NBC San Diego
Articles from Chargers.com:
- SD-Jax postgame victory vines
- VIDEO: Philip Rivers highlights
- Red-zone defense boosts Bolts to win
- “An offensive achievement over the last decade” for Rivers
- Finally, field position flips in Bolts’ favor
- VIDEO: Postgame victory speech
- Happy homecoming for pair of wide receivers
- Rivers burns Jags with his feet
- VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Chargers at Jaguars
- PHOTOS: postgame locker room celebration
Articles from ESPN.com:
- Chargers are four-point underdogs at home vs. Broncos
- Perryman, Te’o make dynamic duo for Bolts at linebacker
- Perryman up, Ingram down in Chargers’ win
- Rivers leads Chargers to win over Jaguars, snapping six-game skid
Articles from the San Diego Union-Tribune:
- Chargers chat with Tom Krasovic
- Melvin Gordon shows growth if numbers don’t
- Notebook: Gates helpful despite hip
- Rivers passes NFL greats, relishes opportunity
Articles from NBC San Diego:
Ricky Henne of Chargers.com provides a scouting reports for Thursday’s opener against the Cowboys.
Eric Williams of ESPN.com talks about how former NFL receiver Eric Moulds is working a s a coaching intern for the Chargers.
Mark Maske of The Washington Post states that some NFL owners support the Chargers and Raiders over the Rams when it comes to relocating to Los Angeles.
Chargers.com talks to Jason Verrett and Chris Watt about the importance of the combine.
Eric Williams of espn.com takes a look at Mel Kiper’s mock draft for the Bolts and the running back situation.
Tom Krasovic of UT San Diego looks at the Chargers’ special teams units from last year.
Derek Togerson of NBC San Diego writes about San Diego head coach Mike McCoy.
Chargers.com writes about the retirement of Nick Hardwick.
Derek Togerson of NBC San Diego writes about the NFL saying that concussions are down.
Sid Saraf of Fox Sports.com writes about Eric Weddle’s tweet regarding Warren Sapp’s recent arrest.
Gene Cubbison of NBC San Diego posts about whether or not the public should be made more aware of the goings on regarding the stadium situation.
Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com talks about the hiring of Mike Nolan as Linebackers coach. He also looks at the offensive line going into the 2015 season.
Eddie Brown of UT San Diego writes about National signing day and his top-5 uncommitted recruits.
Eddie Brown III of UT San Diego posts a full 3-round mock draft.
Kevin Acee of UT San Diego talks about LaDainian Tomlinson’s comments about San Diego pursuing Adrian Peterson.
Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com profiles the 2015 tight end position for the Chargers.
Derek Togerson of NBC San Diego interviews offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles.
Stay tuned for my interviews with Gene Cubbison of NBC San Diego, NFL linebacker Thomas Keiser and Charger offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles in the next week or so.
EDITOR’S NOTE: BoltBlitz.com launched on February 26th of 2013. The two weeks prior to the launch were spent building the site and getting things in order to begin what I had hoped would be a successful blog. The website had a ton of success in its first year. I brought over Greg Williams with me from a site that we used to write for in the past. Jarvis Royall has been a part of my team for the majority of its existence. Williams and Royall are ranked number two and three, respectively, in number of articles written on BoltBlitz.com.
Little did I know, it would be working together with Thomas Powell to take this thing to a high level at a very rapid pace. Take a look at all we were a part of in 2014. It is quite humbling when you see it all written down. We were clearly blessed last year.
The 2014 Charger season began with Booga in North Carolina while I was here in San Diego. We had just started to team together to make BoltBlitz.com the biggest fan site for Charger news and information. We also wanted to unite Charger fans from Facebook and Twitter. Then Booga landed a radio show on 107.9 fm Mountain Country here in San Diego, BoltBlitzLIVE. So he, at a great sacrifice to himself, left North Carolina and moved in and the framework for our plans began to unfold. He had been covering the team from across the country and we could communicate better in achieving our goals with him here in San Diego.
So with BoltBlitzLive set to air in June of 2014, Booga arrived in April. We planned our goals and what we both wanted to achieve. Then he left for New York and attended the NFL Draft a few weeks later. But before he left, the plan was set in motion to unite Charger fans: A BoltBlitz Meetup. The date was set for May 31st at the Tilted Kilt in Mission Valley. While he was gone I promoted the meetup and when he returned we went like a steam train putting the news out there.
