The Chargers broke countless hearts when they finally announced they would be relocating to Los Angeles, leaving the residents of San Diego in shock, confused and heartbroken.
Some fans decided to decided to follow them to their new locale, while others decided not to support such horrible ownership and what many believe to be an incredibly poor decision.
I have with me a good friend and fellow staff writer who’s made the decision of choosing a new team, Chris Hoke.
Chris: First off, thank you for conducting this interview. It’s been a long six months since greed and selfishness took my hometown team away from me, leaving me to wonder where the fuck do I go from here.
Charlie: No problem at all! I would like to briefly go over your time as a Chargers fan and ask you a couple of questions about the process of being a free agent fan, so to speak. How long were you a fan of the Bolts? Was it a born-to-now thing? This move must’ve really crushed you.
Chris: I was Chargers fan for 25 brutal seasons. Basically since I was a little kid I grew up watching them with my grandpa and my brother. It become a Sunday tradition in our household. No matter how bad the bolts were my brother and I stuck our team.
Hearing about the bolts was definitively soul crushing. I’ve seen the Chargers get killed in their only Super Bowl appearance. I was there for LT’s last game as a Charger. I was there when the Jets beat us in the playoffs in 2010. I thought those were soul crushing experiences. They pale in comparison to losing your hometown team. It’s like your brother died. I would never wish this kind of pain on any fan. It’s truly been one of hardest times in my life.
Charlie: I’m sure if we take the Spanos family out of the picture, were looking at a much different outcome in this whole process. So that being said, what was a couple of moments being a fan that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life? There’s got to be a part of you that wants to see the players still succeed and do great, right?
Chris: As much as I despise Dean, If you took the Spanos’ out of the picture maybe things would’ve worked out. It wasn’t just his fault though the city of San Diego needs to take some of the blame. For the last 15 years both sides did this dance. Dean would come up with plans to renovate Jack Murphy Stadium or build a multi-purpose center downtown, which would host a number of sporting events. Each time Dean would do this the city turned him down; finally capping it off last November when Proposition C failed miserably. The city and Mayor Faulconer basically left Dean no choice but move the Chargers. So no, I don’t believe the end would be better without Dean. San Diego losing the Chargers was inevitable.
I don’t know if you ever went to any Chargers home games in the Q Charlie, but when the Chargers were winning there was blue and gold everywhere. This city was buzzing. One of the things I will miss about home games was the calm before the storm. The music would start and AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” would hit. Then smoke would filter out of the Chargers helmet then the cannon would fire and then the starting units would be introduced. You just got that electric nervous feeling almost like you were in the game. Those nerves would be turned up even more if it was a rivalry or a playoff game.
As far as moments I’ll cherish, every game I went to was with my brother. Win or lose we were always there next to each other for support. The shared experience of moments and memories like that were enough to last a lifetime.
If I had to go back and pick one game. It would be the Colts wildcard game in 2010 when Darren Sproles scored in overtime in one of the craziest overtime endings ever. Shocking the then Super Bowl Champion Colts.
Football and the Chargers were more to me than money or the games I went to. It was family. Not Dean, not Roger Goodell or anybody will ever take that from me. Family is forever and I will forever be a San DIego Chargers fan!
As far as the players, some have handled this in a way where they can put the true San Diego Chargers fan into their perspective. Take Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates for example. They have both expressed how much San Diego meant to not only their careers but to their families as well. For those players I will cheer for them and hope they finish their careers on top.
Now for those players such as Keenan Allen, who by the way was caught wearing a Raiders hat after he was drafted; we know which team he gets soft against. Allen wasted no time burning his bridge with SD fans by tweeting how excited he was to play in LA only moments after news broke about the Bolts departing from San Diego. I would say that in my eyes those players don’t exist to me and that true Chargers fans should question those players loyalty to not only the team but to us the fans.
Charlie: Safe to say that Darren Sproles game winner has to be a top-3 moment in every Chargers’ fan memory. It was amazing. Still gives me goosebumps to this day watching it and seeing Peytons’ helpless face. *Devilish Laugh*. Now that you’re a free agent fan, have you narrowed it down to any teams in specific that you are gonna cheer for from here on out? if so, how did it come down to them? Whats the process on picking a new team? What plays a big role in attracting you to become a fan? I’m sure given this experience, a huge part has to be ownership.
Chris: I have narrowed it down to three teams. Those teams being the:
Green Bay Packers
For me it came down to several reasons,
First of all with the Packers, I’ve always loved the Packers and the history that comes with this franchise. Not to mention they are publicly owned. The team cares about its fan base. It would also be nice to be a fan of a franchise that knows what it takes to get to a Super Bowl and win.
Secondly, the Philadelphia Eagles. One of the oldest franchises in the league. Like my former team the Eagles have struggled to win a championship. They have had two Super Bowl appearances. One was in 1981 where they lost to the underdog Oakland Raiders. The second loss came in 2004 at the hands of the New England Patriots. Why the Eagles though? My best friend comes from Philly. So I’ve already become a secondary Eagles fan. Since I am now a free agent the idea of being a part of a fan base that is loyal to its team no matter what would be a breath of fresh air compared to the fair weather fan base of the San Diego/LA Chargers.
Lastly, the Chargers. I still can’t call them that disgusting cities name because really it makes me sick to my stomach. It’s like the New York Yankees moving to New Jersey and becoming the New Jersey Yankees. It would make a New Yorker sick. I digress though many may call me a hypocrite since I said “I would never cheer for a team in that city.” However, the Chargers have been all I have known for 25 years. I’ve grown up with this team. They are my blood. They are the bond that my brother and I have always shared. The Chargers are like family to me. If I were to pick them it would be not because of that shithead of an owner. Not because the Mayor of San Diego had a stick so far up his ass he refused to see the grander picture. It would be my heart. My heart has belonged to this team. Whether I like it or not it will always belong to this team.
