Well, there was something that made some news in the NFL today: the Chargers announced that they would be moving to Los Angeles.
I know, kind of random, right? Well, you’re not the only person that’s really confused. Apparently, so are the officials in San Diego, who say they’ve heard nothing from the Chargers about their desire to move or what their plans are for the stadium going forward.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) January 12, 2017
It gets better: the Chargers also failed to inform the Rams, who they would be sharing the LA Coliseum with once they make the move to Los Angeles. Oh, and add the city of LA to this, who knew that the Chargers were considering the shift, but had no idea a decision had been made, nor that there was even a chance that it would be decided on as early as it was.
And it gets even weirder/slimier: the Chargers announced the decision to move over social media. Nope, not by press release – simply by changing their handle on Twitter to the Los Angeles Chargers! Really original…and just a horrible, horrible strategy.
— Emily Thomas (@emitoms) January 13, 2017
But not near as bad as the next thing they did: rolling out a new logo. Which promptly opened the team up to an internet full of trolls, and drew mocking from hockey teams, other football teams, an NBA team, and even DiGiorno’s Pizza. And that may be my favorite sentence I’ve ever written. But seriously, the logo is about as unoriginal as cheese pizza.
The move by the Chargers is especially dishonest, given the NFL’s supposed “hard push” to keep the team in San Diego. It appears the league did very little to keep the team there, and instead pushed the San Diego community to invest more than $10 million into upgrades to the stadium, which were used just for one season it seems.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 13, 2017
The decision has already drawn the ire of San Diego politicians, who’ve called it “gutless” and “shameless” already in the hours after the decision. And statements released by Roger Goodell and by Chargers owner Dean Spanos left the fans with little more to feel good about, with the political and social backlash almost unbelievable.
On social media, the topics and stories have all been negative, with the public opinion forcing the Chargers into not tweeting since the announcement of the logo. On Facebook, the Chargers have already lost 45K fans, and over 30K followers on Twitter. At the Chargers facility, fans have been driving by and giving the bird and honking the horn, while there was an incident earlier where a fan egged the football complex.
— Kelly Hessedal (@KellyCBS8) January 13, 2017
And if it couldn’t get worse, Chargers players and former players are already responding over social media their displeasure, with Shawn Merriman and Eric Weedle the more vocal of the players calling out the ownership for their crude move.
The Chargers will now move into a spare stadium for next season, before making a permanent home with the Rams going forward. Which is great, considering the Rams had over a year of settling in, gaining fans, and overall just knowing the market over the Chargers.
My heart goes out to all #Chargers fans today. I know you’re genuinely hurting–it’s a huge loss to you & this city we love. So sorry….
— Ted Leitner (@TedLeitner) January 13, 2017
With the Rams struggling to fill their stadium, I’m sure the Chargers won’t have any trouble with the same thing.
So here’s the recap of the day and the move:
The Chargers pissed off two cities, another NFL team, their players, former players and fans, and embarrassed themselves on Twitter – all before noon!
That’s a record day of bad press, and one the NFL should have got a hold of much sooner than this. But let’s face it, the NFL is after exactly what it got out of this deal: more money, regardless of what kind of face it loses in days like these.