While pushing and promoting the meetup, we had many questions about its success. One of the main concerns was whether or not fans would show up in the middle of May to talk Charger football. I mean, it was the offseason. Booga and I worked on the players and the media to get them to attend. Nothing this big had ever been done before, but we were determined to make this a very special event for the fans. Booga was set to raffle off over $4,000 dollars in Charger gear he had obtained over the years. The many hours of planning for this were, at times, overwhelming. But we knew it was worth it. Even the Chargers front office got wind of the event as people were getting excited and sharing the news all over Facebook and Twitter. Booga and I were hoping for between 50 or 70 people for this event.
As May 31st came, we learned for the first time to not ever underestimate Charger fans and their devotion to the team. People were arriving 2 hours before the event took place. By the time it started an astounding 225 people packed the Kilt from the front to the back. Charger offensive linemen Craig Watts and Jeremiah Sirles showed up for autographs and pictures with the fans. Our good friend Jesse Arroyo of www.arroyophotos.com took pictures of the fans smiling and laughing together and the group picture. Derek Togerson of NBCSanDiego came with his video camera to broadcast it on the 6:30 pm newscast that night. Fans were making friends and exchanging numbers. Laughter and smiles filled the room. Everyone had one thing in common that night, a deep devotion to the Chargers. A team that loves a team! The next morning Facebook was flooded for hours with fans sharing their pictures of the event on social media. The meetup was a smashing success. That morning we started planning the next meetup.
But first was the debut of BoltBlitzLive. Booga did the very first show live by himself. Then he was joined by Jamie Hoyle our staff writer at the time. I joined them a couple of weeks later to create a 3-man booth. We interviewed Craig Watts, Marion Grice, Alden Darby, Thomas Keiser, Adam Rank of NFL Network, Steve Adler and Eddie Brown UT Staff draft writer. We had Antonio Garay, Derek Togerson, and Fernando Ramirez of SportsSpeak (who covers the Chargers) live in studio. We took calls from fans from all across the country including Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Delaware, New York, Nevada, Washington, Texas, Michigan and, of course, San Diego among other places in California. It was a great time but now the 2nd meetup was ready to go!
The 2nd BoltBlitz meetup was at the Tilted Kilt on July 12th. The excitement was building through social media for another event. Most of our staff writers were there. So were CS Keys, Dan McLellan formerly of CBSSports, Eddie Brown of the UT and Tricia Mathews (Ryan Mathews’ mother). She was there to support their charity the Door of Hope Chest to help single mothers gets the necessities of life. She came all the way from Bakersfield. She took pictures with the fans and donated a pair Ryan Mathews autographed cleats. One fan came all the way from Seattle just to attend the meetup. It was such an honor for us to have him there and introduce him. The turnout was an astounding 250 people. The night ended with Booga and I in dresses posing for pictures. Fans exploded with laughter. It was another huge success that night.
As the season approached we attended the Chargers MCAS Miramar practice with press passes. It was a practice with the Military, their family members and the Charger players. We were able to take pictures and talk to several players and members of the organization afterwards including Philip Rivers, Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy. The preseason kicked off with Booga in the press box for the Dallas game and quite a few regular season games. I was able to attend practice on Wednesday covering the team as they prepared for Oakland. We were both very appreciative of the access the Chargers allowed us. We owe a big thank you to Bill Johnston for those opportunities.
As our 3rd meetup approached at the Fox Sports Grill in Downtown. LaDarius Green showed up for a meet and greet. Many of the fans were now not only friends but family. The view over the bay was gorgeous and Jesse Arroyo handled the group photo again. The management there was kind enough to donate five $50.00 gift cards for our raffle. We realized at this one to put an emphasis on incorporating the kids in our events. We had a few of the youngsters hop on the microphone and announce some of the raffle winners. Lesson learned.