Charlie: It truly sounds like you have limitless love for the Chargers even after this whole disaster. That’s why you and I connect in good ways. The Packers and Eagles are pretty fair choices as well. Both places can get very cold though, so if you plan on taking trips to see the teams, at Lambeau especially, make sure to bundle up. So before we get into the actual team that you’re rocking with, how has this decision affected relationships with fellow Chargers fans? Do they understand why you’re doing this? I’m sure people feel your pain to some degree. Have you lost any followers on social media?
Chris: I live in Missouri and just moved from Nebraska. I’ve adjusted to cold weather I actually prefer it as well. As far as the transition to being apart of the bolt family on social media to a free agent fan. Man, its been rough. In fact its been one hell of a past seven months. Some have accepted it and understand why I have done it. Some have chosen the same path. Such as former BoltBlitz writer Zak Darman. Others who I have considered close followers have shown anger towards myself and others saying “we were never true fans” which is preposterous. I believe as humans we all grieve in certain ways. Of course I haven’t helped my own cause when I have drunkenly mocked the bolts and L.A. For that I apologize. It was a part of the seven steps of grief anger. In fact after this interview I will no longer be talking about the move or how much I hate Dean Spanos. The subject on this matter is now officially closed!
Charlie: Hypothetical question here, lets say you pick a team that isn’t the Bolts and they end up over exceeding expectations and making playoffs, how would that make you feel? Would you consider coming back? I myself would welcome you back with open arms. Everybody makes mistakes right? All 3 teams are good this year so there should be no letdown where ever you choose to land.
Chris: If the Bolts finally exceed expectations that would be a shock. I mean every time this team is predicted to “take over” the AFC West this team falls flat on its face. So I would be shocked and happy for the players like Rivers, Gates and other veteran guys who deserve to go out on top. However I would not change my mind to be Chargers fan again. Though I’ve thought about trying to be a fan for just one year. Like a player does when he signs a one-year contract. That’s not for me though. When I pick my team this is gonna be the team I stand by till I die!
Charlie: Is everybody in the Hoke family going to be following you on this decision or will this be a solo mission? Somebody in your family had to have either helped with your decision or entice you to go a certain route? Joining a fan base alone can be like switching schools as a kid.
Chris: As I’ve stated in an earlier question. My brother will be remaining a Chargers fan. The rest of my family is either fans of different teams or they are not into football in general. So no, this is something I’ve done on my own unfortunately.
Charlie: Alright so by now, I’m pretty sure the people are on their toes. Everybody can feel your pain and love for the Chargers throughout the article. A lot of people understand you and share those same emotions. Hopefully, this article and your decision can help others and their futures as football fans. With all that being said Mr. Man-of-the-hour, what team are you going with? Who are you going to support going forward? This is a huge decision and it has me so ecstatic to find out! I just hope you’re choosing to stay with us!
Chris: Oh man, This is a question I’ve asked myself over and over for the past seven months. Its taken a lot of soul-searching to get to this point. Being that I’m the man of the hour and I’m a man of my word.
I’ve decided to take my fandom with the Chargers to LA. At the end of the day this is my team. No owner can strip that away from me. I’ve seen these players such as Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates come up from nowhere to be the NFL’s elite. More so than this the Chargers are family. As the line in “Fast and the Furious” series always says “You don’t turn your back on family.” As hard as it is to cheer for a team in a city I hate, things change and I will learn to love this team again. I would once again like to apologize to all the bolt family I’ve spurned for the past seven months. It was a part of the grieving process. I hope you all can forgive me and let me back into the bolt family once again.
Again, Charlie I would like to thank you for these wonderful questions and helping me to close a huge chapter in my life. I look forward to cheering with you on Sundays. Go Bolts!!
Charlie: Yesssssss!!! Words can’t describe how hyped I am to hear you say that. I sure as hell speak for the entire bolt family when I say “welcome back”. Something told me all along you were going to stay with the team. Your passion for this team stretches further than most. This would definitely would not be the best time to leave anyways. The talent on this squad has everybody hyped for the future and I’m truly happy that you are able to look past all the destruction and let downs over the years to stay with them. It’s only going to make winning that much better. I truly am grateful to have found out your great decision first! Next round is on me!
Charlie LaFurno and Chris Hoke
Los Angeles Chargers…
A name we haven’t seen repped by the Chargers in over 55 years. If you’re looking for an article with stats/numbers or the breaking down of any type of analytics, this isn’t the right one. I wanted to take a different route and share my thoughts on this whole situation.
First, I would love to thank San Diego for being a home and family to the Chargers. I’ve been a fan of the Chargers for 10 years now, and if you’ve followed them or have been a fan, you know it hasn’t been the prettiest ride.
But through it all, I met tons of cool people, went to games, met players and all of that. Truly great and passionate experiences as a fan is how I’ll remember their time in America’s finest and I’m thankful to San Diego for all of that. Without San Diego, there is no ‘Chargers,’ and I’m sure I’ll get no disagreements there.
However, with the Chargers announcing their move back to Los Angeles, it shuts the door on what wasn’t the most successful run in terms of rings, so to speak, but also shuts the door on memories, meet-ups, tailgating with fellow fans, memorable on-field moments and the scenery of the Chargers and San Diego being a giant family.
I will say this before I get into anything else, I DO NOT support the Spanos’ family. I think they are arrogant, greedy and self-centered.
Then again, that’s how you have to be to make money and be successful nowadays, it seems.
The move to Los Angeles was needed. With the move, they’ve hired essentially a whole new staff, along with a new city, new logo, new staff… new luck?
I feel like this move was the most beneficial thing the Chargers could’ve done for their players and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Now, there’s been bickering back and forth on social media with people saying the City of Angels doesn’t want the Chargers.
