Opinion: NFL owners continue display of greed with relocation

Matt Poe

After a series of pitiful blowout games during Wild Card Weekend, the divisional round provided some genuine drama in the NFL ahead of championship Sunday, highlighted by Green Bay’s thrilling win over Dallas via a last second field goal.

Anytime Dallas loses, we all win. 

For a league that continually faces criticism and scrutiny, through much of their own doing, it’s nice to finally be able to give the NFL a pat on the back for — what’s that? The Chargers are moving to Los Angeles?

Yes, the NFL announced last week that the artist formerly known as the San Diego Chargers would be relocating to Los Angeles to accompany the Rams in an attempt to seize the barrel of money that is the San Diego market, leaving the team’s fans devastated. For a city that went over two decades without a professional football team, Los Angeles suddenly finds itself boasting two teams that are — shall we say — bad.

The move comes after Chargers President Dean Spanos — the son of the franchise’s owner, Alex Spanos — continually attempted to secure public funds to help construct a new stadium in the San Diego area.

San Diego residents voted against the use of public funds to build the stadium time and time again, leading Spanos and company to skip town and take the team with them. 

Poor guy. I’m sure he was just as devastated to see the team leave as the generations of Chargers fans who have invested portions of their personal lives in support of what has traditionally been a subpar team fielding a bad product. 

Strange, but you never seem to see good teams simply pack up and decide to settle their team elsewhere.

Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned yet: the Oakland Raiders are about to file for relocation to Las Vegas! A team with historic roots formerly in Los Angeles and currently to Oakland has decided that they, too, believe the grass is greener elsewhere and owner Mark Davis has his sights set on Sin City.

Coincidentally, the Raiders home stadium, the Oakland Coliseum, is one of the biggest dumps in professional sports. So, instead of providing private funds to build a new stadium in Oakland and keep the team for one of the most passionate fan bases in sports, the Vegas stadium project will use $750 million in hotel revenue taxes to help fund it.

The NFL and its owners are continuing a remarkable display of greed and reckless personal gain, leaving fans to suffer and mend broken hearts over the departure of their respective teams. Sports are not life and death, I know; fans of the Chargers and Raiders will survive.

But think about the amount of time and money that sports fans invest in teams from such a young age, and how often we stick with the teams we choose throughout our lifetimes. Just ask any Browns fan who was alive when the team moved to Baltimore how it affected them, or ask them what they think of former owner Art Modell; it’s not something that just disappears over time.

As always, you and I will both continue to watch the NFL because we are mindless sheep following the shepherd that is our nation’s most beloved sport.

The NFL won’t let any loyalties or long-standing support from a community stand between them and making another quick buck. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.

Matt Poe is a columnist, contact him at [email protected].