<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Sports News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usMon, 16 Jan 2017 11:55:18 -0800Mon, 16 Jan 2017 11:55:18 -0800NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Cubs Arrive in DC for White House Visit]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 09:53:55 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/cubs+white+house.png

Coming from a Chicago White Sox fan, it may have seemed like President Barack Obama's comments were proof he has been converted to North Side fandom -- and the Cubs certainly thought so.

"Do know that among Sox fans, I am the Cubs' number one fan," Obama said as he honored the World Series Champions at the White House.

The visit marked the last event to be held at the White House during Obama's preidency, he said. 

"I will say to the Cubs it took you long enough," Obama said. "I've only got four days left."

Though he may pledge allegiance to the team's longtime rivals, even Obama had to admit he was swept away by the Cubs' 2016 season.

"Even I was not crazy enough to suggest that during these eight years we would see the Cubs win the World Series, but I did say that there has never been anything false about hope," Obama said. "Hope -- the audacity of hope. Yes we can."

In a speech that was riddled with funny anecdotes and sincere appreciation, Obama noted that this World Series win may have meant more to fans than ever before.

"The truth is there was a reason not just that people felt good about the Cubs winning, there was something about this particular Cubs team winning that people felt good about," he said before honoring each player for their achievements in the historic season that ended a 108-year drought. 

In describing what was "widely considered one of the greatest Game 7's of all time," Obama ran through a play-by-play of the gut-wrenching moments that had Cubs fans on the edge of their seats that fateful November night. 
"Suddenly everything has changed," Obama said. "No more black cats, billy goats, ghosts, flubbed grounders – the Chicago Cubs are the champs."

Even though he made sure to honor the World Series champs themselves, he also noted the baseball legends who have made history with the team over the last century. Some of those players were also in attendance Monday, including Billy Williams, Ryne Sandberg, Fergie Jenkins and Jose Cardenal. 
Monday's visit was slightly unusual, as the reigning World Series champions normally make the traditional White House visit during the following MLB season. The Cubs were hoping to get to Washington, D.C., before Obama left office. Though the president is a White Sox fan, he calls Chicago home and rooted for the North Siders since his team didn't make the playoffs.
"I was in my hometown of Chicago on Tuesday for my farewell address and I said sometimes it’s not enough just to change laws, you’ve got to change hearts and sports has a way of sometimes changing hearts in a way that politics or business doesn’t," Obama noted. 
During the event, Cubs president Theo Epstein first pardoned Obama "for all your indiscretions as a baseball fan" and welcomed him "with open arms today to the Cubs' family." The moment marked what he called a "terrific conversion," celebrated with a series of gifts from the champions to the president himself. 
Among the gifts were two jerseys with the no. 44, shared by first baseman Anthony Rizzo. One jersey read "Chicago Cubs," but the second just read "Chicago," in case the president wasn't yet comfortable with displaying full Cubs pride. 
In addition, the president was given a tile from Wrigley Field's historic center field scoreboard and a lifetime pass to Wrigley Field.  
"We also wanted you to know that as a new fan you have some catching up to do," Epstein said. 

The president invited the Cubs to the White House in a phone call to Joe Maddon following the team's victory, and with the club all assembled in Chicago for this weekend's Cubs Convention, arranging travel to Washington D.C. was a solution that worked out well for the team to see the president.

While the Cubs' visit to the White House comes just days before President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, the team will still have a connection to the new administration. Trump has nominated Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts as deputy commerce secretary. Ricketts joined his sister, co-owner Laura Ricketts, brother and co-owner Tom Ricketts, and the team at the presidential reception.

The Cubs are the second Chicago team to visit the Obama's White House. The president also hosted the Chicago Blackhawks after their three Stanley Cup championships since 2010. 

After the ceremony, the Cubs were expected to visit patients at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C., before returning to Chicago, according to MLB officials.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Weekly San Diego Sports Preview]]> Sun, 15 Jan 2017 16:54:14 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Gulls+Goal+Kossila.png

Here’s a look at what is going on this week in San Diego sports.

GULLS:  It’s a busy week for the Gulls. Monday they’re in Des Moines, Iowa to face the Wild before heading home Friday for Star Wars Night at the Valley View Casino Center against San Jose. Puck drops at 7 p.m. Sunday they’re in Ontario.

SOCKERS: Saturday the Sockers host the Sonora Soles at 7:05 p.m.

SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY AZTECS:

-MEN’S BASKETBALL: Tuesday at UNLV 7 p.m.

-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Wednesday vs UNLV 6:30 p.m. at Viejas Arena.

-WOMEN’S SWIMMING: Friday at San Diego 1 p.m.

-WOMEN’S TENNIS: Saturday vs. UC Riverside 9 a.m. and UC San Diego 4 p.m. at the Aztec Tennis Center.

-WOMEN’S WATER POLO: Saturday vs. Alumni 11 a.m. at the Aztec Aquaplex.

-WOMEN’S TRACK: Saturday at Cherry and Silver Collegiate Invite in New Mexico all day.

-MEN’S TENNIS: Sunday vs. Mississippi State 11 a.m. at the Aztec Tennis Center.

UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO TOREROS:

-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Thursday vs. Loyola Marymount 6 p.m. and Saturday at San Francisco 2 p.m.

-MEN’S BASKETBALL: Thursday at Loyola Marymount 7 p.m. and Saturday vs. San Francisco 6 p.m.

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN DIEGO TRITONS:

-BASEBALL: Tuesday vs. Hope International (exhibition) 6 p.m. and Saturday vs. Biola (exhibition) 2 p.m. both at UCSD.

-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Thursday vs. Cal State San Marcos 5:30 p.m.

-MEN’S BASKETBALL: Thursday vs. Cal State San Marcos 7:30 p.m.

-MEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Friday vs. UC Irvine 7 p.m. and Saturday at Concordia 7 p.m.

-SWIMMING: Saturday vs. California Baptist (Senior Day) 12 p.m.

-WOMEN’S WATER POLO: Saturday at Sonoma State 12 p.m. and Hawaii 5:10 p.m. and Sunday vs. Pacific 12 p.m. and UCLA 3 p.m. all at the Santa Barbara Invitational in Goleta.

-WOMEN’S TENNIS: Saturday at San Diego State 4 p.m.

-FENCING: Sunday at the San Diego Open 9 a.m. at Cathedral Catholic HS.

POINT LOMA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY SEA LIONS:

-MEN’S BASKETBALL: Monday at Azusa Pacific 7:30 p.m. and Saturday vs. Concordia 4 p.m.

-WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Monday at Azusa Pacific 5:30 p.m. and Saturday vs. Concordia 2 p.m.

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<![CDATA[San Diego Companies Refuse to Move Chargers to L.A.]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 03:46:00 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/176*120/Dean+Spanos+vs+Jacksonville.JPG

So the Chargers said they are going to move to Los Angeles. Now they actually have to move to Los Angeles.

Anyone who has ever moved before understands what an undertaking this is. You have to pack up the boxes, prepare the furniture, finally address all the junk that’s been accumulating in the garage … it’s not a small endeavor, and that’s just for a house.

The Chargers are moving offices and a practice facility. That means they have to pack up and transport all the tackling sleds, all the computers, all the files … basically 55 years-worth of stuff. For that they will have to hire a moving company.

Finding one, however, has proven to be a problem.

“We were just sitting there thinking about the physical move of the Chargers,” said Ryan Charles, head of sales and marketing for www.HireAHelper.com. “We were thinking we would not want to be a part of that, having been born and raised here and being a lifelong Chargers fan.”

Charles asked the companies within the Hire A Helper network if they would refuse to help the Chargers move and they all said yes. But the movement did not stop there.

“Other moving companies, our peers, might not want to, either,” said Charles, “and wouldn’t it be cool if we all banded together to say that we wouldn’t?”

So Charles started cold-calling his fellow moving companies to float the idea by them. The response was a bit surprising … in a good way.

“The feedback was immediately positive,” said Charles. “I got chuckles, people were laughing, there were guys saying ‘I wouldn’t move them for X amount of dollars.’”

That variable is likely in excess of $100,000, by the way. With all the offices and training equipment, plus the likelihood of having staff and players jump on board, this is a monster payday these companies are turning down to stick to their principles.

As of Sunday night 22 movers based in San Diego had vowed not to move the Chargers north and more are expected to sign on in the coming days. An email is being sent to as many movers as Charles can think of.

“It’s almost like the last line of defense. We were making this last statement of loyalty to the SAN DIEGO Chargers,” said Charles.

[[410783085,C]]

But it is not simply the San Diego moving companies that have pledged their resistence. Movers in the Los Angeles area are also joining the cause.

“Once we started hearing the sentiment from L.A., you know, the ‘We don’t want you,’ we thought maybe there are Los Angeles companies who wouldn’t want to move them in to their city. We reached out to them and we have five L.A. moving companies on board that have agreed [to not move the Chargers to Los Angeles].”

Not every moving company in San Diego will take part in this movement but enough will to let the Spanos family know just how disappointed Chargers fans are. Plus, this kind of camaraderie might be the proverbial silver lining.

