Hey San Diego — don’t become the NFL!
That’s not to say America’s Finest City shouldn’t seek another franchise from America’s greediest sports league.
And if you still don’t think the Chargers are leaving, can we borrow your rose-colored glasses, please?
What’s clear is the Chargers will return to Los Angeles and there’s a line somewhere about being cautious regarding a door hitting your backside as you exit, stage north.
But San Diego taxpayers, who watch their pocket books with the same glee as San Diego sunsets, need to be better than the big, bad, NFL.
The clamoring has already started for another team to replace the Chargers.
Those unable to manage three hours on fall Sundays minus an NFL squad have cast an eye toward the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Those adverse with everything regarding Oakland are warming to the Raiders.
They once had a North Carolina State quarterback, Roman Gabriel, like the San Diego team did, Philip Rivers.
Any team, from any city, will do to satisfy San Diego’s thirst for all things NFL.
But if following that course of action, isn’t San Diego stooping to the NFL’s curb-side level? Aren’t Chargers fans, after a year of playing the “how-unfair-this-all-is-card” doing the exact same thing?
There hasn’t been a rock big enough for someone to escape the narrative of why the Chargers should stay where they’ve hung their shingle for five-plus decades. It’s been a countless stream of heart-tugging stories, highlighting how special the Chargers are to San Diego.
How indelible memories were forged at Balboa Stadium, then later, at Qualcomm Stadium.
How couples have proposed marriage to each other in the Bolts’ Mission Valley digs.
How divorce settlements often hinge on which party gets the Chargers season tickets.
Of grandfathers, dads and sons connecting. Of grandmothers, moms and daughters embracing football, and just maybe a shot of performing a cheerleading skit at halftime.
It’s all true.
It’s all wonderful.
And it all can be said of the cities where some locals want to hijack their teams.
If San Diego swooped in and captured another franchise, the pain and angst shown by Chargers fans would be repeated in Jacksonville, Oakland, St. Louis or whatever municipality that won’t capitulate to the NFL’s demands.
Would it be cool to have a team, post-Chargers?
But don’t steal someone’s team while bemoaning the fact how unfair the same thing is in your city.
It’s not kosher to say, “Save Our Bolts” in one breath and then switch to “We Want Your Team” in the next.
If San Diego wants to do business with the NFL again — what could possibly go wrong? — then demand an expansion team. Start fresh with a franchise it can call and brand its own, not one that comes with the stains from tears of its former boosters.
What’s right is right.
What the NFL is doing to San Diego, and its passionate fan base, is wrong.
Just like it would be for San Diego to mimic the NFL by swiping another team from another city.
When longing for an NFL outfit, don’t forget how out of it you felt when the Chargers sang, “We Love L.A.!”
If landing another team, it’s an emotion that won’t die. It’ll just be resurrected in another town, one believing its team would never leave.
+ Contact Jay Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at jparis_sports