Chargers to LA: My final thoughts
Alright, I’ve made a conscience decision to not let the Chargers move to Los Angeles ruin my life or put me in a bad mood. I will not allow it to fill my heart with hate, or destroy my love for football. Let’s be honest, it is, what it is (I hate that saying, but it fits here). As the late, great Junior Seau said during his “graduation” speech, “It’s over!”. The Chargers will play their first game representing Los Angeles in over 50 years next Monday night against the Broncos.
It has been a tough transition from following the San Diego Chargers, to the Los Angeles Chargers. There were many emotional obstacles that I had to clear. Although I am ready to move on to this new era of Chargers football, it is obvious that many fans are not. Yes, San Diego is still reeling from their loss and many will never recover. Some former Chargers fans will move on to a new team. Others will just follow their fantasy players (none of which will be Chargers). Still others will say their new favorite team is whomever is playing the Bolts any given week. They will live on the pain and hatred that this move has created, as Smeagol trying to recover his lost ring.
In an attempt to wrap my head around what has happened the last several months, I have decided to post the five things that I have learned that will help me move forward. Take a look and see if these trues help you solidify your decision to stay with, or give up on, the Chargers.
- Dean Spanos is an ass! – Okay, apologists will tell you that he is just a business man who wants to make money. I suppose that is true. But what he isn’t, is a compassionate man who considers the emotions of thousands of loyal fans in the city that was his home for over 50 years. I get it. “Chargers fans had trouble selling out games.” “Chargers fans sell their tickets to the opposing fans.” “Chargers fans had an opportunity to save the team by voting for a new stadium.” I get all of that, but what I don’t get is that Spanos made no real attempt to bring his fans with him to Los Angeles (LA). Sure, the most loyal of the loyal will follow the Chargers to the end of the earth. Where Spanos missed the mark was with the fence sitters. Those are the fans who could not decide whether they were a fan of the team, or a fan of the city. They considered sticking with their team, but the actions and attitude of the owner turned them off for good, or at least for foreseeable future.
- San Diego politicians are corrupt – I won’t bore you with all of the shenanigans that went on over the last 15 years or so, but let’s be honest. San Diego politicians are in the pockets of the hoteliers, who run the city. Never was this more evident that on the day the Chargers sent out their “Dear John” letter to their fans. If you remember, the Chargers wanted to use a 4% tourist tax (TOT Tax) to pay for the majority of a new stadium in San Diego. The hoteliers and the Mayor swore up and down that it would kill tourism and be a bad move for the city. But sure enough, as soon as the Chargers say they are moving, the Mayor comes out with a statement that says he is introducing an initiative that would use a 4% TOT Tax to expand the convention center. That was obviously his plan all along. He was just waiting for the Chargers to get out of the way. No doubt about it. The last two years were nothing but an effort by Dean Spanos and Mayor Faulkoner to get the Chargers to LA, while making the other guy take the blame.
- Pain runs deep in San Diego – Say what you want, but there are many former Chargers fans who still mourn the loss of their team, as a child mourns the loss of their hero. These fans spent countless numbers of hours tailgating and watching games. They spent ridiculous amounts of money on tickets and Chargers gear over the years, while never being rewarded with a single championship. These fans were loyal and would have done anything to see their team stay. These are the fans who pray every night that Dean Spanos dies and rots in hell. These are the fans who truly believe that either the NFL will place another team in San Diego, or even better, Spanos will sell the team and the new owner will move them back to their rightful home. These are the fans who donated thousands of dollars to have billboards, around the Chargers new home in Carson, that are dedicated to shaming Dean Spanos. Maybe game days didn’t always show it, but San Diego did have some very loyal fans. Honestly, if this describes you, I have no problem with you jumping ship. I just don’t understand letting the hatred you feel toward Spanos fester inside you like a cancer. Try to remember, it’s just a game. And that is coming from a guy who watched all four pre-season games with excitement. If having your football team move up the road is the biggest problem you have in life, count your blessings and move on.
- Los Angeles couldn’t care less – I know that attendance is down throughout the league for pre-season games. That doesn’t worry me. But let’s face it, the “fight for LA” has not gotten off to a very exciting start. It is more like two counter punchers feeling each other out. Honestly, whichever team, between the Chargers and the Rams, makes it to the playoffs first will gain a lot of momentum. It is hard to find Chargers gear in local stores. You do not see many locals sporting gear around town. Local sports talk radio spends very little time talking about the Chargers. There just is not much of a buzz. Hopefully, time and winning will win the hearts of the LA market.
- Enjoy Football – Here is my strongest feeling regarding the Chargers move to Los Angeles. Whether you love them or hate them, enjoy football. If you love football, but do not feel a connection with any other team, just stick with your Bolts. You can still hate the owner if you want. Root for the team on the field. Yes, Dean will get money in his pocket. Who cares? He is going to make money with or without you. Every time you turn on an NFL game, no matter who is playing, Dean makes money. At least you will be able to enjoy the sport and share in the ups and downs of you team. Why allow one man to take away something you really love? Don’t give him that kind of power over you. That being said, if you do pick a new team, do not waste your time hating your old team. “My favorite team is whoever is playing the Chargers” will only last so long. You will have a void in your football life that is not filled in the same way it was when you truly followed one team. One thing that I cannot get past is thinking that as soon as I quit being a Chargers fan, they will win the Super Bowl without me. Now that would hurt!
I sure hope you can put the past behind you and get back to enjoying Chargers football, or whatever team you now call your own. For me, it is time to “Bolt-Up” (I’ve always thought that was a stupid slogan), and root on Los Angeles Chargers football. I am looking forward to seeing Antonio Gates break the record for most touchdowns by a tight-end. Will you miss that moment? What a shame, if you do.