“It’s an awesome statement of loyalty, that’s for sure," Charles added.

To see all the companies dedicated to not move the Chargers just visit www.wewontmoveyouchargers.com and see the list continue to grow.


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<![CDATA[Raiders Set to Submit Las Vegas Relocation Papers: Report]]> Sun, 15 Jan 2017 10:26:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/MarkDavis3.jpg

So long, Oakland.

The Oakland Raiders are expected to submit relocation papers to the league and begin the official exodus to Las Vegas, the NFL Network's Ian Rapport and sources familiar to the organization reported Saturday.

In order to make the relocation move official, the current East Bay franchise must receive 24 votes of approval from the league's 32 owners. Those votes could be made official at some point this spring.

Oakland city leaders in December voted unanimously to move forward with a financial and development plan to build a $1.3 billion football stadium at the Coliseum site in an attempt to keep the Raiders in the Bay Area, but it appears owner Mark Davis is remaining firm in his pursuit to uproot the Raiders and take off for "Sin City."

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval in October approved a bill to construct a $1.9 billion stadium in Las Vegas.

Nevada plans to raise $750 million from a hotel tax to fund the stadium with billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson contributing $650 million and the Raiders and NFL kicking in $500 million.

Fans of the Raiders — an up-and-coming squad that recently made the playoffs for the first time in 14 years — have been clamoring Davis and the Raiders all season to stay put in the East Bay. "Stay in Oakland" signs and "Las Vegas: If you Build It, We Won't Come" banners were just some of the endeavors put forth by the "Silver and Black" fan base. Those efforts appear to have fallen on deaf ears.

Although the relocation may become official in the near future, the Raiders will suit up and continue to play in Oakland for at least a few seasons while the Las Vegas stadium is built.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Logo Booed at Staples Center]]> Sat, 14 Jan 2017 17:03:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/226*120/Newest+LA+Chargers+Logo.JPG

This week Chargers owner Dean Spanos … A.K.A. the most hated man in San Diego … was asked by a few Los Angeles media outlets if he understood just how little L.A. sports fans wanted his football team to leave San Diego for their town.

He seemed pretty confident that his organization will be OK up there.

“I don’t think it’s going to happen overnight,” said Spanos of building his fan base in L.A. “It’s going to take a couple, three years to build our fan base. We know that. We’re not expecting anything for nothing. We have to fight for everything we’re gonna get here. We’re going to have to fight to earn the respect of our fans. I know that. We all know that and we’re up for the challenge.”

Once again Dean has shown his complete inability to read a room and has zero concept of how uphill his battle is going to be.

At Saturday's game between the Lakers and Clippers at Staples Center the new Chargers logo was shown on the big screen and it was booed heartily. Jeff Cumberland, the Bolts tight end, was shown, as well and looked obviously embarrassed.

Yes, both fans of the Lakers and Clippers … Los Angeles Sports Fans … booed the Bolts logo (it was the latest one, the one in gold and blue that says Los Angeles Chargers and not that wacky intertwined LA thing).

The ultimate irony here, of course, is the Clippers fans who booed because the Clippers also left San Diego for Los Angeles under the “leadership” of an owner who is regarded by many as one of the absolute worst in all of North American professional sports.

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<![CDATA[Minnesota Wild Apologize After 'Violent' Mascot Skit]]> Sat, 14 Jan 2017 13:18:09 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/nordy+birthday+mn+wild+skit.png

Hockey fans are used to seeing some pretty brutal fights on the ice, but it’s usually between the players – not the mascots.

Not the case at Thursday night’s game between the Minnesota Wild and the Montreal Canadiens. During intermission at Minnesota's Xcel Energy Center, the Wild invited several other NHL mascots to celebrate Nordy’s "birthday."

In attendance were the St. Louis Blues’ Louie, New Jersey’s NJ Devil and the Chicago Blackhawks’ Tommy Hawk – who apparently shoved a birthday cake into Nordy’s face.

Nordy then exacted his revenge when Tommy held up a piñata and a blindfolded Nordy "missed," smacking the Hawks mascot, who fell to the ground. 

At the urging of the announcer, he continued to strike Tommy a total of 10 times as he theatrically writhed on the ice.

"Nordy! You hit the piñata! Keep swinging! Keep swinging!" the announcer shouted. "You almost broke it open!"

NJ Devil stepped in to restrain Nordy, who took off his blindfold in time to see a presumably unconscious Tommy dragged off the ice.

"Tommy, that’s what happens when you shove a cake in somebody’s face. Get him to medics," the announcer added.

The reaction of the crowd seemed to be mixed, as was the response on social media after the team tweeted a video of the encounter.

"Good thing to teach kids. Violence to people you dislike is the right thing to do," one response reads, while another called it "obviously a joke and for fun."

"I love the Wild and all but... I'm not really into simulated beatings, man," one fan tweeted, while another wrote, "Oh please. It’s Hockey. It’s a violent sport. Maybe stay home. Ridiculous."

A reporter for the Chicago Tribune decried the "violent" skit, saying it went against the NHL’s attempts to "promote a family atmosphere."

"I was glad I wasn't in the stands with my 7-year-old son having to explain why his favorite mascot was just apparently beaten with a baseball bat," Chris Kuc wrote.

According to the Tribune, the Wild issued a statement Friday saying, "We apologize to anyone offended by the mascot skit Thursday night. It was certainly not our intention."



Photo Credit: twitter.com/NHL
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<![CDATA[Padres Working to Keep Fan Favorites]]> Sun, 15 Jan 2017 16:39:41 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/myers.PNG

Over the years Padres fans have grown accustomed to one of two things:

Either star players reach a certain point of their careers when they are going to earn a big payday and get traded away instead of being productive in San Diego (Exhibit A: Adrian Gonzalez) …

OR

Players who show some potential are given long-term deals far too soon and don’t live up to them (Exhibit B: Jedd Gyorko).

It looks like the Padres are getting one right with Wil Myers.

The 26-year-old All-Star 1st baseman is on the brink of signing a long-term contract extension to stay in San Diego (I guess we could say NOT relocate). The talks are reportedly in the 6-year, $80 million range, which is a good deal for both sides given the current state of baseball’s economic climate.

“The biggest thing for both ends is openness,” said Padres General Manager A.J. Preller on Friday night. “There’s a want for Wil to be here. There’s a want for him to be a guy that’s with the Padres through the heart of his career. Still nothing finalized but trying to work towards something here in the next week.”

Myers had the best offensive season for a right-handed hitting Padre in the Petco Park era, clubbing 28 home runs with 94 RBI, 28 doubles and stealing 28 bags. Myers was the cleanup hitter for the National League in the All-Star game and became a fan favorite.

Speaking of guys Padres fans love, Yangervis Solarte isn’t going anywhere.

The Padres signed the 29-year old infielder to a two-year deal with two club options. Last season Solarte hit .286 with 15 home runs, 71 RBI and 55 runs scored. In September he went on a career-best 14-game hit streak.

Solarte was also awarded the Tony Conigiliaro Award that goes to the Major Leaguer who overcomes adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage. In September the Venezuela native lost his wife Yuliette to cancer.

Solarte came to the Padres from the Yankees in a 2014 trade that sent Chase Headley to the Bronx.

On Friday the Padres also avoided salary arbitration with four players. Pitchers Carter Capps, Christian Friedrich, Brad Hand and Brandon Maurer all agreed to one-year contracts.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Philip Rivers 'A Little Numb' on San Diego Chargers Move]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 11:14:13 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Philip-Rivers-Chargers-Rally-0423.jpg

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers shared this thoughts on the team's move to Los Angeles on sports radio early Friday.

Fans heard from Rivers for the first time when he spoke on the "Hardwick and Richards" show.

On how he found out:

“Like most things these days, nowadays, they start to leak a little sooner than it’s actually official. I thought the report was probably accurate the night before we were all hearing and I spoke with John Spanos early yesterday morning right before the whole thing went down at 8 a.m. and there on. Found out that way. Gosh, guys, I think like I told you a few days before a little bit numb about it all even beforehand and now even more so. I think it hadn’t really settled in.”

On wearing "Los Angeles" on his jersey:

“It’s all real new. It’s almost a little bit… Yeah, I can’t really resonate with it – yet. Shoot, I want to be very uh, … the word’s not fair… I want to be clear that my love for San Diego the time here, the memories we’ve had, the games, practices – everything about it is special and awesome. That’ll never go away. But at the same time – and I hope that people will understand this: I have to get excited and fired up about going up to a new area and representing our team, our organization and going and trying to, shoot, win as many games as we can win and be the same guy that I’ve always been. That’s the only way I know. So, I’m kinda in the middle of that, leaving behind something that, shoot, you love and you’re thankful for and you want to make sure everybody knows that and then, at the same time, I don’t want people around here to go, ‘Golly he sure seems so fired up to go up there.’ I’m just fired up all the time for whatever the task is. That’s just the only way I know. I hope as the dust settles a little bit. I know there are a lot of emotions right now, I hope people can understand that.”

