U-T finally concedes what everybody knows

Chargers prefer Los Angeles

The Union-Tribune this morning (August 9) conceded on its editorial page something all but the most rabid Chargers fans already know: the team wants to get to Los Angeles, and its highly publicized attempts to find a home in San Diego were never credible. There is nothing San Diego can say to the National Football League (NFL) tomorrow (August 10) to keep the team in San Diego.

Jill Lieber Steeg, a distinguished writer and wife of Jim Steeg, former National Football League and Chargers executive, states the obvious: the Chargers desperately want to move to Los Angeles. Further, she states something that was only obvious to a few people: "For the past decade or so, the Chargers have talked about nine stadium 'concepts' [in San Diego] but none of them were full-blown proposals with legitimate financing plans and completed environmental studies. The Chargers never saw any of the nine through to fruition. All were dropped, tossed to the side or outright abandoned by the team, but always blamed on other people or things."

When the Chargers tell the league they have been rebuffed in efforts to find a home in San Diego, they will be telling a fat fib.

Steeg doesn't mention it, but through those years, Chargers critic Bruce Henderson was stating that these phony stadium proposals were "intellectually insulting."

On October 4, 2002, my column in the Union-Tribune stated, "The Chargers are going down two tracks. They would like to move to the lucrative Los Angeles market if the opportunity arises, but if it doesn't, they want to get a new stadium commitment from San Diego." I have stressed that position ever since, in the U-T and the Reader.

Steeg also points out something that Henderson has been saying for some time: the Chargers tried to strike a deal with Anschutz Entertainment Group, which at the time wanted to build a stadium in downtown L.A. The deal would have been "in exchange for a portion of the team ownership. The Spanos family reportedly balked at at the ownership stake AEG demanded."

This brings up something I have been emphasizing. It is likely that the Chargers will have to sell themselves — or part of the team — to get to L.A. Steeg brings up another possibility: going deep into debt — supposedly worth it financially because the value of the team would triple. (I would argue the value would double, not triple. Also, the Spanos family is in a highly-leveraged business, real estate. It may not be able to take on that much more debt. The patriarch, in his 90s, has serious dementia. His wife may not want to sell part of the team while her husband is alive. There are a lot of children and grandchildren. Would they approve of a huge debt burden?)

Steeg ends up telling San Diego that "if you continue to stay focused on the end goal of building a new stadium, the NFL may one day give you another look." She seems to be saying that San Diego should do what St. Louis and Tampa Bay did: build the stadium without a team to play in it. I can't think of worse advice.

Jim Steeg, the husband of Jill Lieber Steeg, worked for the NFL for 35 years and the Chargers for six years. Was Jim Steeg looking over his wife's shoulder when she penned this piece? Was she doing it at the direction of the Chargers? We don't know. We do know that most of her points are sound ones.

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If anyone had been wondering if the editorial policy of the paper would change as a result of the change in ownership, wonder no more. It has. There's no possibility that a U-T under Dougie's ownership would have commissioned and printed that piece. For his own reasons, Dougo still wanted to keep the fiction alive that the Chargers really wanted to stay, really needed a new stadium, and loved San Diego. So, we have Faulconer jumping through hoops to get the franchise a new stadium that it doesn't actually want. Of course, if he and Ron Roberts "save" the day and keep the Chargers here, the voters will be so grateful that neither will be anything but electable in perpetuity.

But the advice to move ahead and build a stadium on the strength of a possibility that another NFL team might be enticed to town is sheer folly. There now seems to be a belief that the current stadium has to be replaced, regardless of Chargers. KOGO is pushing that notion every day. As has been reported before, anything amiss with the current facility can be put right for a tiny fraction of the cost of any new stadium.

