The 2016 NFL Season is Over & Sadly the Sport is Dead to Me

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Credit: AP Photo

In a really sad reminder of the life we live in, the San Diego Chargers left town for the seemingly brighter pastures of Los Angeles.

The almighty dollar rules all, and there is no sense of loyalty or commitment in our current society.

The San Diego Chargers were my team. Half of my professional sports fandom was devoted to them, and being that I am a native San Diegan, there was a real sense of pride when wearing anything Chargers-related around our great nation. Whether or not you liked football, or understood the game, the Chargers were San Diego. They represented the city, and that lightning bolt provided a sense of joy.

Now it is gone. The pride in that team is gone. And with that, so is my allegiance to the team. They do not represent the city of San Diego, as they choose to turn their backs on the city that housed and supported them for 56 years. The Chargers encouraged their San Diego fan base to follow the team to L.A., but what they failed or cared to realize is, the city from up north is a hated rival. Most people from San Diego do not want anything at all to do with a Los Angeles sports team.

I realize the team isn’t that far up the 5-freeway, but it is the principle of the whole matter. Yes, the Chargers deserved a new stadium, but the Chargers’ owner was the problem in the end. It did not have to end the way it did.

Chargers’ owner Dean Spanos was the victim initially in his mission for a new stadium.

I will gladly admit that.

The city of San Diego and its Council had many problems at the time (late 90’s-early 2000’s) and the team was ignored in their request for a new home. The site at Qualcomm was renovated to nearly a 70,000 seat venue after the Chargers’ Super Bowl run of the 1994 season. That forced the Padres out of Mission Valley, as they settled in downtown San Diego. The NFL rewarded the city with a Super Bowl in 1998 and again in 2003. Spanos and the Chargers were content for a while, but the older stadium slowly began to fall apart.

Mandatory Credit: AP Photo

For nearly 15 years, Qualcomm Stadium has remained nearly the same. The Chargers’ front office have failed to go above and beyond when it comes to taking care of the nearly 60-year-old relic. The scoreboard and big screen jumbotron have looked the same since the Padres moved out after the 2003 season. I mean, seriously? The team could not put any money into improving that? No effort was made at all by the team to improve the stadium. The NFL even chimed in, constantly stating that they would love to have another Super Bowl in San Diego, but Qualcomm Stadium was too old and out of date to host such an event. A lot of talk was done, but little to no action was initiated until recently.

Over the past two or three years, the City of San Diego tried to work out a deal with the Chargers. Getting anything done of that scale, in this city, is very difficult, so patience is necessary. Obviously, Dean Spanos did not have the required patience, nor did he have any compassion toward the city of San Diego. For a billionaire to thirst for more money, over doing what is morally right, is a sad thing. It is life though. The dollar rules, but the NFL will never have my dollar again. Not until they change their mindset and own up to the travesties within a league run by billionaires, who constantly play with the emotions of the majority of the nation.

So, NFL, I bid you adieu. I will always have the memories of better times, of the San Diego Chargers. The team my father taught me to love, and the team I cheered wholeheartedly for with friends and loved ones. The memories will never completely leave me, but some are too painful to recall at the moment. In time the wounds might heal, but the scars will always be evident. There will always be that mistrust with the NFL that I cannot shake.

The San Diego Chargers are dead, and so are you, NFL. You are dead to me. Enjoy your billions upon billions of dollars in revenue.

11 thoughts on “The 2016 NFL Season is Over & Sadly the Sport is Dead to Me

  1. Pro sports have been purifying for decades. Biggest work release program going. Few of the players or owners deserve nearly the loyalty, attention or $$ they receive.

  2. San Diego was disloyal to the Chargers, not the other way around. If YOU did not show up to at least ONE game in 2016, YOU are the reason they left. Not Dean. YOU. He tried for 14 years. In addition, San Diegans had an entire extra year to tell the Spanos family how they really felt about the team. Nobody showed up to the games. No blue jerseys in the stands. No noise when our defense was on the field. Rivers couldn’t call audibles during the Raider game packed with 90% Raider fans. Pathetic. Shameful. This one falls completely on the lack of support from the fan base. It’s easy to vilify Dean, but fans need to own the truth. Disloyal fans are the reason the team left. Period.
    If there had been Thunder and noise rooting for the Bolts at the games, Dean would have given more time to another stadium proposal at Mission Valley. Guaranteed. He wanted to stay in San Diego. We also would have likely had more wins because the “12th man” would have energize players to win in some of those close games. Just ask anyone in Seattle if the 12th man inspires them to win. Dean is not a great owner, but he tried to stay. He got the middle finger instead.