“I hope that when the dust does settle that people who have been fans here for a long time can still watch the game on Sunday and go ‘Hey, that’s our quarterback.’ You want them to still feel that. Because you always do it’s like your hometown.”

“I hope they can still claim that here not just for me but all the guys and players they pulled for and the team in general. And hopefully up there, shoot, it’s brand new. It doesn’t happen overnight. You got to go there and build relationships and meet people. Shoot, guys I’ll be talking to for radio and print and TV and all those things, it’s all brand new. Then we gotta go play and still fight like crazy to win football games with the same group of guys in a different area. It’s really weird for me. It’s uncharted territory.”

On whether the team will do well in LA:

“Well, we’re going to find out and as anyone would expect the quarterback of the company to say, heck yeah, I believe. I do, I really do. It’s uncharted for all of us. I don’t envy the position Dean and his family are in. I don’t know all the details. I try my hardest just to accept my role as a quarterback and what that entails of leading a group of guys and find a way to get first downs and being – not a spokesman – but being that figurehead of the team, all of those things that come along with being the role of the quarterback. But not knowing every ins and outs of what we should do here or should do there when it’s above me. So, I don’t envy the position they were in. I know it was hard and it was. When it’s new like this, like a playoff loss or a tough time on the field, time can make things better. I know it’s not going to ever just be great and San Diego is going to just say, ‘Oh, that’s not a big deal’ I know it’s a big deal. I know it’s a big deal to come to this. But, we’re going go and I’m going to do my part the only way I know how. The Philip Rivers that San Diego’s gotten over the last 13 years that’s what they’re going to get up there. And I’m going to embrace that. And go like crazy. I’m not going to be there 13 years but I’m going to give them all I got for the short time I got left.”

On playing at StubHub:

“The bottom line to me is this: I’m not naïve to where we’re going and the market that’s there and the sense of how many pro sports teams and all more than that goes on up there. It’s about you gotta win. You win, people will be excited to come. You don’t win, then ain’t nobody going to be there. That’s just the way it’s going to be.”

How his family will be affected:

"I've been here 13 years and obviously this community means a great deal to me and we love it here."

"We don't know yet. We're going to exhaust all the options. It's still all real new. We have a little bit of an idea of where that facility may be, an idea that if it does go that way it may be the StubHub for two years. We've had a little bit of an idea. But I think now you have the next four, five months to figure it all out." 

On that logo:

“I think in fairness and I don’t know, again, I don’t think it’s necessarily our logo for the future like that’s our new logo forever going forward. I don’t know exactly what it is. I did see the fun with it. It’s alright. You’d expect it. Regardless of what that logo was, they were going to find some way to shoot holes in it I’m sure at that point yesterday.

Ed. Note: A previous version of this article referred to Philip Rivers as the San Diego Chargers quarterback. We have corrected this and regret the error. Please give us time. We're still getting use to this, too.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Hire New Head Coach]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:57:53 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/164*120/Anthony+Lynn+2.JPG

The first thing the Los Angeles Chargers did … well, other than handle their relocation about as horribly as it could have been handled, further insulting the fan base it had already trampled on like a herd of stampeding elephants … was hire a new head coach.

On Friday the Chargers officially made Anthony Lynn their new boss. Lynn comes over from Buffalo where he started the year as running backs coach, progressed to calling the plays after Week 3, and finished as the interim head coach after Rex Ryan was let go.

“I’m having a hard time even putting into words how excited I am to be the new head coach for the Los Angeles Chargers,” said Lynn in a statement.

Lynn played collegiately at Texas Tech before spending six years in the NFL as a running back. He was a backup on the Broncos teams that won the Super Bowl in 1998 and 1999. His first full-time coaching position came in 2003 when the Jaguars hired him to be their running backs coach.

He held the same position with the Cowboys, Browns and Jets before following Ryan to Buffalo. He was also the assistant head coach in New York (city and upstate).

The Bolts had initially compiled a list of coaching candidates with a defensive or special teams background but decided on Lynn, making it three straight offensive-minded coaches. It is unknown yet how this will impact the rest of the current Chargers coaching staff.

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<![CDATA[Pics: Chargers Bolt Tattoo Options]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 15:19:54 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/charges-bolt-tattoo-options_3.jpg We're not saying you should get rid of that Chargers bolt tattoo, we're just showing you what one San Diego tattoo shop suggests.

Photo Credit: Artie Ojeda, NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Twitter Roasts Chargers on New Logo]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:19:56 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers-stars-mustangs.jpg The internet was not kind to the Chargers on Thursday, when the team unveiled its new logo. A number of pro sports teams poked fun at the similarity between the new logo and the LA Dodgers’ logo. Here’s a look at some of the hilarious tweets.

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Chargers Dallas Stars SMU Football]]>
<![CDATA[Spanos Talks About Why He Moved to L.A.]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 13:48:53 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/187*120/01-12-2017-SPANOS-dean-chargers.JPG

Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos has declined interviews with most San Diego media outlets. But he is really making the rounds up in Los Angeles.

Spanos fired off a prepared statement, via the team’s website, before boarding a plane to L.A. to start trying to earn favor in the team’s new market.

In an interview with KNBC’s Fred Roggin on AM 570, Spanos outlined his thought process and how he landed on finally moving the Chargers to L.A.

“It was an emotional decision,” said Spanos, “but we’ve been working for 15 years to try and get something done in San Diego. This last year we had a big initiative and we were unsuccessful. We only got 43% of the vote. At the end of the day it was the right decision to make.”

The Chargers can claim they’ve worked for 15 years to try and get something done but the reality is they only actually put together a stadium proposal for the first time in 2015 (the unsuccessful Measure C that received that 43% vote).

As for the fan base they are leaving behind? The one that supported it for 55 years?

“We’re looking forward,” said Spanos. “We’re happy to be here. We’re excited to be here. My wife’s from here. My sons went to school here. We’ve been a part of L.A. in a small way for the last 40 years.”

When asked if the lack of stadium progress in San Diego led him to the point that moving to a facility in Los Angeles was the only remedy and that’s why he had to make the decision Spanos again went to the talking points.

“I didn’t have to do anything. I thought it was the right decision for a lot of different reasons. It was difficult but at the end of the day you’ve got to look forward.”

Spanos also talked about the new stadium that Stan Kroenke is building in Inglewood … the one where the Chargers will be renters … and said it is a great economic opportunity for them. He also acknowledged the team has an “uphill battle” when it comes to building a fan base in Los Angeles.

“I’m not expecting anything Day 1. I think this is going to take two or three years to really build up the respect of the fans. It’s a work in progress but come the opening of the stadium in 2019 we’ll be ready.”

They are off to a rocky start. The team’s new Los Angeles Chargers logo has been met with mostly negative reaction.

It was brought up to Spanos, who tried to be neutral.

"Yeah, I think I heard something about that. I don't know if this is going to be permanent or if it's going to be the introductory logo into the marketplace. My son is handling all that so I'd have to defer to him on all that."

Oh, and if you think they are going to rebrand and start fresh in their new home, you would be incorrect.

“We are heading in the direction definitively to be the Los Angeles Chargers.”

So he is taking the name from the city, too. Not the best of days for San Diego football fans.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV
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<![CDATA[Former Chargers Player, NBC 7 Sports Director Jim Laslavic Shares Thoughts on Team's Move]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 18:57:53 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/LazReactionExtendedWeb_1200x675_853874243764.jpg NBC 7 Sports Anchors Jim Laslavic and MJ Acosta discuss the Chargers move to Los Angeles and what could be on the horizon for San Diego sports fans. ]]> <![CDATA[Buh-Bye, Bolts]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 11:47:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bye-Chargers-23.jpg On Jan.12, 2017, the San Diego Chargers announced that they're officially moving to Los Angeles. Here's a look at how the City of San Diego reacted to the big Bolts news.

Photo Credit: Artie Ojeda/NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers' Move to Los Angeles: What's Next?]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 08:58:33 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/163*120/GettyImages-630782446.jpg

After the Chargers announced plans to relocate the team to Los Angeles, the team launched its new website detailing what's in store for the Los Angeles Chargers and a new campaign to "Fight for LA." If you're a Chargers fan, here's what you need to know about the team's plans moving forward.

"Fight for LA"

The Chargers played their first season in Los Angeles in 1960, but called San Diego home for 56 years. Now, with plans to return to the City of Angels, Owner and Chairman of the Chargers Dean Spanos acknowledged in a statement that the "organization has a tremendous amount of work to do."

"We must get back to winning. And we must make a meaningful contribution, not just on the field, but off the field as a leader and champion for the community," Spanos said in the statement. "The Chargers are determined to fight for LA and we are excited to get started."

Shortly after plans to move were confirmed Thursday morning with a letter from Spanos, the team launched a new website emphasizing a team campaign to "Fight for LA," which the team hopes will demonstrate the Chargers' and the Spanos family's commitment to "earn the respect and loyalty of Los Angeles football fans," read a Chargers statement.

"Our ultimate goal is to bring L.A. a Super Bowl championship," said John Spanos, president of football operations for the team, in a statement. "When we say we will fight for L.A., this is the essence of our pledge."

