On the Chargers fighting for LA—and losing

So as they begin their first season in Los Angeles (OK, not the first, per se. They played in the city one year, in 1960), the San Diego Chargers have adopted the slogan, “Fight for LA.”

The son and I saw the three words, oh, 200 times tonight as we attended the pre-season opener against Seattle at the StubHub Center.

Fight for LA

Fight for LA

Fight for LA

Fight for LA

Fight for LA

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 10.52.32 PM

And, to the marketing department’s credit, it’s catchy. The Chargers are trying to obscure the fact that their owner, Dean Spanos, abandoned San Diego for riches (and a new stadium) an hour up the road; trying to obscure the fact that the move had nothing (literally nothing) to do with love or affection and everything to do with pure, unadulterated greed.

So we keep hearing how the Chargers need to “Fight for LA.” They will give their all. They will represent us. They will become one with the city and, in return, the city will become one with the Chargers.

Which is funny—because earlier this afternoon, as we pulled up to the stadium, I asked Emmett how much he thought it would cost to park.

“Twenty five dollars,” he said.

“Nah,” I replied. “I’ll go $20.”

Answer: Forty bucks.

I want to state that again, and in slightly different terms: On the occasion of the Chargers’ debut game in Los Angeles—a city they claim to be fighting for—attendees were forced to pay $40 to park their cars. It is, I’ve been told by Charger fans from San Diego, a $15 hike from fees outside the old stadium.

This is how you fight for LA?

This is how you win loyalties?

The parking attendant literally issued an apology to me—before I said a word. Our exchange went like this …

Me: “How much to park?”

Her: “I’m so sorry.”

Me: “What?”

Her: “It’s $40.”

Me: “No, really?”

Her: “I’m so sorry. I can’t believe it either.”

I’m gonna be honest: Had I known it would cost so much to park my car (on top of the $70 per ticket, the $5 waters, the $46 for not much food), there’s no way in hell I would have attended. No. Way. In. Hell. This is a bad football team playing a meaningless pre-season game. Fuck, this is a bad football team playing a meaningless pre-season game in a town it’s supposedly trying to win over. The bang for the buck just isn’t there, and I don’t see how Los Angeles—a city worth fighting for, but also a city with 1,001 other entertainment options—will go along.

I get greed.

This wasn’t mere greed.

It was stupidity.

PS: And that video—seriously, give me a break. A bunch of actors making up expectations of a city that’s largely indifferent to this whole experiment.