*Stephen A Voice* That is blasphemous!
L.A., like all cities with professional sports teams, loves winning and winners.
The San Diego Chargers were a winning team stifled by injuries and poor coaching in recent years, along with flat-out horrible luck in almost every department of the game.
With those ingredients, you’re almost surely going to fail and take losses after losses.
However, that is all out the window now. These are the Los Angeles Chargers.
The new Chargers from Los Angeles are 0-0, as 90% of the fanbase wasn’t alive when the team first/last played at Balboa Stadium in 1960.
Having a complete make over and starting a new franchise, has to make the players both nervous and excited at the same time. The Chargers have vets who’ve played on different teams and in different locations, so in a way I believe the excitement of joining a new city with a new scene will have bigger impact than nerves, jitters and worries.
If there was ever a year to move, this is the one. The Bolts are on the brink of legit contention as they just nailed this past draft. Rivers was gifted a set of linemen that should give him space, time and trust to make all of the correct throws. When Philip is locked in, he can go toe-to-toe with any QB in the league. That is the kind of poster guy you want to have representing your team in perhaps one of the biggest sports cities in the world. Winning at least part of the city over in their first year is key to success. So, this upcoming season can make or break any further label of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Do we have to account for them getting acclimated to StubHub center? I guess there might be a few transitional issues and possibly some home-sickness but LA is their home now and their 3 consecutive weeks of home games from weeks 2-4 should be plenty of time to adjust to the size of the stadium, noise and fan volume.
For the time being until they move in with the Rams in 2019, you have to weather the storm of the stadium being like a college game. 30,000 seats isn’t that much but if you are winning, those 30,000 fans will make their presence known easily. I myself don’t believe it’s going to be hard to win fans over when you have a team that’s healthy and ready to make names for themselves.
The AFC West is only getting more competitive year in and year out so this forces the Chargers hand in a fast way. Either come to LA and win, or be a giant let down and prove everybody right about failing without San Diego. Truth be told, they failed IN San Diego for so long so by them coming to LA and actually succeeding, that shows to some knowledge that SD held them back.
The relationship between the Spanos and the city of San Diego was ruptured. There was no making a deal. Spanos knew people hated him and that they weren’t going to continue supporting a team owned by him. So he made the decision to Bolt to LA in hopes of the team playing how they should and start winning games. He doesn’t care for anybody besides his family and that’s what the fans who decided to not support the team have to understand. No matter what we say, do, or think, he’s only going to care about money. It makes the world go ’round.
But think about our players. The way they get us hype on gamedays. The way we feel when a huge play happens. All the Rivers’ emotions, faces, small antics he does. All those feelings we feel, come from the players, not Spanos. This team may not be the luckiest but man I love them. And just imagine, what if they actually start taking care of business? What if they go out there and start playing wire-to-wire and not letting any feet of the gas? We would all be one happy family again… Not Spanos, though. I got hate in my heart for him. He’s the one that arguably put us against each other and is the one who caused this whole debacle.
In closing, I believe the love we all have for this team is for the players and coaching staff, and that’s where it needs to stay. We need to stick together as fans just as the players would want us to do: rally behind them like we always have and with this fresh start, let’s take the league over!
San Diego will always have a place in my heart. But for now, goodbye San Diego and hello Los Angeles. We’re ready for you!!
THANK YOU, SAN DIEGO.
When the average football fan thinks about the best quarterbacks currently in the league, they acknowledge Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Drew Brees as the best in the NFL, and understandably so. But why does Philip Rivers continue to get overlooked? Why can’t he be considered a top-5 or even top-3 signal caller?
Or can he?
It goes without saying that the quarterback position is the most important position in football. Rarely do you see teams succeed without quality quarterback play.
Take the Broncos and Manning last season as an example. The Broncos’ defense was great. Statistically, Peyton had the worst season of his career and had a below average playoffs. But his leadership qualities and his football-genius mind was enough to lead the Broncos to a title (which still haunts me). If you were to put any other QB that had that kind of season that wasn’t Peyton, the Broncos don’t have a Championship right now. Having a quarterback who can take full command of the offense and be trusted day-in and day-out to lead your team to a victory no matter what the scenario is, should be treasured.
Philip Rivers is the embodiment of leadership.
In 2004, the Chargers selected Eli Manning with their 1st overall pick in the draft. However, Eli made it clear he did not want to play for the Chargers. Three picks later, the Giants picked Philip with the 4th pick and the teams managed to come to an agreement that included the Giants getting Eli and, in exchange, the Chargers got Rivers, a 2005 first-rounder which turned into Shawne Merriman, and a 2005 fifth-round pick in which the Chargers traded to Tampa for offensive tackle Roman Oben.
The Chargers were then stuck with a tough decision following the 2005 season: should they go with Drew Brees or Rivers as the team’s quarterback. The choice was obvious in Rivers, as Brees had injury concerns due to a shoulder ailment suffered at the end of the previous season.
In 2006, Rivers’ first full season as the starter under center, he took full advantage of the promotion, throwing 22 touchdowns with nine interceptions and 3,388 yards. Impressive, right? What’s more impressive is the 14-2 record the Chargers produced. Now, of course they benefitted from a historic year from LaDainian Tomlinson, but that is still quite a welcoming to the league for him.
Philip has had a great career in San Diego. There can be endless arguments made as to whether or not quarterbacks like Big Ben, Brady, Rodgers, et cetera are to be considered better than No. 17, having more successful careers even though some of them have benefitted from having great defenses, numerous groupings of clutch players and, most importantly, great coaching.
Philip also has a trait that only he and Eli stand up atop the list among active QBs for… DURABILITY. Including the playoffs, Rivers has started 169 consecutive games. That’s 10 full seasons and nine games of another. When you put into perspective that he tore his ACL against the Colts in the 2007 playoffs and came back in the AFC championship after surgery to play, it tells you a lot about the toughness and leadership he wields.