The team went five and 11 last season in the AFC West.

Logo

Shortly after the announcement, the Chargers changed the logo on its social media accounts.

The letters "LA" are shown in white on a navy background, and the end of the "L" turns into the Chargers' iconic lightning bolt.

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In a radio interview Thursday, Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos was asked about the logo similarity. He said: "I don't know if this is going to be permanent or if it's going to be the introductory logo into the marketplace. My son is handling all that so I'd have to defer to him."

NBC4 affiliate NBC San Diego reached out to Bill Johnston, Director of Public Relations with the Chargers. He responded with the following statement:

"We are not changing our official marks/logos. Nothing about our uniforms, colors, helmets, etc. is changing. That image is strictly for marketing use."

The Chargers' New Home

The team will play at the StubHub Center in Carson until a new stadium, which will serve as the home for the Los Angeles Rams and the Chargers, is built at Hollywood Park in Inglewood.

StubHub Center is located on the California State University Dominguez Hills campus in Carson. "Capacity for Chargers games at StubHub Center will be 30,000 seats, with approximately 3,000 premium and field seats, 46 suites, 16 cabanas, and 10,000 on-site parking spaces," according to the Chargers.

The team's future home is being constructed on the former site of the Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood.

The stadium, with an estimated capacity of about 80,000, is expected to include 275 luxury suites, more than 16,000 premium seats and have nearly 3 million square feet of usable space. The overall project has a price tag estimated at about $2.6 billion.

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Season Tickets

The team's website gave fans the option to place a refundable $100 deposit to "secure an opportunity" to purchase season tickets, the website reads.

"The fully-refundable $100 deposit allows fans to reserve up to four seats at StubHub Center, ensures priority status for 2017 Chargers season tickets, and grants priority status for seats at the new Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, the future home of the Chargers," read a statement from the team Thursday.

The website noted a spot on the waitlist does not ensure the person placing the deposit will receive season tickets, because tickets will be sold to fans depending on when they joined the waitlist.

"Current Chargers Season Ticket Members will maintain their priority status and are not required to make a deposit," a statement from the team read.

More information about placing a deposit was listed on the Los Angeles Chargers website.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[New Chargers Logo Draws Comparisons to Dodgers' Logo]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 16:05:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/pasted_image_at_2017_01_12_12_30_pm_360.png

When the Chargers organization announced the move to Los Angeles Thursday, they changed their logo on social media.

The letters "LA" in white are connected on a blue background with a lightning bolt shooting to the right of the logo.

The Dodgers logo has always connected the "L" with the "A" on a blue  background.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team quickly jumped on social media to draw its own comparison. The tweet has gone viral.

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We also did a Twitter poll on what folks thought about the new logo. Of the 445 accounts that voted, 52 percent did not like the logo. Another 45 percent said they didn't care.

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In a radio interview Thursday, Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos was asked about the logo similarity. He said: "I don't know if this is going to be permanent or if it's going to be the introductory logo into the marketplace. My son is handling all that so I'd have to defer to him."

NBC 7 reached out to Bill Johnston, Director of Public Relations with the Chargers. He sent us the following statement:
"We are not changing our official marks/logos. Nothing about our uniforms, colors, helmets, etc. is changing. That image is strictly for marketing use."


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<![CDATA["Disappointed in Dean" says Former Charger Player]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 14:33:38 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Todd_Diggs_Chargers_to_LA_1200x675_853665347652.jpg After 56 years in San Diego, the San Diego Chargers are moving to Los Angeles. Chargers Team President Dean Spanos officially announced the move this morning with a letter. Former Chargers Linebacker Na'il Diggs talked with NBC 7's Todd Strain about the move and how it went down.]]> <![CDATA[Dean Spanos Explains Decision to Move Chargers to LA]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 12:56:41 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/183*120/Dean+Spanos+In+A+Hat.JPG

Hours after announcing his football team would leave the city its called home for decades, Chargers owner Dean Spanos explained his decision in an interview Thursday afternoon with AM 570 Sports Radio in Los Angeles.

On the decision:

“I didn’t have to do anything but I thought it was the right decision for a lot of different reasons. Again, like I said it was an emotional decision, it was difficult but at the end of the day you gotta look forward, we have to have a a place to play. I think this stadium is going to be the premiere stadium in the NFL and it’s a great opportunity for us for the next 25, 30 years.”

On sharing the stadium:

“Nothing’s going to be handed to us. This is an uphill battle. We’re going to have to fight our way into Los Angeles. We’re going to have to earn the respect of the season ticket holders and the fans. We’re going to have to win on the field.’ We’re going to have to ingratiate ourselves into the community, be a part of the community.”

On other NFL owner reaction:

“My closest friends in the league called me and said they would support whatever I decision I made.”

On the LA fan base:

“I’m not expecting anything Day 1. I think this is going to take two or three years to really build up the respect of the fans, the season ticket holders and the people of Los Angeles. It’s a work in progress. Come the opening of the stadium 2019, we’re going to be ready. That’s our goal.”

On the San Diego stadium ballot measures:

“I really felt we had a chance to win that vote. It was an uphill battle. We needed 2/3 of the voters. At one particular time during the initiative process there was a court ruling that made it 50 [percent] plus one. Then there was some subsequent litigation or rulings and stuff and it changed back to two-thirds. You never know what to expect when you go to a public vote. We knew it was going to be difficult but we only received 43 percent of the vote so I think that says a lot in itself right there.”

On meeting three years ago with Stan Kroenke regarding Inglewood:

“That’s a long time ago. I don’t know if I remember [laughter] I don’t remember. I plead the 5th on that one.”

“We’re friends. I have a great relationship with him. I never had a bad relationship that got a little blown out by the press a little bit. We talk all the time. I see him at the NFL meetings. I’ve had lunch and dinner with him in the last three or four months. I have a great relationship with him. He’s an easy fellow to get along with.

On when he decided:

"I didn't just wake up one more and say we're going/we're not going. A lot of work and thought that went into this - 15 years worth, a failed initiative. My sisters, my brother and I are very, very close and my two sons, obviously. We met as a family. We talked about it a lot. Ultimately, it was my decision. They were 100 percent supportive of my decision. It was a collective effort to a certain degree. I don't want to do anything they didn't want to do. So it was maybe within the last couple weeks or so I was leaning toward that."

On the team's new logo and its similarity to the Dodgers logo:

"Yeah, I think I heard something about that. I don't know if this is going to be permanent or if it's going to be the introductory logo into the marketplace. My son is handling all that so I'd have to defer to him on all that."

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<![CDATA[Chargers Announce Refundable Deposits on L.A. Season Tickets]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:48:47 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers-fan-sad-GettyImages-630777952.jpg

Chargers fans were hit with another bolt.

Following the official announcement by the Chargers making the move to Los Angeles, the team also announced season tickets for the 2017 season.

A video posted on the now Los Angeles Chargers Facebook page states:

"Place your refundable $100 depsoit today and get closer to the action than ever before.”

The team will be playing at StubHub Center in Carson, which has the capacity to hold up to 30,000 fans. According to the Chargers website, current season ticket holders will not have to make a deposit.

An email was also sent out to Chargers season ticket holders.

NBC 7 received an email from one Chargers fan that he sent to the team on Thursday in response to being asked to purchase season tickets to StubHub.

His response in part read:

"To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, I'm not leaving the Chargers. The Chargers have left me. I've put up with losing teams year after year. I've put up with suffering through crap coaches like Mike McCoy and Mike Riley and the firings of a 14-2 coach and a Super Bowl coach. I've put up with Ryan Leaf and seeing management jettison talent like Rodney Harrison and Junior Seau and Eric Weddle for no logical reason. I've put up with blown playoff games and constant heartbreak. And yet through all that I've stayed a fan of the San Diego Chargers because they are the team of my town- an iconic part of my identity as a San Diegan. That no longer exists and not even I will put up with this."



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Chargers Will Owe the City of San Diego Millions of Dollars]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 15:21:46 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/spanos-nov13-2016-ap.jpg

The Chargers have a contract with the City of San Diego that runs through the 2020 season.

They have a four-month window that begins Feb. 1 and ends May 1 to opt out of the team’s lease at Qualcomm Stadium. If they end the lease early, they will pay the City $12 million for the buyout, freeing the Chargers to play in Los Angeles next season.

That doesn't pay off the remaining bond debt that financed a stadium expansion.

On notice of termination, the team will also have to vacate the Murphy Canyon Practice facility.

The Chargers plan to conduct offseason training and minicamp at Chargers Park.

A spokesperson for the City told NBC 7 Thursday, the team would have to vacate by July 31, 2017.