Visduh: Absolutely. Anything wrong with Qualcomm can be fixed easily. If the Chargers don't get to L.A., they will have to return to San Diego, tails wagging between their legs. One way they could win back some of the disaffected people would be to take on the expense of Qualcomm repairs themselves. Best, Don Bauder

Don: Actually, the Chargers would never agree to that (assuming they could afford it), as they realize that fixing the Q would not be as easy as some think. One of the issues is the seats are too far from the playing field for football--they need to be brought closer to the field, and to do that, the pitch angle of the lower level seats needs to be increased. Between that, and the crumbling interior infrastructure of the Q, it would take many hundreds of millions to fix--which is why the Chargers (and others) have said remodeling the stadium is no good. Of course, that's easy for the Chargers to say, since in their world, they feel they should really be paying nothing for any new stadium, regardless of Fabiani's comments to the contrary.

aardvark: If you read the task force's proposal carefully, as few have, you notice that the Chargers under the right circumstances could pay absolutely nothing for the use of a new stadium. It was planned that way. Best, Don Bauder

Don: Paying nothing for the use of the stadium? Sounds familiar.

aardvark: The Chargers are paying almost nothing now, thanks to a dumb deal by former Mayor Murphy. Best, Don Bauder

The pigs have landed. Hell is maintaining its temperature at normal levels. And I still got bridges in the inventory.

Private companies should pay ALL of their expenses, and government should collect taxes from THEM, not give them tax "breaks" or any other subsidies under the vague presumption that they will generated synergistic effects in the private business "community,": thus increasing taxes a la Ponzi on steroids. Wooden boys with loooooong noses!

Twister: You are describing capitalism. It left the U.S. decades ago. Now, corporations and the rich who own them get massive subsidies and tax breaks, and claim they believe in capitalism. Best, Don Bauder

We're being Falconered over. And over and over and over again. Give Falconer the bird! A meat-eating one, of course.

And tertsly Rob'd.

Twister: Time to start quoting great literature: "the falcon cannot hear the Faulconer." Best, Don Bauder

Sheery Follie,

Ain't she the one that's been connected to the mortarfaulker and the robber?

How many bucks and hours and other resources have been shuttled away from street maintenance and health and safety for the benefit of a wealthy playboys?

Sue those responsible and get the money back!

Twister: Great question: how much in city funds has been lost while politicians try to get a team to stay in San Diego, even though that team has made it abundantly clear that it wants to get out of town and get rich? Best, Don Bauder

So here's my latest thought - probably impractical and somewhat crazy.

What we have now is 3 teams bidding to get into LA and from the NFL's perspective it helps each team's case if they can show the NFL that they can't get a big taxpayer funded stadium.

If I understand things right for most stadium ballot initiatives the pro-stadium folks tend to outspend the pro-taxpayer folks by a wide margin - as much as 100/1.

So if neither the Raiders nor Rams get taxpayer-funded stadiums approved then that helps the Raiders' and Rams' cases to move to LA. Wouldn't one of the most cost-effective things San Diego Chargers fans could do to help keep the Chargers in San Diego be to spend money somehow to oppose stadium proposals in St. Louis and Oakland?

Isn't that what Chargers supporters should do?

ImJustABill: If they tried to oppose stadium proposals in St. Louis and Oakland, all hell would break out if they got caught. Best, Don Bauder

Yeah - the idea is ultimately wishful thinking on my part.

The reality is that the NFL is allowed to have a monopoly of owners who collude against taxpayers in multiple cities - but should the taxpayers in those cities actually collude against the owners as you say all hell would break loose.

ImJustABill: Just try to get taxpayers organized for a mass protest. Difficult. Best, Don Bauder

Twister: Particularly the politicians spending all that money should join the team in L.A. Best, Don Bauder

John Goodman: Many people share your views. Best, Don Bauder

Deborah Johnson: The name of the NFL is greed. Best, Don Bauder

John Ogre: Don't be so sure that naming rights, PSLs and luxury boxes will pay for such a big hunk of a Carson stadium. I have thought all along that the Carson stadium is not for real. Best,Don Bauder

David Crossley: The Rams played in Orange County in their dying days in the mid-1990s. They attracted poor crowds. Best, Don Bauder

Good grief! Maybe OC is no longer as OCD as it was . . .