The Bolts started the season off strong and all was good in Charger land. So a celebration was in store during the bye week. An intimate evening for the fans: A bonfire at Fiesta Island under the stars. I have to admit this was one of my favorite events. Everyone – about 80 fans – standing near the fire under the night sky smiling and laughing again. But this one was special because we met so many of you for the first time. There were so many new faces at this event. Everyone who attended has become very close friends with Booga and I. They have joined the family and have done so much for us. Future bonfires will happen. The amount of people were smaller than the meetups, but the interaction was so much more personal. It was a great night for all of us.
Through the exposures of these events we were contacted by Paddy Pickford of Evolution Lighthouse to help hold an event downtown where Eric Weddle would sell his jewelry to help stop domestic violence against women. It was held at Taste and Thirst in downtown. It was quite personal as a lot of our guests shared their experiences of what they have gone through. The event raised more money than any other charity in their history. Again, don’t ever underestimate Charger fans, folks.
Our focus of uniting Charger fans and supporting the Bolts continued as we planned 4 viewing parties for the away games. We gathered at La Bella’s in Chula Vista. Fans gathered to be with their fellow family members to watch the games together. It was a good time and San Diego went 3-1 at La Bella’s when the BoltBlitz family got together there.
This brings me to the most fun I’ve had in a long time. We were welcomed to the Bolt Pride tailgate in P4 at the Qualcomm stadium parking lot. We are simply boys among men with these guys. When you are passionate about something in your life, you want to share it with people who share that passion among others; the ones who feel the same way you do. The atmosphere there is amazing. It is a close-knit family sharing the same experience. It is what Booga and I envisioned yet they had already achieved. The music and the dancing was legendary. Bolt Pride, we thank you all so much for the experience. Truly a heartfelt thank you goes out to Rafael Alvarez, Josh Casillas and Johnny BoltPride. You are Charger fan legends and we thank you all. Much respect to all of the BoltPride members and we love your group and all that you do.
Thanks to Joe Allen again, we were asked to cover the 2nd Annual Ryan Mathews Golf Tournament. It was a great day as we hung out with Mathews, Seyi Ajirotutu, Ronnie Brown and their friends at the Rancho Bernardo Inn and golf course. All three Chargers were really cool and each had a great sense of humor. I won’t get into their golfing abilities.
I am an administrator on several Charger pages on Facebook. While cleaning up one of these pages I came across a 3-year-old with terminal brain cancer. I stared at his picture for 10 seconds and he had me. Something about his mother’s post just got to me. It’s not like we don’t see these posts all the time, but this was like love at first sight. Killy’s mother, Amanda Sardelis, stated he was a Ryan Mathews fan. They were contacted by Joe Allen from Strikes for Kids and got Killy a signed football and autograph. But the boy stayed on my mind. At work, at home, and while sleeping he was on my mind. Maybe because my kids just moved away. I don’t know, but he was my obsession. He wasn’t looked upon as a son, exactly. Nephew? Nah. Brother? Nah? But he was mine. I fell in love with him immediately.
My father died of cancer, as did my grandfather. You took them but you’re NOT taking him, PERIOD! This was so personal to me. ALL I cared about was a boy named Killy. Cancer talks to so many today. We all know someone. But a 3-year-old? Seriously? Come on? NO! You won’t take him, not him, NO! Love overcomes all and people will love him.
I had no idea the impact that Killy would have on others as he did on me. I went to Booga and shared his story. We decided we’re going to do something for him. We talked and due to having many media contacts and influence among the fans, we wanted to reach out to as many people as possible. The fans have taught us many things. Most importantly, we’re family!
When a family member gets sick, what does family do? They come running in like the cavalry. And you certainly did come blazing in. We shared his story on Facebook and Twitter and you fell in love with him too. We all were going to make this boy’s Christmas the best of any child on earth. The family was assembled and the family responded in such a way that brings me to tears. We can get 40-50 fans together to bring him Christmas presents. YES, that is it. We’ll meet him and bring him presents.
We then asked our Facebook friends to change their profile picture to him 2 weeks before the event on Dec 13th. HA! The next morning everyone changed their picture to the little boy in a Charger Santa hat. I thought maybe 30-40 people would change their profile picture. Over 400 people (could be more we don’t know the exact numbers) changed their pics. Killy was EVERYWHERE! Mess with family but don’t mess with Charger Family!
