Qualcomm Stadium

riversbrees

 

 

Let us begin with one seemingly simple, yet frequently argued truth: the Chargers made the right decision when they let Drew Brees get away.

Those with 20/20 hindsight see how great Brees became and know that he won a ring with New Orleans. They look at his accomplishments after leaving San Diego and compare them to the success, or lack thereof, of the Chargers under Rivers, and envy the fans of the Saints.

That being said, be honest with yourself, Drew Brees was seriously injured in his last game in San Diego and, quite frankly, his performance with the Chargers was average at best.

Please allow me to refresh your memory.

During the Brees’ tenure in San Diego, he was very hit-or-miss. In his first season, he sat the bench and learned behind fan-favorite Doug Flutie. In his sophomore year, 2002, he won the starting role, but was only able to throw for a little over 3200 yards with 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, adding two fumbles. Not bad for a first-year starter, but he lead the team to a middling 8-8 record.

Brees came back as the starter in 2003 and only amassed 2100 yards with 11 touchdowns, 15 picks, and four fumbles. He was benched by then head coach Marty Schottenheimer and replaced by Flutie. Despite the efforts of Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson, the team ended up just 4-12 that season. With Brees seemingly heading in the wrong direction, the Chargers’ brain trust decided that it was time to draft a quarterback.

Enter Philip Rivers.

In 2004, Brees could see the writing on the wall. The Chargers traded for Philip Rivers on draft day and he was the heir apparent to the starting QB job.

Brees’ days were numbered indeed.

Fortunately for Drew, Philip decided to hold out for more money and missed most of training camp. Coach Schottenheimer decided that he could not afford to start their new $40 MIL rookie and put Brees back in his familiar role.

Well, one thing we all know about Drew Brees in current times is that when his back is against the wall, he will come out fighting. He went on to throw for over 3100 yards with 27 touchdowns, against just 7 interceptions and four fumbles. This was by far his most productive season, as he lead his team to an amazing 12-4 record.

What do you do with a quarterback who just lead your team from worst to first in a single year? You start him the next year!

The 2005 campaign rolls around and Rivers is sent to the bench once more. That holdout is proving very costly to the sophomore QB. This was the last season on Brees’ contract. Something had to be decided by the end of the year. Two quarterbacks’ futures were on the line as the season wore on. Brees was quite inconsistent in 2005. He amassed just under 3600 yards and 24 touchdowns, but his interceptions ballooned back up to 15 and his fumbles up to eight!

The decision was going to be tough.

With the team going 9-7 and Brees showing signs of greatness along with signs of ineptitude, no one was sure whom the Chargers would keep.

Word was leaked out that general manager AJ Smith wanted to keep Rivers. Head coach Marty Schottenheimer liked Brees.

Who would win the job?

As it turned out, that difficult decision was made quite easy. Despite many who thought Brees should not play the meaningless final game of the season, Schottenheimer decided he should. Many speculated that Brees got the start because Schottenheimer did not want to showcase what Rivers could do and keep AJ Smith from offering Brees a contract extension.

Whatever the reason was, it backfired in a big way.

While attempting to recover a fumble, Brees suffered a severely torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. This injury is not considered an automatic career-ender, but many do not return with the same arm strength. Brees was not considered a strong-armed QB to begin with, so the thought of him coming back weaker was not attractive. Also, the thought of letting go of their $40 MIL bonus baby was eating away at AJ Smith.

Smith made the call. With Brees’ numbers declining and it being impossible to determine if and when he would recover from his injury, it was time to part ways; thus opening the door for Philip Rivers, who lead the Chargers to a 14-2 record the following season.

With Rivers and Tomlinson playing at an extremely high level, it was obvious that Smith made the right call. Hell, even the Dolphins, who brought Brees in for a workout, refused to sign him. They opted instead for aging veteran Daunte Culpepper. That proved to be an extremely poor decision.

Yet again, when you tell the undersized Drew Brees that he can’t do something, he gets determined to prove you wrong. Brees rehabbed his shoulder and came back stronger than ever before. The New Orleans Saints decided to take a shot and signed him as their new starting QB. Just four years later, Drew Brees was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy high in the air and celebrating his Super Bowl victory with the Saints. He was the king of New Orleans and the top passer in the NFL.

Sunday, October 2, 2016, Drew Brees returns to his roots. He will once again grace the field at Qualcomm stadium in front of thousands of adoring fans who think about what could have been.

You see, Drew Brees didn’t leave San Diego in an ugly fashion. There may have been no love lost between Brees and the Chargers’ front office, but with the community, all was well. In fact, Brees still lives in San Diego in the offseason and is a pillar of the community.

There is no question that the success that Brees has seen in his brilliant career in New Orleans has helped revisionist historians question the decision to let him go. That being said, what choice did the Chargers have? Keep an ailing, undersized, average quarterback? Or, give the young stud who they had invested so heavily his opportunity to shine?

In reality, the decision worked out for both teams. Brees found the perfect situation, team, city and coach to allow his skills to flourish. Rivers stepped in and quickly made fans believers. In fact, they are both considered to be future Hall of Fame QBs by many experts.

My question is, if Brees did not get injured, would he ever have had the chip on his shoulder that allowed him to build up his strength and become a far stronger and more deadly quarterback than he was in his first five years?

