Are the Days of Loyalty in Sports Behind Us?

Jon GirtenContributor IJanuary 15, 2009

It disgusts me what is happening in San Diego right now.

All-time saves leader and 16-year San Diego Padre closer Trevor Hoffman is gone and it's looking more and more like the greatest football player in San Diego history will be joining him.

First the Hoff. Unfortunately for Trevor, he is on a horrible team. What do horrible teams do? They rebuild. What's the first step in the re-building process? Dump your older, higher priced players. The Padres retracted a $4 million dollar offer to Hoffman a month or two ago, essentially saying farewell to the face of the franchise.

The story behind it runs much deeper though. As is well known, owner John Moores is in the process of going through a nasty divorce, leaving the Padres with no money to spend on free agents (although they did drop a nice $8 million on another old-timer Brian Giles). What irks me though, is that Moores and GM Kevin Towers treated Hoffman like a piece of meat, not the man who has single-handedly put fans in the stands for so long for a team that hasn't been that good at all in recent memory.

I mean, yes Trevor is old and in the twilight of his career. Yes he's blown some serious save opportunities recently including one that cost the Padres a playoff berth. Yes it's probably not good business to pay $4 mil to someone that's not an everyday player, and with as terrible as the Padres will surely be this year, he'd be fortunate to get 30 save opportunities.

But you know what, us Padres fans don't have a lot to hold onto, but man I could guarantee you that there wouldn't be a dry seat in the house the last time "Hells Bells" goes blaring through Petco Park's PA system.

Now onto more recent occurrences.

After the worst statistical season of his career, and another playoff exit with him on the bench, speculation is that LaDainian Tomlinson will not be a Charger come next year. Now of course this is only speculation, but what a blow this would be to the city of San Diego.

It seems you can't open a paper, turn on a radio station, or bump into someone wearing powder blue, without the LT discussion coming up. Is he over the hill? Is he weak? Let me pose this question to all of you LT doubters out there, would you be able to play football with one of your tendons detached from the bone?


Re-building or not, there's no way AJ Smith and Dean Spanos can't afford to let go of LT. I love Darren Sproles and all but not only is he a free agent right now, but there's no way he can take the punishment of being an every down back. Therefore we have absolutely no replacement plan.

I just couldn't stand the sight of seeing one of the classiest, hardest working, nicest people in the NFL in a different jersey. It almost wouldn't surprise me to see LT go to Green Bay, so that him and Trevor could exact their revenge on San Diego from Wisconsin together.