“Chargers Football-A Dark Night-A Darker Future”
It was rainy, cold and raw, a bad night weather wise in Mission Valley. It was an even worse night to be a San Diego Chargers fans.
The black skies overhead only drove home the darkest feeling you could have, with the news that owner Dean Spanos had told NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell he was moving the franchise to Los Angeles.
This after 56-years of loyalty to a franchise, in which the Spanos family has given San Diego just 9-winning seasons in their 33-years of ownership..
This after 1-Super Bowl appearance under theirleadership..
This after the ousting of Super Bowl coach Bobby Ross, and the the firing of Marty Schottenheimer after a (14-2) season, all following the first ownership move, the dismissal of Don Coryell. .
What followed were the mistakes in the hiring of head coaches Norv Turner and Mike McCoy.
All compounded by the poor treatment of players, the forced holdouts of top draft picks like Joey Bosa and LaDainian Tomlinson.
The club sanctioned running off of key component players like Vincent Jackson and Darrin Sproles.
The rude treatment of icons like Junior Seau, Rodney Harrison and others dealt away.
The history of the brazen treatment of front office people like Steve Ortmeyer, John Butler and AJ Smith.
The on going war with city leaders over any and all plans for a new stadium.
The insults directed at past mayors. The gun fire returned when one mayor called the Spanos family ‘welfare queens’;
Name any relationship the Chargers had, it ended badly. The business deals, including the Ticket Guarantee, forever stained the family as money grubbers and nothing else.
The arrogance in the odd years they won, turned into ignorance when you saw the Spanos sons take over the football and business operations of the team.
The franchise has lost 26-of its last 36. Attendance is the worst since 2000. Revenue streams have seen the team go from 15th to 29th in the NFL.
The owner allowed his point man, Mark Fabiani, to smear the city-county leadership for nearly a full calendar year, while civic leaders tried to help finance a new stadium for a rich man.
You can never forget, nor likely forgive the Spanos family, despite the philanthropic things they did in their early years in the community. A net value of (2.4) billion no longer buys you much love in the town you are deserting.
I said two years ago, Dean Spanos legacy would be the end result of the stadium drive. It has ended badly for the city of San Diego and its Powder Blue fans..
The Chargers ownership always talks about loyalty, as long as the net result is a positive for their family.
Moving to LA is a prime example of their end-game forever. Money, money, more money.
Their scorched earth policy destroyed their political currency down town. The fans revolted over the threats to move to LA, and the poor product on the field in San Diego.
At the end of the day, the patriarch father, Alex, gave his son the franchise to run, and the son, Dean, ran it into the ground and is now running out of town.
You get the feel, if Dean wasn’t given a silver spoon in life, he’d be on a street corner with a tin cup.
His legacy is forever tarnished. His franchise, under his leadership, is failing.
And on a cold-wet-dark night, he did what Art Modell (Cleveland) and Bob Irsay (Baltimore) did, leave in the middle of the night.
A dark night now likely to be followed by darker days.
Money and power corrupt, the rich and famous, and the ignorant and irreverent, who own the Chargers.
No one wins this morning. Not the Chargers moving to LA. Not the faithful fans in San Diego.