Twister: Orange County Florida and Orange County California are both undesirable places. Best, Don Bauder

I've heard they both have a high Nazi count.

Twister: That I don't know. Best, Don Bauder

Don: Yes they did. And the only reason the Rams were dying in LA was the owner let it happen. And once St Louis waived a new stadium in front of Georgia Frontiere (Rams owner at the time), she took her Rams and moved the franchise. Anaheim Stadium was a colossal waste of money when Anaheim tried to turn it into a multi-sport facility, and it was a crappy place for football. The addition also made it a crappy place for baseball.

aardvark: Neither the Rams nor the Raiders could find satisfactory stadiums in which to play in the L.A. area. L.A. cities were not about to provide subsidies. So both left town. Best, Don Bauder

Don: Don't you mean LA cities were not going to provide MORE subsidies? Anaheim spent $$ to expand Anaheim Stadium for the Rams, and Irwindale gave Al Davis $10 million to, in essence, go look at a gravel pit that could be turned into a new stadium for the Raiders (the gravel pit is still there, by the way). Davis took the non-refundable $10 mil, and soon went back to Oakland, after Oakland destroyed the Oakland Coliseum enlarging it for the Raiders.

aardvark: Al Davis's fleecing of Irwindale is one of the famous extortion ploys of all time. Best, Don Bauder

"It's the end of the world as we know it. And I feel fine." R.E.M.

Ponzi: Sounds like you will descend into hell happily. Read Dante's Inferno first. Best, Don Bauder

AMEN, Ponzi. We don' need no stinkin' NFL or any other batch of hired mortarforkers--we got college teams that need our support. It's time that Sandy Eggons grew up and stopped pretending that "professional" teams are not SHININ' THEM ON!

Tell them to GET OUT AND STAY OUT--of our pockets anyway . . .

Twister: Does that apply to the Padres, too? Best, Don Bauder

Twister: If the Padres have to stay out of taxpayers' pockets, they will leave, too. Best, Don Bauder

Deborah Johnson,

Point well taken. We should take the players in if they want to stay. If they want to go, let 'em take their millions with them.

Twister: The Padres are already fielding half a team. And you would let half the players go? Best Don Bauder

Red Dee,

At least the Raiders are aptly named.

Twister: Under ownership of the late Al Davis, the name of the Raiders should have been "the Extortionists." Best, Don Bauder

Without euphemisms what would parasites do? What WOULD they do? (the sound of hands wringing)

See "Politics and the English Language" by George Orwell. "The essay focuses on political language, which, according to Orwell, "is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." Orwell believed that the language used was necessarily vague or meaningless because it was intended to hide the truth rather than express it. This unclear prose was a "contagion" which had spread to those who did not intend to hide the truth, and it concealed a writer's thoughts from himself and others.[3] Orwell encourages concreteness and clarity instead of vagueness, and individuality over political conformity." --Wikipedia


"Thank heaven . . . thank heaven . . ." for literary giants like Orwell.

Best, Twister

Twister: Orwell was also an oracle with a good track record. Best, Don Bauder

John Goodman,

Good man! A real grownup.

Twister: John is articulate. Best, Don Bauder


Duh, dus that mean tha' the taxpayers git it in the arse no madder whut they duz? Evun eff they ain't fan-at-hicks?

Twister: I am afraid John Ogre is dreaming. Best, Don Bauder

Re: David Crossly,

Don' be mad. Maybe they WANT to be RAMMED!

Twister: Charged, Raided, and Rammed. Best, Don Bauder

Say good by to the dischargers - good riddance

AlexClarke; The San Diego Dischargers may -- repeat, MAY -- not find L.A. as welcoming as the team expects. Best, Don Bauder

I still get the feeling they are bluffing.

better yet, they end up with a team and no they are welcome.

