“Chargers Football–The Misery”
It’s been the one constant thru all the recent years of the then San Diego Chargers-now-Los Angeles Chargers.
A constant that keeps leading the franchise back to where it now sits again, last place in the AFC-West.
In 1984, Alex Spanos purchased the Chargers from Gene Klien. He had no experience in professional sports.
By 1994, as old age fast approached, he assigned day-to-day control of the team to his son Dean, again with no experience in professional sports.
The family has owned the franchise for 36-years and has had just 14-winning seasons. The composite record of the Bolts is (265-282) from people who have owned the product for 3-and-a half decades.
Yes they may have increased (doubled) the value of the team by leaving behind 55-years of Chargers loyalty, to make a run for the money into the Los Angeles market.
But in doing so, they left behind alot of hate, and inherited alot of scorn. And the losing has continued.
In the last 24-hours the team said Anthony Lynn would finish the season as head coach, but a (3-9) record won’t drastically improve with 4-games left on the schedule.
Then they will proceed to remove Lynn as coach, eat the final year of the contract, and begin a search for their 12th head coach in that 36-year span.
The Bolts have a unique opportunity ahead of them with the impending change.
Most teams, who fire a coach, resemble ‘3 Mile Island’. Nothing left and nobody around talent wise. Not the case with the 2020-Chargers. The quarterback is in place for the next decade. They have a running back, one of the leading receivers in the NFL, and a host of young defensive players learning on the job.
But (3-9) is (3-9). Unwanted in LA in their fourth year in their new home, they better hire the right guy.
Who might that be? If the rumor mill is correct, they have a chance to hire the right guy, who won, went to the Super Bowl, won that, developed quarterbacks and built defenses.
If the rumor mill is correct, BILL COWHER, the legendary Steelers coach, now on TV, is worth a phone call.
The Chargers job might be the best out there, not because of who owns the team, Spanos, or the snazzy uniforms, but because of Justin Herbert. This is not ‘3-Mile Island’.
This is the LA market, and they demand ‘flash’ from their teams, as witnessed by what the Lakers-Dodgers-LA Kings have done over the years. You know, Showtime, Dodger Blue, Gretzky.
What better flash than Cowher? When was the last time Dean Spanos hired someone of quality?
If not Cowher, maybe you reach for the stars and see if URBAN MEYER, he of enormous success at Ohio State-Florida-Utah, wants back into the coaching circles. Yes you might be scared away by the failures of guys like Steve Spurrier and Chip Kelly going from a college campus to an NFL sideline, but you have to check this out.
There is enormous sentiment, don’t hire a retread, but I would look closely at CHUCK PAGANO, who did a miraculous job with the Colts despite enormous quarterback issues and a weak front office.
If not him, then highly regarded JIM CALDWELL, victimized in Indianapolis, then screwed by the Detroit Lions, but with a sterling offensive mind and strong references.
Of course there will be hot coordinators who will get jobs, ERIC BIENEMY and ROBERT SALEH, but how many times has this franchise gone the hot shot coordinator route, and had it fail? Can you say Kevin Gilbride, Mike McCoy, Anthony Lynn?
As we have painfully found, successful coordinators do not guarantee success as head coaches, as witnessed by he often hired-likely fired Norv Turner. You might win with other guys players immediately, but what happens a couple of years later. Ask Norv. Ask Lynn.
There have been two quality head coaching hirings during this 36-year run of Team Spanos. Bobby Ross and Marty Schottenheimer.
And by the way, a qualifying point for you. Dean may have been in charge, but Alex interceded when they hired Marty Schottenheimer, the ex Browns-Chiefs head coach. Dean had overseen the mishandling of the Bobby Beathard issue, that led to the Kevin Gilbride-Mike Riley-June Jones fiasco. Alex bailed him out.
And prior to that, the other successful coach was Bobby Ross, hired by the new GM-Bobby Beathard, after Alex had fouled up the Don Coryell-Al Saunders era, followed by the failure of Dan Henning. Beathard bailed the old man out on that one.
Chargers football has had two strong GMs during this Spanos error-filled era. Beathard, and then the John Butler-AJ Smith package. Beathard burned out. Smith self destructed after laying the ground work for wins, lots of wins. And then Dean Spanos screwed both of those eras up by not interceding to keep Ross and Schottenheimer as head coaches.
The scoreboard does not lie about the stretches of time of bad football by the Lightning Bolt in the Spanos era:
(20-27)..Don Coryell-Al Saunders
(23-57)..Kevin Gilbride-June Jones-Mike Riley
History writes about the greatest moments in Bolts ball. Boss Ross and the Super Bowl run. Marty Ball going (14-2) with Rivers-LT-Gates-Seau.
History will not let us forget (1-15)..Ryan Leaf..losing to an (0-13) Browns team..and the (45-0) debacle on Sunday, the all time worst home loss in Chargers history.
Hard to believe, the team has had 22-non winning seasons under the Spanos flag. And with son Dean running the team, 12-winning seasons in 27-years. Not much to put on your resume.
Four weeks from today, they should be looking for a new head coach. Who do you trust to make the right decision? Anybody named Spanos? Don’t think so? Maybe the current GM-Tom Telesco, though there’s not much of a track record there.
If I were king, I’d call Cowher. If not I would trust the Telesco-link to either Pagano or Caldwell.
I surely wouldn’t trust anyone with the Greek last name. Time to get a winner on board to help out the loser of an owner. Football men need to make this decision, not people ‘born on 3rd base-who woke up thinking they hit a triple’.
The only constant thru all these bad years…the people making the decisions..the Spanos family.
Time to end the misery that Chargers football has become.