It would appear that the Chargers, after all the nonsense, might find their way back to San Diego.
Sure, it could take 20 years
, but we know the NFL will literally do what it wants, when it wants. We al
so know that th
e team moving back to San Diego is highly unlikely, and even writing about it makes me simultaneously sick and bored with a premise wasted on whispers from angry billionaires who trusted Dean Spanos with a business deal.
No one in LA or San Diego thought this was going to work. No one. In fact, people have had to concoct ridiculous conspiracy theories in hopes that they could somehow make the decision to uproot an entire organization somewhat logical.
My favorite one, mentioned on this week’s TKF United pod, is that Dean and Co. knew the move wouldn’t work; they did it anyway BECAUSE they wanted
to block the Raiders
ing to LA,
ying to shore up an LA fanbase, and at the same time walk away from the San Diego discussion to show they can do whatever they want scaring San Diego leadership into wooing them back home.
This is basically the “Magic Bullet” theory. One bullet, that killed one person while also injuring another and then falling out on the operating table unharmed. One move, that killed one city while also injuring another and then falling back to it’s original place unharmed.
This move by the Chargers was so dumb and poorly planned that someone had to come up with a conspiracy theory so outlandishly moronic it’s on par with something Arlen Specter wrote.
The Raiders, by all accounts, were more than fine moving to Vegas over LA – why wouldn’t they be?! Have you been to Vegas in the past few months? Vegas is bending over backwards for the team. They’re restructuring the freeway system for better access to the stadium. Raiders ownership (and also the NFL let’s not be stupid) made a deal with MGM Resorts International to build the stadium on that side of the strip, so that the hotel group could build bridges from their hotels that will lead you directly into the stadium. People there are already wearing Raiders gear. Billboards are up.
The Chargers didn’t pull a fast one on their “hated” rival. Problem Child stunt double Mark Davis did something Chargers fans couldn’t conceive – he made a savvy business deal.
Secondly, they didn’t shore up an LA fanbase. As the recent reports have shown PSL’s are a fraction of what they projected, the ’25% of their fanbase is in LA’ claim was a lie, and they can’t fill a 27,000 seat stadium with fans from anywhere for any team.
The last part of that idiotic conspiracy theory is the only part that sadly feels real. I have a sneaky, gross feeling that Dean did, at least to some degree, think that walking away from the conversation in San Diego would better position him to come back in a few years unharmed. Falling back on the table in pristine condition.
He’d return the team to it’s rightful home and would be celebrated the county over as the savior of San Diego sports. The parades would line the streets pushing the naysayers to the curbs. The cheers would drown out those who would logically remind the adorning fans that it was Dean who moved the team in the first place. Canepa would write an article with the breadth and eloquence of the Declaration of Independence. The local media would line up once again to kiss the feet of the man they maligned. It may sound completely unrealistic, but I firmly believe Dean thinks this.
And, he’s right.
We can sit here all day and pretend that we’d protest the return of the Spanos product. We can tweet and quote tweet and @ me that I’m wrong. That you’d hate the Chargers. You’d never support them. You’re done. When Dean left, you left the team. But, it’s not true. You’d be so happy you’d build that sad clown a new stadium.
I know, I’m wrong. Not you, not me. Not us!! Dean hurt you too deeply. He dragged the city and your soul through the mud. He spat on the graves of your fathers and grandfathers who handed down season tickets, who lived for Sundays.
When the Colts left for Indianapolis the city of Baltimore was crushed. When the Browns left for Baltimore the city of Cleveland was crushed. Both cities hated, and still hate, the two ownership groups that made those moves happen. However, when new teams popped up in those cities order was restored and almost everything was forgiven. Baltimore was even taking another city’s team! They knew the heartbreak that came with losing a franchise, and they still came out in droves to support the Ravens, which were stolen from Cleveland!
It didn’t matter.
Of course, with the above examples that wasn’t the same team and ownership leaving and then coming back, and I would say that would make things different, but just look at the Rams.
The Rams played in Los Angeles for almost 50 years, then left when it became very clear LA couldn’t support them. They got a great situation in St. Louis and took it. Then after forcing the city of St. Louis to build them a brand new stadium (one the taxpayers are on the hook for for another decade plus), the Rams moved back to Los Angeles. They screwed over apathetic fans in LA, then went and literally screwed over an entirely different city for years to come, and then came back to LA. When they announced their return to LA there was only pure joy from LA football fans, and media personalities alike. I’m sure there was a minority of fans in LA who were against the idea of accepting the Rams based on their history, but that was a drowned out minority that never had a unified voice.
The city of Los Angeles, and the majority of football fans, welcomed the Rams back with open arms and wallets. Of course, a different ownership group moved the Rams out of LA in the first place, so forgiveness was kind of a forgone conclusion. But, just look at the Raiders.
Back in 1981 Al Davis moved the Raiders from Oakland for the greener pastures, or rather fresh concrete freeways, of Los Angeles. The team was an instant hit in LA. People loved the style of play, the mentality, the color scheme. The Rams were Van Halen to the Raiders N.W.A. However, when it became apparent that the city couldn’t support the franchise in the way Al Davis wanted, and they wouldn’t build him a brand new Raider specific stadium, he moved the team back to Oakland in 1995. Less than fifteen years later. Surely the fans turned their backs, and Oakland rejected the team, right? They couldn’t just once again embrace a team and owner that only fifteen years previous left them with nothing, right? I mean, in 1989 Oakland fans were burning their Raiders gear in the streets after a first failed attempt to get the team back. They had to be livid when Al Davis came marching back to Alameda County, right?
Wrong. Oakland and the football fans within the area were elated that their precious warriors in silver and black were back. Plans for a new stadium began to develop (and never materialized), and the city was electric. The city paid $220 million dollars to renovate Oakland Coliseum, and charged the team $525,000 in yearly rent – less than half the 49ers we’re paying down the road.
All was forgiven because football was back. And, the same thing will happen if Dean “The Broken Machine” comes back to San Diego.
He won’t come with his tail between his legs. He won’t ask for forgiveness. He won’t admit he did anything wrong. There will be no #FightForSD campaigns, or appeasements made.
He will march down the freeway like King Shit, and the city will bow. Cause football will be back.
We all know it’s true. The newly elected Mayor will play ball, and pull every string imaginable to charge the tax payers, who will vote for it, because we can never lose our beloved team again. The Mighty 1090 will go wall to wall with Chargers coverage. Canepa and the U-T will have non-stop erections. Dan Sileo might get so excited he’ll try something totally uncharacteristic and be honest with himself. Dave and Jeff will have Lisa Ann dress up as a Chargers’ cheerleader and put a football between her breasts for charity or something. XTRA 1360 would keep doing the exact same thing. Would-be rappers from across the county would be releasing track after track praising Spanos for saving the bolts, P.O.D. would play every home game, and we would eat it all up.
All the past mistakes and sins will be forgiven. Antonio Gates will somehow still be playing. Hot dogs will be made, cheap beer and gluten-free IPAs will be had. I can see SD Sign Guys’ banner flying over the stadium now, “WELCOME BACK, CHARGERS!”
I don’t exclude myself. I haven’t watched more than a quarter of Charger football in the past four seasons. I haven’t watched more than a quarter of the NFL, sans the Super Bowl, in the past two seasons. But, I have to be honest. If the team comes back, I will at the very least watch the first home game. Assuming it’s not blacked out.
For more expert sports stuff, and things you probably won’t care about, follow me on Twitter @dallas_mc