Spanos Goofs

By T.J. Simers

Just when you think there is nothing to write about except some golf spat between millionaires, the Spanos Goofs are back at it.

Alex is gone, and the world poorer for the comedy he provided, but Dean, the present-day owner of the Chargers, is getting blistered for his “misogynistic behavior.” By his own sister.

Dea Spanos contends in her lawsuit that her brothers, Dean and Michael, believe “men are in charge and women should shut up.”

There was a time in my life where the next sentence I wrote would have raised the hackles of so many, but I have a wife, two daughters and four granddaughters and they have straightened me out.

Now I would just love the opportunity to watch Billie Jean King read that in her morning newspaper, but then she probably no longer takes the Times. So, I would like to have seen her reaction reading what Dea had to say online.

She also suggests her brother has led the Chargers into financial ruin, which will probably result in the team being sold.

I began covering the Chargers and the Goofs’ clueless ownership in 1984 after Alex Spanos struck a deal to ruin the team. He initially grabbed a piece of the Chargers in 1981 from Baron Hilton between the eighth and ninth holes at the Bel-Air Country Club. If I was a Chargers’ fan, I might never stay in a Hilton.

Alex was the quintessential blowhard, the Stockton-based businessman always talking about “his fans” like he was more famous than Dan Fouts.

Every preseason we would meet, and he would ask my opinion how the Chargers would fare. I would say, “they’re gonna suck,” and he would start swearing and flapping his arms.

One year he pulled the Good n Plenty from a glass jar he kept on his desk and began throwing them at me. They hurt.

Eventually, when he failed as owner, he turned the team over to Dean and Dean continued to ruin their stay in San Diego.

The Spanos family never bonded with San Diego, taking advantage of a ticket guarantee ripping off taxpayers. The city agreed to buy all unsold tickets when the Chargers failed to draw 60,000 fans.

The city ended up paying the Spanos family $36 million in unsold tickets at a time when the Mission Bay Shrimp aka Doug Flutie was playing quarterback. Flutie makes great commercials, but apparently he wasn’t on Nugenix as of yet.

The Chargers were unwatchable much of the time, and yet the city of San Diego would have gone gaga over the team if they had been successful. But the Spanos clan always seemed to be chasing the buck, prompting the fan-base chatter to move elsewhere.

When they finally left, they chose to play the role of the Clippers to the Rams, Dean once again getting it all wrong.

Now I’ve known Dean since he was a kid, and while I have no idea if his sister has it right, it all sounds believable.

But I know this, four fighting kids is not how Alex and Faye Spanos probably wanted everything to play out. Daughter has sued her brothers, and how many times did I hear Alex Spanos talk about his wonderful family?

Alex liked to say, “the buck stops here,” before firing his head coach, but his children apparently took it as a mandate to make sure every last buck stopped with them.

Isn’t it the worst kind of slap in the face to a mom and dad when they have finished their tour of duty only to leave behind greedy, angry, squabbling kiddos?

The obvious answer is, “they are dead, so they’ll never know.”

But if so, why is legacy so important to people?

The Spanos squabblers are carrying on the Spanos name, and I can’t imagine anything meaning more. Wasn’t it the kids’ obligation to let their old man rest in peace?

I don’t remember Alex Spanos having too many redeeming qualities, but he deserved better from his children than making greed the family crest.

I take it the kids never read the old man’s book: “Sharing the Wealth.”


A shout out to Steve Newton, the first one to subscribe to

How he explains that to his friends, I don’t know.

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