LA’s Football Teams Woo Pasadena Hearts

Two local GM's slated to speak at Quarterbacks Club

Published : Thursday, September 7, 2017 | 5:31 AM

Kevin Demoff, executive vice president of Football Operations and Chief Operating Officer for the Rams, and John Spanos, long time president of football operations for the Chargers, will be featured speakers over the next two Pasadena Quaterbacks club meetings.

Over the 13 years since LA’s Rams and Raiders left the Southern California football market, Pasadena seemed as content as pretty cheerleader, enjoying dates with UCLA Bruins and looking forward every year to the Rose Bowl, like the prom.

But an old flame and a beckoning newcomer have come to town, and they’re out to woo Pasadena hearts.

The Rams (2-2 in the 2017 preseason) have returned to their old haunt amidst a flurry of hype and hope, only to complete a losing schedule last year and suffer rows of empty seats in the Coliseum. The newcomer Chargers, currently 1-3 in the preseason, come with issues, leaving behind a heartbroken city and competing for loyalty in a fickle town that loves winners, losers not so much.

Thus we find the management of both LA teams paying a visit to The Pasadena Quarterbacks Club over this Friday and the next, at noon, hoping to stir up new interest in Southern California’s newest “home” teams.

“It’s an NFL double header!” said Jim Guettner, current president of the club, which has been hosting football talks every Friday lunch since 1945.

The group meets Fridays September through November and hosts top football coaches, players and commentators from professional, college and high school football across the country.

On Sept. 8, John Spanos, long time president of football operations for the Chargers is the featured speaker, followed by Kevin Demoff, executive vice president of Football Operations and Chief Operating Officer for the Rams.

John Spanos was named President—Football operations for the Chargers in May 2015, charged with overseeing all of the team’s football operations, including player personnel, coaching, player finance and the salary cap, medical, equipment, video, player engagement and security. Spanos also represents the team at League and Management Council meetings. He began working for the Chargers in 1995, originally spending his summers in the football operations department as an assistant. Spanos began working full-time as a scout in 2003, eventually working his way to the top of the organization.

Kevin Demoff is in his ninth year as chief operating officer and executive vice president of football operations with the Rams. Demoff serves as the team’s top front office executive and liaison to owner and chairman, Stan Kroenke.

According to the team website, Demoff “is now playing a significant role in delivering on Kroenke’s vision to design and construct the 298-acre sports and entertainment district in Inglewood that will serve as the future home of the Rams.” The NFL-themed campus will include a 70,000 seat stadium, performance venue, retail district and office complex and is currently the largest entitled real-estate project in Southern California.

Tickets are also expected to be the priciest in the NFL as well.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the highest priced personal seat licenses—the right to buy season tickets—for Rams games could tentatively range from $175,000 to $225,000 per seat, skyrocketing past the $150,000 personal seat licenses offered by the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

But we digress.

According to Guettner, the Quarterbacks Club will hold 12 meetings this season through November 17th, the Friday before Thanksgiving weekend.

“It’s practically all related to football and we have been doing this since 1945, so this is our 72nd season,” said Guettner.

Guettner noted that the club generally aims to include a representative of either opponent of USC or UCLA , whichever is in town.

But, says Guettner, “It’s become more and more difficult in this day and age to be able to do that, so we were very fortunate to be able to have (USC Head Coach) Clay Helton speak to us last Friday, the day before his season opener.
Such is the influence of the Quarterbacks Club.

As Gruettner explained, it’s harder to nab opponent coaches “because of the way things are set up today. The teams fly in, and they have tight schedules. They have to meet with their own alumni group or donors in the local area and often that time is already spoken for before they get on the plane to fly to LA.”

Gruettner also noted that the September 29 meeting will feature Kim Sanchez, head football coach for Bishop Gorman high school in Las Vegas who, over the last four years has arguably been the most successful high school football team in the country.

“We just got lucky and had a chance to get him … so we jumped at the opportunity, since normally the speakers already live in the area or are going to be in the area at a given time.”

Pasadena Quarterbacks Club meetings are held at noon at The University Club, 175 N. Oakland Ave., Pasadena. For reservations, see http://pasadenaquarterbacks.org/schedule/