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.
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.