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The Los Angeles Chargers, Revisited

Dean Spanos’ decision will go down in history as one of the greatest acts of sports infamy ever. After some time to think things over, here’s a look at my collection of thoughts regarding the move.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

First and foremost, I’d like to make a revision to the left-hand sign visible in this article’s cover photo. The pictured fan lists all the teams that would pull rank over the Chargers should they move to Los Angeles; needless to say, he left out one team with more fans in L.A. than the Bolts.

That team would have to be the Chino Hills Huskies, the local boy’s high school basketball team best known for producing three brothers with a fitting last name.

I always revert back to this picture when people ask me why the Chargers moved to The City of Angels. If you thought there weren’t any fans in San Diego, I calmly retort, just wait until you see their first game of the 2017 season.

You would think Dean and the NFL cronies would fully appreciate before the move that, without fans, there is no money, and without money, the NFL cannot claim to be responsible for much more than concussing its players. But now that Spanos called his shot, there is, reportedly, “significant trepidation about the Chargers in LA”.

Now, I live in Connecticut, so it’s only natural that my peers are not as informed as me when it comes to the San Diego stadium situation. But with the rapid way in which the Chargers became an Internet joke, everyone is now fully aware of the Spanos family’s ineptitude.

Let me rephrase that. For good or for worse, it’s now a well-known fact that the Chargers are one of the worst-run franchises in all of sports.

I was working on an article to sum up the State of the Union last week. In it, I discussed topics such as the embarrassing loss to the Browns, how I thought the stadium situation would shake out, and who I wanted as the next coach of the team.

Needless to say, life got in the way, and the article never got published. And then...boom.

It didn’t really register until Thursday afternoon, even after staying up all Wednesday night reading about the leak. The Los Angeles Chargers sounded so unnatural, so surreal, that I remained completely stupefied until it finally hit me, when I saw a picture of the updated Dodgers logo, only slightly skewed and with a dingy excuse for a lightning bolt attached to the end.

I despise using the word depressed because lots of people deal with much greater problems on a daily basis. But I sure felt down-in-the-dumps after it finally sank in—the Bolts had officially bolted.

Even with lots of time to reflect, I still have not been able to sort it all out. I really should not care as much as I do about the Chargers moving to Los Angeles. After all, I became a fan when I lived in Thousand Oaks for all of two years. My connection with the city of San Diego didn’t go much further than me visiting the city once or twice, though I do remember enjoying delectable quesadillas and churros.

But I would be nothing short of ignorant if I ignored the fact that the Chargers belong in San Diego. It’s painful to hear people lament the lack of supposed fanship, arguments mostly backed up with references to aerial shots of a silver-and-black-clad Qualcomm.

I never hesitate to pin it all on the ownership. When an owner makes terrible decisions—regarding both on- and off-the-field circumstances—a team with a crappy stadium will always have a hard time generating interest. Couple that with some of the best weather in the country, and you get a wombo combo of reasons to skip the game in favor of the beach.

That does not mean San Diego and its assorted counties do not bleed powder blue and gold, though. The Chargers were ingrained into the community for 56 years, something that not many franchises can claim. And if the team was as unpopular as people speculate, then are there so many fans venting in anger?

I really do not know if I am a Chargers fan anymore, through-and-through. I have not burned any jerseys, and never will, though it’s quite painful that I dropped a good chunk of dough on my #13 and #17 within the last four years. It’s just incredibly hard to root for a team mired in such incompetence, year in and year out.

All I do know is that Philip Rivers is my guy, and I’ll follow him until he hangs up the cleats. Should he move on to, say, the Texans, nothing would make be happier than to see Houston win a Super Bowl with its shiny new acquisition.

In conclusion, remember Marty Schottenheimer, Ladanian Tomlinson, Vincent Jackson, and Eric Weddle? Those are all guys who have recently been screwed over by Chargers ownership in their quest to drive the wrong guy out of town.

Now, it looks as if, through sheer idiocy, the Spanos family has accomplished the impossible: they drove the wrong town out of, well, town.

I have a lot more to say and sure plan on saying it. Look for the final G-L Review of the 2016 season sometime later this week.