Charg­ers’ move to L.A. a to­tal dis­grace

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - PAGE 2 - BRUCE JENK­INS Bruce Jenk­ins is a San Fran­cisco Chronicle colum­nist. Email: bjenk­ins@sfchron­i­ Twit­ter @Bruce_Jenk­ins1

Fol­low­ing pro foot­ball in the Bay Area, you get used to lame ownership. There’s Jed York, com­pletely over­matched at the 49ers’ helm. There’s Mark Davis, who can’t wait to leave Oak­land with the Raiders in his­toric rise.

Such jok­ers are ev­ery­where, sad to say, and none more re­viled this week than Dean Spanos, who has de­cided to move the San Diego Charg­ers to Los An­ge­les for his per­sonal con­ve­nience.

The Charg­ers’ fans are as vi­brant and loyal as any in the coun­try, but peo­ple get worn down af­ter a while. When Spanos asks the public to help pay for a sta­dium, the public rebels. So he pouts, throws away 56 years of tra­di­tion and moves north to share the fledg­ling In­gle­wood sta­dium with the Rams in two years, play­ing in Car­son (the soc­cer-cen­tric StubHub Cen­ter) in the mean­time.

In a scathing col­umn themed “We don’t want you,” L.A. Times colum­nist Bill Plaschke said it was un­avoid­able for the NFL to have two teams in town. “The prob­lem is, the sec­ond team should have been the Raiders,” he wrote. “The South­land is filled with Raiders fans ev­ery­where. I have still never met a sin­gle Charg­ers fan.” And when the Raiders play the Charg­ers, “The sta­dium will be painted in sil­ver and black. At least that game will be sold out.”

Un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances, there will be plenty of empty seats if the Charg­ers fal­ter. What the hell does Spanos care? He’s fi­nally got his spank­ing new lux­ury suite.

Spanos doesn’t get that San Diego is coach Sid Gill­man, who rev­o­lu­tion­ized the pass­ing game. It’s Paul Lowe and Keith Lin­coln, John Hadl to Lance Al­worth, the elec­tri­fy­ing Ju­nior Seau and one of the most ex­plo­sive pass-catch com­bi­na­tions of all time, Dan Fouts to John Jef­fer­son (not to men­tion Char­lie Joiner and Kellen Winslow).

There are peo­ple in San Diego who re­mem­ber all of that. There are young fans en­am­ored with the play­ers, the scene, the uni­form. “This is hard to fathom,” said a dis­con­so­late Fouts on ESPN on Wed­nes­day night. But it re­ally isn’t. Rams to St. Louis, Browns to Bal­ti­more, Colts to In­di­anapo­lis — this is how the NFL op­er­ates, choos­ing greed over per­spec­tive and treat­ing fans like a big pile of garbage.

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