We will never know the answer to that question, so the debate goes on.

Thanks for reading. Please  leave your comments below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.

Go Bolts! #VoteYesOnC

Will McCafferty

5-2-Junior-Seau-2

 

Junior Seau.

Say-Ow!

Junior! Just hearing his name evokes all sorts of images and reminders of one of San Diego’s hometown heroes. He was a beloved and favorite son.

I never met Junior, but I’m sure that the term “hero” is probably one that would have made him uncomfortable. From what I have read about him, I think it would be safe to say that his response would be something along the lines of he was just showing his gratitude in his own simple way to a community and fanbase that idolized him when he was just doing his job. A job he loved so very much. A job that, ultimately, once he hung up his cleats, he could not reconcile being away from. It was a fundamental part of him that eventually caused him to take his own life.

May 2, 2012.

A day many Chargers fans would probably prefer not to remember.

As I write this, it is the four-year anniversary of Junior’s death. I vividly recall feeling the utmost shock when my husband told me, “Seau’s dead.” My brain could not fathom that one of THE most vibrant Chargers’ players was gone. He was so young. The circumstances were more mind-boggling when it was reported that he had shot himself in the chest. Later it was announced that he had deliberately done that to make certain his brain could be donated and posthumously examined for CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).

Tiaina Baul “Junior” Seau, Jr. was born in San Diego and played his early football years in Oceanside. He lettered in three sports for the Oceanside Pirates. He accepted a football scholarship to the University of Southern California after graduating from Oceanside High School. Seau was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year in 1989 after totaling 19 sacks and 27 tackles-for-loss as well as receiving All-American honors that year.

It is no wonder that the Bolts took the ferocious, hard-hitting linebacker with the fifth pick in the first round of the 1990 NFL draft. His play was like lightning. One couldn’t help but become engaged while watching Seau blitz the offensive line followed by his signature celebration. Junior would leap up, pump a fist and kick out a leg after dropping a ball carrier or quarterback. How could you not get caught up seeing the ferocity and excitement of Seau over the course of three hours?!

No. 55 brought so much vitality to not only the sport he lived and breathed, but to the people who watched his team because he was one of its stars. He was a very compassionate man who loved giving back to his community and fans. He WAS the San Diego Chargers. HE was the face of the franchise.

He wore lightning bolts on his shoulders from 1990 until 2003. That year, Seau signed with the Miami Dolphins and played there for three years. After Miami let him go, he came home to California.

I remember watching the sports news on August 15, 2006. He had signed a one-day contract with the Chargers. A press conference was held at Chargers Park for all of us to witness Junior’s announcement. The heart and soul of the defense for 13 seasons acknowledged his fellow players, coaches and team management. He stood at the podium, explaining his decision saying, “It’s pretty easy. When a team doesn’t want you or need you, retire, buddy.”, eventually to be followed by the words, “I’m not retiring. I am graduating.” Then he shocked us all four days later by signing a one-year contract with the New England Patriots, stating, “I’m going for my master’s now.”.

There were many honors bestowed upon Seau throughout his stellar 20-year career: 12 times voted to the Pro Bowl; NFL Defensive Player of the year (1992); Walter Payton Man of the Year and AFC Player of the Year (1994); two-time AFC Defensive Player of the Year (1992 and 1998), just to name a few. In 1994, he helped lead San Diego to its lone Super Bowl berth, facing the the San Francisco 49ers. It was a blowout loss. In 2010, he was inducted into Oceanside High School’s Hall of Fame. On September 16, 2012, a mere four months after his death, he was honored by having his jersey No. 55 retired. The white, blue and gold banner with his name and number hangs and flies high above Qualcomm Stadium.

The best was yet to come, however.

August 8, 2015, the final accolade. It was bittersweet to watch as he was posthumously voted in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. The Bolts’ beloved linebacker finished his career with 1,524 tackles, 56.5 sacks and 18 interceptions.

Perhaps one of the most poignant descriptions of Seau was this one made by former NFL cornerback for the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers Willie Buchanon. He claimed, “Mr. San Diego, Mr. Oceanside, everything that deals with football in this community deals with Junior Seau.” This on the field of Seau’s high school alma mater, when his No. 11 jersey was retired there.

We all miss you, Junior Seau. In our minds, we can see you strumming your ukelele and singing your songs, or being in one of your favorite places, the ocean, riding those sweet waves as you surf to your heart’s content. In our hearts we recall your infectious smile, your enduring friendship, your deep compassion, your profound love of family.

Most of all, we will remember the inspiration that was you.

Rest in peace, buddy!!

Thanks for reading.

Cheryl White

#55 #Seau

ChargersVsSteelers

 

You would think I should have been a Steelers fan due to growing up with two die-hard Steelers’ fans as parents. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are all die-hard fans of the Black and Gold. I was born and raised in San Diego, and despite the efforts of my parents to make me a Steelers fan, I became a fan of my home team. With many relatives still in the Pittsburgh area, I have been lucky enough to attend two Chargers versus Steelers game at Heinz Field. This past Monday, I finally got a change to see a game at Qualcomm Stadium. I attended all three games with my father. My experiences at both stadiums were so different, yet the same, in many ways.

