When the Chargers left San Diego for greener dollars north of the 91, a lot of us hoped that would be the end to a decade-long Shakespearean tragedy.
We were wrong.
Mean-spirited debate about whether local sports media should even talk about the Chargers anymore has filled some of the void of fighting over actual Chargers football.
The debate is still raging, although it appears the media has made its choice. After grappling with months of disbelief and uncertainty about their business models going forward, most in local media have decided to still treat the Chargers as the local favorite worth following, though with a bit of distance.
“You try to explain it to people,” said Darren Smith, co-host of the midday show on the Mighty 1090. “We look at the data, the digital downloads, the streams, and of course ratings, and to this day anything Chargers dwarfs everything else we talk about.”
Social media may make you think that the Chargers are a hated entity in San Diego. But people in this town still love – or at least love to hate – the Chargers. Either way, people are consuming Chargers stories.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
This was predictable, but worth reading, as there is so little coverage of the local media industry in the local media.A result, no doubt, of the smallness of the local media industry and the pressure that creates among industry workers to stay friends with everyone else in the industry, least they can’t find future work.
It also foreshadows what to expect as marketing campaigns for soccer and a “big time, national” Aztec football program (or pipe dream) get rolling towards the November 2018 election.Clearly, the local media will be on the side of whatever real estate development will lead to more and more prominent sports teams doing business in San Diego.Sad, as someone famous likes to say.
As for the Chargers and using what I saw on TV this past Sunday as a guide, our local media industry will continue to embrace team promotions and the ensuing revenue.(Chanel 8 broadcast the same game, or was it a commercial, twice!) And the Chargers will continue to have little to no clue how to market themselves to fans.“Fight for LA.”What does that mean, even to an Angeleno?
Well, after watching (on TV) the Chargers first effort, there's s familiar ring. First, the stadium, which allegedly seats 27,000 or more, reported attendance a little over 21,000 for the initial extravaganza. Second, same old Chargers. They looked great for about one quarter, then folded as Seattle's reserves came to play and theirs didn't.
Actually, I think the answer to the 48-17 drubbing is that The Seahawks have a lot more good players than the Chargers do. Nothing new here either. But, remember, Chargers' fans, that this is just a practice game. The score means nothing, as I'm sure Chargers' management would have explained had the score been reversed, right?
Charger fans are like an abused wife... They get slammed and demeaned, but keep coming back for more. Enjoy...
As a non NFL fan, including the Chargers, I understand the coverage that continues for the former team. It's football season so naturally it's something needed for sports radio and local print to cover. The radio station particularly needs football to keep their stations afloat. Granted they over covered the Chargers for many years to the point of not being able to listen to. I got tired of the daily analysis of the game played and the one coming up. I get it.
San Diegians follow the Lakers, maybe the Kings, as they are the closest market to us. Now it's the Chargers being the closes pro NFL team to our city.
When the Chargers left it really didn't change the way I thought of them. Actually I will miss them since on Sundays the streets, stores and city was quiet for a few hours. Now what will we do?
For a lot of people, me included, the Chargers will be a tough habit to break. Long time fans, whether they be die-hard or casual, are just used to having the Chargers being part of our fall and winter. Whether attending games or watching on TV, football is the biggest sport in the country and San Diego is no different. I know there are a lot of vocal folks who claim to have sworn off the Chargers or even pro football in general, but I really wonder, when the games begin to be played whether a majority of those folks will completely ignore the sport. Rooting, or just watching, a new team seems unlikely because once you've invested so much time (and maybe money) in one team it becomes similar to a drug addiction. Back in the 80's I moved to Washington D.C. for a few years and while I found myself watching a lot of Redskins (am I allowed to say that name?) games I still made sure that if the Chargers were being showed in the DC market, I would watch. The only Redskin and Baltimore Colts games I ever went to involved the Chargers.
The local media can't ignore the fact that the Chargers were the major player here. While writers at the UT play a childish game of calling the team Judases or other pleasantries, they will still write about them. Local media currently takes joy in describing the latest foible that the Chargers commit. I guess that is to be expected. Maybe they figure the public enjoys reading about the ineptness of the Spanos family even though everyone was on notice for quite a few years that relocation was a strong possibility, if not an inevitability.
It is easy to hate and call other people names. Kevin Acee of the UT likes to call Dean Spanos a traitor even though he has never laid out any facts as to why. Tom Krasovic uses a (*) when he spells out the Charger name. I guess that is an improvement over "Chinos". Scott Kaplan claims he's now a "hater", which is fine, but I really wonder if he isn't just playing a ratings game. Darren Smith has expressed his displeasure about the Chargers and the Spanos family, but he at least shows some maturity on the subject.
My guess is that the intensity level of fandom is generational. I think younger fans will "get over it" quicker than older fans like me. I'm not prepared to follow any other NFL team at this stage in my life.
I attended the first Chargers game at Balboa Stadium and the last at Qualcomm. I hesitate to count the hours spent watching their games on TV over the years. Could my time be spent any more wisely? Probably. But they were "my team" and while I doubt I will attend any games in LA, I will continue to watch them. It's sure a less dangerous habit than heroin, and we all need our guilty pleasures. And the local media will also continue to follow them. They know that most football fans in SD are addicted too.
As two of the lowest rated stations in the San Diego market, 1090 and 1360 need to keep talking about the Chargers. 1090 was singing the praises of Soccer City before, if for no other reason, to maybe get back a local pro team to broadcast, as they no longer have SDSU or the Padres. 1360 will carry the Chargers games, so that might give them a bump in ratings. When you have a .6 rating in the market, they better hope lots of people listen to the Chargers.