Call me a sucker if you want, but I'm buying what Dean Spanos is selling.
I knew that the San Diego Chargers would reach an agreement for partnership with the Los Angeles Rams, and I knew that they would take that deal with them to a meeting with the City and the County to try and get the best deal possible. That's exactly what happened.
So, why am I as optimistic as I've ever been for the future of the SAN DIEGO Chargers?
Missing Mark (Fabiani)
Immediately after announcing that his team had come to an agreement with the Rams, Dean Spanos didn't just meet with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Country Supervisor Ron Roberts. He's done that before.
Dean Spanos met with those gentlemen alone, without Mark Fabiani.
After nearly a year of politicians begging Spanos, and the NFL, to eliminate Fabiani from "negotiations"....Spanos finally did it. According to reports, Dean showed up by himself and talked with Faulconer and Roberts by himself.
The fact that Dean was willing to give in, and walk in without Mark Fabiani, is huge. If you remember previous reports, it was that Dean Spanos was "disconnected" and answering emails on his iPad during previous meetings with the City and County. Now, he appears to be connected and invested.
Not a Natural Liar
There's a reason that Dean Spanos hired Mark Fabiani and paid him a lot of money for a lot of years. Plainly put, Dean needed someone who could lie better than he can.
Dean needed someone who could, without preparation, be able to boldly lie to someone's face and have them believe it. Or, at the very least, have them doubt whether or not it was a lie.
There's a reason that Dean Spanos doesn't often talk to players. There's a reason he doesn't hold many press conferences or talk to the media often.
As the owner of an NFL team, you sometimes have to face questions that you don't want to answer. Harsh realities. Say what you will about Dean Spanos, but he doesn't like to face those harsh realities. He doesn't want to be put in a position of having to answer questions he doesn't want to answer. He would rather pay someone else to be in that position.
Now, Dean has to face harsh realities of San Diego with the guys that run the city and county. He has put himself in a position of having to answer questions he maybe doesn't want to answer. This is an unsure step for Dean, and there's no reason to take it if he's not totally invested in staying.
Some are saying that, even though Spanos sat down with City and County officials, the announcement that the team is staying coming after the announcement of an agreement between the Chargers and Rams means that everything from here on out is disingenuous.
Spanos is going to try and rob the city blind, stay in the stadium where he knows his team is accepted (rent free), and sell a bunch of tickets for another year. That's what the doubters say, and it's hard for me to disagree with any of that.
However, I think Dean needed the agreement in his pocket for confidence. I think he needed to walk into that room with a backup plan, if he wasn't walking in with Fabiani. He needed to know that he could tell Faulconer and Roberts to screw off, and he wouldn't be screwing his franchise in the process.
Once he had that, it was time for the heart-to-heart.
I think we're to the point of mending (or mended) fences. Now is time to start talking plans, talking numbers, and coming up with something that the Chargers, the City, and the County can present together.
Call me crazy, but I think we're on our way.