My first game in Pittsburgh was a cold one. It was 25 degrees and snowing. Heinz field is surrounded by the three rivers and it is windy. I am a San Diego girl and I learned that wind chill is a real thing. I have never been so cold in my entire life. Monday’s game in San Diego was a complete opposite.  It was hot!  By the end of the game it was still 80 degrees out. A happy medium would have been nice, but I think the hot weather was a little more tolerable.

While I did not tailgate for Monday’s game in San Diego, I have tailgated there in the past. Tailgating is great at Qualcomm. The stadium parking is large enough and the food is great. San Diego cooks up carne asada, pollo asada, burgers, dogs and there are also a lot of local brews. Surprisingly, I tailgated at both games I attended in Pittsburgh.  Heinz Field is downtown and tailgating does not happen in the stadium parking lot. Steelers fans buy parking spots at local businesses in the City and tailgate there. They cook up kielbasa, pierogies, chipped ham and burgers.  Contrary to popular belief, Steeler fans do not drink Iron City Beer and stick to Yuengling Lager and Rolling Rock.  I was proud to be the only Chargers fans sporting my gear while tailgating in Pittsburgh.

After attending a newer stadium at Heinz Field and then going to Qualcomm, I can see why the Chargers are seeking a new stadium.  Qualcomm Stadium is old and out-dated. Heinz Field has a beautiful score board. The Heinz ketchup bottles really do pour when the Steelers are in the red zone. I admit that it  was very cool to see for the first time. Touchdowns are even crazier with all the digital screens. They try to do what they can at the Q with the fire and fireworks. It definitely gets the fans excited. A new stadium is needed and I just hope that they can somehow make it work in San Diego.

My biggest disappointment at the game in San Diego was the number of Steelers fans that were in attendance. I expected about 40% of the fans to be Steelers fans.  Steelers fans are everywhere and they travel to see their team play. Truth is, what better city is there to visit to see your team play on the road than San Diego?  It’s a harsh reality that Chargers fans and season ticket holders sell their tickets to opposing fans to make a profit. I was right about the 40 percent, but it was the Chargers fans that were 40 percent of the attendance. That is just shameful. Chargers fans should be embarrassed.

When I attended the two games in Pittsburgh, I only saw about hundred other Chargers fans in the stadium. That is FAR less than one percent!  It was Black and Gold from one end of the stadium to the other end. The Steelers fans are incredibly loyal to their team. They chant together, cheer together and get sloppy  drunk together.  It was great and a little disheartening to see as a Chargers fan. These fans walk down the walkway at Heinz Field all chanting “Here we go Steelers, here we go!”  It’s intimidating as fan of the opposing team. At Qualcomm Stadium, I heard that chant from Steelers fans, but Chargers fans responded with “Here we go Chargers, here we go!”.

I am very proud of the Chargers fans who attended the game. We cheered our hearts out and tried to be louder than the Steelers fans. Despite all the terrible towels waving in the Stadium, the fans were gracious. They booed the Chargers when they came out, but settled down when the game started. The Steelers fans were gracious in Pittsburgh, also. I would like to see how Steelers fans respond after a loss, but I would assume that they are still gracious in defeat.

My experience at both Heinz Field and Qualcomm were great. I would have preferred to see the Chargers’ home games be like Steelers’ home games. Attending any NFL game is an amazing experience. I think every Bolts fan should attend a game at an opposing stadium.  It is an experience you will never forget as a fan.

Thank you for reading.

Go Chargers!

Laura Leech

Q2

 

 

It is no secret that the last two home games were flooded by fans from the Patriots and Broncos.  Bill Belichick commented that the week 14 game was like a collegiate game at a neutral site.  After losing to Denver yesterday, Charger defensive end Corey Liuget was quoted by Michael Gehlken as saying, “It definitely did feel like an away game.”

Mike McCoy has shown his frustration about the fact that the stadium has been inundated with fans from opposing teams; imploring Charger fans with season tickets to not sell their seats.  On Sunday, his message and hope were not received with open arms, so to speak.

Many fans were upset or sold their tickets anyway.  Liuget’s thoughts were expounded upon by the former first-round pick saying that the Chargers have played 16 away games.

It was obvious after I walked around the parking lot — at the house formerly known as the Murph — that the Bronco fans came out in full force. There was a sea of orange on the visitor’s side and a mass-sprinkling of Denver fans all over the stadium.

The game against New England was one that had opposing fans throwing beers at Charger fans, Brady chants and loud support for the Patriots. Denver fans were incredibly loud on each Bronco defensive play and every successful offensive play by Peyton Manning and company.

The rumors of the Chargers moving to Los Angeles are circulating all over the NFL, social media, newspapers and the local media.  The fans are talking about it with mixed reactions.  Some would still support the Chargers if they were to move, while others want nothing to do with what would most likely be the LA Chargers.  The fact that Qualcomm is falling apart, and the Spanos family has been fighting to get a new venue in San Diego for over a decade, does not help coerce the fans to come and watch games live at the stadium.  Furthermore, the amount of money spent going to a Charger game runs families away when choosing whether or not to attend the games or watch from their own couches.

San Diego Charger fans are in serious danger of losing their team.  It may not happen in 2015, but it is beginning to seem as though it is inevitable.  The lack of fan support at home games may have pushed Dean over the edge and forced his hand.  Of course, there is also the reality that he doesn’t want to lose the Chargers fans in the LA market to an opposing team.  It is a situation that has a ton of moving parts.

