Oral History: San Diego Chargers Relocate to Los Angeles

On January 12, 2017, the San Diego Chargers announced they were relocating to Los Angeles for the 2017 National Football League season. The move, rumored for several seasons, still came as a bit of a shock for long-time Chargers fans.  Long Live Guy Fieri is lucky enough to have conducted face-to-face interviews with several key figures from the relocation process, and their stories are told below:

Tim Smith, a San Diego resident and Chargers fan since 1990, is seen here communicating with the ocean man, San Diego’s longest tenured head coach in franchise history (1996-2000).


The Beginnings

Dean Spanos (Chargers owner): My son, Otis, came up to me on a Monday afternoon sometime in July 2006 and said, “You are my father, and I am your son.” It brought me to tears and it was at that moment I realized “I need to get away from San Diego, where the ships are.”

Roger Goodell: When Dean mentioned moving from San Diego to Los Angeles I was a bit surprised, what with the Chargers having a history of strong attendance and fan support. He first brought up the idea at an owners meeting in 2006, but it wasn’t discussed much. One of the interns began shaking violently and screaming about an oracle from Dixon, California who lived in a cowboy boot. Naturally we all turned our attention to the haunting prophecies he foretold.

Marty Schottenheimer (Former Chargers head coach):  I hated living in San Diego, where the ships are. Each morning my wife and I would dress like Slavic tourists and hiss at the ships, but they would only get bigger and stronger. When Dean mentioned the idea of moving to Los Angeles, I was ecstatic. But then Dean told me he was giving my job to Norv the nice man and I became sad.

Dean Spanos: Marty Schottenheimer the former head coach of the San Diego Chargers is very old. In 2006 he was also very old. No one in Los Angeles is as old. So I gave his job to Norv the nice man who was not as old.

Norv Turner: Dean called me and said “Norv the nice man, Marty is old. We are maybe moving to Los Angeles soon and no one is as old there.” I was in shock. Not only was I getting away from the ships, who kidnapped my wife Sheila, but I was going to Los Angeles where there are no as old people.

Dean Spanos: When the 2007 season began, my son was locked in the trunk of a taxi by Gunther the goth. Gunther left me a stack of cryptic notes, in which he revealed where my son was being held. Every note was written in crayon and read “Don’t touch the furnace, that’s where the heat is” in Finnish. So, naturally, I focused all my efforts on finding my son and not relocating the team to Los Angeles.

Finding Otis

Norv Turner: It was halftime during our game against the Denver Broncos in 2011. Dean comes running into the locker room, rifle in hand, screaming that he found Otis alive. The team erupted in cheers. Philip Rivers, our quarterback who possesses the emotions of a bat in a trash bag, crossed his arms, began pouting and started spilling gallons of milk all over pro bowl guard Kris Dielman.

Dean Spanos: I returned with the news about Otis, and Philip is standing there pouting. I tell him to smile, as I have found my son. Philip says to me “I want a canoe when I retire,” and he starts pouring milk on Kris Dielman, our pro bowl guard. It was incredibly selfish. I called the Denver Broncos and told them I appreciated they flew all the way to San Diego, where the ships are, but that Philip was misbehaving and we’d have to finish the game another day.

Tim Tebow: I was teaching Matt Prater how to read when coach walks in and says the game has been postponed. We all had a feeling Philip Rivers, the emotional boy, was misbehaving. At least I did; He told me.

Matt Prater: *high-pitched shrieking*

Norv Turner: After I drove the Denver Broncos to the airport, Dean calls me and says we might be moving to Los Angeles again. I was so excited. I had read about Los Angeles in the magazine my father gave to me on my wedding day. He said, “Norv, this is the magazine. Inside is the knowledge of a thousand elves. Don’t tell your mother about the washing machine.”

Dean Spanos: A few days after the Broncos game, I began noticing there was something off with Otis. He would walk in circles in the kitchen and chant about the Korean Wind Gods. I sent him to an institution so I could focus on moving the San Diego football team to Los Angeles.

A Plan In Motion?

Roger Goodell: Dean forgot about Los Angeles for about three years. In 2014 he sent me an email expressing some confusion about the move:


Dean Spanos: Yes, I sent that email. And yes, I did forget for three years. But, c’mon, the fucking St. Louis guy? He’s not L.A. material at all.

St. Louis Guy: Is that what Dean said? Well tell him to make like a prospector and fuck off.

Roger Goodell: Dean and St. Louis Guy didn’t talk for two years. It wasn’t until Christmas 2016 that we were able to broker a peace agreement between the two.

Christmas 2016

Tim Tebow: I was tossing the old pigskin around the streets of New York when I bumped into Roger. He pulled me in tight and whispered into my ear “do you see these shoes? These are very, very nice shoes. They’re K-Swiss.” I knew right then the Chargers were going to Los Angeles; He told me.

Roger Goodell: I called Dean and said “listen, I know you and St. Louis guy aren’t friends, but Los Angeles is very large and a lot of the people living there have seen a football before. I think we can make a lot of money.” Dean started hyperventilating. I could hear shrieks and screams coming from his end of the line, with the horrifying roar of the attacking ships slowly drowning them out.

Dean Spanos: The ships were faster and stronger and more intelligent than we initially believed. Philip Rivers, the emotional boy, sat in his canoe and started throwing almonds at the large ships but it was all for not; the ships were simply too strong.

Gorzan, King of The Ships: The ships had always been loyal to the San Diego Chargers football team, but recently Mike McCoy, the disturbed man, had been sitting on the docks, attempting to engulf bags of potting soil in flames. Such a bizarre action greatly bothered us.

Dean Spanos: When I tossed Norv into a river and made the disturbed man our head coach, the ships were highly displeased. I tried to negotiate with the ships, but our negotiations went nowhere. I needed $250 million for a new stadium. The ships countered by offering the team personal protection from the sea ghouls. In this day and age, money talks, not promises to keep the demons of the deep away from the 30-yard-line. I will never not be grateful for all that the ships did for the San Diego Chargers football team, but right now my focus is on Los Angeles. I may even try and transition Otis back into society, as long as he refrains from telling our family and friends he’s infamous South Korean radio disc jockey DJ Fleeing Ford Bronco.


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