Yesterday was January 12, 2017, a day that shall live in infamy. Some will refer to it as the beginning of the end, and to others just the beginning.
The Chargers are officially moving to Los Angeles, and with this sudden and drastic change, many Charger fans are jumping ship to other teams, or dropping any passion they had for the NFL all together. Of course with those publicly made comments, there have been tons of rebuttals from fans of other NFL teams belittling said fans for doing so.
I say to those that are making the decision to follow another team: Although I am making the decision to follow them in Los Angeles under the condition that they remain the Chargers – I do not blame you.
I also come from a different background. I was not born and raised in San Diego. I became a Chargers fan at a very young age because everyone else around me where I lived, seemed to be an Arizona Cardinals fans. So in a way, I was a fan of the Chargers as an entity, not as a representation of a city.
Regardless of how I became a Charger fan, it still hurts me to watch the team leave by way of a press release; no public meeting, just a cowardly gesture and they are gone like a thief in the night. I understand that the team is now not that far away from San Diego, however the team moved to what is considered to be a rival city. I remember the benches clearing brawl in the Padres- Dodgers game a few years ago between Zack Greinke and Carlos Quentin! These two cities do NOT like each other. It is not to the likes of a New York and New Jersey rival; closer to that of a New York and Boston rivalry. Fans of the NFL born after 1996, who were not alive to witness the move of the Houston Oilers, St. Louis Cardinals and the original Cleveland Browns, do not understand the gravity of this situation.
The social media attacks of Charger fans walking away from the team, seem to forget that a majority of the fans they are chastising, the team was a large part of not only their community, but their upbringing as well. Without actually experiencing the situation yourself, you really have no idea what it is like to lose such a large part of your community – your life. Chargers fans in some of the Facebook groups compare it to having a girlfriend that cheats on you and then shares the picture with you on Facebook with her new ex. You still may love that girlfriend, but it is clear that she did not love you back.
That is the case with the Chargers in my opinion. The reason for the low attendance the past few years is not just because of poor performance, but also the Spanos family yanking the citizens of San Diego around and giving them false hope. It is not just the Spanos family, however, that is at fault. I believe all sides regarding the team and the stadium issue are to blame.
Getting back to my original thought: Fans of the teams that either have not moved in their lifetime or have never moved, where their loyalty has never been tested, should not be telling Chargers fans about how loyal they are and blah, blah, blah. Those casting stones often forget that being a fan of any sports team is a passionate yet gentle distraction from the stressors of our daily lives. We put our heart and hopes into that team, and in return they give us hope and pride in something that is bigger than ourselves. A sports team is a large part of a community; it brings people together and in turn gives back to the community by public works. Now in San Diego, that entity is gone with no public meeting, just a few touches on a keyboard. That is why it hurts the way it does.
So for those who are not, or never were, Chargers fans, please be reminded that everyone is entitled to their opinions and feelings. Your loyalty might not have been tested yet, and even if it has and you choose to stay with your team, I am fairly certain there were numerous fans of your team that jumped ship.
Thanks for Reading
As many have seen through all sorts of mediums, the time is finally here; it is time to vote on the building of the new Chargers stadium in downtown San Diego. It almost seems like people forget the impact that PETCO Park had on the San Diego landscape, transforming the area it was built in from a lonely ghetto to one of San Diego’s most valued real estate areas.
During last year, when the NFL was having its meetings about the Chargers, Raiders and Rams and where they would all end up, there were all sorts of fan polls taken as to who they would prefer in the Los Angeles area to represent the NFL.
The team at the very bottom of every poll presented was none other than the Chargers. Although polls can be misleading because of the sample size of each, driving through the Los Angeles and Orange County cities, one can see who really runs the city of angels, meaning the Rams and the Raiders.