Photo Credit: CSN Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Spanos is "Tone-Deaf" says Former Charger Player]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:19:58 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Todd_Ohrnberger_Reacts_to_Chargers_move_1200x675_853500483510.jpg After 56 years in San Diego, The San Diego Chargers are moving to Los Angeles. Chargers Team President Dean Spanos officially announced the move in a letter. Former Chargers Offensive Lineman Rich Ohrnberger talked with NBC 7's Todd Strain about the Chargers move and how it went down.]]> <![CDATA[How Chargers Move May Impact Community]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:18:54 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers+blood+drive.PNG Last year, NBC 7's Todd Strain compiled this report on how a move by the Chargers would impact the San Diego community. Today, we revisit the team's ties to many local organizations.]]> <![CDATA[Chargers' Facebook Page Bleeding Likes by the Thousands]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:31:43 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chargers+51.JPG

Dean Spanos, this looks personal.

Within hours of the team announcing it was moving to LA, the Chargers’ Facebook page was bleeding fans by the thousands by the minute.

We checked the team’s newly revamped Facebook page at about 9:30 a.m. and saw that it had just shy of 1, 671,000 likes.

We refreshed the page a few minutes later, and the team fan page had lost about 1,000 fans.

We continued to refresh in 15-minute intervals, and the Bolts’ page continued to shed likes by the thousands.

Here’s a look at the bleeding:

A few minutes later...

More time (but not much) has passed...

About 15 minutes later, a couple thousand more unliked the page...

What do you think? Do you see a way the Chargers can rebuild or grow its fan base in LA? Leave a note in the comments below.



Photo Credit: Chargers/Facebook
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<![CDATA[What Chargers' Dean Spanos Expects in LA]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 13:44:26 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/187*120/01-12-2017-SPANOS-dean-chargers.JPG Chargers CEO and president Dean Spanos talks about his expectations of the team's move to Los Angeles. Video clip is from interview with NBC4's Fred Roggin Thursday Jan. 12, 2017.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers 'Just Lost San Diego': Mayor]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 12:06:48 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bye-Chargers-0.jpg

It’s official. After 50 years, the Chargers organization is relocating to Los Angeles. Now what?

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, calling the move a "bad decision", said team owners would soon regret it.

“San Diego didn’t lose the Chargers,” Faulconer said. “The Chargers just lost San Diego.”

Chargers owner Dean Spanos announced his decision to leave San Diego through a letter posted to the team website and social media just after 8 a.m.

"After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, beginning with the 2017 NFL season," Spanos said.

Faulconer told reporters he learned the news from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Wednesday night but didn't hear from Spanos until after the team announced the move online. 

Goodell had been supportive of efforts to solve the stadium stalemate in San Diego, the second largest city in the state of California and home to a loyal football fan base.

The commissioner said Spanos and the Chargers had "worked tirelessly" to find a solution with city officials.

However, Faulconer and other leaders from the city and county said the team was not willing to work with the city.

“At the end of the day, the Chargers wanted a lot more taxpayer money than we could ever agree to,” he said.

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"The ownership of this team’s handshake and their word has meant nothing through this entire process,” City Councilmember Scott Sherman said. “We diligently put effort after effort through this entire process only to be told that’s not going to work, ‘It’s our way or the highway.’”

County Supervisor Ron Roberts used words like “spiteful, “one-sided” and “strong arm” to describe the negotiations.

“We have a lot of great memories but when it comes to the public treasury there are limits to what you’re willing to do,” Roberts said. “We must and we will move on without the Chargers.”

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City Councilmember Chris Ward issued a statement in writing and echoed those of his colleagues.

"It is a sad day for fans and unfortunate that the Chargers commitment to our city was ultimately contingent on receiving hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, but now we can finally move forward as a community," Ward said. "We face real challenges with housing affordability, strained neighborhood services, and a growing homeless crisis and I remain committed and focused on addressing these issues for all San Diegans."

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Photo Credit: Artie Ojeda]]>
<![CDATA[What Happens Now, Post-Chargers?]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 18:45:07 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers-fan-sad-GettyImages-630777952.jpg

NBC 7 Sportwrap’s Derek Togerson is at Chargers Park covering the team's major announcement: the Bolts are moving from San Diego to Los Angeles.

Below, a collection of thoughts from our NBC 7 sports guru about what comes next after this phase of the lengthy Chargers saga.

6:41 p.m.: One more for tonight. Chargers fans, it has been a really crummy 24 hours. You were betrayed, adandoned and lied to by this ownership group. You have every right to feel however you want about this. We all deal with stress and frustration differently. I didn't grow up here but I consider this my adopted home town. My wife is from here. My kids are growing up here. This is the greatest city in America and we get to wake up every day in paradise. If Dean Spanos is too stupid to realize how good he had it here that is on him. It is not a reflection of you fans or the people of our town. Dean will go to L.A. and he will fail because that's what he does. We'll keep covering the team as it makes the transition to Los Angeles. We will still do Football Night in San Diego. I have been covering the Chargers for 12 years now. I have gotten to know a lot of you. We don't always agree but I want you all to know that you ... Chargers Nation ... have earned my respect and gratitude and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

6:10 p.m.: I had a thought. On January 2, the day after the regular season ended, I asked quarterback Philip Rivers about the possibility of him not going to Los Angeles if the team did, in fact, move. He signed a large contract extension before the 2015 season, though, knowing the prospect of a move was very real. "I'm very thankful to have the opportunity to sign that extension," said Rivers. "I was signing up to be a part of this organization wherever we were location-wise." But what if that has changed? What if Rivers and his family decide they are not willing to move to L.A. and instead ... Philip retires? If he sticks to his guns and walks away it would be one of the most amazing things ever and that man, as a friend of mine said, would be a hero in San Diego. An absolute hero. Oh, and it means the Chargers would go to their new market without their best player, having to break in a new (and likely very young) QB, and suddenly looking at what would likely be a record even worse than 5-11.

4:15 p.m.: A sign saying "Los Angeles Chargers" has been posted outside the StubHub Center in Carson, the place the Chargers will play their "home games" for the next two seasons. Ugh.

3:55 p.m.: Dean Spanos actually said he has been the underdog before. I vomited. This is a man who was born in to a life of privilege and has never wanted for anything. All he has done in his professional life is run a football team in to the ground in San Diego and gotten kicked out of well-known golf clubs for cheating. He really has the gall to say he thinks he has been an underdog? Somebody introduce this guy to reality.

2:13 p.m.: The Gulls made a statement about the Chargers leaving: "We join the San Diego community in sadness today as we learn of the departure of the Chargers. Since moving to San Diego 50-plus years ago, the Chargers have been an incredible asset to San Diego and built a strong foundation to help critical causes important to our region through sports and community involvement. San Diego will remain a strong and passionate community and we are thrilled to continue our dedication to represent the loyal and devoted fans of this city." I will be watching a lot more hockey now.

2:05 p.m.: According to www.grief.com the five stages of grief and loss are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. I think I am just repeating Anger four times before landing on Acceptance.

1:50 p.m.: On a whim I left a message with Major League Soccer to see if the Chargers leaving has any impact on MLS expanding to San Diego. I'll let you know what they say when they call back.

12:37 p.m.: Spanos talked with Fred Roggin on AM 570 in L.A. Among the more interesting quotes was this bit about whether or not the team will rebrand in Los Angeles: "We are heading in the direction definitevely of being the Los Angeles Chargers." Yet another indicator of the ineptitude with which this organization is run. Dean also talked about how long he thought about the fan base in San Diego before deciding to move: "It was an emotional decision. We're looking forward. We're happy to be here. We're excited to be here. My wife is from here. My sons went to school here. We've been a part of L.A. in some small way for the last 40 years." To that I would respond the Chargers have been a BIG part of the San Diego community for the last 55 years.

12:00 p.m.: Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos is going on the radio in Los Angeles as he makes the rounds with L.A. media but has not made so much as an appearance in San Diego. Another way he has already abandoned his home market. It's infuriating.

11:31 a.m.: The consensus among fans is the wording of the statement by Dean Spanos is outright insulting. Saying he is turning the page on San Diego and not even doing the breakup in person, putting a face on it, it infuriating a lot of people.

10:29 a.m.: I spoke with John Kratzer, the C.E.O. of JMI Realty, to get a read on what the Chargers move might mean to the Mission Valley stadium site. He called this a "seminal moment" in San Diego. The football team leaving could very well open up several opportunities for our town. You have likely heard about the desire of John Moores to expand San Diego State's campus and build a new stadium for the Aztecs football program and Major League Soccer. Kratzer says the parcel of land and its transportation infrastructure could host a facility where SDSU, UC San Diego and perhaps the University of San Diego combine resources to form a world-class research center. The number of jobs that would create would dwarf the number of jobs the Chargers provide. So while it stings now, there could be a silver lining here.

10:10 a.m.: The Chargers team store at Qualcomm Stadium has been shut down for the day due to what I was told were "security concerns." Seeing as how people are burning things at the practice facility now I can see why they would do that.

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9:43 a.m.: We have our first flames of the day. An angry Chargers fan just lit a flag on fire at Chargers Park. Sweet.

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9:06 a.m.: Talked to several fans and left guard Orlando Franklin. The fan reaction has been mostly resignation. They don't understand why this is happening. They say they will love there team but not support it in LA. Franklin says he is sad for the fan base. He bought a house here last year after signing as a free agent. But he also says he is open to new beginnings. 

