Peregrine flight

Monday, October 18, 2010

Charge d'affaires

At the cusp of 53, I am a very casual football fan. Manage some interest when they are winning and could mostly care less when the Chargers are playing like they are these days, lousy. Not having a television, I mostly follow them the day after the game in the paper. And the reality is that they suck this year.

I wasn't always a fair weather fan. We had season tickets throughout my youth, all the way back to Balboa Stadium. I remember the glory days of Lincoln, Bambi, Garrison, Ladd and then forward to the heady days of Air Coryell and the Fouts, Joiner, Chandler, Winslow onslaught.

Legendary Offensive Guru and Head Coach Sid Gillman used to be friends with my pop and stop by the house once in a while.

This was in the days of the Hilton and then Klein ownership. Guess Pernicano has always had a piece as well. Parma maybe.

My interest in the team started to wane when Alex Spanos bought the team. And it is not because he is a Republican, I swear. (even if he is the largest GOP contributor outside of the Jet's Woody Johnson)

It is because the fish rots from the top in life and business and I don't like Spanos or his son's leadership or management style or their choice in General Managers. To put it bluntly, they treat their players like whores. There is an impressive list of players who have played their heart out and given their all for the San Diego Chargers, only to be treated like total garbage on the way out. Think Donnie Edwards, Rodney Harrison, Brees, Junior Seau, Kassim Osgood, Cromartie, LT. Players that have banner careers after they leave the team. It got ugly and personal with Brees, A.J.'s specialty.

When Dean Spanos broke his official silence a few weeks ago to comment on the Vincent Jackson fiasco, he said that if Jackson came back, he would show him a thing or two and force him to play for around 300k a season. This is admittedly a lot of money to most of us but Jackson is an elite receiver and his peer Brandon Marshall is pulling down about 9 million a year. But Dean is going to show him who's boss. Now Floyd and Gates are hurt and they are in trouble. But with their offensive and defensive lines, they are in trouble anyway.  Anyhow, Spanos and Smith seemed to really enjoy squeezing VJ as hard as they could and then setting such a high trade price on him that no one would bite. So that he is forced to play their little game.

Same sort of with Merriman, an emotional guy. Plays with passion. All he wanted to hear was that he was wanted and a part of the Charger's plans. But A.J. preferred to mess with his head and ultimately show him the door. I hope that he comes back and bites this team. Like Michael Turner did. Now they have a team devoid of veteran leadership, without a decent special teams and a fumble prone rookie running back. See what kind of year L.T. is having in New York? A.J. Smith has no bedside manner and his teams reflect his loyalty to the players. Why would anyone be loyal to this organization considering how they use their players? Like beef to be shuttled in and out of the door. Reports are that the team is sadly lacking in camaraderie and leadership, on the field and in the locker room.

I am tired of appearing less than patriotic when I say, adios, Chargers, enjoy Los Angeles or wherever you happen to land. Because they play the community for a bunch of rubes. Like it is our job to make a bunch of billionaires even richer. They no sooner got the city to cough up 78 million dollars to renovate the stadium in a clumsily drawn contract that held the taxpayers hostage than they demanded an entirely new stadium with development rights or they would leave. They wanted Dallas style skybox revenue. Thankfully no one blinked. Independent studies have shown that taxpayer subsidized stadiums rarely pan out financially for communities. Purportedly Spanos has been in talks with Los Angeles for years. See you.

I for one hope that the city doesn't give them a thin dime. If they want new digs let them privately finance the whole thing. I for one, can't wait until baseball season. There is a reason that teams like the Chargers and Clippers never can win the big one. And it starts at the top.


Anonymous said...

Right on; who needs the Bolts anyways? instead, go cheer for coach Mary Jo Fernandez and her US Fed Cup tennis team, as they square off against Italy in the 2010 finals, November 6&7 at the SD Sports Arena; our girls Melanie Oudin, Beth Mattek-Sands and Liezel Huber play with "pasion y corazon" and they need our support; go Team USA!

Blue Heron said...

I will pass, thanks.