Thomas Powell has been the subject of Fan Perspective before, but with his current success as the co-host of BoltBlitzLIVE, it seemed appropriate to bring him back. Now, new readers can get to know him, and long-time readers can see if his newfound celebrity has changed him. One thing for sure, if you get to know Thomas Powell, love him or hate him, you will have to agree that he is truly one of the most knowledgeable and passionate Charger fans on the planet.
So the readers can get to know you, please tell us a little about Thomas Powell.
Will: How long have you been a Charger fan?
TP: It was in 1981 after the Miami game. My mom took me to the stadium after the epic game to meet the team home. I loved everything about it. I started to follow them right after that.
Will: Why did you decide to become a Charger fan?
TP: I remember as a kid (about 12) watching them play exhibition basketball games versus the SD Police for charity. I met them close up and was hooked.
Will: What kind of fan would you consider yourself and why?
TP: Up until 2006, I was a raging pom-pom fan. I had my head in the clouds thinking every year we could win the SB and go 16-0. After the Pats loss in the playoffs I was devastated. I wanted to know everything about the team, all the ins and outs. I’m more of a realistic fan now. I take the positives and the negatives and come up with what I know now about football and the NFL to make a decision on how the team looks. It’s not all rainbow and ponies when looking at your team. You sometimes have to take your heart out of it to truly see what your team looks like. I now think with my mind, not my heart.
Will: What game or play in Charger history are you most proud of?
TP: The AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh. No one gave the Chargers a shot in that game. The only place at that time to get your coverage of your team was ESPN for 30 minutes at night and SI magazine. Both which ignored the Chargers at that time and to some degree still do to this day. MY team was going to the Super Bowl and I was so damn proud of that fact.
Will: What game or play in Charger history hurts the most to look back on?
TP: The 2006 game versus the Pats. That team was really good and the AFC Playoff teams were vulnerable. Everything was aligned for the Chargers to get to the Super Bowl. It wasn’t just McCree that fumbled that game away. There were several mistakes that I thought the team could overcome, but his was the icing on the cake. That loss hurt me more than any I’ve suffered through as a fan and that’s a lot of losses since 1981.
Will: Are you a big Charger collector, or “gear guy”? If so, what are your favorite items?
TP: Not at all. I don’t even get too much into jerseys and wearing them. I’m 42 years old, not 16. So it’s just awkward for me. Not saying anything against anyone else. I’ll wear a shirt or jersey on gameday, but I’m not into collectibles as a fan. I was huge into baseball cards as a kid. I’ve given my collection to my son since then.
Will: As a Senior Writer/Reporter for BoltBlitz.com, if you could ask one question to any former or current Charger (dead or alive), who would it be, and what would you ask?
TP: Tom Landry and Don Coryell were my favorite coaches growing up. I would ask Coryell if he had to do it over again would he focus more on defense. To hear his stories on the game back then, and how it’s changed, would have been amazing.
Will: On social media, you have a reputation of being a blunt-speaking realist which at times you’ve rubbed some Charger fans the wrong way. Now that you are co-hosting BoltBlitzLIVE on Mountain Country 107.9 FM, do you find yourself becoming more politically correct, or are you still just letting your opinions fly?
TP: Yeah, If I haven’t told you you’re a $#@&-ing idiot yet, I don’t love ya. I’ve realized that not everyone lives, sleeps, eats Chargers football, and the NFL in general, as much as I do. Doesn’t make me any better or lesser of a fan, but I get frustrated at a lot of people’s ignorance. I try to be more patient now. But I am who I am, a very straight forward person. I say what I think and couldn’t care less how it’s perceived. That sometimes, well often, gets me in trouble. But I think over time people realize I really do know what I’m talking about and they see that now. The only thing that really drives me nuts now are the fans who try to judge the fandom of others. If you don’t think a certain way or talk a certain way you’re a fake fan. That is BS to me. Anyone who watches a Charger game is a fan. I’m not going to judge their fandom. Packer fans are the most critical fans in the NFL on their team yet considered to be the most loyal even by other team’s fans. If you love something, you get emotional about it. That’s football today. Nothing wrong with that if you ask me.
Will: Why should fans listen to BoltBlitzLIVE?
TP: Because we share the same passion as they do. I don’t have to sugarcoat crap because of what a player might think. We’re going to be upfront and give the best news and opinions that we possibly can. It’s a small station, but people are listening all over the world according to the demos we get from the station. Fans from the East Coast to overseas that can’t get info about their team are tuning in every Wednesday night. We take this very seriously and we want people to be a part of everything we do; hence the BoltBlitz slogan, ” A team that loves a team.” That’s what who we are and what we do. It’s like sitting in a bar for an hour with Charger fans talking Charger football. That’s what I want people to take from the show.