Another gritty performance that is framed in my mind is in 2014 in the latter half of the year. Philip was dealing with back spasms against the 49ers. He led a furious comeback win in overtime despite having a bum back. Health or off-the-field issues have never been a problem for Rivers.
It goes without saying that Rivers isn’t the best QB in terms of rings or playoff wins. Now that being said, he brings one quality that next to nobody can match, and that is competitiveness. It doesn’t matter if you’re a punter, water boy or 330-pound defensive lineman, Philip will always be in your face. Even if he’s having an off-game, his mouth is always running. The heart and devotion he pours into the Chargers isn’t comparable to any others. The energy Rivers brings to the team is both fierce and contagious. He’s able to develop chemistry with his players exceptionally well,which is evidenced in his relationships with players such as Danny Woodhead, Keenan Allen and, obviously, Antonio Gates.
In 2013 against the Denver Broncos on TNF, the Chargers took the 11-2 Broncos down at Mile High. This performance had to have been my favorite; not only because of what proved to be a very crucial game in an improbable Chargers’ playoff run, but because Rivers handled it like it was just another day at the office. He was out there as competitive as ever, having a good time.
Being a huge fan of Brady, a fan of Brees since the SD days, liking Rodgers cause he’s a surgeon while slinging the rock, I still feel confident in saying that none of the aforementioned signal callers can match Philip’s intensity. That is a really good thing going into this season, because this is a sneaky good team on both sides of the ball.
If Philip can get these young rookies’ heads on straight quickly, this team can be very scary. I truly stand by my opinion when I say the resurgence of Melvin Gordon and the O-Line staying healthy will give Rivers the opportunity to cement his status as a top-3 QB this year. As long as this roster continues to gel and get better, he should have multiple shots at championships, and that might be the only thing separating him from being thrown into the mix with everyone else’s favorite quarterbacks.
Rivers is currently 14th all-time on the passing list with 41,447 yards, and can move into 7th or 8th with a 4,500-yard-plus campaign. He also has 281 passing TDs, which is ranked 11th in NFL history; having as little as 20-25 touchdowns this could move him up three or four spots. All of this is incredible when you realize that he didn’t start for the first two years of his career.
In comparing him to another Chargers great, Dan Fouts, let’s take a look on how their stats match up.
Fouts had a 14-year career in San Diego ranging from 1973-1987. Philip has been in the league for 12 years now, so their stats should match up similarly, right? Well, in terms of durability, they’re both as reliable as super glue for a school project. Fouts played in 181 games in his career and started 171, while Philip has played in 164 and started 160.
A lot of people consider accuracy to be the main ingredient in selecting a QB. While Fouts does have roughly 2,000 more career passing yards — 43,040– than Rivers — 41,447 — while his accuracy is far worse. In fact, Philip makes Fouts look little league when I researched each of their completion percentages.
Rivers boasts a 281-135 touchdown-to-interception ratio, while as Fouts holds a 254-242 ratio. Rivers’ career completion percentage of 64.8 is exactly 6% points higher than that of Fouts (58.8%). Total QBR — Quarterback rating — is another stat in which Philip takes a dominant lead on Fouts. Philip clocks in with a whopping 95.5 QBR compared to Fouts’ number of 80.2.
In terms of records, Philip also grabs the crown. Rivers has piled up a 92-68 record and Fouts had 86-84-1 record. Fouts does have an MVP award and one more Pro-Bowl nod than Rivers, six to five, respectively.
In 1993, Fouts was elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. Rivers still has a couple of years or so to grab every possible passing statistic in Chargers history and, furthermore, climb up the NFL’s all-time passing ranks. So in that theory, I very much expect Philip to be a sure-lock for the Hall Of Fame.
Now, lets take a look and compare his stats to his fellow 2004 draftees, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger.
While you can easily say that both of them have the easy edge over Rivers by having 2 rings, that doesn’t define one player as a whole. I did some research and noted that both Ben and Eli started the year they were drafted. Philip did not start a game until the 2006 season. But what shocks me most is that Philip isn’t too far behind in stats and, in fact, had the same kind of seasons, if not better seasons, the years Ben and Eli won their respective rings.
We can look at Eli’s numbers first. In 2007, the year the Giants made history and took down the Patriots, Eli’s stat-line finished with 23 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, 3,336 yards and a 56.1 completion percentage. Philip had almost identical numbers that season with 21 touchdowns 15 interceptions, 3,152 yards and a 60.1 completion percentage. You could even make a case that had Philip not torn his ACL those playoffs, that Chargers-Patriots game would have finished with a different victor.
Next, let’s touch base on Big Ben’s 2008 championship season.
Roethlisberger’s stat-line for that year included 17 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 3,301 yards and a 59.9 completion percentage. Now, at the end of the day, he won a ring, but Philip’s 2008 season was far superior. In fact, that could’ve been Philip’s best year stat-wise, despite the Bolts finishing 8-8. He produced 34 touchdowns to just 11 Interceptions with a completion percentage of 65.5, boasting an outstanding QB rating of 105.5.
Has Philip had the success both Eli and Ben have had in terms of winning rings? No. Has he put his team on his back more and given his teammates more opportunities to win? Certainly.
Philip currently ranks behind both of them on the all-time leaderboards for passing. Rivers is ranked 14th behind Ben by about 1,500 yards, and is behind Eli — 11th — by roughly 3,000.
In my honest opinion, I believe when it’s all said and done, he’ll be above both of them. Additionally, he’s 11th on the passing TDs leaderboard — in front of Ben by nine touchdowns and behind Eli by 13.
Taking these facts and stats into consideration, the rings weigh a huge amount in terms of Philip not getting the credit he deserves.
