So, let’s follow this up. Overall, it’s not a big deal that Mike Aguirre wanted LaDainian Tomlinson to appear during Aguirre’s turn guest-hosting the Roger Hedgecock Show.
Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani tried to raise the argument that Aguirre and his press aide were wasting time and taxpayer dollars on the invite and the show, but the mayor is doing the Hedgecock show today and there’s no similar complaint. It’s a way to communicate with the city and it doesn’t cost taxpayers much.
But look at it a little closer and it’s fascinating: How in the world did Aguirre think it would be a good idea to ask Tomlinson to appear on his show? Is he really unaware of the negative feelings the Chargers brass has toward him? Even if you believe the Chargers are unjustifiably bitter toward Aguirre, you can’t deny that they are, indeed, unfriendly to him (and he to them).
So what was he thinking?
Well, LaDainian Tomlinson would obviously be an awesome guest for the radio show. Aguirre has a good nature, when he’s not screaming, and they probably would have gotten along. Aguirre would have been able to catch a little of the draft coming off the Chargers’ happy train right now. He would have benefited from trying to cast himself as interested in football – as one of the guys.
Heck, it was a good idea. Might as well ask, right? All they can do is say no, right?
Well, actually, they can figure out a way to mock him too. And now, it doesn’t look like such a good idea.
But there’s something more profound here. The reason the Chargers are able to ridicule Aguirre now is because the city attorney made a political calculation that has consequences. And these are the consequences.
Over the years, he has alleged nothing less than that the Chargers have completely ripped off the city of San Diego. He made the determination that he would not back down and, when elected as city attorney, he would be a vigilant watchdog to ensure that they didn’t do it again.
In essence, he has decided not to be friendly or diplomatic toward the football team. He won’t pursue the Chargers’ goodwill and he won’t do whatever would need to be done – if it was even possible – to form a good relationship with them.
That’s fine. That’s his determination and there will be residents of San Diego who appreciate that.
But there are consequences. One of them is that you don’t get to hang out with people like LaDainian Tomlinson.
Aguirre is a charming person. He can make you laugh rather easily. But you can’t charm your way around a stance like that and somehow expect to still frolic in the tide pool of enthusiasm that the Chargers have built up by winning football games.
Perhaps I can help communicate this: No matter how much some residents may be frustrated by the city’s past relations with its NFL team, there’s one thing we can’t forget: People like football teams, especially when they win. You may not, your family may not, your friends may not, but there are a significant number of people everywhere who do enjoy football. That gives the team political power.
If you want to fight that political power, you have to accept the consequences that you will never get to benefit from it – at all.