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si.com ranks all 32 team owners

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Thumper, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

    Aug 24, 2005

    Here's how they rank the Chargers:

    24. Alex Spanos (Dean Spanos), Chargers

    Last year in this space I took some shots at the elder Spanos and was later informed by PR director Bill Johnston that Alex's son, Dean, was actually running the show. Well, I love Johnston -- and I hear Dean's a great guy, too -- but neither is going to like what I have to say here.

    The Chargers, even after their devastating playoff defeat to the Patriots, were set up for an extended run of excellence before Dean's lack of decisive leadership put all of that in peril. Simply put, the dysfunctional (that's Dean's word, not ours) relationship between general manager A.J. Smith and coach Marty Schottenheimer wasn't working, yet Spanos buried his head and pretended everything was hunky-dory. A call had to be made on Schottenheimer right after the season, and Spanos chose to keep him, knowing full well that coordinators Cam Cameron and Wade Phillips would be candidates to fill other openings. Or maybe Spanos didn't know this; he sure seemed blindsided when, lo and behold, both coordinators got snapped up as coaches. Then Spanos offed Schottenheimer, leaving the franchise without all three of its top coaches from '06. At that point he might've fired Smith, too; Smith is a shrewd talent evaluator but clearly failed as a general manager. Instead Spanos rewarded Smith by letting him pick Schottenheimer's successor: Norv Turner, he of the career 58-82-1 record as a head coach. Other than that --and the fact that the team's stadium situation is a disaster (while the Padres play downtown in recently opened Petco Park), and Alex's beloved Republican party is cannibalizing itself -- it was a great year for the Spanoses, rivaled only by that of the Sopranos.

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