So, while there might a small strain of bias on my part, I ensure you that Philip is everything I have made him out to be in this article, and everything he’s proven via the numbers provided above. He’s a franchise QB, a positive role model on and off the field and a rare leader, competitor and talent that you won’t come across very often. It is also worth noting, he’s a damn good dresser. You can never go wrong with rattlesnake-skin boots and a bolo tie.
I encourage you all to tune into some Chargers games this season and check him out and let me know what you think.
Where does Philip rank on your list? Let me know in the comment section below.
After spending a weekend in San Diego highlighted by a Boltblitz meetup I waited to board an airplane back home to Phoenix. Still in my powder blue Rivers jersey, a man nearby asked if the Chargers were going to L.A., to which I replied with an emphatic no. behind me I could hear a woman mutter under her breath, ‘Good riddance’.
The scariest part of the whole stadium/relocation issue is not the politics involved, we’ve heard the stadium issue arise every year for over a decade. Every year someone looks into it and it yields no result. Over time, the issue just dies until another season comes to a close. It’s not the doublespeak coming from the elected officials in San Diego every year on the subject. It’s not even the threat of the Chargers going into business with the Raiders, of all teams, on timesharing a brand new stadium in Los Angeles.
The scariest part of the relocation/stadium debate is the people of San Diego themselves. There’s no need to worry about us, the loyal fans who read Boltblitz or go to the games. There’s no need to worry about those who earmark every Sunday from preseason through the Super Bowl solely for watching football. The Chargers know they have your vote. The problem is will enough come to cast their ballots and win a majority vote?
California sports fans as a whole have a reputation as being fair weather fans. They show up when a team is winning and are quick to desert when a team is losing. There’s a lot of reasons for that. California has near perfect weather and breathtaking views no matter where in the state you are. There will always be an abundance of beaches, attractions, hot bodies and social events from concerts to political rallies going on at any given moment. California is hands down the most trendsetting, progressive state in the nation.
This is, after all, the state that voted in Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor. Not city councilman, not mayor, GOVERNOR.
California is not known for having rabid fan bases. Sadly, the delusional collection of Vader-mask wearing misfits that call themselves Raider Nation is probably the closest thing California offers in the rabid fan base department. The Lakers fans have disappeared as Kobe’s body deteriorates more and more every year. There’s simply too many options to put sporting events at the top of the list at any given time in California.
Look at other NFL teams like the Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills or Cleveland Browns. These are teams with rabid fan bases. They show up rain, snow or shine. Their teams are the only game in town and those teams galvanize the city. There are no celebrity-studded premieres to attend, no tourist trap mega-attractions like Disney, Sea World or Times Square to visit. The fewer the options, the stronger and more rabid the fan base.
What this blood pact between the Chargers and the Raiders does is push the stadium issue back to the head of the line. It’s a threat, but a successful threat because it has everyone talking including the team and city officials necessary to get the ball rolling on the matter. In my view, the Chargers and the city will finally agree on a location and on cost to build a new state-of-the-art facility. The problem comes when the initiative comes before the residents of San Diego County requiring a majority vote to pass.
Will the fan base come?
People like the lady in the airport worry me. The non-sports fans in San Diego County are my concern. They could care less if the team leaves and will ignore the issue until the vote comes. There will be a cost to the county and they will turn out to vote against it. Those are the people that need to be educated. Those are the people who will need to understand the economic blow that will be dealt to San Diego if the Chargers leave. If dollars are all they see, make sure they see the whole picture, not just a ballot asking for an extra tax on a bill.
It is encouraging that former players and Chargers legends like Ladanian Tomlinson and Nick Hardwick are willing to be a part of the cause. However, how effective will they be explaining the issue to the non-sports fans in San Diego County? Will they be able to convert the disenfranchised Chargers fans who were turned off in the final years of the old regime?
A new stadium will be an economic boon to San Diego. There is no better city in the state to stage events. A new stadium means a permanent spot in the Super Bowl rotation, Final Fours, World Cups and Olympics among a myriad other non-sports related events. We as Chargers fans can’t just leave it to team officials and players to spread that message, every single one of us has to help the apathetic resident understand what a new stadium means to the city and to the people if we truly want the Chargers to stay in San Diego.
I, for one, will be starting at the airport.
The Greg One
“Hello, my name is Will, and I’m a Bandwagon Fan.” Well, at least I used to be. It seems these days; social media is filled with fans being challenged on their loyalty and dedication to “their team”. If you are new to a group, or if you have anything negative or critical to say about your team, you are not a “real fan”. Apparently, a real fan is someone who believes that their team is like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way. In fact, practically perfect may be an understatement. Your team blew a 12 point, fourth quarter lead? That’s okay, I’m sure they were just having a bad day. Perhaps their biorhythms were down. All is well. No changes are necessary. “SD4Life”!
Well, if that I being a real fan, count me out. Going by what I read online, I believe that I will always be labeled a bandwagon fan. You see, I started watching football in 1972. I was six years old and living in San Diego. My father always had the Chargers game on, but my brother seemed to like the Dolphins. So, being the little brother, I followed the Dolphins. Who wouldn’t choose the 1972 Dolphins as their favorite team, if given the choice? Griese, Csonka, Kick, Warfield, Anderson, Yepremian, etc.. That team was loaded with talent and they won literally every Sunday. Yes, my first favorite team went undefeated! Super Bowl Champions!!! What a way to start out my football fandom.
The Fins followed up the ’72 season with yet another Super Bowl ring (although not undefeated). After that, a new league showed up and started taking my favorite players away! The World Football League was an upstart league that flashed a lot of money. Next thing you know, I didn’t recognize my Dolphins anymore. Time to move on.
