Virtually everything Dean Spanos has done since moving his football franchise to Los Angeles has been a gigantic middle figure to the city of San Diego. We got yet another one on Friday.
ESPN Los Angeles Chargers beat reporter Eric D. Williams has long been very good at his job, but he put out a wildly misleading headline in this piece. Williams claims Spanos has extended an olive branch to San Diego when, in fact, nothing of the kind has happened.
Here’s the key section of the piece, wherein Spanos discusses his move and the (incredibly few) San Diego fans who have remained loyal and what he would say to them:
And while many fans in San Diego burned or donated their gear and disowned the team, some remain loyal to the Chargers and have followed the team to Los Angeles.
That has not gone unrecognized by Spanos, who says that fans in San Diego remain an important part of the organization.
“[We say] Thank you,” Spanos said, when asked about San Diego fans who still follow the team. “They’ve been great. They’ve been loyal to the team and there’s a lot of them. I’m very appreciative — my family, players and the entire organization thanks them.”
That’s not an olive branch. That’s Spanos acknowledging the fans who are too dumb to realize they mean absolutely nothing to Spanos and his sons. And, in turn, he has nothing to say to fans who feel like the franchise the city supported for 56 years has abandoned them. He only cares about the ones who are still putting money in his pocket.
Later, newly-minted Spanos lackey LaDainian Tomlinson[autotag] discussed what San Diego fans are feeling right now and how he sees the situation:
“Look, I understand that it’s going to take some time,” Tomlinson said. “People don’t get over being hurt in just a week or two, or a month or two months. It’s a process, and hopefully over time they will be able to get over it. Because at the end of the day it’s that lightning bolt that we all care about.
“So I believe that will happen. Who knows when, but I do know that there’s a number of fans from San Diego that still support the organization, and we’d like to have more of those people from San Diego.”
No, we’re never going to “get over it.” Oh, and the “number” of fans who still support the Chargers is likely in the dozens. I live here, to say the city is blinded by rage when it comes to Spanos’ decision to move the team would be putting it mildly. More people in this city will be rooting against the Chargers every week than for them, and it’s not close. This isn’t some kind of “vocal minority” angry at the move, people are enraged and that won’t change any time soon.
The Chargers were San Diego’s team long before they belonged to the Spanos family. The fact that Dean slithered out of town without even holding a press conference was the lowest, most despicable act by a franchise owner I’ve ever experienced. He had the team’s Twitter account post a poorly-written letter that acknowledged San Diego for one paragraph. One paragraph in a letter on Twitter. That’s how he left town.
Now, fresh off panicking about no one in Los Angeles caring his franchise moved into town, he and his sons are turning their eyes back towards San Diego. They’re actually acknowledging the existence of “America’s Finest City.” Spanos has spent millions marketing to Los Angeles, but not a dime in an attempt to retain any in San Diego. He clearly just assumed San Diegans would remain loyal, despite the way he and his franchise treated us.
Forget it Dean. Your “olive branch” is nothing but another slap in the face. Get lost. While we will always miss the team that meant more to us more than it ever will to you, we’re glad you are no longer in our town.
Stay gone. You’re not welcome here.