Embarrassment has been a common term associated with the San Diego Chargers in recent years, but this Monday night threatened to reach the lowest of those lows for the Bolts.
With all of the advances in television coverage combined with an on-field product where the predictability factor is basically nonexistent, going to Chargers games is a real roll of the dice. It turns out the fan base seems to be intimating that with their purchase decisions of late with the Bolts threatened to be the first team in more than a decade to be blacked out on primetime.
And it’s not the opponents, the Indianapolis Colts, are the contributing factor to these unsold seats. Indy is being touted by some as the best team in the entire NFL after the Denver Broncos, and with a young up-and-coming quarterback like Andrew Luck one would think the draw couldn’t get any higher. Still nearly 9,000 tickets remained unsold for the game on Monday until local organizations along with ESPN chipped in to help sell out the necessary seats to avoid the dubious distinction of being blacked out.
Currently this is just another example of fans that aren’t all that interested in the product being produced by the organization, but the problem could have longer tentacles than that. The Spanos family has been under scrutiny for their management of the team and just how they aided the perpetual mediocrity seen on the field. Rumors have swirled around the Bolts leaving town for a while now, and this type of embarrassment seems to only add fuel to that fire.
While the recent primetime meltdowns by the Chargers have been embarrassing enough for fans and the city to have to endure, this latest pseudo-protest could just punch the team’s ticket out of town sooner rather than later. It only stands to reason that the league wants to return to the Los Angeles market. Even Commissioner Roger Goodell said as much in the LA memo he sent out to teams last July.
San Diego isn’t the only city under the gun with the threat of losing its professional football franchise. Obviously struggling teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars and St. Louis Rams are also in the mix, but the Bolts remain a serious candidate to take the jog northward. If this trend continues and the stadium is half full – or empty for you pessimists out there – into the future, the Chargers may be returning to their original LA getup for good.