I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that my beloved Chargers are going to end up in Los Angeles. I'm not prepared per se, but I believe I know what the future holds for the team. What that means regarding my fandom is still up in the air.
Some of you out there will say, "Wait! Maximum Colossus, the battle is not over. What about Chula Vista? Oceanside?" Oh, would't that be nice? And while it isn't inconceivable, I find it hard to swallow. The fact is, the money is just too good for everybody involved in the business end of having a team in L.A., and the NFL these days is, first and foremost, a business. The owners have been uncharacteristically forthright in admitting that more expansion is unlikely. They don't want to add another hungry mouth to feed to the teat of television revenue. It's only billions of dollars people; not nearly enough to go around.
"So, why does that team have to be the Chargers, Colossus?" Well, technically it doesn't. But let's face it, the Spanos family has not done much to garner public faith. They crippled us with the ticket guarantee that was supposed to keep the team here until 2020, knowing full well we couldn't ultimately live up to our end of the bargain. More importantly, though, they haven't furnished us with a true winner in over a decade. Sure, 12 - 4 and one and done in the play-offs is a rare treat for San Diego, but it's hardly enough to whet the appetites of those who would vote to dig into the pocket of the collective and build a new home for the Bolts. This team wants to go to L.A. The owners have put together a core of solid players that can easily contend in the league with the addition of just a couple of more key pieces. Rest assured, when it's time to attract a new home crowd, those pieces will be put in place. Even the fickle fans of LaLa Land love a winner, and they'll fill the seats for the L.A. Chargers. They'll even justify it in their own feeble minds by telling themselves it's okay because the Chargers were an L.A. team for a whole year at their initial conception. They'll enjoy the fruits of our fandom just like they did with Oakland back in the day. The difference is, Oakland got their team back. San Diego will never know professional football again. The NFL will make an example of this town. They will say that we are not like Cleveland or Houston. Our team did not sneak out of town in the middle of the night. The owner "tried" to negotiate a future here in "good faith." But alas, stubborn San Diego was unwilling to give an inch to a franchise that has done its best to bend this town over at every turn.
I can here you now. "What of the rumors, MC? I heard DeBartolo and Policy are trying to pry the Raiders away from the cold, dying hands of the world's most unapologetic a-hole? They want to bring the team back to L.A. Surely that will shut the door on a Charger move?" Now, imagine me patting you on the head like good little boys and girls and telling you not to get too excited or you might get a belly ache. Let's say, for fun, that this unlikely scenario comes to pass. The inglorious bastards return to the Coliseum. Oh the fanfare! Oh the gunfire! Hurray, let's loot the city with joy! Well, so what. A couple of weeks ago, our Governor, Arnold Shortsa- Shwarzu- Kindergarten Cop, said that he could foresee a Los Angeles with two NFL franchises! You know, like in the glory days of L.A. football. At the time, everybody kind of shrugged it off as some guy from Austria, who doesn't know much about such things, just shooting his mouth off to gather more support in California's largest metropolis. Even Tagliabue, our not-soon-enough-for-me-ex NFL commisioner more or less laughed at the notion. But what's so funny? There have been two sites trying to put together a package for the NFL for years now. Is it so far fetched that we could see, in our time, the Los Angeles Raiders and the Los Angeles Chargers of Anaheim. Do you think Spanos would mind being the red-headed stepchild in that media market? Not if he were the richer-than-he-is-now red-headed stepchild, that's for sure.
Most intriguingly though, is that while he was laughing off the idea of two teams in L.A. just a short time ago, Tags recently posited the idea of two teams sharing a stadium in L.A., just like the Giants and the Jets. Yes! The Chargers and the Raiders in the same stadium! That is gold! Dogs and cats living together! Total pandemonium! Maybe after Tagliabue retires as commisioner he can fly over to the Middle East and sort that whole thing out. Come on, people! There's plenty of Holy Land for everyone!
The bottom line is, the Chargers are going to go to L.A. Unless they can dupe some city within the county of San Diego to give up the farm on a completely lopsided deal that benefits the team to the point where it can continue it's dog meets tick relationship with its home and its fans, then the team is gone. Mark it. I hope I'm wrong. But I'm not.