Dean Spanos has ruled out rebuilding on the current site of Qualcomm Stadium, guaranteeing to everyone that the Chargers organization is putting all of their eggs in one basket, going full force for the downtown stadium. Of course, it would be wonderful if it does pass and does get built. However, what happens if it doesn’t pass? After all, this is the city who allows the away team to overrun its own stadium. The amount of Chargers fans in Los Angeles is extremely dismal, and one would think that after lasting only one season in Los Angeles that history would repeat itself.
The Chargers are going against well established LA teams, and hoping to pull a fan base out of thin air. It makes it worse that one of those established fan bases in Los Angeles is already a hated rival of the Chargers.
My question is, how do you expect to build a sports franchise when MOST of your future stakeholders have grown up hating your brand? It’s like R/C Cola creating a factory and headquarters right next to Coca-Cola in Atlanta, GA. Just bad business.
There is no future for the Chargers in Los Angeles.
So, the bottom line is, vote yes on C, or else in 2-3 years, we will have no team to root for. No let’s go Chargers; everything we own will become franchise wear similar to those who own Houston Oilers’ merchandise. The Chargers are a staple of San Diego, and to let them leave would be a catastrophic disaster.
It’s been a week since the fateful decision that wasn’t for the team and the fans of the San Diego Chargers. A week later we have as many answers as we did when every owner of every team went behind closed doors to discuss the fate of our favorite team in Houston.
The 33 most powerful men in football went into a room. By the time they came out, much like the Chargers own front office, even they could not figure out what to do with the Bolts. The Los Angeles Three-for-all ended with the St. Louis Rams getting the green light to go to the City of Angels by a whopping 30-2 vote.
San Diego gets approval to move to Los Angeles and share the new stadium Rams owner Stan Kroenke will build in Inglewood. That is, IF he and Chargers owner Dean Spanos can come to an agreement on co-habitating the facility in one year. The Raiders get left with nothing but the right to be next in line to barter for co-habitation with Kroenke if the Chargers fail to do so.
The NFL offered a parting gift to the Chargers and Raiders in the form of $100 million towards building a new stadium in their home cities IF they can come to an agreement to build there. We all know how well that has gone so far.
Still, this is a victory for fans of the San Diego Chargers. The team is not moving. Yet.
Dean Spanos is part of the old school of NFL owners. Stan Kroenke is part of the boisterous, defiant, rebellious new school of NFL owners. Spanos is tight with his money as all Chargers fans know. Kroenke throws around money like there’s no tomorrow. The two don’t get along to say the least, which bodes well for Bolts fans.
Imagine you just built your dream home. You’ve moved in, decorated and it is finally perfect. That night the doorbell rings and it’s the person you can’t stand but tolerated because you know punching this person could equal time in jail. This person says, “You have a great new house, we should BOTH live here for the next fifty years!”
A little over-the-top, sure, but not far from the truth.
Chargers fans couldn’t have hand-picked a better foil for the Los Angeles plan than Stan Kroenke. Kroenke is set to build his dream stadium. If the renderings are to be believed, this stadium will be nothing short of futuristic. Into his office walks frumpy Dean Spanos.
We should both live here…..
The NFL owners are not a mutual admiration society. There are distinct factions behind the scenes. While Kroenke made his victory speech last Tuesday night Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis left the room and did not return. When reporters asked Spanos when he was going to begin discussions with Kroenke his Chargers owner first comment was “I’m going to take a day off.” Doesn’t sound like a man looking forward to moving onto another man’s property, especially that man.
The fate of the Chargers remains in limbo. Spanos has reportedly applied for the trademark rights to the names Los Angeles Chargers and L.A. Chargers but that’s about all he’s been able to accomplish. The rights haven’t been granted to him yet.
When Spanos and Kroenke finally met in person on Monday to discuss sharing the new venue the only thing they decided was to keep everything private until there’s something to report. Thanks for nothing, guys. It’s not like there are players lives and families and fan allegiance riding on these ‘discussions’.
