Chargers Editorial: If Dean Wants a Stadium Downtown, He Better Pucker Up

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Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

The 2015 San Diego Chargers season was a train wreck in every sense of the imagination. The pending move to Los Angeles and the drama behind that potential move left a cloud over the team since the very start of training camp. You could sense the uncertainty within the team and the unknown really debilitated this team before the season even started.

You could argue that these are professional athletes and that their job is to deal with uncertainty and move forward. Still as human beings with families, the players had obvious concerns over the whole situation. The ordeal left a lot of the players mentally exhausted. That is understandable given the situation.

The Chargers front office and their unwillingness to work with the city of San Diego was death to the fan base. That slap in the face to the fans was what resulted in opposing teams dominating the Q. Dean Spanos needs to own up to this. He only made attempts to stay in San Diego after the Los Angeles market fell through. Chargers fans know this. They are not ignorant to that fact. The stadium fiasco was a determining factor in the train wreck that was the 2015 season. That you cannot debate.

On top of the stadium mess the Chargers had to deal with constant injuries. The offensive line in particular was decimated. Four out of the five starters missed multiple games and the Chargers were forced to patch together a unit to protect Philip Rivers. In the end D.J. Fluker, Orlando Franklin and King Dunlap all had horrible years in terms of health. Chris Watt injured his shoulder early in the season and was lost for the year. Enter Chris Hairston, Trevor Robinson and Tyreek Burwell to save the day. Well, at least they tried. All three were victimized early and often by defensive lineman.

The line was not the only unit that had injury woes. Keenan Allen was lost for the year after a touchdown catch in which he lacerated a kidney. Steven Johnson, Malcom Floyd and Ladarius Green all spent time on the sidelines with injuries and Antonio Gates began the year suspended four games for PED use. The defense was not spared as Eric Weddle, Jason Verrett, Manti Te’o and Brandon Flowers all missed time too due to injury.

The season was a mess no doubt about that. Watching the division rival Denver Broncos hoist a Super Bowl Trophy was even more salt in the wounds for Chargers fans. The attitude and demeanor of the team’s owner has sent some fans completely off the edge. I know some fans that have abandoned the team completely. They feel betrayed by the team and its owner and nothing is being done to make it better.


Where has Dean Spanos been? He has minimal scripted television appearances with little to no hard-hitting questions regarding his past actions. With a little change in fate the Chargers could very easily be setting up shop in Los Angeles instead of the Rams. Now because he was beat to the punch in Los Angeles, Spanos is forced to try to save face here in San Diego. Fans know this.

A statement was issued by Dean Spanos in late January stating that the team would be staying and that he hopes a new stadium deal can be reached. Most fans agree a new stadium can be done, but how about a little bit of sympathy for the turmoil you put them through?

At one point in the last few months, every Chargers fan had to think about whether they would follow the team to Los Angeles. They also were forced to consider the San Diego Jaguars and even worse the San Diego Raiders. I mean, fans had to actually consider if they would root for a team other that the Chargers. The team they grew up with. That whole ordeal was very confusing and sadly it is not over yet. If a new stadium is not approved then we are going to be in the same boat.

That is why dean Spanos needs to pucker up and start kissing some butt. He needs to win back the Chargers fan base and apologize for his craftiness. If he really wants a chance for this stadium to be approved he needs to admit he was wrong and move forward. The city and the fans are willing to work with the Chargers now. Perhaps his big threat to move was a brilliant plan to get San Diego city officials to move forward on a new Chargers Stadium. Who knows.

If that was the case its time to stop playing the bad guy and embrace the fan base. The city is working on retaining the team. There are very positive signs this project can be complete. Still major hurdles are in the way. Dean Spanos and his public image need to improve if this stadium is to be completed. He needs to make himself known to the fans and plant more roots in the city. Fans want to be assured that regardless of what happens in November, the team is not going anywhere. I applaud the Chargers for shooting for the stars in a downtown stadium, but they need to stay the course if this first complicated project falls through. We are a long way from the finish line, but signs are starting to trend upwards.

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