The San Diego Chargers are stuck. So is state water policy around the Delta. What do the two have in common?

The Spanos family.

The Chargers’ predicament is higher profile. The Spanos, who own the team, have spent years seeking a publicly funded stadium, and yet nothing happens. They blame politicians, and politicians blame them. And they have alienated much in the town in the process. Bottom line: nothing gets done.

The Chargers then made a big threat – a proposed move to Los Angeles. And they lost, to a more nimble opponent, the billionaire owner of the St. Louis Rams. The Chargers could still move to Los Angeles, or they might go to San Diego. But at least for another years, things are stuck. There is likely to be a costly ballot fight that may, or may not, resolve things.

This may seem like just a football story, but it’s so reminiscent of the Delta and water.

Up in Stockton, Alex Spanos – same Chargers owning family – has been a big funder of Restore the Delta. They’re a group that has fought the Delta tunnels and similar plans for the Delta, and agitated for alternatives.

They’ve blamed politicians for the Delta’s problems, and Delta politicians have blamed Restore the Delta. But the Delta is stuck, with no plan advancing.

There is likely to be a costly ballot fight that may, or may not resolve things.

Whether it’s football or water, the Spanos family has shown an ability to use its leverage and money to accomplish… not a whole lot.