Oh wait, there are…
Again, this pairing could be the best thing to happen to San Diego when it comes to keeping the Chargers in town. If both owners were gung-ho on getting these teams in place as soon as possible a deal would be done by now. In my humble opinion Spanos would rather stay, use his $100 million consolation prize toward building his own stadium than be Kroenkes’ tenant. I’ve never believed the Chargers would leave and still don’t. Looking at the way the situation is unfolding, now I have a basis to go from and not just hope. As do we all.
Sit back and enjoy the first world billionaire problems.
The struggle is real.
The Greg One
The San Diego Chargers went into Sunday’s road game against the Baltimore Ravens knowing it was a make-or-break game. Despite a litany of injuries to key players throughout the game, the Chargers found themselves in a tied game with minutes left to go. A costly pass interference penalty on Steve Williams put the Ravens in position to boot the game-winning field goal as time expired. Baltimore succeeded on the attempt and sent San Diego flying back across the country with a 29-26 loss.
The loss is the fourth in a row for San Diego, the sole occupant of the AFC West cellar with a 2-6 record. Even more frustrating is the fact that the Chargers could easily have the inverse of that record as three of their last four losses have literally occurred on the last play of the game. The Bolts are easily the best 2-6 team in the league, but there are no moral victories in the NFL and there are definitely no moral playoffs.
The sky is indeed falling in San Diego.
The lightning bolts on the Chargers’ helmets are supposed to symbolize lightning striking the opponents. Instead, the lightning has been striking each other. In the Baltimore game alone, twelve players went down with injuries. Most notably, Keenan Allen, King Dunlap, Ladarius Green and Corey Liuget did not finish the game on the field. To add insult to injury, only Allen did not leave Baltimore in a walking boot.
Injuries have been the undoing of the Chargers.
There has been no shortage of negative stories coming out of Chargers Park this offseason. There were contract issues with Eric Weddle and Philip Rivers. Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd are ready to call it a career after the season. The potential relocation to Los Angeles has been a black cloud that has loomed over the entire season. Fans have been apathetic when it comes to showing their team pride at games. Visiting teams have said playing San Diego on the road was like playing in their own home stadium. And speaking of home stadiums…on second thought, enough has been said to that end without anyone having anything relevant to say.
The Chargers needed a great season to put all the negative feelings, stadium and relocation talk on hold and focus on football. Instead, the losing and recent NFL Town Hall meeting has bolted those issues to the forefront once again. The fans are stomping mad about the product on the field.
Should they be?
Four of the Chargers six losses have occurred on the final drive of the game. San Diego is holding together with duct tape and bubble gum on both sides of the ball, especially the offensive line. The running game has been nonexistent but they are the number one offense in the league. Philip Rivers has been remarkable considering the pounding he’s taken and the number of bodies of his offensive linemen growing exponentially each game.
You would have to delve deep into the record books to see the last time the No. 1 quarterback in the NFL through eight games was on the last place team in his division. The Chargers’ record does not reflect their effort. Sadly, the record is all casual fans will see and the outrage will give way to more apathy.
As if that weren’t enough, on Tuesday, Keenan Allen, Branden Oliver and Tourek Williams were all placed on injured reserve, ending their seasons. Allen was on the way to shattering records. He suffered a lacerated kidney on his highlight-reel touchdown on Sunday. Oliver was more decisive in his running than Gordon. While his yards per carry was slightly less (3.7 to 3.5), he outgained Gordon in the passing game (8.6 to 5.2 yards per catch). Williams had missed the entire regular season but looked to be close to returning.
What hope is left in this season?
San Diego has a schedule that lends itself to a long winning streak. There are five AFC West games as the Bolts have only played the Raiders to this point. Of their remaining eight opponents, only Denver and Oakland have winning records. Their non-conference opposition (Chicago, Jacksonville and Miami) have a combined seven wins.