I can’t say that I blame fans for their lack of attendance.  I wish this wasn’t the case, but it is out of my hands.  If the Chargers do stay in San Diego until the November 16th ballot proposal, I’ll do my part to vote in favor of keeping them in San Diego.

 

Thanks a lot for reading.

 

Booga Peters

gal-unis-chargers

Most of the time when you see a uniform color combination, you immediately know which sports team it’s associated with. In professional football, the color collegiate “powder” blue is undoubtedly the most recognized color in the NFL with only one team that comes to mind; the San Diego Super Chargers. This Sunday, the Chargers will be sporting the finest uniform in the NFL when they take on the New England Patriots at Qualcomm Stadium.

The powder blue jerseys have a long-lasting heritage that dates back to the 1960’s during the AFL (American Football League) era. In 1974, the color was changed from collegiate blue to dark blue. Team records indicate that the jersey first reappeared in 1994 during the league’s 75th anniversary season. However, every season since 2007, the throwback jerseys are worn twice a year as an alternate to the modern navy blue. It is so authentic, it’s even made its way to the NFL’s top 10 uniforms. Words do no justice for this infamous color.

Since 1994, the color has been worn 51 times; recently during the home game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chargers have a 29-22 record when wearing the special blue; one of the most noteworthy wins have been when the Chargers defeated the Indianapolis Colts in the 2008 playoffs.

For this special event, I’m encouraging all fans to wear their powder blues. It doesn’t even have to be a jersey; a powder blue shirt will be just fine. This game is one of the most important games the Chargers will play all year and the team needs as much support as they can get. Can you imagine, a powder blue sea of people in the stands screaming and rooting at the top of their lungs? Again, words can’t explain how remarkable these uniforms look.

According to ESPN, Antonio Gates said “It symbolizes the historic moments here” while adding, “That’s the fine thing that comes to mind for me. And it’s a sweet color, man. The color to me is amazing. So when you wear it, you represent the organization at the present time…” Join me Sunday by wearing your blues proudly.

Keep in mind, this not all about a fashion statement. Many great former Chargers have worn this uniform during the grind of their playing days; including Dan Fouts and Charlie Joiner to name a few. When wearing these blues, remember the legacy of the Chargers organization. The more you hold onto this concept, the more you will believe that the Chargers are fully capable of defeating the 9-3 New England Patriots in front of the nation during Sunday Night Football.

Keep true to your blues and represent to the fullest. The San Diego Chargers need their fans more than ever on Sunday. Remember, it’s not about what you wear, it’s where you come from.

 

Briana Soltis

 

ChargerHuddle

The Chargers have a rich history during primetime games; the infamous Sunday Night Football (SNF) being one of them. Philip Rivers alone is 8-4 since his first NFL appearance in 2006 where he rallied the team to defeat the defending Super Bowl Champions, The Pittsburg Steelers, to a 23-13 victory. However, this Sunday is one of the most significant and enticing games the Chargers will play this year.

This Sunday, the notorious 9-3 New England Patriots travel almost 3000 miles to take on the 8-4 San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium for an exhilarating Sunday Night Football showdown. The last time the Chargers face offed against the Patriots in a SNF game was back on October 12th, 2008; embarrassing the Patriots to a 30-10 win at Qualcomm Stadium. Yet, the significance of this year is much different.

The Chargers started their season off the best they have in recent years; going 5-1 and entering week 7 with tremendous confidence. Unfortunately, that is where the Chargers were struck with the injury bug, mixed with poor play, sending them in a three in a row loss whirlwind. After the bye week, the Chargers recuperated and have won their last three games to keep their playoff hopes alive; including the captivating win against the Baltimore Ravens. Now in week fourteen, San Diego’s no 8th ranked defense will compete against the no 6th ranked offense; the Patriots. This isn’t just another needed win; it’s playing for their lives.

This week’s win is more than just a playoff appearance; it proves that the San Diego Chargers are capable of getting the job done in typical December fashion. Speaking of December, in case you didn’t know, the month is now referred to “Philcember” by most Charger fans. Why? Well, Rivers is 30-6 in the month of December and executes better than any quarterback in NFL history. In the last four games of each season, Rivers is 29-3 at 90.6%; surpassing Tom Brady at 40-8 and 83%. All I can see now is the money sign that Johnny Football uses, shaking my wrist at stats like those; are non-Rivers fans still hating?

This matchup is one for the books. The Patriots are coming off a loss at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers, but don’t let that fool you; the Pats’ have already defeated some of the league’s best teams earning them nine wins on the season. On the flip side, the same can be said about the Chargers. This is an AFC matchup that will turn many heads and bring almost all NFL fans entirely glued to the TV on Sunday night. Any true football junkie will know that if any team can defeat the Patriots, the Chargers are the ones to always shock the nation.

A win this Sunday will no doubt idly give the Chargers an opportunity to claim the AFC West division title; the team hasn’t won the AFC West since 2009. Why would they want to settle for anything less? The matchup will be more than physical; it will be war. The Chargers are in playoff mode and the Patriots will be fooling themselves if they think they have this one in the bag. I will be watching, along with the rest of the nation, one of the most anticipated games this year. Watch out everyone and brace yourselves, lighting will be striking Sunday night at the Q.

