I have been a Chargers fan since 2004. I was 11 years old when I first watched Drew Brees and LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates shock everyone and win the West only losing to the Jets in heartbreaking fashion. Drafting Eli with the 1st pick overall only to trade him for an even better QB in Rivers plus more. 2006 when the team was by far the best in football only to have Marlon McCree fumble away the Superbowl vs the Patriots.
I have been to countless amounts of games over the past 10 years, seeing LT break the record, beating Denver in 2008 to come back from four games down with four to play. I watched as Antonio Cromartie intercepted Peyton Manning three times and Chargers picking him off six times total on a raining Sunday Night. Ryan Succop missing the field goal in week 17 and the Chargers running a fake punt to clinch a wild card berth.
All these memories, gone thanks to greed and arrogance by an owner, who I can truly say as factual, just doesn’t get it. Spanos may be the worst owner in sports, and has all but lost the San Diego fanbase and doesn’t have any one in Los Angeles who will go to him. There is no one but yourself to blame for this. The city of San Diego tried for 15 years to get a stadium and what did you do? Put out ONE plan that you knew would fail….one. This isn’t on the city. This is on you. You have become the laughing stock of, not just the NFL, but in all of sports. Here are some examples for you Mr. Spanos:
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) January 12, 2017
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 12, 2017
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) January 12, 2017
These are just three examples of national teams/media bashing you. Here is one from my personal Twitter page:
— Padres SZN (@WilMyersGOAT) January 12, 2017
You got what you wanted. You wanted LA, well, have fun.
For the last time blitzers, I leave you. I appreciate everyone who supported but this will be my last post on boltblitz.com. I can not, and will not support this team in Los Angeles. I hope to still engage with you guys on social media, and one day, just maybe one day, we will get our Chargers back. But until then, here is me checking out saying, Fuck you Dean Spanos and Fuck the Los Angeles Chargers.
-Zak Darman (@WilMyersGOAT)
It has taken a few days to get over this last loss. As I sat there and cleaned my house after the Monday night game, I had categorized my emotions into one word: numb.
As Chargers fans, we’ve seen this before. We’ve seen it entirely too often.
Blown leads, missed field goals, late touchdowns and more. Chargers fans have experienced some excruciating losses outside of the most recent loss to Pittsburgh.
Let me caveat this by saying this, it’s not one play that loses the game for the team. There are usually several things that build up to losses like the one on Monday. For instance, the crossing route to Keenan Allen that would’ve been a walk-in touchdown that saw the pass from Philip Rivers batted down at the line.
That being said, I wanted to look back at a painful history of losses that happened either on the last play or that led to a direct sequence that caused the Chargers to lose.
They say misery loves company, so join me on this miserable look back at some painful losses.
September 7th, 2008 – Chargers vs. Panthers
This one, to me, was the most similar to the game against the Steelers. The Chargers went up by five with just over two minutes left in the game. The Panthers drive down the field and with two seconds left, the ball at the 14-yard line, Jake Delhomme finds Dante Rosario in the back of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown with no time left on the clock.
September 15th, 2008 – Chargers vs. Broncos
Just eight days after the first loss listed in this piece, another painful loss the Chargers fans still haven’t gotten over. Quite frankly, I’m sure Ed Hochuli hasn’t forgotten this game. I guarantee that Chargers fans still remember it. Here’s the sequence of events:
- Cutler drops back and fumbles as he tries to throw the ball
- Ball is recovered by Tim Dobbins as Hochuli blows the whistle and signals incomplete pass
- Hochuli admits it should’ve been a fumble but by rule is incomplete
- Broncos score on the next play a touchdown to Eddie Royal and go for two to win the game (also complete to Royal)
- Chargers lose 39-38
An interesting note here, both Rosario and Royal went on to play for the Chargers after these game winners. Let’s also not forget Brandon Marshall had 18 catches in this game and was unstoppable.
January 17th, 2010 – Chargers vs. Jets – Playoffs
This one hurts. It’s where Nate Kaeding truly started to earn his nickname of wide right. THREE. MISSED. FIELD GOALS. If he makes one of those the game would’ve been tied. Two of them, and the Chargers have a lead. Brutal loss 17-14. This wasn’t a last second loss, but it was brutal. I remember covering my eyes after the first miss and it didn’t get any better on the next two tries.
There’s a reason we hate Mondays – Should we be surprised?
Monday night hasn’t been kind to the Chargers of late. There was the Texans game in 2013 (up 28-7 at one point) and the Broncos in 2012 (up 24-0 at halftime). These both hurt, as it looked like the Chargers were in cruise control only to be beaten late.
James Jett – October 11th, 1998
I still remember listening to this call on the radio. The Chargers had the lead 6-0 in the 4th quarter. Sure, this was a losing team and they weren’t going anywhere, but this one hurt. James Jett goes 68 yards for a touchdown with just under a minute and a half left in the game for the win. That was just one of two long touchdowns Jett scored on us that year. The other a 45-yard grab in a December rematch.
