John Spanos and A.G. Spanos are making the rounds on radio Friday in a blatant attempt to rehabilitate their image in San Diego with former Chargers fans. A year after kicking “America’s Finest City” in the groin, the Chargers are finally reaching out to their former home.
While they’re painting this as a move done out of love for San Diego, it isn’t. The bottom line is that they’ve failed to garner any interest in Los Angeles and are looking for some way to gin up more revenue. They don’t care about San Diego’s fans, they care about San Diego’s money.
On Friday, the Spanos boys went on San Diego’s 1360 AM with local sellout and former Chargers center Nick Hardwick, and talked about wanting San Diego fans to feel welcome in LA. They discussed needing to do a better job of reaching out to their former city and embracing those fans. To those of us who know the Spanos family and their typical playbook, this is laughable.
Dean Spanos and his kids left San Diego without so much as a proper goodbye. They tweeted a letter in which they addressed the city that had been home to the team for 56 years for a paragraph. Then, like so many snakes, they slithered out of town without giving so much as an interview to a local outlet. Even Hardwick blasted the move before selling out for a paycheck from the team.
During the year after the move there wasn’t so much as a billboard in San Diego reaching out to fans. There were no fan events, no commercials, nothing expressing regret about the move. They left and didn’t look back. Whether reaching out would have made a difference as far as fan engagement goes is debatable, but the fact that they didn’t even try was telling.
One of two things has to be true. They either thought San Diego fans would follow them to Los Angeles no matter what, or that the Chargers would be so great in LA that fans would pour in. Neither happened.
San Diego abandoned the Bolts, and they had to rely on opposing fans to fill their diminutive soccer stadium. Now they need San Diego to re-engage or they will continue to be a huge failure in Los Angeles.
As part of the media strategy, the Spanos family is offering interviews to anyone who will take them, especially San Diego-based writers and outlets. Sounds great, right? You’d think so, but those interviews are coming with conditions. The main one? No talking about the past.
So basically the Spanos family wants writers and outlets in San Diego to act like their public relations wing and not discuss what fans really want to hear about. They don’t want to face the music from their awful decision-making and instead pretend like they didn’t give the city the finger.
It’s a ridiculous strategy that won’t work because San Diego fans will always feel betrayed. The Spanos family isn’t welcome in my city anymore and shouldn’t be welcome on our airwaves.