Murphyjunk: The plan for the Carson stadium is a bluff, in my opinion. Best, Don Baude

Or to some extent the Carson site is the Chargers' backup plan in case the deal with Kroenke (sp?) falls through. I think right now the Chargers' strategy is:

Plan A. Share Inglewood stadium with Rams Plan B. Share Carson stadium with Raiders Plan C. Stay in San Diego. Plan D. Move to St. Louis Plan E. Move to London

And maybe D or E are ahead of C

ImJustABill: The Chargers have so alienated San Diego that if they couldn't make L.A., they would flop in San Diego. You may be right: D and E are ahead of C. Best, Don Bauder

should read end up with a team and not welcome anywhere

Murphyjunk: That is a possibility, too. Best, Don Bauder

The Chargers are better at playing poker than football. I think the Chargers are bluffing too, and here's why:

Rams: 3 Super Bowl appearances, 1 Championship, last SB 2002, left LA area 1994

Raiders: 5 Super Bowl appearances, 3 Championships, last SB - 2003, left LA in 1994

Chargers: 1 Super Bowl appearance, 0 Championships, last SB - 1995, left LA in 1960

What team(s) would L.A. really like back? What team would really make sense and recapture fans.

Rams 1st, Raiders 2nd, and Chargers a distant 3rd (in spite of all the BS that Fabiani spews).

Ponzi: Although the Chargers have been playing much better than the Raiders and Rams in the last few years. Best, Don Bauder

Don-- One question that I haven't seen addressed anywhere is how Carson is able to bypass the environmental impact reviews that SHOULD be necessary, since they are planning to build on a site that was formerly a dump. Is there some sort of chicanery going on with the city of Carson?

Scott_McLachlan: I would not be a bit surprised. Best, Don Bauder

Red Dee: I believe I saw a poll indicating L.A. residents preferred the Raiders to the Chargers. Best, Don Bauder

AlexClarke: What category of gang bangers? Best, Don Bauder

Paul Williams: Kroenke will own a team that plays in Inglewood (probably the Rams, which he already owns.) It is only intelligent business to have another team playing in his stadium. He won't drain that team -- he is too smart for that. The other team will be able to retain revenue from luxury seats and boxes and personal seat licenses, I would guess. That other team, be it the Chargers or Raiders, may well see its value doubled by moving into the L.A. market. Best, Don Bauder

Nancy Milligan: Having an NFL team in a city is basically a drag if the taxpayers are paying for 70 to 80 percent of the stadium. That's the normal cost. Best, Don Bauder

Jack Wilhelm: Oh yes. A good proportion of the population doesn't give a damn for sports. Polls generally show that. Best, Don Bauder

Fred Jacobsen: Having SDSU expand to Mission Valley is an idea worth pondering. The tenants in Mission Valley don't have to be businesses. (Just try to tell that to the SD establishment, though.) Best, Don Bauder

Ray Weigand: A new sports arena, privately-financed, would be an asset. Indoor soccer, hockey, basketball are possibilities. Best, Don Bauder

Re: " Don Bauder Aug. 10, 2015 @ 9:13 p.m.

Jack Wilhelm: Oh yes. A good proportion of the population doesn't give a damn for sports. Polls generally show that. Best, Don Bauder"

My gut feeling is that more people would like to "just do it" than to just watch.

Twister: If you are talking about sex, yes. Best, Don Bauder

BTW interestingly, and morbidly, the "just do it" phrase was inspired by the famous last words "let's do it" of condemned killer Gary Gilmore just before his execution was carried out.


ImJustABill: So the execution was marked by elocution. Best, Don Bauder

You, sir, are a wordsmith of the finest degree.

ImJustABill: There was a great poet named Robinson Jeffers. While I was in college in the 1950s, a couple of students studying Jeffers decided to call him. He lived on a remote island off the West Coast. They got through to him and asked him what method he employed to write his poetry.

He purportedly said,, "I just write what rhymes," and hung up. Warning: there is a good chance the tale is apocryphal. Best, Don Bauder

Wouldn't it be deloveuhley to, after discharging the Chargers, to focus on our home-grown true sports heroes like Junior Seau, who set such a good example for young manhood--and keep 'em down on the farm, right here in river city? The Chargers should be charged with second-degree murder at least.

