who wound up with the Jets. The public denouncement of Donnie Edwards, the shadowy insinuations about Stan Humphries and his career ending concussion. The lowball treatment of then star receiver Vincent Jackson; the elimination of Darren Sproles; and the handling of the Drew Brees talks.
Add in how things ended for the last three successful coaches that wore the Lightning Bolt, Don Coreyll, Bobby Ross and Marty Schottenheimer. Winners treated badly by an ownership group that has a history of losing, 22-non-winning seasons in 31-years of operation. Those guys were the leaders of the football family.
It seems the way they do things over at the Fortress, on a career-by-career basis that really sheds light on who the ownership is, what the corporate philosophy is, and their inability to do anything right by the players who have given so much to the franchise, and the community.
So just remember Eric Weddle’s treatment, when you think of people on the 2nd floor at Chargers Park, and somebody over there uses the ‘family’ phrase again. Just another name to add to the list of how things ended badly, because ownership allows it to be done that way.
Oh I’m sure they will trot out the phrase ‘family’ again sometime soon. Maybe we have the wrong interpertation.
‘Family’ means anythiing-everything when the benefactor is someone named Spanos is attached to it.
‘Family’ does not extend to its star players nor past coaches. Sadly.