Their chief opposition, Denver, is done with the cupcakes of the league and now face the meat of their schedule with games against Indianapolis, New England, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in addition to their conference schedule.
If San Diego can string together wins, and most importantly beat Denver, they can realistically challenge for a wild card spot. Winning the West is out of the question barring a complete Denver implosion, but stranger things have happened in the NFL. Yes, this is the glass-half-full viewpoint, and I’m one of the few who still has it. To quote the X-Files, I want to believe. I still do believe.
How about you? Is your glass half-empty or half-full? Leave your comments below.
The Greg One
The 2014 season finished in what can be accurately described as “disappointing” for the Chargers. The team started 6-1, were No. 1 and on top of multiple power rankings to start the season. Philip Rivers was getting consideration for the league’s Most Valuable Player and they were being thrown around as a possible Superbowl team.
Then, injuries happened.
Danny Woodhead broke his leg. DJ Fluker played through half the year on a hurt ankle. Ryan Mathews played in six games. Keenan Allen missed the last two games with a broken collarbone. Rivers played with a back injury that limited his ability to throw and move. It goes without saying the playing five different centers makes it difficult to build cohesion on the offensive line.
As you can tell, the Chargers played beat up and with a lot of back ups and third stringers. But they finished the season 9-7, and one game shy of the playoffs.
Just how good are the Chargers when healthy?
As everyone knows, the Bolts added some playmakers this season. They upgraded many areas of their team and they are also coming off a very disappointing, yet not terrible season. The offseason has been a disaster, however, from the talks of relocating to Los Angeles, to Eric Weddle not being extended which then lead to a brief holdout and then the biggest bomb of them all, future Hall of Fame tight end Antonio Gates being suspended for Performance Enhancing Drugs.
So why the optimism?
Well, the Chargers are good. REALLY good. Tom Telesco has altered the o-line as one of the best in the AFC, gave Rivers another weapon in Stevie Johnson, got more physical defensively with the signing of Patrick Robinson and Jimmy Wilson and made the return game something teams fear with the signing of Jacoby Jones.
Is it enough?
The schedule this season is very favorable. Early on in the year is the toughest stretch, with games in Cincinnati, Minnesota and Green Bay and games at home vs Pittsburgh and Detroit. I mention these five games because they seem to bring the toughest competition to the Bolts.
Early in the season, it is not that big of a deal to drop a game or two to a team of that caliber. Win two of those five and you’re set up perfectly for the stretch run. The notable games after the bye week (week 10): Home/away versus the Chiefs, home/away versus the Broncos and home against the Dolphins. These are very winnable games and with the depth and offensive line that Telesco has provided, the Chargers should be able to compete and win at least three of these five games mentioned.
That leaves you at 5-5 through the toughest stretches of the schedule. The remaining games are at home versus the Browns, Raiders, Bears and on the road against Raiders, Ravens and Jaguars. Five of the six just named are extremely winnable with the Baltimore game being winnable, but a difficult game, nonetheless (and Chargers have experience winning there as they did it this past season). That leaves the Chargers final record at 10-6 or 11-5 and should be enough for a wild card berth and a potential AFC West division title.
The key to the playoffs is health (also, having an elite QB in Philip Rivers doesn’t hurt either) and the Chargers have depth, but will they stay healthy? Head coach Mike McCoy has been doing a great job trying to keep everyone healthy during training camp. That won’t change during the regular season.
On paper, this is the most talented team the Chargers have had since 2009 where the Bolts went 13-3 and snatched up the second seed in their conference. The AFC doesn’t seem to have that one Superbowl favorite team that you know will dominate the conference. It is wide-open, and the way Telesco has built this roster, the Chargers very well could end the year in Santa Clara playing in Superbowl 50.
Do you think the Chargers have what it takes to reach the Super Bowl? Let me know in the comments!
Another miserable day to be a fan of the San Diego Chargers.
The news from today’s meeting with the NFL and the NFL owners was not what San Diego Chargers fans wanted to hear.
