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Opinion: Chargers and Raiders Relocation All About The Bottom Line


January 16, 2017

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Not even 48 hours after the now Los Angeles Chargers announced that they would be leaving San Diego to return to their birthplace of Los Angeles after 50-plus years, their longtime AFC West rivals from Oakland announced that they will file relocation papers before the Feb. 15 deadline and move to Las Vegas, per NFL.com’s Ian Rappaport.

In what has been rumored to be an inevitable move, thanks to the city of Oakland failing to come up with a viable plan in the form of either a new stadium or public funding for renovations for the Raiders current trash heap of a current stadium in the O.Co Coliseum, the Silver and Black are proverbially taking their talents to Sin City. Unlike San Diego, Oakland had a real possibility of trying to keep the Raiders in their city, if only they  could have meet Raiders owner Mark Davis halfway with a real plan on keep the Raiders in the East Bay. 

Not to say that you can’t blame Davis for being fed up with Oakland’s incompetence, but if I’m a Raiders fan today, I’d tweet, write, email the mayor of Oakland and properly express your displeasure.

Honestly, while Davis is not a saint, in this latest case of relocation for the Raiders, as they will be leaving Oakland for a second time, but can you blame him for being proactive in moving into an untapped market such as Las Vegas that is doing everything short in rolling out a showgirl-filled red carpet in chipping in $750 million in Clark County hotel room tax revenue, casino magnate and chairman/CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corps, Sheldon Adelson offering $650 million and $500 million from the Raiders and the league to fund their new $1.9 billion 65,000 domed stadium.

Per Richard N. Velotta of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Raiders executives have told the NFL that Goldman Sachs is committed to financing the new stadium with or without Adelson’s investment. So basically, unless some white knight coming riding into town at the 11th hour and makes Davis a deal he cannot refuse, get used to saying “Las Vegas Raiders”

The Los Angeles—nee San Diego—Chargers is a whole other bitter pill to swallow entirely.

To disclose, I’am a Cleveland Browns fan, so naturally I am against any type of NFL relocation, especially  after seeing my beloved—and sorry—Browns move to Baltimore and become the Ravens. What hurts even more is that they would win two Super Bowls with our former owner in the late Art Modell and one of the most beloved players in Browns history in Ravens GM—and former Hall Of Fame tight end—in Ozzie Newsome. What happened in San Diego is an utter disgrace to true NFL fans and a slap in the face in terms of NFL team loyalty in how and why Dean Spanos decided to pack up his medicore Chargers and move them 100 miles to a city that doesn’t want them, never will embrace them and other than their first year there in 1960, will swear off their mere existence if they don’t bring home anything short of a Super Bowl.

5-11 may cut it down the PCL in sunny San Diego, but championships are all that Los Angeles cares about. Just ask the Los Angeles Clippers—another SD transplant—who despite their recent success are STILL considered the modern-day step-child of the Los Angeles sports scene. Perhaps Spanos, in his greed-induced mindset of tunnel vision—failed to read the fine print in deciding to move the Chargers back to LA—and play in the NFL’s newest billion dollar playpen out in Inglewood—is that he proverbially signed off on his team being ROUGHLY dead last on the LA-SoCal sports pecking order which comprises of

1.) Los Angeles Lakers

2.) Los Angeles Dodgers

3.) USC Trojans (football)

4.) UCLA Bruins (basketball, and sometimes football)

5.) Los Angeles Kings

6.) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

7.) Los Angeles Galaxy

8.) Anaheim Ducks

9.) Los Angeles Sparks

10.) Los Angeles Clippers

11.) Los Angeles Rams

12.) Los Angeles Football Club ( set to debut in 2017-18!)

13.) Los Angeles Chargers

All over a gap of $175 million dollars? Seriously Spanos! You dear sir are a callous moron, a coward, who couldn’t make the hard choice and a traitor in the dearest sense of the word to a devout and passionate fan base that tolerated your business incompetence, your teams underachieving every year in coming SOCLOSE, yet never closing the deal! And you’re okay with this in a town that values WINNING, substance, branding and status?

Whatever attempt at trying to break into the LA market with a “logo” that looked like the sick meth love child of the Dodgers and Tampa Bay Lighting has already backfired in your face in being called #LAme #LAugh rightfully so across social media, if you want to “Fight For LA” as your snazzy new marketing slogan is for ticket holders—i.e. suckers—at a 27,000 soccer field in Carson?

No offense, but no self-respecting Hollywood A-lister would be caught in Carson, on a dare, let alone coming out in perceived support of your inferior brand. Brand. There’s that word again. Welcome to La-La Land.

While Los Angeles is known as the “City Of Angels”, it can and will become full of devils if you don’t win and win immediately, while longtime rival Mark Davis is already in a desert oasis city of sin in Las Vegas, it is Spanos who is on the hook for placing a bet on sports biggest gamble in the form of moving an underachieving and maligned franchise to a city that will not embrace them.

Guess we will all find out soon, as it’s showtime for the Chargers in Tinseltown now.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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