 

Briana Soltis

qualcomm

Dear Non-sports fan San Diego Resident,

We’re not going to waste a lot of your time, but we hope you will take a moment to read this letter and consider the many benefits the Chargers provide to the community whether you are a fan or not. We know from the outside football seems like a violent waste of millions of dollars. We are not trying to convince you to like football or the Chargers, but want to explain why keeping the Chargers here is in your best interest. Let’s talk about why you should vote in favor of tax support for a first class multi-purpose event space downtown that will be the new home for the Chargers.

If you are not a Sports fan you might not realize what a dump QUALCOMM Stadium has become. It is the second oldest stadium currently used in the NFL. You don’t care about that we know, but you should care about how much taxpayer money is used to maintain it. The Team says the Q will cost the city $345 million over a decade (2010-20), and that includes $113 million in repairs needed. The VOSD analysis found that losses at Qualcomm average $12.2 million a year — about $3 million less than the team says. Still, $12 million is a lot. The City did an internal report in 2011 saying $10 million a year, with $80 million to repair the stadium.

The city will spend a lot of your money. So why not get a first class facility; not just for the Chargers, but one that helps bring even more conventions, concerts, nationally relevant sporting events and boosts the economy.

I know that, for many years, the local media has referred to the need to build a stadium for the Chargers. But the majority of the events this venue hosts will not be Chargers game. An entertainment center like this will be helpful in maintaining Comic-con an event vital to the economy of San Diego. The convention center expansion looks to cost $520 million and a stadium as much why not combine the efforts? Whatever building we as taxpayers build should host Comic-con events, Conventions, NCAA final fours, Super bowls, Aztec football games, College football championships, and many more things. Oh yeah, 8 times hopefully 10 times a year a Chargers game.

Indianapolis didn’t built a NFL stadium but an event space. They have hosted a super bowl, several college football championships and a NCAA Basketball final four. A study by Indiana University researchers estimates the economic impact at more than $40 million. The annual SEC College football championship has generated over $702 million of economic impact to the city of Atlanta since 2000, an average of nearly $64 million per year and approximately $30.7 million in sales taxes over the same time span.

According to the USA Today The league supports about 110,000 jobs in NFL cities— not just quarterbacks and punters, but also hotel workers and sports-bar employees. Together, the games add about $5 billion to the economies in NFL cities, according to an analysis prepared for the NFL Players Association by Edgeworth Economics. Take the Meadowlands in New Jersey Employs about 4,000 people on an NFL Sunday, including parking attendants, security guards, ushers, ticket takers, janitors, merchandise dealers and concession workers. According to Positively Cleveland, which promotes tourism to the city, estimated that every Browns game brought $7.9 million in business to Cleveland — $63 million a year.

Eight of the 10 top rated TV shows every year are NFL games. The Chargers home games are free commercials for tourism to the cold parts of the country. While many NFL teams roster looks like a police Blotter San Diego’s team has the lowest number of arrests since 2012 and the only player arrested in that time is no longer on the team. The Chargers are a team kids can look up to. Take a minute to go the link below and see the many ways The team and the players on the team give back.

http://www.chargers.com/community/all-requests/community-corner.html

It doesn’t matter if you don’t ever watch a Charger football game it is in the interest of everyone in the county to vote in favor of the Chargers ballot measure. The current stadium is a money pit, and we have a chance as a community to boost the economy it would be foolish not to.

Signed concerned Chargers fan.

save

 

The month of the Bolts Fam!

Write a letter

Letter to non-sports fan day Dec. 2nd

E-mail the mayor day Dec. 4th

Express yourself in a letter about what the Chargers mean to you. You can pick important points from the section below or go to this page (Link) to check out my letter. Write the mayor, members of the county council, the Union Tribune, or Dean. A mailed letter means a lot more, but sending an e-mail works.

So just to get in the spirit, we are going to pick a day and we want every to write a letter/ e-mail on that day and send it. Forward the letter to non-sports fans to the people you know in the San Diego region who don’t like the Chargers. (You don’t even have to write your own on that day) We will need their votes too.

Save our Bolts Selfie day:

OK so I get annoyed with the message boards filling up with selfies of fans in their Chargers gear, but hundreds of you do it. So let’s put those pictures to work. Get out a sharpie and write #saveourbolts on a piece of paper. Get in your chargers gear and take a picture. Post your Save our bolts selfie to all your social media. Let’s all do it on one day and make it a trending topic. If you are not in San Diego write “#saveourBolts from ___”

#savethebolts #SavetheBoltsRoger #SavetheboltsDean

Save our Bolts Selfie day Dec. 9th

Make a Video:

Most of you have smart phones, so use here. Shoot a video, from 15 to 30 seconds a minute tops. Talk about what the Chargers being in San Diego means to you. Post it to Vine, Twitter, FB. We all do it on the same day and perhaps we can get a topic trending. I think the video’s should be directed at Roger Goodell and the NFL. #savethebolts #SavetheBoltsRoger #SavetheboltsDean

Save our Bolts video day Dec. 11th

Organize a Rally:

We need to start at Chargers park on a work day. Late afternoon, bring kids after school. Fans of all ages and background together standing in front of Chargers park. Make signs about saving our Chargers. This will get media attention and be noticed by the whole NFL universe.

