London Chargers


Jim Rome
November 06, 2019 - 10:06 am
Philip Rivers

USA Today


On Monday, there was a report that the Los Angeles Chargers might possibly becoming the London Chargers. Not as in London, California, the place near Visalia that is so small it’s not even a town. But the London, England Chargers. As in moving to another country.

And there are reasons why that might be attractive.

In fact, there were 83,000 reasons at Wembley on Sunday for the Jags-Texans game. And given that fans in England keep showing up for these random games that never feature two winning teams, imagine what the fanbase might be like for a team that’s actually good.

According to reports, more than 2 million tickets have been sold over the last 13 years for games in London. So there’s a market there and a fanbase there. And eventually there will be a team there.

So why not be that team?

Forget sharing a stadium and a city with the Rams, the Chargers would have a whole stadium, a whole country, and a whole continent to themselves. They wouldn’t have to compete with the Rams, the Lakers, the Clippers, the Dodgers, the Angels, the Galaxy, LAFC, the Kings, the Ducks, the Trojans, the Bruins, etc.

If you wanted American football in London, they would be the only show in town. And instead of being in a tricky spot a few miles up the road from a pissed off fanbase, they would be in a spot where everyone is happy to see you. And loved you.

So that report came out on Monday …and on Tuesday, the Chargers released their response. And they did it in two ways.

There was a tweet. A tweet that had no words. No caption. No emojis. Just a clip. Roll it.

And if that clip from Wolf of Wall Street wasn’t direct enough and profane enough for you, well, here comes Chargers owner Dean Spanos with his thoughts on the report that his team would be moving to London:

“It’s total bleeping bullbleep. We’re not going to London. We’re not going anywhere. We’re playing in Los Angeles. This is our home, and this is where we are planning to be for a long bleeping time. Period.”

Oh, hell yes. That is the kind of statement I love to read from a team. Don’t come in here with some weak statement about how “There is no substance whatsoever to this report.”

I’m not interested in heavily processed and scripted language about how “No consideration has been given to the Chargers playing anywhere other than Los Angeles at the new stadium in Hollywood Park next season and beyond” the way the league did with their statement about the report.

Give it to me straight. Give me f-bombs and bull-bleep. Give it everything you have. Let me know how you feel. That is awesome.  

And yes, I am aware of what happened to the Wolf of Wall Street. I know that he nearly killed himself with Quaaludes and cocaine. And that he spent nearly two years in prison for securities fraud.

And I know that if you really want to drill down on it, it’s kind of weird to choose Jordan Belfort to be a quasi-spokesperson for your organization.

But they’re not actually using or endorsing Jordan Belfort the person, they’re using the scene to make a point. That this team AIN’T BLEEPING  moving to London.

And I know that it’s kind of ironic that the Chargers are making a statement about never moving, considering they moved just a couple of years ago. And I know there are plenty of fans in San Diego who are thinking, where was that tweet a couple years back.

I feel you, San Diego fans. I do. And if you want to get loose about that, you’re welcome to do it. But I’m going to be real, I like how the Chargers handled this report. I don’t need the safe, sanitized, watered down version of things.

I want more f-bombs in statements about teams. I want more f bombs from owners. 

Because while that report was about whether the Chargers were moving to London, the subtext was different. The report beneath the report, the suggestion underneath all of it, was that that Chargers are already the little brother. That this town won’t support two teams: that the bolts are already the odd man out. That that house already belongs to rams, and rams only. 

It wasn’t about whether the Chargers were moving to London, it was about whether or not they had already been run out of a town, they don’t even live in yet.

And if you get called out like that, you better let the hands go and the f bombs fly: And the Chargers did just that.

If you want to be in Los Angeles and you want to fight for the market and for the fans in this city, you have to be prepared to fight. And some suggesting that you don’t want that and are already looking to leave, is a reason to go: the message being, if you’re looking to take us, you better knock us the hell out. If the league wants to be put a team in London, great, but it’s not going to be us. We’ve already planted our flag. And it’s in L.A.

We’ll see if it works: but I like the attitude. I do.