Remember, I’m eight or nine years old and not clued in to the intricacies of how to be a fan, so who should I like now? The Pittsburgh Steelers! You guessed it. In the mid 1970’s, there was no better team than the Steelers. Four championships in six years! Wow, being a bandwagon fan was a lot of fun. But alas, my new team aged and it was once again time to move on.
My Dad was still watching the Chargers, and I watched them as well, but they still didn’t win enough to capture my heart. Enter the low point of my sports life……the Oakland Raiders. It makes me a little queasy to admit it, but there was a time when I was a huge Raiders fan. It was fun to follow guys like Stabler, Branch, Matuszak, Biletnikoff, and company. Not to mention, they won another Super Bowl, just for me!!!!
But wait, there’s a new sheriff in town, and his name in Don Coryell. Coach Coryell came into San Diego with his high-flying aerial attack. Along with Coryell was a young gun by the name of Dan Fouts who played like no other Charger quarterback that I had ever seen! I was starting to sway to the home team.
At this point, I would say that I was a two team fan. I liked both the Raiders and the Chargers (ludicrous, I know). Every Sunday, I tried to keep up with both teams and I walked away happy as long as one of them won. Then it happened. Playoffs on the line….Chargers hosting Raiders…….last play of the game……Chargers lead…….The Holy Roller!!!!!!!
Yes, the Raiders beat the Chargers on a play that should have been called an incomplete forward pass and went down in history as one of the most controversial plays ever. It even forced the NFL to change the rules so that you can no longer advance a fumble in the last two minutes, if you are on offense (not that it was a fumble, or that the rule change helped the Bolts at the time). What the hell was going on????? Even at a young age, I was able to tell that the Raiders got away with cheating and the Chargers were robbed of the win and a spot in the playoffs! It even looked as though the “San Diego Chicken”, might just die in the crowd! That was just wrong.
I may have been a bandwagon fan, but I knew right from wrong. I knew that I could no longer follow a team that would stoop to that level. That’s right; my heart was no longer split, or given to the team I thought would win each year. On that fateful Sunday back in 1978, I became a San Diego Chargers fan and that is what I would stay. Win or lose, I would stick by my Bolts from that point on.
Even though it has been a rocky ride, I have never regretted changing my ways and becoming a committed home town fan. It has been 36 years and now I don’t even believe that one should have a second favorite team, much less root for a team just because they are talented and win a lot of games. I’m hometown all the way.
In the last 36 years as a Chargers fan I have followed them faithfully, bought plenty of gear (mostly t-shirts and hats), defended them against fans of all other teams, had a successful blog under the pen name, Bolt Backer 21, worked as an administrator on a Facebook Chargers fan page, and now I write for the top online source for Chargers information, BoltBlitz.com. Not bad for a bandwagon fan.
Here is the moral to my story. Here is the reason that I open my self to ridicule by letting my past skeletons out of my closet. We never know what is going to turn a “bandwagon fan” into a “real fan”. Maybe they will never change. Maybe they will always just attach themselves to winning teams like remora to the belly of a shark. Maybe they will be turned off by a team’s fan base that won’t accept them and allow them to enjoy the fruits of victory. Or, perhaps they will stay with a team forever because they love being a part of a fan base. We don’t know how long a person will be a fan, just because we know when they became a fan. Let’s welcome in the bandwagon fans, now that the Chargers are looking more and more like true contenders, and try to embrace them so that they stay Chargers fans and decide this is where they want to stay. Don’t worry, adding these fans to the fan base will only sell more tickets to games and build more excitement in the city. Deep down inside, you know that no one will reap the level of satisfaction that you will as a life-long fan that day when the Bolts parade through downtown San Diego, holding their Lombardi Trophy high. Cheer and let cheer, I always say (Okay, this was the first time I have ever said that, but you get the point).
Enjoy the game and Go Chargers!!!
Yesterday was a very big day in Charger Camp. The Mighty Telesco made some major moves with injuries plaguing our Bolts. One of the signings, DJ Adams, went to the practice squad sliding in after Marion Grice signed with the Arizona Cardinals.
DJ Adams comes back to San Diego after being waived by the Chargers on June 16th of this year. Adams then went to Dallas and was signed by the Cowboys after an injury occurred to Ben Malena. He was later released by Dallas on August 29th.
At 5’10” and 213 pounds, DJ had success at the college level. After two seasons at the University of Maryland, DJ transferred to Portland State. During his freshman year at Maryland, he set a freshman record with 11 touchdowns. He played in nine games and rushed for 239 yard (3.6 yds/attempt).
In the dreary Oregon skies, DJ ran for 1,600 yards (6.25 yds/attempt) and scored 19 touchdowns during his senior year. With that performance the team awarded him the Most Valuable Offensive Back as well as the Most Inspirational Player – his second year in a row. He stated in an interview after his college career ended that he believes his experiences of being “traded” or transferring in college, and how well he handled it, will pay dividends at the NFL level.
DJ runs the 40-yard dash is an impressive 4.51 clip with a vertical of 33 ½. In reviewing some footage from Portland State, DJ is a good north-south runner with solid explosiveness. Some scouts have criticized his running style of standing too much upright and needing to lower his pad level. Others have commended him on his great body control and center of gravity.
I am excited to have DJ back in our organization. Not only does he have the talent and the desire to learn, but he has never missed a game due to injury. Adams’ confidence in himself to play in any style of offense, as well as his positive attitude with his teammates, appears to be a perfect fit for the San Diego Chargers. Tom Telesco did his homework and made the right moves…again.
In Telesco We Trust
Let’s be honest, most of the football world expected the Chargers to lose to the reigning Super Bowl Champion, Seattle Seahawks. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the Seahawks perfect 2014 campaign. They ran into an inspired Chargers team that was hell-bent on making up for their disappointing loss in week one and shocking the sports world! You read it right, the Bolts dominated all day long and walked away with a well-deserved, yet surprising, win. Should football fans be surprised? Perhaps not.