And, on the baseball side, Tony Gwynn, who also set such a fine example as well, who unfortunately ran into the snare of chawin' terbaccy that took him away from us far to early too.

My own dear pappy sacrificed himself so that his offspring would never guzzle booze, smoke, gamble, be a salesman, or believe rather than think (after some short-term sampling). He ran around with women too, but if you're going to have a vice . . .

Yes, it sometimes does seem that only the good die young . . .

Twister: Yes, San Diego's two greatest athletes in recent times died tragically. Best, Don Bauder

IMO The NFL hall-of-fame was outrageously disrespectful to Junior's daughter Sydney Seau and placed strict time limitations on the speech that she could give upon his induction. Ostensibly this was because of rules limiting proxy acceptance speeches for deceased HOF inductees but was likely influenced by ongoing litigation between the NFL and Seau family regarding concussions.

She did record the speech she would have liked to have given. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/sports/football/junior-seau-hall-of-fame-sydney-seau-speech.html?_r=0

A pox on the National Fu League.

A league by any other name could not stink as bad . . .

Twister: Actually, Shakespeare wrote "a plague o' both your houses." I like pox better, but who am I to try to improve Shakespeare?

Or improve on Edward de Vere? I am one of those heretics (or lunatics) who suspects that Edward de Vere was actually the author of the works we attribute to Shakespeare. Best, Don Bauder

Plague, schmeague--if it's worse than the pox, it's fine with me.

But uh, oh--here we have a debate about the real substance of a debate largely based on its lack.

Book TV had a Shakespeare scholar on recently who had dredged up some evidence to the contrary recently.

But what all speculators ("History" Channel, are you listening?) should remember is that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." But, of course, it ain't evidence of presence either.

As Ray Gilmore was fond of saying, "Don't forget--the suspension of judgment is the highest exercise in intellectual discipline!"

But as to the contention that he wasn't well enough educated, I refer you to Ivan Illich. It took me decades to counter the effects of most of the formal education I received. (I do concede, however, that had I not searched for the pony it that pile of bullshit, I would never have found one of the most influential people in my life.)

Twister: A plague is worse than a pox. Shakespeare -- er, de Vere -- knew that. Best, Don Bauder

ImJustABill: It's a good speech and didn't touch on the lawsuit against the NFL. Best, Don Bauder

It was a great speech. But it rose far above "a speech."

All those poor, unfortunate, soulless suits at NFL and their lackeys, overpaid and underpaid who didn't immediately walk off the job for good, are to be pitied, as they will have to carry the burden of their shame for the rest of their lives. Not only are they mass-murderers who are getting away with it because the manner of his death was so-called "benign" neglect, they have been indifferent to the fate of those from whom they extract mere money--dripping with blood, with the tears of others. They are the worst kind of prostitute (my own family included women who got caught up in the commonest expression of this term, but gave lots of love), the weak, the impotent, the incompetent, the non-men overcompensating in fear who confuse brutality with strength and cling to the false notion that whatever form of "magic" they possess, whatever or whomever they associate with, will somehow rub off onto them, or at least form a facade from behind which they will be able to hide their insecurities, cowering in fear lest they be discovered, not realizing that that a prominent portion of their anatomy is, while out of their sight, is glaringly obvious to observers.

In tears of sympathy, Twister

Twister: Those soulless suits in the NFL have a lot of lucre in the pockets of those suits. Best, Don Bauder

I thank Bill for spreading the word; I am going to follow suit.

By preventing Junior Seau's daughter from giving this speech the National Football League has inadvertently defined itself for all time.

A lovely, lovely mature young woman with a lovely, lovely father. I share her tears. I respect her, her late father, and the family and culture that nurtured her to be the woman she is. "Class" is a word too weak to express her quality.

I'm gonna tell you a story about my first meeting with a Samoan.

I was snorkeling off La Jolla Cove, and decided to haul out on the rocks northeast of the beach. As I struggled up the rocks to the top, a big, dark hand with a cold beer in it thrust it toward me. I looked up the arm to a beautifully-smiling face I had never seen before. This young man invited me over to their (unauthorized!) cooking fire upon which lay a fish sizzling away. The Samoans living life as is should be lived--together, simply, lovingly. I hold this memory as one of the most treasured moments in my life. It made my day; it made my life.