Will: You are close friends with the creator of BoltBlitz.com and host of BoltBlitzLIVE, Booga Peters. What is it about Booga that sets him apart from other Charger fans or members of the media who cover the Bolts?
TP: Who the hell is Booga? One thing is he had contacts in the front office and talks to players personally. He could sell himself out and learn MLB, NBA, Soccer and maybe get a job at 1090 or 1360. But, he just wants to talk Chargers. He’s doing it his way and so far it’s been successful.
Will: Okay, now some harder questions. How did the passing of Junior Seau affect you?
TP: My favorite single moment was when he came running out of the tunnel in Miami during the Super Bowl. The Chargers became so irrelevant starting from the Coryell years all the way until Junior came along. He put the Chargers back on the map. Being a homegrown fan, he is to the Chargers what Tony Gwynn was to the Padres. He was and always will be the face of the franchise. It’s tough to lose someone you grew up loving as a child. It affects you in a different way and it did me. As a father, my thoughts on how he died is different. But as a player, he was the best Charger of all time IMO. To lose him, Jerry Coleman, Don Coryell and Tony Gwynn so close together was tough. But I truly think it has brought fans closer together in the grieving process.
Will: Do you feel that Coach Don Coryell should be in the Hall of Fame? Why?
TP: Of course. He changed the game and the way it was played. The Rams won the SB with Kurt Warner with the Coryell offensive blueprint. A team wins a SB 20 years after you coached and you can’t get into the HOF? It’s a travesty!
Will: In your opinion, does Philip Rivers have what it takes to lead a team to a championship?
TP: I do. Rivers is the best QB the Chargers have ever had. Nothing against Fouts, but Rivers can lead his team this team to a Super Bowl. A lot of things have to go in place, and he can’t do it by himself. But I truly believe the Chargers will win a SB with Rivers, McCoy and Telesco. Maybe not this year, but it will be done.
Will: What is your opinion on Ryan Mathews as a running back?
TP: I think he gets a bum-wrap from fans. Because he doesn’t do a lot of interviews on the radio and TV, fans have a harder time connecting with Mathews emotionally. They feel a separation with him from the other players. I said last year, after hearing how he changed his workout routine, how committed he was to being the type of RB fans wanted him to be. Fans want to love Mathews, but even when he does his part they still feel disconnected from him. It’s weird. I don’t get it.
Will: Move the franchise, or get a new stadium? What does the future hold for the Bolts?
TP: The city and the Chargers are at least talking now, and did so just a week ago. It looks like the downtown location and November 2016 is the vote. If it passes they’re safe in SD. If it fails, I’m 100% convinced they will take that vote and leave the city. It’s all up to the citizens of SD now. I think they need to get more business leaders involved and start selling it to people who are not Charger fans to get an approval. Charger fans alone can’t get this approved. It needs 51% of the vote for approval. I think they get it done, but not until the deadline. The vote is November 2016 and the lease is up at the Q in 2020.
Will: Okay, let’s lighten things back up. What is your prediction for how the Chargers will do this season?
TP: 10-6 to 9-7. This is a much better team than last year but the highly difficult schedule evens out the fact that the team has improved. Injuries will play a role like every other year, and every other team in this league. I think they get the wildcard this year again. I know this it’s going to be a fun year and exciting to watch how everything plays out.
Will: Do you see a Super Bowl Championship in the Chargers future?
TP: I can see them really challenging for the Super Bowl next year. They still have some depth issues and soft spots at some positions. But they’re getting closer than they have been in a long, long time. Yes, I think Rivers gets them there in the next 3-4 years.
Will: What will it mean to you if the San Diego Chargers win a Super Bowl?
TP: Hopefully it means I’m still alive. LOL. It would mean EVERYTHING to me. All the lows and the heart breaks have been cashed in for a SB trophy. It’s been a long road and this city deserves a Championship so badly. The fans are starving for it. It means that our 1 goal as fans for all these years was accomplished. Every player that ever played for this team in its history will be awarded knowing the Chargers have won a SB Trophy that has alluded them. As a fan, it’ll be amazing. Just to be with other fans that have shared the same experiences, ups and downs would be crying with joy that it has finally happened! God can strike me dead after that. I don’t care. Just give me 1 night with the Charger fans as Super Bowl Champions!
Will: On behalf of BoltBlitz.com, I want to thank Thomas Powell for taking the time to participate in this interview. His time is greatly appreciated.
Thank you, my friend.