Carmen Policy stated that the Raiders and the Chargers are fully committed to Los Angeles. He went on to ensure that Dean Spanos was fully committed.
I feel like I should be committed. I’m losing my damn mind over this crap.
The following questions have been posed by multiple media outlets: Would you travel to Carson should the Chargers move? Will you still be a fan of the Chargers if they were in Los Angeles (Inglewood or Carson)?
After sifting through all of the various tweets, I figured I’d throw some of the “best” responses in an article.
— No Good Cheech (@Cheech619) August 11, 2015
— Gavin (@CT2SD) August 11, 2015
@chargers You guys must be high on methane gas leaking from your Carson stadium site if you think SD fans are following you to Smell Aye!
— geapetto, florentini (@gpettooh) August 11, 2015
I have a lot of @Chargers gear. I also have a big box. Unfortunately, today feels like the day for introductions. What a bummer.
— AJM (@AvengingJM) August 11, 2015
— The AFC West Show (@AFCWestShow) August 12, 2015
@Judson1360 I’d rather someone shit in my mouth than go to Carson for a chargers game
— TomFoolery (@TomFoooolery) August 11, 2015
That seems like a pretty good place to stop.
It goes without saying, people are not happy. The fans of the San Diego Chargers feel betrayed, and they have every right to feel that way.
The move to Los Angeles seems certain to happen. That being said, it ain’t over until it’s over.
Oh, who the hell am I kidding.
My stance on the Chargers at this point is to just try to enjoy as much of this season as possible. I hope they win the whole damn thing and all of the veteran players that helped them get there ( Philip Rivers, Eric Weddle, Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd, et cetera ) all play for other teams or retire next year.
What will a joint venture between the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego mean to the Chargers? To begin with, it does is alter one bone of contention – the vote. Or does it? Secondly, it paves the way for the two entities to (hopefully) meet on mutual ground in the bid to keep the Bolts in San Diego. Third, it perhaps gives the team, and its fan base, hope for the future. Finally, it may prove that the deal in Carson is what many believe it to be – a bluff rather than reality.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Thursday that the city and the County, behind Supervisor Ron Roberts, will be splitting costs in the hiring of attorneys, consultants and other experts to assist with the impending issue. Each side will present its findings/proposals by the May 20 deadline. It has to be fair to all the involved parties – the city, the county and the team. Keep in mind that this undertaking not only affects Chargers football but that of San Diego State in addition to other events which provide revenue.
Does a new stadium need to be voted on? Since the City and County are pledging to work together, it does not appear that the two-thirds vote is going to be needed. However, Mayor Faulconer has indicated that even if a ballot measure for that two-thirds approval is not required, he feels it is mandatory for San Diego voters to have a say. The likelihood of a “yay” vote occurring in the sole circumstance of the City voting is like paddling your canoe upstream against the current. This team has fans that trek not just from downtown but also fans that travel from inland North County and the coastal communities as well as from East County and South County. Do you see where this is headed? Why should only those registered voters in downtown San Diego be responsible for making a decision that will ultimately affect those who reside outside its boundaries? Let us not forget what has been common knowledge for quite some time: the city coffers are not in the best financial state. Enter the county which is in a better position to assist. To best serve the San Diego Chargers and their many devotees, a county-wide ballot must be proposed, as it was back in the day when San Diego/Jack Murphy/Qualcomm stadium was initially presented in 1964.
The team has tried for many years to gain approval for a new home in San Diego. The city hasn’t always wanted to play ball even though its former mayors had stated that they would help facilitate such a project. Now, at the nth hour with Los Angeles becoming a mecca as it were, the timeframe is tightening. The facility that the San Diego Chargers currently play in is decrepit, falling apart, outdated and before long will not be a viable venue for anything. So, while the City and the County of San Diego each hire and task their chosen attorneys, advisers, and specialists with searching for a plausible, cohesive plan to make dreams reality, Dean Spanos and his special counsel, Mark Fabiani, will continue to pursue Carson, CA as an alternative.
