By Tim Peterson
For 22 years we didn’t have a football team. Now we get a team every year. Maybe next January the Jacksonville Jaguars will announce they will be moving to the City of Industry.
The Rams belong in Los Angeles. The Chargers belong in San Diego. Heck, they had been there for 56 years. Charger owner Dean Spanos could have made it work in San Diego, but he would have had to lay out some of his own dough for a new stadium. Or would he? More on that later.
In November San Diego voters rejected a plan to raise hotel taxes to help fund a new $1.8 billion stadium. For Spanos, that was the last straw. He and his financial advisors calculated that the market in San Diego wasn’t big enough or profitable enough to invest his own money to make it work. But a quick look at the numbers makes you wonder. First of all the market in San Diego was already established. The Chargers have loyal fans dating back decades. If they win, which they haven’t been doing much of lately, the fans will come. And in most cases even if they don’t.
In San Diego the Chargers were competing with well…nobody. In LA, they’re competing with not only the Rams, but also USC and UCLA Football, the Lakers, the Clippers and the Dodgers. They won’t even be the most admired team in the facility that they are playing in for the first two years. That would be the LA Galaxy, the soccer team that the StubHub Center was built for and a team that has made the playoffs for eight consecutive years and recently won back to back MLS championships.
Also why did the Chargers chose the StubHub Center? Even with expansion capacity will only be 30,000. Doesn’t that seem minor league for the NFL? Were they afraid they would draw paltry crowds at the Coliseum or the Rose Bowl? It will be worse at a smaller venue when 25,000 of the 30,000 will be dressed in silver and black. Nobody in LA has cared about the Chargers so why would they start now?
Ok, now back to those numbers. The Chargers have to lay out a $650 million NFL relocation fee for moving to Los Angeles in addition to sharing construction costs with the Rams for the $2.6 billion stadium in Inglewood. All of that for being a tenant. This will be the Rams stadium. Stan Kroenke holds all of the cards.
So why wouldn’t Spanos use that $650 million plus the construction costs for Inglewood to either build brand new digs on the Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley or throw all of that money into a refurbishing of Qualcomm? He really couldn’t make it work with all of those millions? Spanos is top dog in San Diego. He’s not even second fiddle in Los Angeles. At best he’s fifth or sixth.
Did Spanos and his representatives ever really submit a decent proposal to the San Diego voters? Did they even know what they were voting on? By all accounts all they saw was a greedy owner who was insistent on them giving him their money to build some extravagant facility in downtown San Diego. Why didn’t he make a smarter presentation to the voters concerning the more familiar site in Mission Valley? It just might have passed.
Whether you like him or not, (and I know a lot or people that don’t) Bill Plaschke of the LA Times absolutely nailed it in his two columns this past week concerning the Chargers move to LA. Spanos screwed San Diego and now he may get screwed by LA. What comes around, goes around.
I got out to a couple of basketball games this week and picked up some information. At the Azusa Pacific game Cougar quarterback Andrew Elffers told me that the team was ready to get back at it at 6:00 a.m. last Friday morning. “We got almost all of our key offensive players back. We should be even better. We’re excited and ready to go,” Elffers said.
At the Los Altos game I ran into recently retired HC Dale Ziola who said he is enjoying his time with his family. “Out of the last 19 days I’ve been home for dinner 17 times. That’s never happened in the last six years that I’ve been coaching,” he said.
Will he get the itch to coach again? “Oh I’ll end up somewhere as an assistant this year. In fact I might be coaching two football teams this fall. I’ll be a high school assistant somewhere and I’ll also coach my son’s team who plays in the junior leagues. But it won’t take me away from my family – not like it does as a head coach.”
Los Altos running back Tyler Nevens, who rushed for over 2500 yards and 40 touchdowns, has received offers from Portland State and Montana and Massachusetts recently called as well. Right now, Portland State has the inside track.
Oh, basketball information? Well Los Altos’ Jarod Lucas can play a little bit. The Conquerors should win the Hacienda League.
Anybody else notice that USC finished as the number three team in the nation?
Nice hire by UCLA I guess, but are the Bruins really banking on just one OC completely turning the program around? Good luck Jedd Fisch.
I feel a little better about the Rams hiring of Sean McVay knowing that he was recommended by Marshall Faulk and Jon Gruden. I was all in on “Chucky” but from what I’m hearing McVay is the next best thing. Apparently there’s no truth to the rumor that McVay was late to the job interview because he was at the DMV taking his driver’s test. Hey if he can turn Jared Goff into Kirk Cousins it’s all good. Besides if he doesn’t work out the timing will be perfect for the Rams. In two years they can fire him and bring in a new coach to open the new stadium in Inglewood. And again I’ll be screaming “Chucky!”
Just watched the Falcons blow out the Seahawks and the Pats take care of the Texans. It’s still hard to believe that an NFL General Manager, someone who is an “expert” in evaluating talent, would pay Brock Osweiler $72 million. This sounds funny but Tom Savage was the better option.
Sunday I like Pittsburgh over Kansas City and in the other game something tells me the Dallas Cowboys are headed for a fall. I’ll take Aaron Rodgers over Dak Prescott every day and twice on Sunday. The Packers in an upset.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tspeterson40.