Throughout the history of the San Diego Chargers, there have been many shocking outcomes. The Bolts have been on the losing side of games where they were heavy favorites. Who can forget Dan Fouts throwing five picks to the Oilers, in the playoffs, when Houston was devastated by injuries? How about those Jets playoff losses? Yes, they do hurt, but they are indeed a part of Charger lore.
Not all of the upsets went against the Blue and Gold. The biggest upset win in Chargers history was when the Bolts traveled to Pittsburgh and took on the heavily favored Steelers. The Steelers were so sure they would win, they actually recorded a Super Bowl Shuffle type video before playing the Chargers in the AFC Championship game! Oops! Looks like the Steelers got a little ahead of themselves and the Chargers headed to the Super Bowl.
There have been other big upsets in Chargers history. Certainly beating Peyton Manning and his 13—0 Colts was one for the history books. Yes, it seems like there are days when the Chargers are world beaters, and days where they just can’t get out of their own way.
Rather than focusing on teams, players, or coaches who no longer work for San Diego, let’s take a look at the Chargers tendency to play to the level of their competition during the Mike McCoy era. Even though Coach McCoy has only just begun his second season as the skipper of the Chargers ship, there has been a rather consistent inconsistency in play by the team. Let’s take a look at the first 18 regular season games that the Chargers have played under coach McCoy.
Week Opponent Result Notes
Week 1 Texans L 31-28 Chargers blew 24 pt. lead.
Week 2 @Eagles W 33-30 Eagles high-octane offense could not keep up.
Week 3 @Titans L 17-20 Locker throws for 299.
Week 4 Cowboys W 30-21 Cowboys schizophrenic.
Week 5 @Raiders L 17-27 Bolts could not meet Raiders intensity.
Week 6 Colts W 19-9 Hot Luck cooled down by Bolts D.
Week 7 @Jaguars W 24-6 Bolts take care of business.
Week 8 Bye
Week 9 @Redskins L 24-30 Bolts fail to score with four plays from the one.
Week 10 Broncos L 20-28 Comeback falls short.
Week 11 @Dolphins L 16-20 Bolts move ball with ease but settle for field goals.
Week 12 @Chiefs W 41-38 Chiefs came in at 9-1.
Week 13 Bengals L 10-17 Ugly loss, filled with turnovers and mistakes.
Week 14 Giants W 37-14 Bolts dominate lesser team
Week 15 @Broncos W 27-20 Bolts 38:49 T.O.P.
Week 16 Raiders W 26-13 Raiders being Raiders
Week 17 Chiefs W 27-24 Beat backups in OT
Week 1 @Cardinals L 17-18 Gave up 12 4th quarter pts.
Week 2 Seahawks W 30-21 Bolts dominate home opener against champs.
Well there it is! If you break down the last 18 games, the Chargers lost five games that they “should” have won (Texans, Titans, Raiders, Redskins, and Dolphins). They have also won four games that most thought they should lose (Eagles, Colts, Broncos, and Chiefs). The outcomes of the rest of the regular season games were not any great shock.
So what does all of this mean? It seems to mean that perhaps the one place the Chargers struggle is their mental approach. It is wonderful to see them come out firing on all cylinders and beating teams that were considered heavy favorites. But conversely, watching them struggle against inferior teams can drive a fan to drink.
The task in front of Coach McCoy now is to find a way to get his players to take each game as a great challenge. To get up for every game as if it were an elimination game. With a 16 game schedule, every win or loss is crucial. Defeating inferior teams allows the Bolts to go against tougher opponents with a sense of calm, confidence.
The win against Seattle was a joy to watch. With very few exceptions, the Chargers played excellent football and actually looked like true Super Bowl contenders. Imagine if they took that same killer instinct into games against teams that have no business taking the field with them? They would be able to build a record that could afford the infrequent slip-up against playoff quality teams.
Physically, there is enough talent on this Chargers club to make the post-season again this year. With one of the most difficult schedules in the league, however, the Chargers must improve the mental aspect of their game as well. If they can ever put it all together, Charger fans may just find themselves enjoying a parade in February.
So what do you think? Can Coach McCoy find a way to get his team as ready to play the lessor teams like the Raiders as he does great teams like the Seahawks?
As a major music fan, and a San Diego Charger fan, it’s a pretty big deal for me that I can combine two of my passions together. If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering how, and why am I even bringing this up?
The answer: It’s Bolt related.
It’s common that every sports team known to mankind has an anthem, or a song written about them (commonly known as a “fight song”); that catchy over-the-top tune that symbolizes loyalty and love for that team. Sometimes it stays for years and even decades, other times it’s a major flop (just like their team in occasions)
For the Chargers, we’re going to go down the list of some of the most popular Charger anthems and/or tribute fight songs that got us pumped up for the games.
“San Diego Super Chargers” – Captain Q.B. and the Big Boys
I mean, can we talk? This is a classic! This is the main fight song, the real deal, and the signature anthem of the Bolts. If you’re a San Diego Chargers’ fan, you have to know this jam. Written in 1979 during the “Air Coryell” era, it was a part of a massive marketing campaign to boost ticket sales and fan support. It became an instant hit in the San Diego area, to this day you can hear the song blasting on the stereo of someone’s car while tailgating before a game, or on Qualcomm Stadium’s speakers whenever the team enters the field and scores a touchdown and/or wins.
“The San Diego Chargers Anthem” – P.O.D
This “new metal” fight song is also one of the more popular anthems of the Bolts, and can also be heard sometimes at Qualcomm Stadium during games. Written and released by P.O.D, originally from San Diego, California in the year 2007, the song expresses a major loyalty to the west coast, the team and “619”, the area code of San Diego. The song is also famous for targeting major AFC West rival, the Oakland Raiders.