Next if you live in El Cajon, Lemon Grove, Chula Vista or Carlsbad. Organize your own local Save our Bolts rally. It is easy. If you are on facebook. Pick a time, date and location and make a Facebook event. Then share on Chargers FB groups, post to twitter. Post it with #saveourbolts. Ask your friends to re-post. Show up take pictures. Even if you get 10 people post your pictures. If you promote with enough lead time we’ll try to make it out.

Most importantly, it will show Dean something important. He may need to win a County-wide ballot measure to get a stadium built. Showing him that we can and will organize to help keep the team will show him he can count on us to help.

Rally at Chargers park Friday dec. 12th (Beat Denver and save our Bolts rally!)

Neighborhood (region wide) rallies Dec. 13

BoltPride1

 

Nick Hardwick speaking on AM 1360 referred to the week 9 37-0 ass whooping in Miami as rock bottom for the team. I thought it was for Charger fans too. It was hard to watch live and listening to San Diego sports radio the last couple weeks has been like Chinese water torture for us die-hard fans who are emotionally connected to this team. The worst part for me had nothing to do with any of the review of play on the field.

It all started when the Union Tribune’s Nick Canepa correctly pointed out in a column on November 10th that Bolts fans (that would be you reading this) should be worried about the team moving to LA. That Monday morning radio hosts Dave Palet and Jeff Dotseth put the scare in me pretty good by pointing out the silence of Chargers owner Dean Spanos and the team’s lawyer Mark Fabiani. In the past Dean and his lawyer have reacted to this kind of article by making statements and assuring the city/ fans that Dean was committed to the 619 area code.

In the past I felt pretty comfortable that Dean wanted to stay here and was not concerned. Many believe Dean’s silence has a lot to do with the fact that the decision has been made. Feb.1st Dean can announce that Philip Rivers is the starter for the Los Angeles Chargers and pay $24 million to the city to get out of the team’s contract to play at the Q five years ahead of schedule.

I am going to call ALL CAPS to make a point. YOU NEED TO ACT, CHARGERS FANS. I know this is not as fun as suggesting free-agent running backs to message boards, but you need to learn the issues, and you need to do something. You need to read articles like this one. You need to make to do lists and do those things like you were remembering to pay your phone and cable bills.

It may be too late. We may spend the spring debating whether to stay Charger fans, defect to other teams, or give up on the NFL altogether. You really can’t blame or be mad at Dean. The good business decision and reality is that LA makes more sense. Bigger market and corporate center, so considering that reality it is amazing that Dean has been loyal this long.

If Dean cares about us, if he didn’t he would be long gone.

It felt pretty helpless watching the team lose in Miami but you can have an impact on the issue of the Chargers staying in town. This is a test to our spirit as fans. Dean and the NFL are watching. If we shrug our shoulders and say “Oh well,” then we don’t deserve an NFL team in this city.

If you are an out of region Chargers fan and San Diego being home to the team is important to you then you need to act as well. I know if the team leaves San Diego that I want to be able to look in mirror and know I tried to act to keep them.

We need to be organized and work together as a Bolt Family. We need to use strategy, and dedication. We need to do things that demonstrate the strength of this fan base and the sustainability of the team staying here. As activist in 2000 I was involved in a campaign to stop a multi-million dollar golf course from destroying one of the last green spaces in my hometown in Indiana. We had to take on the most powerful entity in the city/region and were told it was impossible. By using strategy and well thought out tactics that spot is now a nature preserve and we won.

I am using my experience to work with the Bolt Blitz crew to develop a plan. Apathy never solved anything. It easy to clap and be a pom pom fan after touchdowns. We need a few minutes of your time to ensure we have the Chargers in town when Rivers is entered into the team’s ring of honor.

We need to convince Dean he doesn’t want to go.

We need to convince The NFL to stay.

We need to convince the Mayor to act to save the Chargers.

We need to convince people in the region who don’t like sports to save the Chargers. (They are voters and that may be in important in the long run)

ACTIONS TO TAKE:

Write a letter

Express yourself in a letter about what the Chargers mean to you. You can pick important points from the section below or go to this page (link) to check out my letter. Write the mayor, members of the county council, the union tribune, or Dean. A mailed letter means a lot more, but sending an e-mail works.

So just to get in the spirit, we are going to pick a day and we want every to write a letter/ e-mail on that day and send it. Forward the letter to non-sports fans to the people you know in the San Diego region who don’t like the Chargers. (You don’t even have to write your own on that day) We will need their votes too.

Open letter to non-Sports fan day: Dec. 2nd

Mail the Mayor day Dec. 4th

Save our Bolts Selfie day:

OK so I get annoyed with the message boards filling up with selfies of fans in their Chargers gear, but hundreds of you do it. So let’s put those pictures to work. Get out a sharpie and write #saveourbolts on a piece of paper. Get in your chargers gear and take a picture. Post your Save our Bolts selfie to all your social media. Let’s all do it on one day and make it a trending topic. If you are not in San Diego write “#saveourBolts from ___”

#savethebolts #SavetheBoltsRoger #SavetheboltsDean

Save our Bolts selfie day: Dec. 9th

Make a Video:

Most of you have smart phones, so use here. Shoot a video, from 15 to 30 seconds a minute tops. Talk about what the Chargers being in San Diego means to you. Post it to Vine, Twitter, FB. We all do it on the same day and perhaps we can get a topic trending. I think the video’s should be directed at Roger Goodell and the NFL. #savethebolts #SavetheBoltsRoger #SavetheboltsDean

Post your video day Dec. 11

Organize a Rally:

We need to start at Chargers park on a work day. Late afternoon, bring kids after school. Fans of all ages and background together standing in front of Chargers park. Make signs about saving our Chargers. This will get media attention and be noticed by the whole NFL universe.

