YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


It's a crime Chargers sidestep radio gabfest

December 17, 2006|T.J. SIMERS

Former Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter got tossed into the slammer, charged with possession of marijuana, but got out after Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist and radio talk show host Randy Galloway put up the bail.

I certainly hope the Chargers took note.

Almost one-ninth of the Chargers roster, not counting Shawne Merriman who was only suspended for steroid use, has had a run-in with police since April.

The San Diego media is notoriously soft on their athletes, which probably accounts for the lack of discipline and so many Chargers thinking they can do whatever they want down there.

That doesn't happen around here. If one of our athletes screws up, he makes sure he's on the road in Colorado or New York.

There's not much to do in San Diego other than to get in trouble or get splashed by Shamu, so the Chargers thugs are eventually going to come to the big city looking for fun. Or maybe even move here to play.

Then it probably will be left up to me to bail them out.

THAT'S WHY I wanted to talk to some of the Chargers on the morning father-daughter gabfest with Uncle Fred. I wanted to meet the guys before they got led off in handcuffs. I even thought about asking a bail bondsman to sponsor the interviews.

Bill Johnston, the Chargers' public relations director, though, informed 570 program director Don Martin he'd make no player or coach available -- on account of the show's host.

To be honest, I'm not crazy about Fred Roggin either. I've got to believe it irritates athletes to have some TV guy slobber all over them and ask only easy questions. Not much of a Challenge there.

I could also understand Johnston's reluctance to exposing the Chargers to Miss Radio Personality, knowing she'd want to ask them out on a date.

Imagine my surprise when I was told it was me.

Johnston told Martin he didn't want to subject the players to tough questions, and you can just imagine how I'd tear into L.T.

"You run, you catch, you even throw touchdown passes, but if you're so good, when are you going to start tackling somebody?"

Too bad they didn't think about shutting down interviews with their players when they employed Ryan Leaf.

It's crazy. We've had the Choking Dogs lining up to be on the show with Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Kent -- who asked to stay a second segment -- the Schmoozer, Luis Gonzalez, the Tipper Gore Lady and Grady Little already appearing.

Frank's Old Lady and the ex-Parking Lot Attendant were Sunday guests earlier, and so what does that tell you about the small-town Chargers and Kobe Bryant, and their insistence on being fawned over? (Couldn't resist that one.)

I can just about guarantee you, in the next week or so, Vic the Brick will be interviewing L.T. or Philip Rivers.

THE CHARGERS' controlling approach to public relations took another silly spin with a news release announcing the team would not allow players to appear on a radio show hosted by San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre.

The childish release quoted team President Dean Spanos: "There is no way in hell that anyone associated with the Chargers will have anything to do with Mike Aguirre."

Aguirre has had his differences with the Spanos Goofs, the odd pair who run the team, over stadium negotiations. Maybe the Goofs were concerned L.T. would agree with Aguirre.

By the way, for those who have trouble differentiating between the Goofs, Alex is the one who had to step aside because he had no idea what he was doing, and Dean is the one who wasn't invited back to the old Crosby golf tournament after being suspected of cheating.

NOW SOME folks think the Chargers are headed to the Super Bowl, which goes to show you they forgot Marty Schottenheimer was coaching this team. But there's no question people in San Diego get more excited about their teams when doing well than almost any other city in the country. Small towns are like that.

The last time the Chargers went to the Super Bowl, the team got a ringing endorsement from the media, fans and politicians -- fearful it might move north -- to spend millions in public funds to buy unsold tickets.

The Chargers are threatening to leave again unless they get a new stadium. But good news -- knowing now how important it is to the Chargers to be fawned over, I've got a hunch the Spanos Goofs won't be in a hurry to move into The Times' circulation area any time soon.

And that's great, because I'd hate to see our crime rate go up.

IT'D BE fun if the Clippers traded for Allen Iverson so we could have a contest every night to see who gets more shots off -- Iverson or Bryant.

TODAY'S LAST word comes in e-mail from Dr. Kathleen Sakamoto at Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA:

"It just dawned on me while reading your article that some of the kids we saw at the Christmas party -- and spending time with Santa Claus (Tom Lasorda), may not live long enough to go to the next holiday party. There is so much we need to do to find a cure for cancer, but let me tell you -- Santa's visit to the hospital and the party meant so much to these kids and their families."

Lasorda is betting the Dodgers win the pennant -- so I have no doubt you'll have Santa back next year.


T.J. Simers can be reached at To read previous columns by Simers, go to

Los Angeles Times Articles