9:05 a.m.: The San Diego Padres have released a statement about the Bolts' big news: "We are deeply disappointed by the news that the Chargers are leaving San Diego. The Chargers are a community treasure, and we have always believed that San Diego is better off with the team here. That said, we know San Diego will continue to grow and become an even more vibrant community."

8:55 a.m.: I can't believe I'm not going to be able to say "San Diego Chargers" anymore. Emotions are running high at Chargers Park. I would describe the mood here at this very second as "melancholy."

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8:42 a.m.: The fans' jerseys are flying at Chargers Park:

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8:18 a.m.: It's a dark day for the Rebellion: [[410528905,C]]

8:10 a.m.: It's official. After more than 55 years in San Diego, the Chargers are officially moving to Los Angeles.

7:45 a.m.: I’m heading to Chargers Park. Wish me luck.

7:30 a.m.: I’ve reached out to the San Diego Padres this morning to get their thoughts on the possibility of their team now being the only major sports league team in town. Do they have anything planned to fill the void for San Diego sports fans? The Padres tell me they will release a statement shortly.

7 a.m.: If the Chargers leave, what does this mean for the Mission Valley stadium site? Can we put a new stadium there, still, for San Diego State University or Major League Soccer? What does this mean for professional sports in San Diego?

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Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA['Burning Memorabilia': Bolts Fans React ]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 23:06:08 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chargersjersey.gif

Social media has been a really visceral, emotional place since Wednesday night, when ESPN reported that the Chargers were planning a move to LA.

A pile of NFL jerseys, hats and scarves sits in front of the team's headquarters in Murphy Canyon. Fans have been adding to the pile since the team confirmed early Thursday that they were leaving their home of 56 years to move to Los Angeles.

“I’m broken hearted,” said Steven Johnson. He had just walked by a number of camera crews to throw an armful of team jerseys onto the growing pile.

“This team is part of my family,” he said fighting back tears. “Been part of my family for 50 years.”

“Go to LA. Have a good time. Take your family with you. Get out of my city,” he said to the building.

A number of Bolts fans were taking to Twitter and Facebook to share their heartbreak, some noting they wanted to burn their team memorabilia.

Some pondered how well the team would do in LA, a market that already has the struggling Rams. Others questioned whether fans would follow the team north.

“I’m heartbroken; sad. It’s like a family member leaving the house, moving out,” one Chargers fan told NBC 7. “It’ll probably sink in more later in the day.”

“I can’t understand why you want to leave San Diego,” said Chargers fan Elizabeth Orozco. “You’ve disappointed the fans; the little fans – the little fans that are newborns, growing up to be Chargers fans. Now they’re not going to get the chance to go to their first Chargers game. San Diegans are not going to drive up to L.A.”

"Emotionally, it's frustrating," another Chargers fan told NBC 7, referring to the team's move to Los Angeles. "Ownership here clearly doesn't care about our fanbase'; [it's] clearly not a factor at all."

At Chargers park late Wednesday night, a fan was spotted throwing eggs at the main building front door.

The next morning, another fan brought candles to prepare a vigil, though a security officer quickly shooed the person away.

Another fan drove to the park with a "Spanos Sucks" bumper sticker on the car.

Some fans told NBC 7, they would support the team regardless of the move but were upset with Spanos.

"I love my Chargers. This is all family. The City of San Diego, how could you just take the Chargers," said Joanne Provencio.

She had been part of the the Save our Bolts movement to keep the team in San Diego.

"There are so many things we can use a stadium for, not just football," said Maria Santyo, who voted yes on the Downtown Stadium. 

One fan told us he became a fan of the team when they beat won the 1994 Superbowl.  Tyler Goetz said he was at Qualcomm Stadium when the team was welcomed back.

"What hurts the most is to see how a professional organization like Chargers can treat a city," he added.

Here's a snapshot of some of the reaction on Twitter and Facebook.

If you're on a mobile device, you can check out the fan reaction here.


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<![CDATA[LA to Chargers: 'We. Don't. Want. You.']]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 06:40:34 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/01-29-2016-chargers-helmet-generic-nfl-1.jpg

The Chargers may be leaving us but if you believe what you read, Los Angeles doesn't appear too willing to welcome the team with open arms.

Multiple media reports from ESPN to NFL.com reported Thursday that Chargers owner Dean Spanos told the NFL commission and several owners that he'll be moving the team to LA. That was before confirmation came in the form of a letter from Spanos.

This morning, one the home page of LATimes.com, there's a clear message: Thanks, but no thanks.

"Chargers shouldn’t look for a welcome wagon in L.A.," Bill Plaschke said in his column, adding that he has yet to meet a Chargers fan in Los Angeles. 

He goes on to write that the Spanos family — worth billions — "could have made it work there if they weren’t insistent on using public money that the people of San Diego smartly refused to give them."

A team employee told The Associated Press that the Chargers called a staff meeting Thursday.

NBC 7 has crews at Chargers Park and will provide full coverage throughout the day Thursday. Download the free NBC 7 mobile app for updates.

The deadline for the Chargers to exercise their relocation option was extended two days to Jan. 17 by the NFL. That decision was made because the 15th falls on a Sunday and Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday.

The league's stadium and finance committees met for about 3 1/2 hours Wednesday to discuss relocation of the Chargers and Raiders. If the Chargers actually decided to stay put, the Raiders could have invaded the L.A. market unless owner Mark Davis were to ship the team to Las Vegas, as he has previously indicated.



Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Confirm Move to Los Angeles]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:40:08 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chargers-Fan-Sad-GettyImages-630777752.jpg

Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos announced the NFL team’s move to Los Angeles on Thursday, a change that had been discussed for months and dreaded by many in San Diego.

"After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, beginning with the 2017 NFL season," the letter posted to Chargers.com reads.

The move comes after years of failed negotiations between the city of San Diego and the owners of the NFL franchise.

The letter was posted on Twitter by the Chargers main account, which has since been renamed "Los Angeles Chargers."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement more than an hour later describing how the team worked tirelessly to find a way to stay in San Diego.

"As difficult as the news is for Charger fans, I know Dean Spanos and his family did everything they could to try to find a viable solution in San Diego," Goodell said.

The Chargers have been in San Diego for 56 years, since moving from Los Angeles in 1961, and fans began expressing their anger over losing their team.

Here is the entire memo:

After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, beginning with the 2017 NFL season.

San Diego has been our home for 56 years. It will always be part of our identity, and my family and I have nothing but gratitude and appreciation for the support and passion our fans have shared with us over the years.

But today, we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers.

LA is a remarkable place, and while we played our first season there in 1960 and have had fans there ever since, our entire organization knows that we have a tremendous amount of work to do. We must earn the respect and support of LA football fans. We must get back to winning. And, we must make a meaningful contribution, not just on the field, but off the field as a leader and champion for the community.

The Chargers are determined to fight for LA and we are excited to get started.

NBC Sports reported Spanos informed Goodell and several owners of his decision after a meeting of the league's stadium and finance committees had ended Wednesday.

Bitter and disappointed fans gathered outside the team's headquarters in Murphy Canyon. One egged the front door late Wednesday as reports of the move surfaced. By Thursday, several fans left their team jerseys on the ground in front of the building. One man said, "I'm done" as he walked away.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other local officials expressed frustration over the Chargers' decision.

"The Chargers were ultimately never willing to work with us," Faulconer said adding that the team wanted more taxpayer money than officials could spend.

He was informed of the team's decision Wednesday night by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The mayor did not receive a call from Spanos until after the announcement was made public.

County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who was moved to tears at one point, admitted there may have been some missteps by officials in the past but that they always tried in good faith to keep the team in town.

Also, the City of San Diego would be owed a $12 million termination fee.

The Chargers can provide termination notice anytime between February 1 and May 1 of each year and provide the following termination amount each year:

2017: $12,575,000

2018: $9,760,000

2019: $6,740,000

2020: $3,390,000

That doesn't pay off the remaining bond debt that financed the expansion, according to the NBC 7 Investigates team.

The Chargers' possible relocation has been a hot-button issue for years.

At the center of the problem is the Chargers dilapidated home stadium. Since 1967, the Chargers have played at Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley. Multiple efforts between the Chargers, NFL, city and county officials have failed to provide a stadium solution, either a new stadium or a remodeled Qualcomm Stadium.

Chargers fans expressed their anger even before the move was official. Police had to surround the administrative offices at Chargers Park Wednesday night after one heated fan egged the front of the building.

Dan Wellington filmed himself on social media hurling about a half-dozen eggs at the team’s headquarters.

“Why go? This is such a bad deal," he said. "You're going to have to spend so much to move and you’re not willing to put it here. As a lifelong Chargers fan it’s a total kick in the stomach.”

Another fan also showed up at Chargers Park Wednesday night, saying he was fed up and frustrated.

“I hate you guys, I can't wait to burn everything I own of you guys from shoes, to canopies, to jerseys, to sweaters, to junior Chargers Girl uniforms," Frank Sesma said. "I don’t make that much money and I've dedicated a lot of money and soul to these guys.”