Bottom line, it is do-or-die for Mayor Faulconer, Supervisor Ron Roberts, and the Citizens Stadium Advisory Group.
Thank you for reading! Please share your thoughts below.
It has been over a decade since the Raiders visited San Diego to play Tampa Bay in Super Bowl XXXVII (That’s 37 for the non-Greek number readers). Most experts back then knew that the team’s success was because of what was left of Jon Gruden’s work, and as the years progress it has proved to be correct.
With the exception of two consecutive 8-8 seasons (2010 and 2011), the Raiders have been irrelevant, period. To me, I honestly can’t say who has had it worse these past ten years: Cleveland or Oakland. I mean if two teams had parallel histories, these two teams would win without a doubt. Both teams have burned through head coaches and quarterbacks, both teams have loyal fanbases who live off of past accomplishments and both look ridiculous on gameday. Also, both teams left town temporarily only to return. The difference: the Raiders returned to their old venue under strange circumstances, the Browns were resurrected through expansion and got a new stadium out of it . Of course, only Oakland appears likely to lose the Raiders a second time. Cleveland also won the AFC North in 2007 with a 10-6 record, another thing the Raiders can’t claim.
On November 16th, old acquaintances will be renewed when the Oakland Raiders and their “fans” invade the tranquility that is Qualcomm Stadium. O.C. Register Columnist Stephen Fryer laments the rules the Q’s management enforces whenever the Raiders come to town. In an email exchange we had, Fryer asks why does the stadium enforce such rules as one beer per person, no alcohol sales after halftime, and the most intense pat-down going through the turnstiles? Chargers fans have got to admit that 90% of Raiders fans back their team because of their color scheme of silver and black and not because of their on the field performance. Go ahead, ask a Raider fan who was their quarterback the last time they played in a Super Bowl let alone won the thing.
Depending on what I can find on Stubhub, I am debating whether or not I will attend the game or watch from the safety of my home. About ten years ago I went to a Chargers-Raiders game and encountered the zoo that was Raider fanbase. I told myself, “Never again.”. With the Raiders losing ways, a fan should wonder if Raider fans will be there to watch the game or just be there to start trouble. I’ll give you 5-2 odds it’s the latter.
With Qualcomm’s reputation, I predict a 60/40 ratio of Charger/Raider fans. Could be better or worse depending on who shows up. With the Raiders sitting at a horrendous 0-9 and the Chargers coming off a bye week after losing their last three games, I wonder who will be playing as if there’s nothing to lose.
Frankly, this game has lost some of its luster since the Raiders began their losing ways. Yes, I know, the October 12th game was too close for comfort, but Jason Verrett showed why he was a first round draft pick. If Brandon Oliver was able to do the damage he did to Oakland, I can only imagine the field day (no pun intended) Ryan Mathews will have against the Raiders. With the likely returns of several key defensive personell, I can safely assume we won’t be seeing anymore 37-0 embarrassments and maybe some QBs won’t have the time to throw accurate passes? If tomorrow’s game is a blowout, my advice is get out of Qualcomm because chances are the action will move into the stands. Of course, we’ll want the game to be close. . . And once the Raiders lose, expect their fans to remind Charger fans of their tarnished rings that were won when many of them were not even born.
Final score: Chargers 41, Raiders 24.
The San Diego Union-Tribune recently put up a paywall on their website so I don’t know how serious Nick Canepa was in regards to replacing Philips Rivers. My take: too soon, maybe in three to four seasons but longevity isn’t a problem these days.
Speaking of Canepa, he recently dumped gasoline on the continuing saga that is the Battle for Los Angeles. I mean, can we leave the subject alone until somebody officially announces that they’re taking their team to Venice Beach?
