Losing the Chargers to L.A. is a nightmare to politicians, civic promoters and Bolts backers who bleed powder blue and sunshine gold.
Seeing that city's name printed in front of this town's team, as it was at least on Monday evening, was a rude jolt -- even if that happened by way of a digital accident.
Until NBC 7 sports journalist Derek Togerson raised the issue, the website "Pro Football Reference-dot-com" had the Chargers home-towned in Los Angeles
Fifty-five years after the team was based there.
Did PFR’s web wizards jump the gun on some reliable "intel" that the Bolts are returning to the City of Angels?
Was it a hack job – or maybe an insider’s prank?
Whichever, it seems to have added insult to a potential injury for Bolts backers who bleed powder blue and sunshine gold.
"The city made too many mistakes early on with this -- they had a chance to negotiate, make it right, build a stadium ten years ago and they didn't,” says Kevin Hird, a Bay Park resident and 26-year Chargers season ticketholder.
“I'd hate to see 'em go, it'd be the worst thing in the world,” Hird said in an interview Tuesday. “Got a new baby -- I want to be able to take him to the games the way I went with my dad, you know? Tragic!"
Scripps Ranch resident Rockette Ewell was somewhat more optimistic about the team’s future in San Diego, and relatively unimpressed with the riches that moving to the L.A. market might bring.
"I'm an optimist, and I believe the Chargers are going to stay,” Ewell told NBC 7. “"I'm not sure that it makes that big a difference if you've got a slightly bigger bucket up north, and you have a bucket of money here and you get the new stadium you want."
Ewell dismissed the world of intrigue and speculation surrounding the city’s stadium scramble as a “first-world problem”.
But it's no third-tier concern to civic leaders, sports fans and business interests -- because the Mission Valley site now in financial planning stages for the project is not the site the Chargers want.
They're also looking 'up north' to the city of Carson.
And if that's where they wind up, it'll be real blow to civic self-esteem in San Diego.
Tossed into this recipe for paranoia is a bold-faced post on a "stats" page that Pro-Football-Reference dot-com has since taken down – keystroke-listing 'Los Angeles' in front of 'Chargers'.
The lame explanation, tweeted to Togerson?
It was "a bug" that made the team’s location “revert” to Los Angeles.
To whatever extent San Diegans may be less streetwise than Angelenos, that’s a hard sell.
In any case, local stadium planners see the Inglewood option a more likely out-of-town play the for the Chargers, owing to brighter financing prospects than in Carson.
And they’re not taking it lightly.
“If we don't present the Chargers with a viable working plan, they're going to make a case that they can't get anything done here in San Diego,” says Tony Manolatos, spokesman for Mayor Faulconer’s nine-member Citizens Stadium Advisory Group.
“Yes, I think Inglewood is a potential threat if we don't care of our business here in San Diego; we could lose the Chargers,” Manolatos acknowledged. “But I also think that's unlikely given the progress we've made and where this is all headed."
However, if pushback between the city and franchise comes to shove, and the team leaves town for whatever "gets done" in the L-A market, there's skepticism here in San Diego about their future there.
"Nobody wants a football team in L.A., nobody wants the Chargers,” Hird argues. “People are from everywhere else; they want to see their team play. So if anything, the Chargers could move there and whatever the opposing team is -- that's probably going to draw more fans."
We ran all this by Bolts' special counsel Mark Fabiani, who replied by email: “I’m afraid I wouldn’t have anything useful to add.”
Silence can be golden, when the talk is about the “Los Angeles Chargers” -- and they're still in San Diego.
For the time being, if not the foreseeable future.