When people call San Diego a bandwagon city, tell them to go Google Killy. Even Matthew T. Hall of the UT ran a story about the movement. Killy actually proved if we unite in a cause it can be overwhelming. Nancy Castro of Telemundo, Derek Togerson, Dan McLellan and Annie Heilbrunn all changed their profile pictures to Killy. Presents were sent in from Twitter and Facebook from all across the country. Even Thomas Keiser sent Killy a gift. #KillyStrong and #KillysArmy were hashtagged everywhere on Facebook and Twitter. But would the fans respond? Would they show up to an event to meet our little celebrity on December 13th twelve days before Christmas? YES, YOU DID! Around 80 people showed with presents at Chargers Complex on December 13th to meet Killy. Then we all hopped in our vehicles and headed out to the Q, cars honking to party with Killy and show him what a tailgate is like.
Dan McLellan dressed up as Santa Clause and Elmo, per a referral from the Make A Wish Foundation, came. Animals for Children came as well. Every fan lined up to meet Killy personally and hand him a present. To everyone who attended, you’re forever in my heart. I love you so much. To Amanda,Valerie and Jimmy we support you and love you. To Killy, you know how we feel about you. You are incredibly special!
Our last event of 2014 was our final viewing party at La Bella’s. We were all shocked and heartbroken by the week 17 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. We accepted that the loss, as heartbreaking as it seemed, was just a loss. Now back to family. Amanda brought Killy down to spend time with the BoltBlitz family. We laughed and shared memories with him after the game. Why? Because that is what family does! So many of you are our family. I can’t tell you enough how much we love you all. For those who have welcomed us into your homes, we thank you. For those of you who have been in our home, we thank you and you appreciate you being in our lives. To Bolt Pride, the media, and the fans, we LOVE you!
By uniting we all showed what can happen when we come together. Now, let’s go fight for our stadium and Keep Our Bolts in San Diego! You’ve proven that anything can happen. We have two exciting events coming up in the last week of February that we’ll be making announcements about in the coming days. Let’s make 2015 smash 2014.
Leave a comment on the website in the section below. Not on FB or Twitter, but below. Let us know we met you and at what event. That would be great information to help us all share in the amazing memories. And, of course, always stay #KILLYSTRONG!
Thank you all for your support.
Some people think sports reporters are old, not cool enough and have a tendency to be out of touch with the fan base. Well, then you haven’t met Derek Togerson.
Derek is the guy every sports fan wants to have a beer with and talk sports. His job is actually harder than most. He has to fit all of the day’s top sports headlines into a couple of minutes on the local NBC telecast. He does it well, too; using his wit, humor, cleverness and knowledge to bring you the day’s top sports stories. No matter if your sport is Nascar, the Sockers, Golf, Basketball, Padres or Chargers. Derek covers them all in his own unique style that makes it both entertaining and learning experience.
He also has segments on Football Night in San Diego. The first thing that comes across the screen when watching him is his love of sports. You see it throughout the entire broadcast and in his interactions with fans on Twitter. If you want to get your sports in a youthful,unique and creative way, then Derek Togerson is your man. You can follow Derek Togerson on Twitter at @DerekNBCSD or on Facebook at Derek Togerson.
Tpowell: You worked in Philadelphia as a sports reporter. Tell me about your time there. How did their fan-base differ from San Diego?
Derek: Philly is awesome. I took the job there without having ever visited. The only image of the city I had came from Rocky and the opening of The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air. But it is a beautiful city. I went there from Yakima, WA, and I learned very quickly how things work with major sports markets and professional teams. It was a great run; the Sixers reached the NBA Finals, the Eagles went back to the playoffs and won a game at home, the Flyers were always in the playoffs, and the Phillies started their run of success after years in the doldrums.
As for their fan base, it is rabid. All the stories you hear are true, and I respect them like crazy. The best way I can describe it is, Philly fans look at their teams the way a big brother looks at a little brother. We can beat up our bro all we want, but don’t you DARE lay a finger on my bro! They will heckle, bad-mouth and boo their own teams at the drop of a hat. But, if any other team’s fans tries that, there’s gonna be trouble. Those folks are probably the most loyal fan base I’ve ever seen (I have only visited Chicago, not worked there, but that would be the other contender in my eyes).