Finally, with the Raiders on November 16th and the Rams on November 23rd coming to San Diego, one could jokingly call these next two weeks the “Loser Gets Los Angeles” series. I think the Chargers will sweep so Dean Spanos and Mark Fabiani should think of ways to appease not the fans, but the taxpayers of San Diego. Think of it this way: not all taxpayers are San Diego Charger fans.
There are some that would love to see the San Diego Chargers move to Los Angeles – mostly those involved in the business aspect. There are even a few that would root for the club if they became the L.A Chargers. I, on the other hand, feel absolutely sick to my stomach even at the thought of it, and here’s why.
I was born and raised in San Diego and currently reside in Arizona. I have many fond memories of my hometown and visit fairly often. My memories include such things as jet skiing in the bay, bonfires on the beach and hanging out at Horton Plaza mall. Even my late father’s ashes lay in the frigid water of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Coronado. Yet, my most favorite recollections are watching the San Diego Chargers on TV. Supporting the Chargers is what keeps me close to home, and keeps those memories alive and vivid in my mind. For the past few years, there have been multiple articles written and many discussions articulating the possibility of the Chargers moving to L.A. That being said, I could never root for the L.A Chargers.
I do not like L.A. It could be the traffic, the vanity of everyone that lives there or even the annoyance of how everything feels so rushed. There has always been an undisclosed tension between the people of San Diego and Los Angeles, but I don’t think anything compares to the football pressure. Yes, the Chargers spent a year in L.A, but left in 1961 for one reason…no fans! Most recently, many were left bitter when the Rams left there and headed east to St. Louis after the 1994 season. Since then, the city has been searching for a team to wake up the city’s sleepy football community. Here’s where I will say, with my heart on my sleeve, “Look somewhere else because it can’t be the San Diego Chargers”.
San Diego is a city everyone loves. Have you ever heard someone utter “meh, I really don’t like San Diego”? I have so much love for where I’m from and for the Chargers! I sometimes blab on about how Philip Rivers, even without a Super Bowl ring, is a top-five quarterback, or that the team is extremely underrated, or even going as far as wearing a shirt with Manning’s name and an inappropriate symbol embossed on it. I love San Diego and I love the San Diego Chargers. Hell, I even love that Father Time stadium we call the Q. I couldn’t possibly see it any other way. Envisioning “The Los Angeles Chargers” makes me cringe and snarl. But more importantly, I feel a heavy heart with even the possibility of a move; a heaviness that cannot ever be mended. The San Diego Chargers are one of the last things to give me solace in the city I live that isn’t considered home.
One of San Diego’s greatest athletes was born in Los Angeles, the late Tony Gwynn, but spent his entire baseball career in the nation’s finest city playing his entire career with the Padres. For many reasons, Gwynn migrated to San Diego and remained there. Even his final resting place is in Poway. In addition, Junior Seau spent his beginning and remaining years in San Diego. With such a rich history, there’s absolutely every reason to be a fan of any San Diego professional sport.
I despise Los Angeles, and the fact that the city was once home to the Raiders gives me an even more burning hatred. I want the Chargers to forever claim San Diego as their finest city, and having the best fans in the NFL. I couldn’t see it any other way. Fans like me will agree it wouldn’t be the same and, personally, the loss would perpetually scar my football heart. It might be that the Chargers have a very special fan base or that they continue to have an underdog reputation and never get the credit they deserve. But I wouldn’t want it to be any different. The San Diego Chargers are imprinted on me, like a scalding brand to a calf’s hindquarter. I cannot, and will never, support a team called the L.A Chargers.
La ciudad de San Diego, California ha sido anfitrión y casa para los Chargers desde sus primeros años en la Liga Americana de Fútbol (AFL: American Football League), y ha establecido una afición masiva, que ha estado en los momentos buenos y malos de la escuadra relámpago, durante 5 décadas.