Next if you live in El Cajon, Lemon Grove, Chula Vista or Carlsbad. Organize your own local Save our Bolts rally. It is easy. If you are on Facebook. Pick a time, date and location and make a Facebook event. Then share on Chargers FB groups, post to twitter. Post it with #saveourbolts. Ask your friends to re-post. Show up take pictures. Even if you get 10 people post your pictures. If you promote with enough lead time We’ll try to make it out.

Most importantly it will show Dean something important. He may need to win a County wide ballot measure to get a stadium built. Showing him that we can and will organize to help keep the team will show him he can count on us to help.

Chargers Park  beat Denver/ save our Bolts Rally Date:

Rally at Chargers park Friday dec. 12th (Beat Denver and save our Bolts rally!)

Your Neighborhood? (region wide) rallies Dec. 13

Out of Towners :

Hey out-of-town Chargers fans can still do the letters and videos. Check out this sample of a letter for folks from out of the region.

 

FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Comic Con is one of the most important events to the city, and it is in danger of leaving too. The convention center needs an additional 400,000 square feet. The tactic Indiana used was to stop selling Lucas Oil Stadium as an NFL stadium but as a “First class multi-purpose event venue.”

According to the LA times to retain Comic-Con, and to attract even more high-spending conventions, officials have proposed expanding the waterfront San Diego Convention Center at an estimated cost of $520 million. Why not cut two carrots with one knife?

We need to stop calling this the Chargers stadium. Whatever building we as taxpayers build should host Comic-con events, conventions, NCAA final fours, Super Bowls, Aztec football games, College football championships, and many more things. Oh yeah, eight times and hopefully 10 times a year, a Chargers game.

Chargers are important to San Diego tourism

The tourism industry generates more than $388 million annually in state and local taxes. Visitors spend nearly $8.4 billion annually, which translates to an economic impact of over $18.7 billion NEW dollars generated for the regional economy. eight Chargers home games are amazing free tourism ads. When Buffalo, New England and Green Bay home look like they are being played on a the frozen planet of Hoth think about what a Chargers home game looks like in the 4:05 eastern time slot. The sun has already disappeared on the frozen east coast. The Chargers fans are at the Q in short sleeves, CBS comes back from breaks with shots of the beach. You don’t think in the highest rated sport on TV that doesn’t plant the seed for San Diego vacations? Remind the mayor of this important fact. He knows it but tell him you know how important it is.

Economy and Community support:

According to the USA Today The league supports about 110,000 jobs in NFL cities— not just quarterbacks and punters, but also hotel workers and sports-bar employees. Together, the games add about $5 billion to the economies in NFL cities, according to an analysis prepared for the NFL Players Association by Edgeworth Economics. Take the Meadowlands in New Jersey Employs about 4,000 people on an NFL Sunday, including parking attendants, security guards, ushers, ticket takers, janitors, merch dealers and concession workers. According to Positively Cleveland, which promotes tourism to the city, estimated that every Browns game brought $7.9 million in business to Cleveland — $63 million a year (USA Today)

The boost to the economy from hosting these major supporting events is so great it is ridiculous to continue to call this project “The Chargers stadium.” Consider this, city officials said Indianapolis would get a big economic bounce by hosting the Men’s Final Four. A study by Indiana University researchers estimates the economic impact at more than $40 million. That’s $10 million more than was generated the last time Indy hosted the tournament in 2000.

According to the study, The last Final Four the city hosted attracted more than 44,000 people to Indianapolis, 38 percent of those were first-time visitors. The study found the average visitor stayed four days, spending a roughly $227 per day. Here’s how they spent that money: 34 percent went toward food and entertainment, 28 percent toward lodging, 20 percent on souvenirs and shopping with the remainder spent on things like rental cars, parking and taxis. (IU study – WTHR source)

Lucas Oil Stadium also hosts annual big ten football championships besides being used as a convention space in it’s many luxury boxes as well. It is not a Colts stadium, remember that folks.

Atlanta has had a similar economic boost from hosting the SEC championship. According to ESPN The annual event has generated over $702 million of economic impact to the city of Atlanta since 2000, an average of nearly $64 million per year and approximately $30.7 million in sales taxes over the same time span. It’s a no-brainer to keep the game right where it is.

Well hosting the mountain west conference championship might not bring in the money that the SEC could, the possibility of one hosting one college football championship or NCAA basketball championship would certainly help pay a for first multi-purpose stadium and convention center.

 

The Q:

Let’s not forget what a dump the Murph has become. I am sure it was top-notch back in the stone ages, but come on. It’s a pit.

The Team says the Q will cost the city 345 million over a decade (2010-20) and that includes 113 million in repairs needed. Voice of San Diego who didn’t agree with the Chargers number. The VOSD analysis found that losses at Qualcomm average $12.2 million a year — about $3 million less than the team says. Still 12 million is a lot. The City did internal report in 2011 saying 10 million a year, with $80 to repair the stadium.

