It is said that a writer should never write while feeling emotional.
It’s been over 24 hours since the Chargers announced they were leaving San Diego and making the trip up Interstate-5 for Los Angeles.
I said I would put my thoughts into a written piece about yesterday’s events. I spent the day reflecting on what had happened, and looking back on all the years I’ve spent supporting the Chargers.
Charger fans, we were played for fools. Dean Spanos knew exactly what he was doing this whole time. He had no intention of staying in San Diego. I’ll explain this point later in the piece.
At first, what I was feeling was despair. The team I watched while growing up until now just left. No formal goodbyes. No offering of thanks to the fans. They didn’t even hold a press conference. Some in the local media reported on twitter that they weren’t allowed inside the building yesterday morning.
However, that feeling of despair began to change. The more I thought about how this event played, I started putting the pieces together.
Let’s take a look back at how this all transpired:
Late Wednesday night (Jan. 11), Adam Schefter reported that the Chargers were set to announce the next morning that they were moving to Los Angeles. This set the Charger faithful into a frenzy on social media. Local sports media reached out to the Chargers, who refused to comment. In fact, CW6 news reported that they had reached out to attorney Mark Fabiani, who told them the Chargers did not have a statement prepared. In other words, a professional sports franchise was set to make a major move, but didn’t take the time to prepare an explanation.
When the Chargers did make the formal announcement, they did it in what is likely the most subtle way possible. They did have a prepared statement, written in the form of a letter to the fans, which was posted to the team’s official website. It was a lot like a significant other telling you they want to break up through a text message.
The letter was short, and only a small part of it mentioned San Diego fans. The main point of the letter was about looking ahead to Los Angeles.
“LA is a remarkable place, and while we played our first season there in 1960 and have had fans there ever since, our entire organization knows that we have a tremendous amount of work to do. We must earn the respect and support of LA football fans. We must get back to winning. And, we must make a meaningful contribution, not just on the field, but off the field as a leader and champion for the community.
The Chargers are determined to fight for LA and we are excited to get started,” the letter said.
Less than an hour later, the Chargers unveiled their new logo. That thing looks terrible. I won’t go into details about it. Everyone reading this should have seen it by now.
Other sports teams spent countless hours trolling the Chargers, remaking their respective logos to have a lightning bolt added on to them. The Chargers deserved all the negative attention they got for unveiling that. It was glorious. (The Dallas Starts made a large green star with silver lining, and made it to look just like the Dallas Cowboys logo. It was hilarious).
More reports came out that morning. One report said Spanos had a meeting scheduled with the mayor of Inglewood that afternoon. A picture showed up that night of Spanos posing with the Los Angeles Kings’ mascot at a hockey game.
This is why I said above that we were played for fools. When you look at how all of this happened, it’s really clear to see.
Spanos knew exactly what he was doing this whole time. The written letter. The logo. Scheduled meetings with city officials in Los Angeles. He had this planned. What’s worse, he tried to make the Chargers’ exit as quiet and subtle as possible.
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