Sin embargo, se ha visto durante los años, el deterioro en la estructura e inmobiliario del Estadio Qualcomm, lugar que ha sido casa de los Chargers desde 1967, cuando se inauguró esa instalación con el nombre “Estadio de San Diego”.
Actualmente, preguntas han sido lanzadas, en la administración de los Chargers y en la “Ciudad Más Fina de América”, sobre el futuro del equipo en la zona. Rumores y planeaciones para un nuevo estadio han estado en la prensa desde los comienzos del nuevo milenio, después de que el Estadio Qualcomm haya sido anfitrión al Super Tazón XXXVII en el año 2003. Estas propuestas incluyen construir un nuevo estado que varía en ubicación, desde el mismo lugar del actual anfitrión (Qualcomm), hasta en el centro de San Diego, junto a Petco Park, hogar de los Padres de San Diego.
Incluso, se ha dado el particular rumor de un cambio de ciudad, enfocado todavía en el Sur de California, pero en una ciudad más al norte de San Diego:
Así es, la zona metropolitana más poblada de la zona oeste de los Estados Unidos ha tenido, desde ya un par de años, el proyecto de traer a un equipo de la NFL a “Lalaland”. Recientemente, la NFL expresó interés en tener un equipo de fútbol americano en la ciudad de las estrellas entre los años 2015 y 2016. Particularmente, se nombraron a tres equipos posibles: los Raiders de Oakland, los Rams de San Luis, y nuestros queridos Chargers.
Los tres equipos tienen una historia con la ciudad de Los Ángeles: ¿Dónde entra la escuadra relámpago en este cuento? Pues, ellos comenzaron su trayectoria en Los Ángeles. En el año 1960, los “Chargers de Los Ángeles” jugaban en el “Los Ángeles Memorial Coliseum”, en el cual solo jugaron por una temporada.
¿La razón dada? No había aficionados.
La asistencia en los encuentros era baja, tan baja que en varias ocasiones, el PA (Public Address System) no anunciaba al equipo: los jugadores salían al campo y saludaban a la gente antes y después de cada partido. Buscando una afición más extensa, se sabía que la ciudad de San Diego estaba interesada en abrirle las puertas a un equipo, y así fue que el año siguiente, en 1961, los Chargers se movieron a San Diego para jugar en el Estadio Balboa, lugar que fue casa del equipo hasta en 1967, cuando el Estadio Qualcomm se inauguró.
Sabiendo que los Chargers han establecido una afición en la zona suroeste de California por más de 50 años, la idea de cambiarlos de ciudad suele ser para varios un simple rumor. El detalle es: ¿Qué sucede si se vuelve realidad? El Estadio Qualcomm actualmente es uno de los estadios más viejos de la NFL, y a pesar de todavía tener vida y ser algo que distingue al equipo, se sabe que puede haber mejores instalaciones, no sólo para la administración y los jugadores, sino también para los aficionados que partido a partido apoyan con el alma a los Chargers.
Compartiendo mi opinión, yo no pienso que los Bolts se irán de San Diego, y menos hacia Los Ángeles, por el simple motivo de que en Hollywood…..no hay afición, o si la hay, es muy pequeña. Cuando tu escuchas “Chargers”, piensas en San Diego, piensas en la gran afición, en el gran clima, y en el Estadio Qualcomm.
Además, siendo sinceros, los Raiders tienen más oportunidad de irse a Los Ángeles. Hace unas semanas fui a los Estudios Universales en Hollywood, y en la plaza de CityWalk hay una tienda oficial de los Raiders. Eso te da una idea de la afición que hay en esa zona, y a qué equipo le conviene mas moverse, si es que llega a moverse.
Será muy interesante ver qué sucede en el resto de la temporada y los siguientes 12-24 meses. En conclusión, parece ser que la única cosa que detiene a que los Chargers tengan un nuevo estadio, es que ganen un Súper Tazón.
– José “Joe” Martinez