Spanos made no secret he preferred a downtown stadium site and asked San Diegans to keep an open mind regarding a proposed ballot measure.

In November, San Diego voters rejected the latest stadium proposal, a ballot measure that would have raised hotel occupancy taxes to help pay for a proposed $1.8 billion downtown stadium project. Measure C needed a two-thirds vote to pass but it received only 43 percent approval.

The Chargers will play at the StubHub Center in Carson and later join the Rams at their stadium in Los Angeles, which is set to open in 2019. 

Rams Owner and Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke also released a statement regarding to move: 

"We welcome the Chargers and look forward to working with them to provide NFL fans in the region and throughout the world with an unparalleled experience at the LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park. Our mission is to create a year-round global sports and entertainment destination and this is another important step in achieving that goal."

ESPN's Adam Schefter, who cited league sources, first tweeted about the move Wednesdayn night, just hours after NBC 7 SportsWrap reported that the NFL had extended the deadline for the team's decision from Jan. 15 to Jan. 17. 

The team joined the National Football League in 1970 as part of the NFL-AFL merger.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Cubs to Visit White House Before Obama Leaves Office]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 17:13:50 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-621152150.png

President Barack Obama will welcome the World Series champion Chicago Cubs at the White House on Monday, just five days before he leaves office.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed the visit Wednesday and said Obama “is really looking forward to it.”

The move is slightly unusual. The reigning World Series champions normally make the traditional White House visit during the following MLB season.

The Cubs, who ended a 108-year title drought in Game 7 against the Cleveland Indians, were hoping to get to Washington, D.C., before Obama left office. Though the president is a White Sox fan, he calls Chicago home and rooted for the North Siders since his team didn't make the playoffs.

NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern first reported the visit on Tuesday.

The president invited the Cubs to the White House in a phone call to Joe Maddon following the team's victory, and with the club all assembled in Chicago for this weekend's Cubs Convention, arranging travel to Washington D.C. was a solution that worked out well for the team to see the president.

While the Cubs visit to the White House comes five days before president-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, the team will still have a connection to the new administration. Trump has nominated Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts as deputy commerce secretary. Ricketts will join his sister, co-owner Laura Ricketts, brother, co-owner Tom Ricketts, and the team at the presidential reception.

The Cubs will be the second Chicago team to visit the Obama's White House. The president also hosted the Chicago Blackhawks after their three Stanley Cup championships since 2010. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: NFL Extends Deadline for San Diego Chargers Decision]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 10:01:19 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chargers-Fan-Generic-GettyImages-617500194.jpg

The NFL has extended the deadline for a decision on the future of the Chargers, according to multiple media reports.

After years of failed negotiations between the City of San Diego and the owners of the NFL franchise, the Chargers are considering a move to Los Angeles.

On January 12, 2016 the Chargers were approved by the NFL to relocate to Los Angeles. The Chargers were given a one year option to join the Rams in Los Angeles, eventually sharing a stadium in Inglewood. Soon after, the team trademarked the name L.A. Chargers.

The Chargers had a January 15th deadline to decide if they would exercise the option to move to Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, several reporters used social media to report that the NFL has extended that deadline given the playoffs scheduled for Sunday and the MLK holiday on Monday.

The Chargers possible relocation has been a hot button issue for years. At the center of the problem is the Chargers dilapidated home stadium. Since 1967, the Chargers have played at Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley. Multiple efforts between the Chargers, NFL, city and county officials have failed to provide a stadium solution, either a new stadium or a remodeled Qualcomm Stadium.

Chargers owner Dean Spanos made no secret he preferred a downtown stadium site and asked San Diegans to keep an open mind regarding a proposed ballot measure.

In November, San Diego voters rejected the latest stadium proposal, a ballot measure that would have raised hotel occupancy taxes to help pay for a proposed $1.8 billion downtown stadium project. Measure C needed a two-thirds vote to pass, it received only 43% approval.

The Chargers have been in San Diego for 56 years, since moving here from Los Angeles in 1961. The Chargers joined the National Football League in 1970 as part of the NFL-AFL merger.


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<![CDATA[Aztecs Finish Season Ranked 25th in Both National Polls]]> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 19:03:42 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-500124908.jpg

The San Diego State Aztecs football team is capping off the season with more accolades.

It was announced Tuesday that San Diego State finished the 2016 season ranked 25th in both the Associated Press Top 25 poll and the Amway Coaches Poll. This is the second time in school history that SDSU ended a season ranked in the Associated Press Poll.

Head coach Rocky Long says the accolades are a testament to the work the players put in all year.

“I think it’s a pat on the back to all the players in our program that they’ve got to a point where everyone else knows who they are,” says Long. “I thought we were a top 25 team at the end of last year too, but no one else seemed to think we were. I think by the end of the year we were a top 25 team this year and it’s great for our program and great for the players in our program that someone else agrees.”

The players showed their excitement on social media. SDSU senior running back and two-time defending Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year Donnel Pumphrey tweeted shortly after hearing the news saying, “We finished ranked 25 in the country, which was our team ultimate goal besides another championship. #GoAztecs”

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The Aztecs notched their second consecutive Mountain West title when they defeated Wyoming 27-24 last month. The team advanced to the Las Vegas Bowl where they won against Houston, 34-10, for their second consecutive bowl win.


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<![CDATA[Supercross is Getting Dirty at Petco Park]]> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 14:39:24 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/200*120/MONSTER+ENERGY+SUPERCROSS.jpg

Petco Park, home to the San Diego Padres, is transforming from a field of dreams to a diamond of dirt.

In preparation for Saturday’s Monster Energy Supercross, organizers dumped 26 million pounds of dirt on the Petco Park field Tuesday morning.

“We’re unloading eleven semi-trailers of dirt and my crew is building this course all day and into the night, then we’ll turn on the lights and hopefully have it all done by 9pm tonight,” said Tim Phend, Director of Operations for Monster Energy Supercross.

Supercross tracks are one of a kind layouts filled with air-inducing jumps and various obstacles.

Brandon Short, Events Manager for Monster Energy Supercross said, “Each Supercross track is truly unique to itself, it will never be duplicated. Every time a rider comes to a stadium to one of our events, he’s never seen this track before, he’s going to learn the track that day, race on it that night, then he’ll never see that track again.”

With the help of roughly twenty earth moving vehicles and an expert crew, the Petco Park layout was coming together. Jumps, bumps and turns were popping up where there previously pitching mounds, bases and green outfield grass.

Once the track is complete and the racing starts, riders will take the jumps and fly 35 feet through the air along the first and third baselines at Petco Park.

The Monster Energy Supercross takes place Saturday, January 14th at Petco Park.  Additionally, Monster Jam will return to Petco Park for two weekends of action on Saturday, January 21st and Saturday, February 18th.  For more information or tickets log onto www.supercrosslive.com or www.monsterjam.com.

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<![CDATA[Supercross is Getting Dirty at Petco Park]]> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 14:36:04 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/200*120/MONSTER+ENERGY+SUPERCROSS.jpg The San Diego Padres and Major League Baseball will not be in play at Petco Park anytime soon. In their place is Monster Energy Supercross. In preparation for the dirt bike racing, Petco Park is being transformed from a "Field of Dreams" to a "Diamond of Dirt." NBC 7's Todd Strain was on the field as the transformation began to take shape.]]> <![CDATA[Biles, Raisman Ditch Leotards for Bikinis in new SI Issue]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 04:21:46 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/allysimone.jpg

Get ready to see Simone Biles and Aly Raisman like you've never seen them before.

The two gold medal-winning Olympians are ditching their leotards for slightly more revealing attire. Both women will appear in the next Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

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"I am thrilled to include the gold medal-winning, U.S. women's gymnasts Aly Raisman and Simone Biles in this year's Swimsuit issue," said MJ Day, SI Swimsuit editor.

"Aly and Simone represent all that is beautiful and strong and inspiring in women today. Women that are not only elite athletes, that are captivating and impressive in their own professional accomplishments (lots and lots of Olympic gold medals between them), but strikingly sexy and beautiful in front of photographer James Macari's lens. I love seeing them shine in an entirely different way in the Swimsuit issue and being able to share these gorgeous and powerful images with the world."

The swimsuit edition hits newsstands in February.



Photo Credit: Patrick McMullan via Getty Image
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<![CDATA[Steelers Bring High-Powered Offense to Kansas City]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 12:30:58 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SteelersChiefs.jpg

A recovered Ben Roethlisberger brings a Steelers offense doing almost everything right into Kansas City on Sunday for a shot at the AFC championship game.

The Steelers quarterback aggravated an old foot injury last week when an opponent landed on it late in a blowout win over Miami in the Wild Card round, but he expects to be fine against the Chiefs.

The winner of what could well be an entertaining and closely matched divisional round playoff game will probably get to travel to New England to face the Patriots, who face an overmatched Houston Texans team this week.

The Chiefs-Steelers game will be broadcast Sunday on NBC at 8:20 p.m. ET.