Chargers vs. Patriots 2007 – Playoffs
Let’s just call this what it is…the Marlon McCree game. This was probably the best shot the Chargers had to win a championship and bring it to San Diego. This team finished the year winning 6th straight to go 11-5 and had the talent to go all the way. Then it happened. McCree makes a great read and picks the ball off and instead of falling begins to run with it, is stripped by Troy Brown and the Patriots throw a touchdown to Reche Caldwell and end up winning the game. Sure, a lot happened after the McCree fumble, but it feels like that would’ve sealed it for the Bolts.
Now, there are other games that come to mind, like the Redskins game in 2013 after the Chargers couldn’t punch it in from the one-yard line. I’m sure I’ve missed some games that are equally if not more painful, as well. But these are the ones that stuck out for me.
Comment below on any other games you remember that were excruciatingly painful.
Thanks for commiserating.
Fanatic: ( noun) 1. A person with an extreme or uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.
Another NFL season has come to a close and as a devotee of one of the 31 teams that did not acquire the brass ring, there is nothing to do but reflect. Instead of the usual breakdown that will and has already been done ad nauseam, I thought I’d use this space to purge my Chargers thoughts. Confessional style.
When it comes to sports I am, above all things, a Chargers fanatic. My earliest childhood memories come as a seven-year-old, sitting on my dad’s lap every Sunday. His drinking buddies came over because we had the biggest TV on the block. A giant, Zenith floor model unit that probably weighed some 200 pounds. While I was taught the game by the guys and learned some things by osmosis (like how to count by 7’s. I can still count by 7 without end when moved to do so).
The guys always asked who I wanted to win and until I finally got a grasp on players and teams, my best logic was the team with the best helmets would win. The Chargers always had the best helmets, hence they became my first favorite team and it’s always been that way. Regardless of sport, the Chargers are #1, everyone else is jockeying for a distant second.
Growing up in North Carolina, the Redskins and Falcons were always the closest in proximity. Most were born Redskins or Cowboys fans in the south but I always gravitated to the Chargers because they were always the late game and the last image of a football team I saw that day. The Chargers teams from then on were not different from what we experience now. There were strings of really awful seasons and there were streaks of really great seasons with the Air Coryell era being the first I was there to live through.
Not coincidentally, that was the birthplace of my disdain for the Raiders. That was the time when the Raiders were the most intimidating team in the league. Guys like Lyle Alzado, Ted ‘The Stork’ Hendricks, Lester Hayes, Howie Long and others were known for being dirty. Those guys made Ndamukong Suh look like a boy scout by comparison. My love for the Chargers is only matched by my hatred of the Raiders.
At this time, the fabled Air Coryell passing attack was revolutionizing the NFL. I enjoyed watching legendary Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts shredding the league even though I didn’t at the time realize the enormity of what I was witnessing. Today, I and many pundits recognize Fouts as the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL never to play in a Super Bowl. It’s a hard point to argue. Fouts was a first ballot Hall-Of-Famer, league MVP in 1982, six-time Pro Bowler and Offensive Player of the Year among many other records and accolades.
Fast forward to present day.
The Chargers have another quarterback who is a sure-fire first ballot Hall-Of-Famer in Philip Rivers. The similarities are obvious. Both are tough as nails, humble team generals. Neither were fleet of foot, they prefer to stand tough in the pocket and deliver strikes downfield. Both known for their accuracy and were featured in pass happy offenses. Granted, after phenom running back LaDainian Tomlinson arrived the Chargers became a run-first offense it only made Rivers more dangerous. I’ve always thought of Rivers as Fouts 2.0. My only wish is that his career doesn’t mirror Fouts in the Super Bowl appearance department.
In the deep, dark recesses of our sports conscious that we dare not speak aloud to like-minded fanatics, the questions loom like a thundercloud.
What is wrong with my team? Why can’t we ever stay healthy? What is it going to take to get Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Eric Weddle and the long-suffering fans of the Chargers their long overdue Super Bowl championship? A winning season is not enough. The promise of a new day is not enough. Every team has this song and dance at the beginning of every season. We, like sheep, dance along settling for mediocrity.
There’s nothing romantic about being a long-suffering fan. It’s painful. It’s gut wrenching. It’s mood altering. We should demand better from our team and from the front office from the owner to the equipment manager. We are nothing if not loyal and loyalty should be rewarded.
I have these questions not because I question my devotion to my team, I have these questions because I care. I care more than I should about a collection of multi-millionaire athletes and coaches who wouldn’t know me from a hole in the ground but that’s the definition of a fan. We fans share a deep, emotional attachment and that’s why we cheer, boo as loud as we do and scream for vengeance when our team is wronged.
Looking at YOU, Ed Hochuli. Looking at YOU, Marlon McCree. Looking at YOU, 1994 San Francisco 49ers. A fan never forgets. The emotional scars may heal in time but they stay with us like nicks on a plate of armor. The only way to smooth them out is a Super Bowl win. We’re fans, a shortened form of fanatic. We’re not fanatics because by definition a fanatic is uncritical. We are definitely critical, sometimes overly or unjustly critical.