2017: The Year San Diego Grew Two Balls by Losing One.
San Diego did something in 2017 that no other city has done: they didn’t let themselves be held hostage by a professional sports team.
I’ve been a conflicted football fan for years now trying to decide if I wanted to support a league that made cities feel small, harbored abusers, and took no interest in the well-being of its players. Luckily the NFL made the decision for me and its been a great 2017.
In fact most people I’ve spoken with feel the same way about the NFL. The sport got too dirty, too political, and off the field antics started to outshine on the field accolades. Of course, these were just actual fans talking, not local sports media. If you were to hear it from the media 2017 was the year San Diego lost it’s identity. The year we became the worst city in America. They whine and complain and spout outrageous nonsense about the Chargers leaving town, and I get it. They’re the only ones who actually lost in this scenario. However, their ‘little kid with a broken toy’ act is getting real fucking old.
I thought we were starting to move on from this, but today Nick Canepa posted his yearly sports recap and spent the entire column shitting on San Diego while taking equal swipes at Dean Spanos and San Diegans for the exit of his beloved football. On the surface it was another out of touch rant from an old timey writer whose cigar ashes were probably falling in between the keys of his Royal typewriter as he plugged away one letter at a time. But, I took it personal when he commented on the recent UFO sighting off the coast and quipped that the UFOs didn’t land because essentially we didn’t have football anymore and the Padres and Aztecs aren’t great. Because as we all know San Diego is only known for sports. Thousands of folks fight tooth and nail to pay rent month after month for the privilege of skipping around the hallowed grounds of Petco. Throngs of retirees buy property along Montezuma Way so they can be as close as possible to Viejas Arena on gamedays.
For someone who has written about San Diego Sports for decades you’d think Canepa would have stopped and looked around. Apparently not. I guess anything outside of the Spanos luxury suite was too far for him to see.
It makes me laugh when members of the sports media pretend like this was a loss
for anyone but them. You think Canepa or Kaplan or any other member of the media ever paid for a ticket to a Chargers game? They have no idea why going to a football game in San Diego sucked other than the horror stories of the the press box leaking. Boo. Hoo. They had an amazing setup with incredible access to the biggest sport in America. They never paid $30 for parking and $100 a ticket to sit next to drunk people you don’t know who might challenge you to a knife fight all for the honor of watching Ryan Mathews get hurt. The media never dealt with that. They never dealt with being fans. The only thing they’ve dealt with is not knowing what to talk about because they never paid attention to anything but football and some baseball.
Of course I’m generalizing and there are folks out there like Darren Smith who talks soccer and Gennaro who talks basketball, but other than that 75% of your daily coverage is filled with members of the media sucking the scraps from Spanos’ table.
And, don’t get me wrong. You can talk about the Chargers all you want, but again don’t pretend like it’s for anyone’s gain but your own or that somehow losing the NFL hurt the city. It hurt your pride and your paycheck. That’s it. I’m still waiting for the economic apocalypse sports radio kept telling me was gonna happen once the team moved to LA. I’m still waiting for San Diego to be made fun of or looked down on for letting the team go. Still waiting.
Seems to me the only people making fun of San Diego are the members of the San Diego media.
Nationally, Spanos is the joke and San Diego has been recognized for not giving in to the greasy NFL and their schemes.
Instead of bitching about your free football press pass being taken away, or that you have to care about something other than yourself now, why don’t you take the time to write and cover the teams that are in San Diego. The Gulls seem to be packing people in, we suddenly have 76 soccer teams, lacrosse is coming to town, and the Padres are trying to remake a franchise. Figure it out. And, I know your Chargers talk gets more clicks than anything else. Well, so did Kim Kardashians sex tape and I don’t see any Canepa nudes blasting the front page. We’ll read and listen to what you give us because that’s how engagement works. You think if you stop talking Chargers and start talking Gulls some forty year old will turn the station to Smooth Jazz? If that’s the case your product wasn’t that great to begin with.
What do I know? I’m just a simple blogger who actually enjoys sports. Talk about what you want, but stop trying to tell me the city I grew up in and work in sucks now because your life is empty.
For more expert sports stuff, and things you probably won’t care about, follow me on Twitter @dallas_mc
A nice article once you figured out that wine wasn’t whine. I do wish you’d have spent more time vilifying Kevin Acee, who truly personified the expression “dumbing down” when he unlocked his lips from Manchester’s and Lynch’s asses long enough to run Tim Sullivan out of town. And why was Sullivan fired? Do you remember? It was because he had integrity to say that San Diegans might not stand for Spanos’ bullying and bulls*^t, even though Manchester didn’t want his employees writing anything negative like that. So, in typical Donald Trump fashion, Manchester fired Sullivan because he told the truth. Then Manchester sold the paper (but kept the real estate) and left it in a sorry state. Sullivan’s got a good job in Kentucky, and Canepa is left alone trying to keep the U-T Sports Department above water. He has to continue justifying his stance on a new stadium. He has no choice.
Right on! The great sportswriters always write about the interesting story, though it may be a story about a sport that you are not particularly interested in at the time. The story catches your attention and is so well told that suddenly you are paying attention to the annual Mavericks Big Wave surf championship or the Pro/Am Golf Clam Bake (now ATT ProAm) that Bing Crosby started in San Diego and moved up to Pebble Beach. Jack Murphy for the San Diego Union, Jim Murray for the LA Times, and Bruce Jenkins of the SF Chronicle (who is alive and still writing.) Besides football, baseball and basketball, these guys could write about horse racing, boxing, hockey, track & field, surfing, golfing, tennis, you name it. They would find the great story. It seems to me that writers like Canepa are lazy and just want the story handed to them. San Diego always has an interesting sporting event just waiting to be told by a curious journalist with a knack for spotting and then telling a good story. So Canepa, do me a favor: go out and find a unique sports story that makes us look at that sport in a way we never did before.