Kansas City is trying to atone for a quiet exit from the playoffs last year, and will be looking to get Travis Kelce involved in the game plan. The tight end had a career season and presents matchup difficulties for any defense — especially when that defense also has to account for receiver Tyreek Hill, who caught nine TD passes this season.

Meanwhile, Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston will also be looking to make up for last year against New England, when he was mostly ineffective due to injury. He missed the first 10 weeks of the season this year, but tallied four sacks in five games.

The Steelers’ offense has been unstoppable lately. In winning eight straight games, it has averaged almost 27 points. Running back Le’Veon Bell scored twice last week against the Dolphins and so did receiver Antonio Brown.

On defense, Pittsburgh’s linebackers turned in an impressive performance against Miami, led by 38-year-old stalwart James Harrison, who has 1.5 sacks and set the tone for his younger teammates.

Players to Watch

-- Pittsburgh LB Ryan Shazier spent last week eluding Miami’s blockers and causing havoc against the Dolphins, and could easily be just as disruptive against the Chiefs.

-- Pittsburgh LB Lawrence Timmons had eight solo tackles, including two sacks, against the Dolphins.

-- Kansas City QB Alex Smith is coming off a strong season finale and he and his line will have had a week to rest and recover before taking on the Steelers’ defense.

-- Kansas City LT Eric Fisher will be key to helping the Chiefs protect Smith and give him time to find Kelce, Hill and others. 

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<![CDATA[SD Stadium Update: Working the Numbers]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 20:55:59 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/spanos-faulconer_011916.jpg

On Wednesday the NFL will hold a meeting between its finance committee and stadium committee to discuss possible relocation. The Raiders and their desire to move to Las Vegas will be discussed.

The Chargers and their option to move to Los Angeles, however, will not.

The Bolts will not be attending the meeting. They have until Sunday, January 15 to decide whether or not to take the Los Angeles option, stay in San Diego and work on a new stadium deal, or perhaps work out an extension on making a decision, perhaps the annual league meetings at the end of March.

Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos is still mulling the options and has just six more days to make the decision. His history suggests he will take as long as possible to make up his mind.

Meanwhile, Spanos and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer have had a regular, consistent line of dialogue about working towards a new stadium solution in San Diego.

There have been rumors that the team has softened on its “No Mission Valley” stance and is amenable to returning to Mission Valley. If that is true the only major sticking point remaining in getting a new stadium deal done in the Chargers home market continues to be the financing component.

The numbers are in flux, mostly because nobody can seem to agree on just how much a stadium will cost. Estimates range from less than $1 billion to $1.5 billion for the Mission Valley site. If the amount of money they get from PSL (Personal Seat License) sales and naming rights is factored in the Chargers could probably come up with around $350-$375 million in cash.

Spanos has asked the NFL to kick in more than the $300 million they have already offered up and the league likes the San Diego market enough to consider doing that. There has been talk that Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who has pockets deep enough to write a big check to help finance a new San Diego stadium, might be willing to do that to keep the L.A. market all to himself.

Once the final price tag for the new facility can be agreed upon then we can start to truly look at how much is still needed and if it is more feasible for Spanos to try and stay in San Diego or take the L.A. option.

If Spanos is truly paralyzed by this decision he still might not ask for an extension but the league might offer him one anyway with the heavy implication that he take it, giving him more time to work out a solution in San Diego.



Photo Credit: NBC 7/Getty Image]]>
<![CDATA[Carli Lloyd Wins FIFA Best Player Award]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 12:03:35 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631342200.jpg

Carli Lloyd of the United States has won her second straight FIFA's best woman player award.

Lloyd beat Olympic gold medalist Melanie Behringer of Germany and five-time winner Marta of Brazil.

Lloyd says "I honestly was not expecting this."

Germany did win the women's coaching awards as Silvia Neid earned her second FIFA prize. She also won the 2010 award.

Neid beat two previous winners: Pia Sundhage of Sweden, the Olympic silver medalist, and last year's winner, Jill Ellis of the United States.



Photo Credit: FIFA via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cristiano Ronaldo Wins FIFA Best Player Award ]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 11:53:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631342524.jpg

Cristiano Ronaldo received FIFA's best player award for the fourth time on Monday, after Portugal and Real Madrid won both major European titles in 2016.

He beat runner-up and great rival Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to complete a sweep of top individual awards.

"2016 was the best year of my career," Ronaldo said in Portuguese in his acceptance speech, which he began by exclaiming "Wow, wow, wow."

Ronaldo got 34.54 percent of total voting points in a 23-candidate ballot. Messi received 26.42 percent, and third-place Griezmann got 7.53 percent. Voting was by national team captains and coaches, selected media, and fans online.

Ronaldo's fourth FIFA award closed the gap on five-time winner Messi, the runner-up to each Ronaldo victory, who did not attend the ceremony.

Ronaldo's 2016 trophy haul included the European Championship, Champions League, and Club World Cup, plus individual best player awards from UEFA and France Football magazine.

Messi's Barcelona won the Spanish league and cup double, though he captained Argentina to lose the Copa America final.

Griezmann's France and Atletico Madrid lost both finals to Ronaldo's teams.

Ronaldo's coaches for club and country were beaten by Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri, who earned the men's coaching prize for a stunning English Premier League title.

"What happened last year was something strange. The God of football said Leicester must win," said Ranieri, who was in his first season at the unfashionable provincial club widely tipped for relegation.

Ranieri collected his trophy from Diego Maradona, who earlier Monday played in an exhibition match with other retired greats at FIFA headquarters.

Like Ronaldo, Carli Lloyd of the United States won a FIFA player prize for the second year in a row.

Lloyd won despite Germany midfielder Melanie Behringer playing on the Olympic gold medal-winning team. Five-time winner Marta was runner-up and Behringer was third.

"I honestly was not expecting this," Lloyd said. "I know Melanie did fantastic in the 2016 Olympics."

Germany did win the women's coaching prize as Silvia Neid earned her second FIFA prize, after also winning the 2010 award. Neid beat two previous winners: Pia Sundhage of Sweden, the Olympic silver medalist, and last year's winner, Jill Ellis of the United States.

The Puskas Award for best goal was won by Mohd Faiz Subri, who scored with a wildly swerving long-range free kick for Malaysian club Penang.

A players' vote organized by international union FIFPro gave a World XI of: Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich); Dani Alves (Brazil, Barcelona/Juventus), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Spain, Barcelona), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid); Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid); Messi, Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Barcelona), Ronaldo.

The First FIFA fan award was chosen by fans and was made to supporters of Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, who joined in singing the English club's anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone" before a Europa League quarterfinal. The other nominees were Iceland fans at Euro 2016, and Dutch club ADO Den Haag, whose fans brought soft toys to children supporting rival team Feyenoord.

FIFA made its Fair Play Award to Atletico Nacional, the Colombian club which was scheduled to host Chapecoense in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final on Nov. 30.

After most of the Brazilian team died in a plane crash flying to the match, Atletico Nacional asked the South American soccer confederation to present the title and trophy to Chapecoense.



Photo Credit: Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marshall Faulk Elected to CFB Hall of Fame]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 13:32:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/182*120/Marshall+Faulk+Aztecs.JPG

The 2017 College Football Hall of Fame class was announced on Monday and another Aztec has been elected.

Running back Marshall Faulk headlines the class of 10 players and three coaches that will be enshrined this year. Faulk was a three-time All-American and should have won at least one Heisman Trophy (darn you Gino Torretta!) in his three years at San Diego State. He averaged 1,530 yards a season and was the 2nd overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft by the Colts.

Faulk still owns the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record for points per game (12.1) and has become a major fundraiser for SDSU. Marshall is already a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With him in this year’s college class are a few guys who will someday join him in Canton, as well.

Former Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning and New Mexico linebacker Brian Urlacher are also CFB Hall of Famers. Interestingly Archie Manning … Peyton’s dad … is also a member of the Hall and the National Football Foundation chairman so he got to make the official announcement.

Of the three coaches on the list the most recognizable name is Steve Spurrier. The former Duke, Florida and South Carolina head coach is the fourth person to be elected as both a player and a head coach.

The entire class looks like this:

PLAYERS

San Diego State RB Marshall Faulk
New Mexico LB Brian Urlacher
Tennessee QB Peyton Manning
USC QB Matt Leinart
Notre Dame LB Bob Crable
Texas OL Bob McKay
Texas A&M LB Dat Nguyen
Georgia Southern RB Adrian Peterson
Boston College DL Mike Ruth
Michigan State WR Kirk Gibson

COACHES

Steve Spurrier (Duke, Florida, South Carolina)
Danny Ford (Clemson, Arkansas)
Larry Kehres (Mount Union)

In case you are wondering yes, that Kirk Gibson is the same Kirk Gibson who was named the 1988 National League MVP for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Before making a name for himself hitting dramatic World Series home runs Gibson was the Spartans’ all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

The induction ceremony will be held in December at the annual National Football Foundation Awards Dinner.

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<![CDATA[Top Images From the 2017 NFL Playoffs]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 07:23:44 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631697042.jpg Check out some of the best images from the playoffs of the 2016-2017 NFL season.

Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]]>