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It’s getting harder and harder for me to remember a time when football brought me joy.
I’ve been a football fan all my life, since my dad put me in Oregon State diapers. (He’s an Oregon fan, if you catch how that works.)
There were good times at some point: The last year I spent in Oregon before heading off to college, the Ducks had what was then their best-ever season, winning the Fiesta Bowl and putting up a Heisman finalist. From there, I went on to USC, which won two national titles and two Heismans while I was a student. I had things pretty good.
Then everything went to hell.
This year, for example, USC’s coach was abruptly fired for being drunk on the job. I attended my first-ever USC bowl game at Qualcomm, which they naturally lost. Oregon, meanwhile, blew an astonishing 31-point lead in their bowl game to became the victim of the biggest-ever bowl comeback.
Then there’s the Chargers.
Were you aware that the Chargers have been the subject of some drama lately? It’s OK if you missed it; it doesn’t make the news much.
Though Mayor Kevin Faulconer welcomed the team back to the bargaining table in his State of the City speech this week, I’m inclined to believe Michael Powell’s prediction in the New York Times:
The Spanos family will dicker a while longer with San Diego officials, trolling for a better deal. Then they will probably creep north, where Kroenke will dictate the terms of their partnership.
Good luck with that.
If there’s any measure of comfort to be had, I guess it’s that in 10, 15, 20 years or so, Los Angeles — the city that’s now the greener pasture three teams have been seeking — will start to look shabby and ungrateful:
If Inglewood doesn’t give the NFL what it wants in the future, there are plenty of alternatives within an hour’s drive of LAX, all of which have received at least a preliminary going-over by league officials — Carson, downtown Los Angeles, and the City of Industry all had projects that looked inviting enough. Ten or 20 years from now, at least some of them will still be alive, looming as a threat to Inglewood. With the NFL, the con game never ends.
What VOSD Learned This Week
Early in the week, Scott Lewis predicted a sure-fire move to L.A. for the Chargers. That’s not quite how things worked out – the team still might head north but it has a while to decide, and is being encouraged to work with San Diego officials. Again. But for a loss, Chargers owner Dean Spanos sure got a pretty good deal.
Here’s what else we know about what happens next with the Chargers. Not everything about the future of football in San Diego is certain, but we do know one thing: If the Chargers do leave, Qualcomm Stadium will continue to be a money-suck.
While other cities have made huge strides in eliminating veteran homelessness, San Diego has not. Lisa Halverstadt identified three big hurdles that have been keeping us from doing better.
In his State of the City address, Faulconer addressed two of those hurdles: leadership and the steep costs of housing.
The week in questionable deals:
Councilman David Alvarez thinks a lawyer’s work on the Convention Center expansion deal is compromised since he’s worked on both sides of the issue.
The City Council extended the deal that allows 11 different trash companies to criss-cross the city, though a city audit found that a new system would save customers money and protect city streets.
Poway’s superintendent is still making deals on his way out the door: He’s trying to negotiate a raise for certain district managers, even though his contract says he automatically gets those raises, too.
Don’t look now but Imperial Beach is experiencing quite a little development boom – with very little neighborhood opposition.
What I’m Reading
• California ships hundreds of foster children out of state, each one “a tacit acknowledgement that California — the nation’s biggest and, by some measures, richest state — somehow has no good answer for them.” (ProPublica)
• Of course Tinder took off after being shopped door to door on USC’s frat row. OF COURSE THAT HAPPENED. This profile of Tinder’s controversial founder and CEO has more good nuggets too. (California Sunday)
• As you know, our president addressed the state of our union this week. This article doesn’t talk about that, but it does reveal his thoughts on Dog Pants. (Politico)
Line of the Week
“I don’t know what could have saved limp, dispiriting yam dumplings, but it definitely wasn’t a lukewarm matsutake mushroom bouillon as murky and appealing as bong water.” – From a scathing New York Times review of Per Se, which, up until this week, was considered one of the best restaurants in America.