Chargers Done for Season, But Not Gone for Good

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After watching that final interception of Philip Rivers on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Bucs, it became the final straw for our Chargers on the possibility of playoffs. With the Raiders, Kansas City and even Denver in the hunt, their oh-so-slim chances descended to zero.

I’m certainly not an apologist for the home team, but unlike my snarky colleagues (who will remain nameless) the season has shown a lot of positives. Granted, there were coaching snafus, player mistakes and breakdowns, etc.

The real issue here is the injury situation. In these days of salary ‘cap-age’, injuries are often the differentiatior, and the Chargers have been bitten by the bug big time. With up to 25 players on some sort of prolonged injured list, the team is in the worst shape of just about all its NFL brethren.

Actually, it’s been impressive to see the coaching staff, particularly John Pagano’s defensive, fit players into a scheme who simply don’t necessarily have the experience or skill to start in the NFL. For that reason alone, Mike McCoy and staff deserve to be kept on. Yeah, he’s made mistakes, but overall, the team’s performance in the face of this level of adversity has been impressive. Plus, there is no magic bullet and the past has proven the grass is definitely not greener on the other side when it comes to replacing coaches.

Speaking of front office (wasn’t I?) the Chargers has also made a bunch of mistakes, one of the biggest of bonehead moves being the Joey Bosa debacle. The team’s Public Relations tactics regarding the stadium, which I’ve reported on often, were a train wreck. They created the loss of the stadium initiative (43.3% of the vote versus the needed 60%), and were beaten by the good ole’ boys downtown who easily opposed it.

However, this is where the NFL owners may save those of us (and the NFL) who don’t want to see the Chargers leave San Diego. Maybe Dean Spanos once had grand LA plans, but in the owner’s meeting where the Rams were granted the move to Los Angeles, the NFL created a very painful scenario for the Chargers to move.

To move to the LA market, it will cost the Chargers between $550- $650 million (gulp). This shocked Spanos, so they obviously created a late effort to have the initiative to pass, which would only cost them $350 million-ish.

The bottom line is, if you take the difference, it would make more sense to do something else, like, heaven forbid, even maybe retrofit Qualcomm stadium, with a development package thrown in.

Plus, I know the Spanos family. They are about the money, but they like it here in San Diego. That’s why they have already sat down with the mayor to begin that process. Meanwhile, they did do a good job explaining there would be actions that had to be taken to preserve the LA option.

The Charger’s said they would not make a decision until the season is over in January. This is a stalling tactic as they pursue all options. They must declare by January 15th, and the only thing that will send the team to LA will be the fact of arrogance, and they have run out of time.

I guess, we’ll soon see…

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