Chargers Power Rankings (Measure C Edition)
These are my weekly Chargers Power Rankings. They should be taken very seriously.
Here are some good Chargers (from best to less best):
1) “No” on Measure C (Last Week: Not Ranked). There are lots of ways to look at Measure C and the reasons to vote for or against. … 1) Among them is the belief that government should always strive to do the most good for the most people. Would a logical person — free of Chargers fandom and knowing that the hotel tax can only be used up to a point — decide that the best way to dedicate billions of dollars is toward a sports stadium? How many other uses would benefit the most citizens? (Answer: Many.) And who does Measure C really benefit? Certainly not the taxpayers. (Put another way: Who makes money from Measure C?) There have been arguments whether the city’s general fund will be affected, but it is fair to say that with a bond offering this large ($1.15 billion) the city will be leveraged and could be hampered (like: higher interest rate) when the time comes for future bond offerings (roads, fire, etc.) … 2) Another viewing is from a moral perspective. Nearly every legitimate economic study, and almost every legitimate economist, agrees that public money for sports stadiums is a bad investment. Knowing this, how could a billionaire owner justify asking for public money for private interests? And how could a mayor justify campaigning alongside that owner?
2) Melvin Gordon (NR). Mel is tied for second in the league in rushing touchdowns and ranks seventh in rushing yards. So, with four plays from the 2-yard line, give him the damn ball. That is all.
3) Philip Rivers (Last Week: 1). Not his best game in Sunday’s 27-19 defeat, but the Denver defense does that to quarterbacks. The prescription for what ails? The Titans this week, who’ve allowed more 20-yard pass plays than any team this year.
4) A.J. Smith (NR). Yes, the old gunslinger inserted himself into the Chargers’ stadium issue this year, revealing that his NFL “sources” say the league wants the Chargers in San Diego. A logical interpretation could be: The team has nowhere to go; so feel free, citizens of San Diego, to vote “No” on Measure C. Of course, he could be sticking it to his old bosses. Or both could be true and the old GM was nodding toward Chargers fans to call this Spanos bluff.
5) Joey Bosa (LW: 3). Three more quarterback hits and a tackle for loss on Sunday. Statistic time (courtesy of Pro Football Focus): With 26 quarterback pressures through four games, Bosa has eight more than any other pass rusher in the last decade through their first four games. Because Internet critics always own up to their sins, those that had Bosa as a “bust” during his holdout have the opportunity to reveal themselves in the comments section below.
6) Brandon Mebane (NR). The Chargers have the No. 8 run defense in the league. This may be Tom Telesco’s second-best free agent signing (Danny Woodhead).
7) Mission Valley (NR). It’s where the fans want a new Chargers stadium (based on a Union-Tribune poll from earlier this year). It’s what the Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group recommended. It makes the most sense from a traffic and infrastructure standpoint. It would be cheaper to build (without a convention center annex attached). And, as recently as Jan. 2014, team advisor Mark Fabiani said the team would agree to build a stadium if the city provided the land.
8) Casey Hayward (NR). Second in the league in interceptions and pass deflections, Hayward has been much needed with the absence of Jason Verrett. This week, he gets Titans leading receiver Rishard Matthews. (Can you name what college Matthews went to without Internet help?)
9) Chris Cate (NR). The San Diego City councilman has been the focus of Chargers-backed Facebook attacks. He’s been denigrated by the “Yes” on Measure C folks. And yet, his stance is quite reasonable. He is a Chargers fan and wants the team to stay in San Diego. He does not believe public money (general fund or hotel tax) should go toward this private enterprise. He recommends voting “No” on Measure C and negotiating a different deal in the future.
10) Second-half schedule (LW: 4). By one count, there are six very winnable games left on this schedule. Plenty of time left for the Fighting McCoys.
Here are some bad Chargers (from worst to less worst):
1) Dean Spanos (Last Week: -1). You have to wonder: If the gambit to Los Angeles had never happened last year, would Measure C stand more of a chance than it does now? Or what if Dean hadn’t allowed Fabiani to go into full “attack-dog” mode? You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, as they say. While blaming politicians for your stadium troubles can be fun and easy, the public can oust those people at the voting booth. Chargers fans only wish they could choose a new team owner.
2) “Yes” on Measure C (NR). Hopefully, those voting “Yes” are doing so because they like this measure and believe, with the mayor on board, things are finally moving toward a new Chargers stadium. Unfortunately, there will be some who vote “Yes” as a way of communicating they simply don’t want the team to move. It’s understandable, because it’s a vile threat sports owners have been using for decades. It’s unfortunate, because taking advantage of sports fans’ passion to get the best stadium deal (and more money) is a shameful thing to do.
3) Measure D (NR). If recent polling is to be believed, this thing is DOA. It was engineered by local attorney Cory Briggs, who might have the only regional likability rating lower than Dean.
4) Connection between winning and voting (NR). This is something mentioned often in the media that doesn’t make sense. Give voters more credit. If the Chargers were undefeated right now, the record might sway a few votes. But not the passing of the measure.
5) Kevin Faulconer (NR). The San Diego mayor is trying to thread the political needle with Measure C. He held out for a long time. (Waiting for polls? Shifting winds?) Then worked out a side agreement with Dean that is no way binding, though allows him to say he negotiated with the Chargers owner (the types of side deals that Faulconer has previously said he disagrees with). So, if Measure C fails miserably, the mayor can say did all he could with the Chargers. If it passes, he’s on the winning side (sort of). The real question is, if it fails not-so miserably, how tough a negotiation will Faulconer run with the team next year.
6) Mike McCoy (LW: 10). A little bit of friction this week with center Matt Slauson telling radio listeners the O-line wanted to run it from the 2-yard line. The next two weeks may well decide the season (and the Visored One’s future) if either game results in a loss.
7) Inside linebackers (Last Week: Not Ranked). There’s never a good time to be without your top two inside linebackers, but definitely not during Titans Week (yep, it’s here, lock down your tickets). The most forgettable team in the NFL likes to run the ball a lot, so it’ll be up to Korey Toomer and other backups to plug the holes.
8) Joe Barksdale (LW: -3). Another bad week for him and the O-line, though going against Denver will do that. Comment: There’s nothing funny about offensive line woes.
9) Bill Simmons (NR). This is the man responsible for the HBO Tony Hawk video in opposition to Measure C. The Boston-centric sports personality found a way to be on the right side of the vote, yet for some of the wrong reasons and in an extremely annoying way (the piece was a homeless-man’s version of a John Oliver takedown).
10) Compromise (NR). It’s what politics is all about, right? If Measure C doesn’t pass, will the Chargers move off some of their demands? Will the mayor shoot for a stadium deal similar to the San Francisco Giants (team was given land and tax breaks, built AT&T with private money)?