    1. First off, I agree (and it states that in the article) he was given the shaft initially by the city when asking for a new stadium. However… his decision to move to L.A. was made years ago. He played the city the whole time. The last year in San Diego was only because the NFL awarded the Rams to the L.A. market and he was sulking. Do you not remember the first “Last Chargers game at Qualcomm”? His response was to come up with a dream scenario where he would get a downtown stadium with a Coronado Bridge view. A more well-thought out campaign would have gotten the job done, but in true Chargers’ fashion the team decided to take the half-ass approach with their mind-set being- “Oh well, we have L.A. in our back pocket.” San Diegans are not stupid. We sensed this the whole time, and instead of reassuring the fan base, he constantly went behind their back in an effort to leave. But you expect the fans to come, right? Get Real!

  3. Great story but one statement you make is factually incorrect. The media continues to refer to Dean Spanos as a billionaire and he is not. His parents and three siblings as a group own the Chargers and as an entire group Forbes indicates their family net worth is over $2 billion but that net worth is not represented by cash in a bank account. It is primarily represented by what the Chargers franchise is worth if they sold it. So they could sell the Chargers then they would have the funds available to pay for a stadium but otherwise no. Unlike say the Rams owner whom is a billionaire even without selling the Rams. Dean as an individual only owns 15% of the Chargers and has a net worth closer to $400 million also centered in the value of the Chargers not cash resources. His name gets mentioned because as chairman he represents his families interests. Agree with your points but think it’s important for realize that dean is no billionaire with cash if that magnitude available to pay for a stadium. He would have needed help from multiple sources to pay for it and even a gap of a few hundred million may have been too much for his and the families personal resources to gap unless they borrowed against the Chargers and pledged the team as collateral and I am not sure many lenders want to foreclosure on an NFL franchise if the loan were to default or if the leagues would allow it as collateral so perhaps borrowing money was not even an option. Maybe their only other option was to sell the team but it’s been returning them over 90% a year in appreciation and that is a tough investment return to walk away from as where else could they invest their money to get the same return as how much an NFL franchise appreciates in value each year thanks to their respective share of all tv revenue proceeds that the league spreads around

    1. The Spanos family is worth $2.4 billion dollars according to Forbes. The family owns 97% of the franchise currently as well. Yes, Dean as an individual owns only part of the club, but he does control the day to day operations of the club. I agree the “Poor” millionaire would have needed assistance to build his stadium, but he refused to negotiate when the city was finally ready to in good faith… Thank you for your comments.

  4. Grew up in Poway and have rooted for the Bolts my entire life. Don’t think it would have stung as much if they moved to any other city. But to relocate to LA is an additional insult. Still a SAN DIEGO Chargers fan so I no I won’t be throwing away or burning my memorabilia but I won’t be following the LA team.

  5. WELL PUT!! I feel (almost) the same way. I can not ever be an LA Chargers fan. Born and raised in SD, no chance of ever repping LA. While the Chargers are dead to me, I think one day I might find a new team. I will never put the loyalty, heart, season ticket or gear money, excitement, joy, or passion into any other team. I just need something to fill my Sundays, which now feel heart breaking and sad. I am devastated by their departure, and to a hated rival city, I just cant follow them. I will not actively search, but over time, perhaps a new team will catch my interest. …if I’ve actually stopped tearing up about it by then.

    1. I hear you. I am not rooting for another team either, but yes, in time perhaps that will change. This whole thing is a travesty. Once football season starts back up, we will all have very fresh wounds. This pain will not cease for years… Sad times for SD Sports. Sad times.

  6. It hurts knowing the Chargers have left us. I, however, will still remain a Chargers fan. Yet, you will NEVER see me wearing anything that says LA Chargers. I will only wear San Diego Chargers( good thing for the indoor swapmeets) or just plain Chargers. I will still root for the Chargers on Sundays, however, I will never pay to see them play in Carson. Once the Rams stadium is built, I’ll go see the Chargers play there one time. I want to go see where they are going to be the second team. That said, it will hurt if they start winning up there. I’m going to hate to see a healthy team winning the games that, when everyone was hurt, they lost down here. However, the Chargers are still my team. I don’t know any other way.

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