Dean Spanos still doesn’t get it.
The Los Angeles Chargers owner, who ripped the hearts out of the San Diego fans when he moved the team to Los Angeles this year, still thinks the team has a lot of fans in San Diego.
“[We say] thank you,” Spanos said, when asked by ESPN about San Diego fans who still follow the team. “They’ve been great. They’ve been loyal to the team, and there’s a lot of them. I’m very appreciative — my family, players and the entire organization thanks them.”
I seriously doubt there are a lot of fans in San Diego who still follow the team. Some, but not a lot.
Spanos also hired Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson as a special assistant. Tomlinson is supposed to reach out to the San Diego fans.
“Look, I understand that it’s going to take some time,” Tomlinson told ESPN. “People don’t get over being hurt in just a week or two, or a month or two months. It’s a process, and hopefully over time they will be able to get over it. Because at the end of the day, it’s that lightning bolt that we all care about.’’
Sorry, LT, you’re a good guy, but you have an impossible job. San Diego will get over it only if it gets a new team, and that isn’t going to happen anytime soon — if ever.
Still, Tomlinson added, “So I believe that will happen. Who knows when, but I do know that there’s a number of fans from San Diego that still support the organization, and we’d like to have more of those people from San Diego.”
Tomlinson said one of the ways he will help bridge that gap is to continue to support and do community events in San Diego. Tomlinson’s focus is community outreach. And the Chargers have maintained several community programs focused on youth football in San Diego, along with renewing their involvement in the Spanos Classic, a high school all-star game that takes place in January.
“This organization has always been one that’s been strong in the community,” Tomlinson said. “Dean Spanos has always been a guy to reach out and have charity functions in the community.”
Uh, LT, they left. Not exactly “strong in the community.”
“So my hope is we don’t forget about the San Diego community, that we’re still able to reach down in that community and touch people, and still have events so they feel like they’re still part of the organization, and still have a relationship with a lot of our players. That’s the hope. Obviously, that would be my role.”
It will be a difficult role.
Meanwhile, San Diego columnist Nick Canepa has dubbed them the “Judases.’’ And the longer they play in Los Angeles, the fewer fans they will have in San Diego.
It will be a bittersweet night for San Diego fans when they play their first regular-season game Monday night as the Los Angeles Chargers against Denver.
It will take them a long time getting over it.