Chargers Editorial: If Spanos leaves, the “Chargers” name should stay in San Diego

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Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

With the Chargers positioning themselves to leave the city of San Diego, could the franchise leave its name with the city? It seems more and more likely that Dean Spanos is positioning himself to move in with the Los Angeles Rams and form a partnership. The two teams could share the Los Angeles Coliseum until their new stadium is completed at the old Hollywood Park site.

However if the Chargers do leave the city, perhaps it would be in the best interest of all parties for the Spanos family to leave the name “Chargers” in the city of San Diego. For 54 years the name Chargers has been associated with the city of San Diego, it really makes no sense for the name to go too.

The city of Los Angeles doesn’t want the Chargers, but they could embrace a whole new team name. If a new team name was created, then fans could warm up to the team. The new Los Angeles team would be a fresh start in a new market. Right now fans of the NFL in Los Angeles feel the Chargers are being pushed on them. For the most part the city has no interest in the team. It’s painfully obvious to everyone except the one person who can do something about it.

Dean Spanos is like a stubborn old mule. He is a throwback type of owner that is used to getting his way and has no emotional ties to anything he does. I wonder if his father Alex Spanos, would have the same feelings? I wonder if the senior owner of the Chargers would put business first in front of his love for the city and what is right. Sadly Alex Spanos is not in the best shape. At the age of 92 he has been suffering from severe dementia since 2008.

The Chargers are currently burning so many bridges with their fans. The fact the team refuses to negotiate now is just a slap in the face. Nobody really knows if all these reports linking the team to Los Angeles are accurate. The team is exploring options but perhaps they are just posturing themselves for a stadium in San Diego.

If that is the case, I don’t know if they are going about it in the correct manner. Demanding a stadium or else, has only fractured the fan base which was already on thin ice. Daily I see Chargers fans turning on each other during social media spats. Its disgusting and it has been created by all this uncertainty.

Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

If the team leaves, leaving the team name opens door to the San Diego Chargers returning in the future. We have not gotten to that point yet, but I believe the city should be allowed to do so. It makes sense for the city of San Diego, the Spanos football team and the NFL as a whole. Think of all the merchandise that would be sold of a new team in Los Angeles with a new name. The Los Angels Stars… or whatever they could be called.

In 1995 the Cleveland Browns played their last game of the season and owner Art Modell announced the team was going to be moved to Baltimore. The city and the fans of the Browns were outraged and a settlement was reached where the NFL agreed to relocate or give the city of Cleveland a new football franchise by 1999. In 1996, the Baltimore Ravens were formed with the Browns personnel while the city of Cleveland was allowed to retain the Browns name. The city had to wait for a team, but in 1999 the Cleveland Browns were reestablished in an expansion draft.

That was a totally different scenario, but does provide a possible solution to this whole mess. The city of San Diego does not want a team run by Dean Spanos here. He has shown no love for the city, and the fans really have no love for him. If he must leave, then do what is right. The NFL would hate to lose the San Diego market from its stable of cities. That is no secret. However they are not going to build a stadium here for free. Ultimately all the transplants in the city need to speak up and demand a new facility. Do what is right for the city. There is no reason why we as a city cannot be a sports town. The mindset just needs to be adjusted. If all goes to hell and the franchise leaves for Los Angeles, at least consider leaving the name here. Do what is right.

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