However, the San Diego fan base is every bit as knowledgeable, maybe not in the history of their teams, but certainly in how the game works, and Padres fans know the game of baseball a whole lot better than Phillies fans do (please do not publish this in Eastern Pennsylvania or South Jersey).
Tpowell: You like music quite a bit. Tell me your favorite bands? Who have you seen in concert?
Derek: I am a music nut, which is odd because I have zero musical talent. I can’t sing, I’ve tried to learn guitar and piano, but nothing works for me. It’s cool right now to say you like any kind of music, so I’ll say I don’t like any kind of music. If I hear something I like, it doesn’t matter if it’s rock, metal, country, rap, adult contemporary, whatever. I tend to like musical acts more than musical styles. I have seen Metallica, Van Halen, Guns N’ Roses, Tim McGraw, Hank Williams Jr., Hall and Oats, Duran Duran, The Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson, The Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Jimmy Buffett, Aerosmith, the list goes on. It’s stupid to either entirely discount or blindly listen to an entire genre because inside each genre is room for abundant variation.
Tpowell: Week 17 last year. What a day to be a Charger fan. Everything that we needed to come together, well, came together. Describe that day for you. I was in the stands and it was amazing how it all came about!
Derek: Week 17. Oh my goodness. I haven’t been on many emotional roller coasters as crazy as that one. Just a month earlier I went on Football Night In San Diego from Miami and declared their playoff hopes dead (in an awesome Caruso spook, by the way). I’ve never been happier to be wrong. It wasn’t that I had lost faith in the Chargers, I thought they could win any game left on the schedule. I just never thought the Ravens and Dolphins (especially Baltimore) would collapse the way they did. You can ask Booga P, when Ryan Succop lined up that kick at the end of regulation, I was packing up my gear in the press box. I don’t want to get in to the whole, “They should have lost to a bunch of backups, nothing but blind luck,” argument. The bottom line is, the Chargers did the things necessary to reach the post-season, 10 other AFC teams did not. You don’t like, stop losing to the Bills in Week 17.
Tpowell: Wht are your thoughts on the new regime of the Chargers?
Derek: This new regime is doing things the right way. I really like and respect Tom Telesco, Mike McCoy, and the whole gang. They both came from organizations that paid attention to the little details. Broncos owner Pat Bowlen runs a first-class operation. You can see it down to the types of chairs they put in the press box (comfy, rollers, adjustable, very nice!). Telesco learned the trade from Bill Polian, arguably one of the best NFL executives of all time. Lucas Oil Stadium is a jewel in the Midwest, and you can see they put a lot of effort in to minutiae. That attention to detail trickles down to the playing field. The first day of training camp, when we walked in and saw construction on a nearly brand new media center almost complete, we knew things were changing from the very foundation. That’s the difference now. Under Norv and A.J. the Chargers lost sight of the details, so the Devil rose up and bit them. I think the whole organization’s mind-set is still changing, including the owners, and it’s changing in a positive way.
Tpowell: You had a stint as a Palm Springs Sports Talk show host. How was that? Do you enjoy the talk show format or the newscast more?
Derek: I loved talk radio. I did a lot in Phoenix, too, on a fill-in basis. It’s awesome to have a couple of hours to hit on things, really dive deep in to topics, do long interviews with interesting people, and interact immediately with listeners on the phone. In TV you need to streamline things a whole lot more, but I enjoy that, too because it makes me really think and drill down to the nut of the story. Plus, the assistance of moving pictures is a huge asset, especially when you get to work the group of gifted photojournalists I do (shout out here to Dave Smith, our long time sports photojournalist, one of the best I’ve ever met!).
Tpowell: Tell me something no one knows about you? I’m not looking for an Oprah Winfrey crying moment. Just something your fans don’t know that you think would be cool if they did?
Derek: Well if I have any fans I am shocked to hear that, and thanks to all (both?) of you! I have a lot of little talents that nobody knows about, like when I was juggling batteries in our Football Night tease from Jacksonville. I can juggle fairly well; I do a few magic tricks; I’m working on my first novel (which will probably never be published, I just want to say I wrote a book), a political thriller that has nothing to do with sports; I really enjoy cooking and take care of dinner whenever I have an evening at home (signature dish would be a garlic shrimp over angel hair pasta in a white wine reduction sauce); I started college as a Theater Major and did a touring production of Aladdin; and I once rode Space Mountain 10 times in a row without having to get back in line.
