December 12, 2003

Editorial:

Say Good-bye to the Chargers

With all this talk about a new stadium and the threat of moving the team, we haven’t said too much about the whole San Diego Chargers fiasco. They’re much like a spoiled child. No matter how much you give them, they always want more, and we have gotten weary of hearing them continually asking for more. And, quite frankly, the discussion about plans for a new stadium, outside of the realm of being a fan, has little to do with the Hispanic community!

Much like the last deal that was brokered between the Chargers and the city (former Mayor Susan Golding), these types of deals are done in the back rooms, involving the movers and shakers, you know, the ones who get rich off these types of deals, which means the Hispanic community has had very little involvement.

But now that the Chargers have filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles to get out of their lease at Qualcomm, though we have always known that this has been their intent, the thin facade of trying to stay in San Diego is finally gone. Now the issue is in the courts, where it becomes even more frustrating for the fan because we have no semblance of any input as to the outcome. It is now in the hands of the lawyers, and if the ticket guarantee is any indication of the type of clauses in the contract the city has with the Chargers, this should be a slam-dunk for the Spanos.

The bottom line on this whole deal is that the Spanos’s want to make money, lots of money, more money than they can ever dream about by staying in San Diego. Just up the freeway, the Los Angeles market is calling and the movers and shakers in that city, you know, the ones who can make money off a pro football team, are setting the table for the Spanos to come and feast on. This drives home the point that while we consider the Chargers our team and we pay the bills for this team, build stadiums, and support the team through thick and thin, we do so at the pleasure of the team’s owners.

As fans, we can protest as loud and as long as we wish, but if the owner wants to move, much like the L.A. Rams, St. Louis Cardinals, and Indianapolis Colts for example, the teams will move, even to a worse situation, the Arizona Cardinals for example, if a city offers enough incentive.

As fans, what we will be left with are memories. Many of us will remember the good days in Balboa Stadium, in 1961, the cold cement seats, as we watched some great teams and great rivalries in the new American Football League. We will remember when the Chargers were constant winners and champions, four out of five years AFL champions with players like Lance Alworth, John Hadl, Paul Lowe, Earl Faison, and the list goes on. We will remember the rivalries that live on today, and we still remember the modern times after the merger between the AFL, the NFL, and the great teams at the former San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium, when the Chargers had one of the most prolific offensive teams in football history. We will also remember our one and only appearance in the Super Bowl.

This looks like this will be the only thing left after the courts get done with the Chargers’ lease … memories, and a huge empty stadium in Mission Valley,.

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