Divorce. It is never fun. And the long, drawn-out breakup of San Diego and the Chargers has been pretty awful. Mostly because no one involved seems to really want it, so it seems so damned pointless. Everyone is backed into a corner, mostly by their own silly behavior.
Do the Chargers want a divorce? No. No they do not.
Dean Spanos is a San Diegan, and no San Diegan in their right mind wants to live in LA. Visiting is great, because then we get to haul our carcasses back past Camp Pendleton, and into our cozy little homes. Which are NOT in LA.
The Spanos family has deep roots in San Diego, and quietly gives a lot of money to charitable causes here. They don't want to leave.
They also don't know how to stay. They have backed themselves into a corner though...starting with the unfortunate tone of Lawyer Mark Fabiani. He was the bad cop...unfortunately, there was no good cop. Dean Spanos has been very much in the background. That was a poor choice.
Mr. Spanos should have been out in front of his team, cheerleading, and talking to fans as if they are equals. They are, after all. No fans? No team. So, Dean should have been out in front, not Mark Fabiani, who was really spouting the NFL line, not necessarily the Chargers line.
The NFL has no problem strong-arming cities with threats. What the organization doesn't "get" about San Diego is, we have a lot of entertainment opportunities here. Football is expensive, and the beach is free. We surf, we off-road, we are NOT Detroit, where, for 5 months out of the year, it is bitterly cold, and there is NOTHING else going on BUT football. Nothing.
So typical NFL tactics ain't gonna fly with us. That was a really bad miscalculation. Don't threaten the hand that feeds.
The city doesn't want the divorce either. But the city is backed into it's own corner of it's own making. Politicians have grandly proclaimed that, "Not one penny of taxpayer money!" will be used for a new stadium.
That opened up a box of worms ruthlessly exploited by opposition politicians, who have their own agenda for what could only loosely be called, "taxpayer dollars."
That made any whisper of negotiation with the team, no matter how lucrative for the city, a nitro-filled covered wagon on a San Diego city street after the rain. Hey, is that a pothole??? BOOM!
This is a game of chicken, where neither driver wants to hit the gas...but they can't figure out how to get out from behind the wheel.