“Bolt Up” – Unknown Artist
2012 was the year that every single team was releasing some sort of new “fight song”. While there was a Pepsi campaign called “Pepsi NFL Anthems” that had major recording artist write and record songs for teams like the Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, to name a few; the San Diego Chargers did get a new fight song that year: A basic, but catchy dance recording, that’s more of a song for the Charger Girls to jam to (even though I actually do dance to it whenever it’s played)
“Ballin’ In My DNA” – Emerson Windy
This song is only available on YouTube, but it’s a killer jam! California native Emerson Windy raps his way to create a great fight song, released in 2011. To be honest I haven’t heard this song at the stadium and/or in a playlist of Chargers’ fight songs; but I do think it needs to be included. If you’re a hip-hop fan, and you like the San Diego Chargers, I believe you will really enjoy this song. It’s catchy, it’s got a killer beat, and it has great references to the team and the players.
I’m positive that there are other great songs and mixes on YouTube, celebrating Bolt Pride, but if you want to create your playlist for Game Day, you might want to include these four tracks (or pick and choose depending on your musical likings)
Who knows, maybe next season we might add a new fight song to this mix… * Begins to write a song*
Anyways, hope everyone’s pumped up for the regular season to begin, cause it’s going to be a great ride, I can feel it!
What do you listen to on Game Day?
Share at @JoeLovesMusic24 #BoltBlitz #ChargerPlaylist
While at the draft this year, I got to spend time with the three sisters who run the site, Her Fantasy Football. We met Brandon waiting in line to get wristbands for the 2013 draft and a great friendship was born. Brandon and her sisters, Courtney and Ashley created the site to do exactly as it suggests. The site is a place ladies wishing to learn more about fantasy football or just football in particular. The site has performed beyond expectations but the sisters have grander plans in mind now that they have a feel for things with one fantasy year in the books and another fast approaching. This is an interview I recently had with Brandon about all things Her Fantasy Football. You can also find my first interview with her in the BoltBlitz archive. Be sure to visit their website at www.herfantasyfootball.com.
Those who are familiar with our first interview know that you and your sisters are devout Broncos fans. That being said, thoughts on the Super Bowl…
I blacked out. Literally. After that snap went over Manning’s head I don’t remember a thing. I’m sure there’s a psychological name for what I experienced.
It’s always the most surreal moments that make the best stories. Do the Broncos look to have improved in the offseason?
Last season was the inaugural run for your new endeavor, Her Fantasy Football. How did the site fare?
You and your sisters covered every aspect of fantasy football including power rankings, insightful columns, a new podcast and fantasy help to all who inquired, men and women. How was it for you personally and your sisters as a whole? Fun? Stressful?
Is HFF going to be doing fantasy drafts from the site?
You recently mentioned that you attended the New Media Expo. What is it and what did you learn from it?
Has there been anything that’s surprised you since the season ended as it pertains to the combine, draft slotting or free agency?
What team do you think is winning free agency right now?
Give me a few players on your watch list, draftees or current NFL players
I’m a little snobby when it comes to drafting rookies. I only draft rookie RBs in great situations. First year running backs seem to garner big time productions when they are on a team dedicated to utilizing their skill set. Wide receivers need a year or two to figure out the playbook. Rookie QBs are too risky. It’s a playbook issue and a durability issue and until the game slows down I want nothing to do with rookie quarterbacks on my fantasy team. Therefore, I’m mostly interested in Bishop Sankey, Carlos Hyde, Jeremy Hill and Tre Mason.
As far as the returning studs, Rashad Jennings playing for the Giants gets me all hot and bothered. Watch out for the QB situation in Minnesota because I think Cordarelle Patterson will have a breakout year. I’m a Keenan Allen girl, Bolt Blitz. Don’t you worry. If you don’t get the big three tight ends (Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis, Julius Thomas) you should beg, borrow and steal to get Jordan Reed. Nick Foles will be the steal of the draft.
Thank you for interviewing me again. I was very impressed with the Chargers last year and I think they will continue to grow as a team. And more importantly for Her Fantasy Football, the Chargers have some strong players that fantasy players will love. I think I’d stay away from the tight end situation, but unlike last year I will suggest at least drafting Rivers to your fantasy team. I’d also suggest Ryan Mathews. I love how he scorned so many fantasy players before. That just means you can get him as a deal much later than he’s worth!
I’m excited for September.
Thank you Brandon, for taking time from your hectic schedule to do this interview. We look forward to seeing HFF grow and we look forward to seeing and hearing you on the air!
Be sure to follow Brandon and her sisters at Her Fantasy football on Facebook and Twitter!
Her Fantasy Football: @herfantasyfb
Brandon Lee: @BrandonHerFFB
Courtney Kirby: @CourtneyHerFFB
Ashley Williams: @AshleyHerFFB
Although I’m always looking for solid writers, I am wanting to ramp it up as the preseason slowly approaches. I am looking for people who truly want to write and have the availability to do so. I am not asking for folks to be Sports Illustrated-quality writers. I am looking for individuals that want to take the time and effort to be a part of something that is truly about to take off. And if you live in San Diego, that’s a huge plus.
If you have the time and capability of doing one or two posts a week, please email me a small piece of your work. You can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We already have a very diverse staff of writers from all over the world. But I am seriously interested in adding a large number of writers prior to the preseason. There is plenty of time for those that are interested to submit a piece of their work. I am especially interested in adding a few more female writers to the site.
I love and respect my staff to the highest degree. But real life happens. I need people who are willing to produce and be a part of all of the excitement that this site has in store.
I am not, necessarily, looking for people with prior writing experience. I am looking for writers that love the Chargers and have good content.
I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you that have been waiting to have your opinion posted on a larger scale than the comment section of our blog and/or other sites.
If you think you have the time and knowledge to join this team, send me a short piece of your work to take advantage of the opportunities at hand.