Tpowell: How is covering the McCoy regime different than the Norv-AJ regime?
Derek: McCoy and Telesco run things very differently than their predecessors. I think Mike is still growing in his interactions with the media. You can say what you want about the lack of information about injuries, he’s neither the first nor the last NFL head coach to give reporters the Heisman on that topic (although saying Danario Alexander would be fine only to find out he had a torn ACL was too much). McCoy is a man who wears his emotions on his sleeve, and you can feel it right after a win or loss. During the week it’s much more vanilla, but I really like it when he lets his guard down. It helps the fan base see there is a fire in there, something Norv simply refused to do.
The difference between Tom and A.J. could not be greater. Their demeanors are night and day. Telesco is engaging, honest, happy to praise his players in public, and smart enough to know he doesn’t know everything. He gets the opinion of a whole lot of other people before making a decision. Smith was prickly, gruff, evasive, completely unwilling to say anything nice about anyone, especially if that player was not “his guy,” and, in my opinion, got to the point he believed he could do no wrong when it came to personnel decision. I really think the Chargers are in a great spot moving forward with this group.
Tpowell: How do you go about reporting a story? What is your criteria before you report it? How many sources do you use before reporting it normally?
Derek: I go in to a story with as open a mind as I can have, yet still an idea of where I’d like to point it. If you don’t begin with a plan, it’ll be a shotgun blast and the final version will be haphazard and awkward. But, if you try to drive that plan too hard, you might miss something even cooler that comes up during an interview. So I try to be as prepared as I can, but flexible enough to scrap it all and start fresh. As for breaking news-type stuff, I have a lot of people I trust greatly. You always try to confirm everything with an authority figure from both sides before going with a big story, and even then you have to make sure you always give attribution. That’s just common sense as a journalist and good practice for covering your rear end.
Tpowell: Who’s the most interesting player you covered? What are some of the misconceptions you think fans have of athletes that are miffs?
Derek: Oh, man. I’ve been lucky enough to cover a boatload of interesting characters in my day. Allen Iverson comes to mind. He is completely misunderstood by most of America. He made a lot of mistakes in his youth and at the end of his career, but in my experience the man, in private situations, is as caring and gentle as one could ever be, yet he lacked the ability to say no to folks in his inner circle that were hurting him. But, my favorite guy of all time was Mark Grace. That man is a stand-up comic in a baseball uniform. After Diamondbacks games he would sit at his locker, which you could identify by the standing gold ash tray and cooler full of Bud Light, and hold court. That guy was never at a loss for words. Oh, and by the way, for my money he’s a Hall of Famer. Mark Grace led the decade of the 90’s in base hits. Every other player to lead an entire decade in hits is in the Hall of Fame (Ichiro Suzuki, who had the most knocks from 2001-2010, will be, too). Put Gracie in, if for no other reason than his induction speech will be amazing!!!
Tpowell: How does Social media affect you in your reporting? Do you consider it a mostly positive or negative in doing your job?
Derek: Social media is your proverbial double-edged sword. I use it mostly to keep tabs on things going on, interact with fans, and base on the Dodgers. It is a great tool for immediately being able to share information and stay up-to-date on things, but I never take anything I see on there as fact. It’s always just a good place to start looking and checking to make sure everything is correct. Overall, I think it’s a positive for my job because I have gotten much more in tune with the San Diego sports fans, which helps me understand what the talking points are, and allows me to ask those kinds of questions (plus, now a lot more people know how much I hate the Dodgers). I’m really a big fan myself, one that’s lucky enough to be in a position to ask the athletes I watch why things happen in a game, so if there’s something the folks want to know, I want to figure it out for them. Oh, also, I try my best to get back to everyone who mentions me on Twitter (Facebook I’m still warming up to), but if I don’t, I hope nobody takes it personally. Odds are I just missed it!
On behalf of the entire staff at BoltBlitz.com, I’d like to offer up our most sincere thanks to Derek for taking the time to do this interview. What an awesome job by Mr. Togerson in sharing his insight with all of us here. As Thomas listed above, be sure to follow Derek on Twitter. You can also follow Thomas @tpowell619.