“Chargers Revisionist History”
The Pulitzer Prize for fiction goes to the Los Angeles Times sports section.
The alert came screaming across my cell phone, about the award winning feature story in the Times sports section about the greatness of the Spanos family, the one that ripped the hearts out of San Diego Chargers fans, as the ownership ripped the NFL team about of our city.
Tilted. That’s the only thing I could think of reading thru the story, praising, rightfully so, the early days of the success story of owner Alex Spanos, as an entrepreneur in Stockton.
But then came the sob story of son Dean, and all he tried to do to keep the Chargers in San Diego. And woe is him and his sons, who felt for the good of the family, the team had to leave here and go there,Los Angeles.
And point-by-point, all the things the first family of football did with their last place franchise, to try and stay in San Diego.
Left out, left on the cutting floor at the editing desk, had to be the rest of the story.
How Spanos never intended to pay any family money for a stadium in San Diego. How the owner tried to hide his downtown stadium idea wrapped inside the Convention Center annex. How the hotel tax and the fans PSLs and Stadium naming rights would replace Spanos dollars in funding the local share.
No mention at all of the Spanos-approved, Mark Fabiani led, scorched earth policy in dealing with city government. No comments from the mayor, city council, county supervisors, or CSAG committee members who worked tirelessly to try and find a financing plan.
No mention either of the refusal of Team Spanos to even go to the bargaining table to find a common ground on a new stadium. And of course no mention about how the sons, given control of the team, have run it into the ground financially and physically.
Guess ownership does not bear any responsibility for the poor product, the decreased attendance, and the reduced revenue streams.
The story was definitely titled towards ownership. No balance what-so-ever.
Maybe there will be an extensive followup story, still to come, that will present the other side of the story. I felt like throwing up on my LA Times as I read of all the glory the current leadership deserves, for what they did to get to LA.
But for now, I can only imagine they are clearing wall space in the sports office, for that Pulitzer Prize plaque, the one for revisionhist history on the Chargers move, the prize for fiction writing.