The city owns the 167-acre Qualcomm site. And the city — not the team — is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the stadium. The city and the team have a lease at Qualcomm through the next 11 years. But that lease hasn’t worked out well for the city. It’s so bad, city essentially pays the Chargers to play at Qualcomm, and the team can break the lease every year. (Voice of San Diego 2010)

Major letter bullet points:

(All these points are backed up by stats above)

What the Chargers mean to you and your community.

The Q is a dump and a waste of city money, instead of losing money on a stadium the city could be making money and spreading it around the region tourism benefits.

You don’t want a Chargers stadium but a first class multi-purpose event center like Indianapolis got.

The Chargers are a charitable force in the community.

In the end this is not about the Chargers but San Diego. Major cities have sports teams that highlight and honor the city.

 

Contacts:

Note: Any e-mails sent to the mayor can me re-headed and sent to the city council members.

The Mayor:

City Administration Building
202 C Street, 11th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 236-6330
Email: kevinfaulconer@sandiego.gov

U-T contact

letters@utsandiego.com. You can also send it to Letters Editor, U-T San Diego, P.O. Box 120191, San Diego, CA 92112-0191.

 

Dean Spanos

San Diego Chargers
P.O. Box 609609
San Diego, CA 92160-9609

District 1 Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner

Email: sherrilightner@sandiego.gov

District 2 Council member Ed Harris

Email: edharris@sandiego.gov

District 3 Council President Todd Gloria

Email: toddgloria@sandiego.gov

District 4 Council member Myrtle Cole

Email: myrtlecole@sandiego.gov

District 5 Council member Mark Kersey

Email: markkersey@sandiego.gov

District 6 Council member Lorie Zapf

Email: loriezapf@sandiego.gov

District 7 Council member Scott Sherman

Email: scottsherman@sandiego.gov

District 8 Council member David Alvarez

Email: davidalvarez@sandiego.gov

District 9 Council member Marti Emerald

Email: martiemerald@sandiego.gov

 

— —–

David Agranoff just moved back to San Diego after 8 years of being a Bolts fan in Portland, Oregon. He would be really upset if the Chargers left after he came back. He is also the Wonderland Award nominated author of three horror novels. The Vegan Revolution…With Zombies, Hunting The Moon Tribe and Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich. His novels are available on Amazon, he could use the sales if you enjoy horror novels. Follow him on Twitter @DAgranoffauthor or friend him on Facebook.

 

 

Butler

 

 

There is no denying that Donald Butler was missing in action for the Miami game and a good portion of this season. In fact, he has looked completely lost at times, and well detached to say the least. Fellow  senior writer, Mike Pisciotta, has already announced an Amber Alert, and quite frankly I’m surprised there hasn’t been a reward offered for his return; maybe even put his picture on a milk carton. However, something happened last Sunday against the Raiders. There was a resurgence from Butler that most fans haven’t seen for a long time.

Sure, the bye week has helped almost all Charger players rest and recover from a brutal first half of the season, but that wasn’t what contributed to Butler’s success. Defensive coordinator, John Pagano, was forced to make well needed adjustments; from that, Butler flourished. Sunday, Butler had three tackles, one pass defended and a fumble recovery. Who really expected that to happen? You might be asking, “What was different that allowed Donald Butler to excel rather than decline?” Well, here it goes; limited snaps.

Donald Butler was limited to the base defense and was primarily used as a run defender rather than a pass defender. Yes, it took this long for the coaching staff to finally make the switch, but it worked. According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Butler only played 30 snaps out of 60. According to the 3-4 defensive scheme that San Diego uses, it was pure genius. In case you didn’t know what a base defense is, it’s practically the default defense and other variations are added on from there.

There are three linemen and four linebackers in a 3-4 defensive formation. The fourth rusher can be a linebacker, but to confuse the opposing quarterback the safety is often used as the pass rusher in the blitz play. Yet, to give more confusion, the fourth potential rusher can be any of the seven defenders. I will give you a good guess as to who filled in as the pass rusher; he wears No. 54 and causes complete havoc when playing. Melvin Ingram was finally back on the field after suffering a hip injury after week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks.

After the big and quite inflated contract Butler received this offseason, one would think that limited snaps is not exactly what everyone was anticipating for an expected three-down linebacker; including the Chargers organization. Yet, it’s obvious that he does well in specific scenarios and with other great linebackers around him. Adding Jeremiah Attaochu, Manti Te’o, and of course Melvin Ingram you could instantly see how much better Butler played. It’s noticeable that the amount of snaps is tiring him and causing fatigue; therefore missing tackles and blowing coverage. Either way you cut it, with the return of his other linebackers, Butler has reemerged for the better.

The Chargers face off against the St. Louis Rams this Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium and it won’t be an easy game. Just last week they defeated the Denver Broncos with an aggressive and disruptive defense. On a positive note, the Rams are only 2-3 on the road this season. Coming off one of the best defensive games played this year, Butler and company will look to continue their success by limiting third-down conversions and forcing turnovers. Don’t be surprised if you see Butler in the same rotation and limited snaps like last Sunday; seemingly it’s a good look for him.

 

 

Briana Soltis

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