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What does the Filner mess have to do with the Chargers staying in San Diego

Created: 16 August, 2013
Updated: 13 September, 2023
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3 min read

Let’s take a look at what this whole Bob Filner embarrassment may mean, if anything, to the future of the Chargers staying put in San Diego. I know this is somewhat of a reach, but with the Filner Novela in full swing, pretty much every story has taken a back seat this summer. I am sure much to the pleasure of Sweetwater, Southwestern College and San Ysidro Districts, just to name a few.

I remember the Mayoral election between DeMaio and Filner as if it were yesterday –partly because of the strong contrast in the two candidates and not just because one was openly gay while the other was as we know now – and some knew then – a sexual predator.

Being pro- business and development, I always felt if DeMaio was successful on election night it would ensure San Diego would keep the Chargers. Filner, after all, vowed not to publicly subsidize a new Chargers stadium. He’s referred to ownership’s demands as “extortion” and vowed to be “the toughest negotiator the Chargers have ever faced.” In hind sight, Dean Spanos should have sent the Chargers Girls to negotiate with Filthy Filner rather than his army of lawyers.

There is a real threat of the Chargers moving. Los Angles is much too big of a market for the NFL machine to not take advantage of. Anyone that thinks it is not the NFL’s first choice to place the Chargers there is kidding themselves. The Spano’s family has remained hostile toward San Diego, shunning a new NFL policy that would allow teams to “sell out” home games at 85% stadium capacity and prevent those games from being blacked out on television in San Diego. The worst part is that the Spanos’ current stadium deal gives them the option to leave on a yearly basis, which forced the NFL to issue an announcement this year that the Chargers would be playing at the Q in 2013. These are pretty obvious tea leaves if you are realistic and can manage your expectations about your commute to Los Angles to watch your favorite team on Sundays, just the jump in value alone for the franchise with Los Angeles attached is tempting enough for any owner.

Here’s the problem – we as a city have and continue to shift in our identity as well as what we value. We have shifted from a military dominated conservative town to a world class destination for industry as well as travel – not just a downtown of drunk sailors, street walkers, and homeless. We are no longer a way station between partiers in Tijuana and swanky northern beach towns. So do we need an NFL franchise in San Diego or does losing one at this point in our maturation really mean we are not ready to stand next to the Big Boys like New York, LA, Miami or Chicago – just to name a few? Are we really just a west coast Jacksonville and we are the last to know?

The people of San Diego are showing some rare backbone for an NFL city by standing up to their needy Chargers. It might cost them a football team, but general consensus around town is that it’s still a discount compared with what the Chargers’ demands may end up costing them.

Sometimes who we vote in to office says more about us as a community than it does about the candidate we actually elect. I could argue, as a lot could, that we didn’t have much of a choice – the two candidates weren’t representative of the best and brightest the city had to offer. But in the end, Filner, for all his creepiness, was heavily supported and voted in by San Diego. With that fresh wound, can we really be trusted to make the right decisions regarding the future of the Los Angeles Chargers?

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