Chargers to LA-How’s that Going”
The Chargers home opener vs Miami.
At first glance on TV it looked like the game was sold out. From long distance shots, you saw a lot of blue.
Then you had close up shots, and yes, you could differentiate between the Chargers blue, and the Miami Dolphins aqua jerseys. Add in lots of Orange, the alternative Miami color, and as people told me, almost a third of the stadium was Miami fan.
About that crowd now. Don’t you remember AG Spanos telling us all, that all 27,000 season tickets were sold out. And you remember Mark Fabiani hinting Chargers fans would not be allowed to sell their tickets?
Attendance was 25,381, the second non-sellout at home in two weeks. And probably 8,000 of them were Miami fans dressed in their colors.
Dean Spanos can solve that. He can go back to ‘Central Casting’, and rent some fans for next weekend’s home game. He knows about Central Casting doesn’t he?
The alternative is to have a Red Sea tidal wave of fans in the yard next Sunday. You know, Kansas City Chiefs red?
And if you are keeping score at home, there were 56,612 for the Rams game at the Coliseum, and USC drew 84,714 for its game with Texas.
It’s tough to build something in Los Angeles, when the product is so poor.
An (0-2) start with a rookie coach, plagued by a bad field goal kicker, stymied by bad clock management and questionable play calling, makes it tough to sales pitch an attractive product, even with a Hall of Fame quarterback and tight end on the roster..
And the LA media, it is indeed piling on.
The LA Times lead column led with the description, ‘not wanted here…not needed here’, when making reference to the Chargers.
Spanos was shown sitting in the owners box, and was booed. The halftime ceremony giving LaDainian Tomlinson his Hall of Fame ring, saw him booed when he made reference to the Spanos family.
The stadium had tarps in the corners of the upper deck. There were bunches of end zone lower level seats empty. Shockingly, seats at the 40 and 50 yard lines were empty also. Hard to believe, that many no shows just two weeks into the season.
Of course in San Diego, the UT had four different columns and articles, all with negative slants about the team, the owner, the move, the bad blood.
On the 405 freeway, the electronic billboard, with the rotating messages deriding Spanos, Roger Goodell and the LA market, paid for by disgruntled Chargers fans.
The plane overhead flew with a trailing banner…Worst owner in sports-Dean Spanos-pay your rent. Ex-Dodgers owner Frank McCourt must feel relieved these days, there’s a new villan in LA.
You lose two games to start a season, in San Diego there would be panic. In their new market, no one cares, because the Dodgers are headed to the playoffs..the Trojans are ranked high with a Heisman Trophy type quarterback…and the Lakers are about to open the Lonzo Ball-basketball era.
The TV ratings, in LA, for that first home game, an awful (5.1) rating, worst home market TV rating for a team in its own city in 33-years. Rams football didn’t do much better, just (7.2)
Chargers football, fenced in by the Dodgers-Lakers and Clippers…om the shadows of the Trojans-Bruins and Kings…it’s like they don’t exist.
The Chargers have a real problem. It might be the product. It might be the prices. It might be the size of the market. But more likely, it might be the owner.
The Chargers have now lost 27-of-their last 37-games.
In modern day history, when I think of Dean Spanos, my mind flashes to others like him who have failed. Is he becoming Mike Brown of the Bengals? Is he the next Bill Bidwell of the Cardinals?
History is getting ready to write about Dean Spanos and his greed. AG Spanos, his son, an empty suit. John Spanos, the so-called football guru, in over his head.
Is it Sunday yet? Here comes the Kansas City Chiefs to town.