Love, Twister

PS: I refer you to I thank Bill for spreading the word; I am going to follow suit.

By preventing Junior Seau's daughter from giving this speech the National Football League has inadvertently defined itself for all time.

A lovely, lovely mature young woman with a lovely, lovely father. I share her tears. I respect her, her late father, and the family and culture that nurtured her to be the woman she is. "Class" is a word too weak to express her quality.

I'm gonna tell you a story about my first meeting with a Samoan.

I was snorkeling off La Jolla Cove, and decided to haul out on the rocks northeast of the beach. As I struggled up the rocks to the top, a big, dark hand with a cold beer in it thrust it toward me. I looked up the arm to a beautifully-smiling face I had never seen before. This young man invited me over to their (unauthorized!) cooking fire upon which lay a fish sizzling away. The Samoans living life as is should be lived--together, simply, lovingly. I hold this memory as one of the most treasured moments in my life. It made my day; it made my life.

Love, Twister PS: I refer you to The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property

You can buy one here, used or new: http://www.bookfinder.com/search/?ac=sl&st=sl&ref=bf_s2_a1_t1_1&qi=.bhq,RI1hykHZf6bIW2Cxkf6.NY_1439487863_1:1684:3075&bq=author%3Dlewis%2520hyde%26title%3Dgift%2520imagination%2520and%2520the%2520erotic%2520life%2520of%2520property

Twister: Your tale is so moving that you related it twice. How touching. Best, Don Bauder

Wan othur beeg misteak--so sorry. I might be able to fix it by deleting and repeating,

&@#amn&# word-processors!

What I meant to say in a recent post was that there is growing interest in active sports in which one participates rather than obsesses after in "man-room" couches whilst guzzing cheap beer in mass quantities like dunce-headed aliens.

Ball games used to be community social events, not "brands" and their products hawked by hawkers and hucksters. People may be wising up, shaping up, and hanging out on their own, in small, truly social gatherings rather than obscene, giant mobs to be "entertained" with fireworks and other duh, duh, dud dudes.

Twister: Yes, bloodthirsty Americans go to football games and auto races to delight in people getting maimed or killed. But the Romans were even worse. Animal and human deaths were an everyday occurrence in spectator sports then. Best, Don Bauder

Don: Yes, but that was 1,000 to 1,500 years ago. Have we "advanced" since then? At least to the point instead of, say, a quick death at the paws and jaws of (real) lions to slow, agonizing, painful ones from concussions and cancer? Is that advance?

Twister: Has humanity advanced? Yes, since Cro-Magnon Man. No, since the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. Best, Don Bauder

Hobbes was a presumptuous ass with too little knowledge/evidence to support his hyperbole.

Twister: Don't blame Hobbes. It seems to me that anyone who spews hyperbole doesn't have enough knowledge/evidence to support his/her premise. Best, Don Bauder

San Diego needs a new stadium like Junior Seau needed a hole in his head. What a profound waste of tax-payer's money. Instead, use a couple million to build a single-screen CineramaDome on the waterfront. Whatever's left should go into constructing a shelter for battered women. Expect a surge in spousal abuse cases once husbands and boyfriends sober up to find there's no more home team to root for.

Scott Marks: Precisely. Neither the city nor county can afford to subsidize a new stadium -- particularly for a team that has made clear it wants to depart.

I still think that if the Chargers don't get to L.A., they will not come back to San Diego. They will blame the stadium, but the real reason, they know, will be that they poisoned the well in San Diego deliberately. Best, Don Bauder

I think this started out as a ruse--a threat of leaving to scare San Diegans into voting for throwing their tax money at them. Then certain sociopathic loudmouths mouthed off too much and the ruse got too many steroid shots.

Not enough ironic justice, but maybe some . . .

Twister: A ruse is a ruse is a ruse.... Best, Don Bauder

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