( Photo Credit: Jesse Arroyo Jesse Arroyo Photography www.ArroyoPhotos.com )
Every team in the NFL has some terms and idioms that are very specific to their organization; terrible towel, the 12th man, and the red sea to name a few. As a San Diego Charger fan, there are five terms you should know and memorize in order to increase your knowledge of the organization and become an even better fan. Now, some of these have been used since before my time, even when my parents were young football fans. Don’t feel bad if you’re a little behind, because even the players and experts need to know the specific terminology used.
San Diego Super Chargers
If you have ever been to a Charger game at Qualcomm Stadium, you have heard the fight song. If you haven’t been to a game, you need to stop what you’re doing and buy tickets to the next home game. The song was written in 1979 and had an undoubtedly disco sound to it. It was re-written in 1989, excluding the disco flare, and is used at home games after scoring and victories. It’s so popular that I have met various NFL fans that know the words and can recite it. I can hear it now, San Diego Super Chargers, San Diego Super Chargers (very high voice).
Not to be confused with a Crossfit workout called the Murph, but way back before many were even born, Qualcomm Stadium was named Jack Murphy Stadium. Yeah, it really is that old for all you kids born after 1998. The stadium was once named after Jack Murphy, a sportswriter who built the support for the stadium back in 1965. Before he died, Bob Murphy, a former New York Mets broadcaster and brother, still referred to the stadium as Jack Murphy Stadium. To this day, there are still those that call the stadium “The Murph”.
Last year, the Chargers marched into Denver and defeated the Denver Broncos in a Thursday Night Football showdown. After the game, Deion Sanders and company interviewed Philip Rivers. What caught most eyes while watching the post-game show was Rivers’ shiny bolo tie that a fan made for him. Ever since then, the bolo tie has been a symbol of how well Rivers can play in clutch scenarios. It was so popular that you can now buy t-shirts with the logo on it. I haven’t seen this yet, but someone please wear one for the remaining home games.
Have you seen this saying all over the Chargers website or even on tickets? It’s because the Bolts are a family that includes their fans and charging as one is one of the main goals of the organization. When fans gather in the stadium, getting as loud as possible when the other team is on third down is charging as one. Even gathering at a tailgate party or meetup defines this whole concept. Have you seen a team successful without working as one? I haven’t.
This is a term used by a lot of fans, personnel, and experts. Basically, it means get ready and prepare for the Chargers to play some football. It can be used many ways, but if you notice on Facebook or even Twitter people say the term “Bolt Up” in a positive way. Anytime I say it, I’m usually pumped up, heart beating fast, Chargers jersey on, beer in hand, and ready for kick off. Even if you Google search Bolt Up, you won’t find much, but that’s ok it’s a Charger thing.
I guarantee that using these expressions will make you an even better Charger fan. Also, don’t be afraid to express your enthusiasm for Bolt pride. Sure, I might sound silly screaming the Charger fight song in the middle of a Packers bar or referring to “The Murph” while living in Arizona, but I don’t care because I remain a fan; I know you all do too.
EDITOR’S NOTE: As of the beginning of this offseason, there is one phrase/term that stands out to me that could have been included in this article, “Next man up.” Many fans are sick of hearing it, but, the fact of the matter is, it has been exercised and used to the fullest in San Diego.
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.
October is a time of year that many people look forward to. The month is full of German Oktoberfest’s, pumpkin spiced lattes, candy comas, and of course the very spirited Halloween. Yet, it can be a somber month for those who know individuals battling breast cancer. Others are celebrating those that have survived or even celebrating the lives of those they have lost to this awful disease. During October, the NFL and the San Diego Chargers have dedicated their time and provided community outreach support to help the efforts of the international pink ribbon symbol we have all come to know.
The pink ribbon symbol was first introduced in 1991 when the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to the participants of its New York City race for breast cancer survivors. Since then, the ribbon has been displayed everywhere during the month of October to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The NFL, San Diego Chargers, the NFL Players Association and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have committed themselves to doing whatever they can to help save the lives of those battling breast cancer. Have you noticed that pink is worn by everyone on and off the field supporting this amazing cause? You might see pink apparel, special games balls or coins that resemble something pink – all of which are then auctioned off with proceeds benefitting the ACS’s Community Health Advocates. Even the NFL officials have been seen using pink penalty flags.
The Chargers have contributed to the pink month in tremendous ways. You can show your support by purchasing the hat that Ryan Mathews was sporting during the New York Jets game that has a Charger bolt outlined in pink. 100% of the NFL’s proceeds from Pink product sales will go directly to the ACS, yet the Chargers have taken it one step further. Teaming up with Komen San Diego, they provided free mammograms to qualified women at Qualcomm Stadium last Thursday. These community outreach support activities show that the Chargers are willing to help bring breast cancer awareness to the public in a positive way.
It’s not just the Chargers organization that is helping – team kicker Nick Novak is contributing to the cause as well. Everyone has a story and a purpose for supporting this noble cause. For Novak, breast cancer hits closer to home than most. In 2005, Annie Arth, a family friend of Novak, died of ovarian and breast cancer. In 2011, he made a point to help support the cause by lending his name and leg to the American Cancer Society. In honor of Annie, Nick contributed $100 for every field goal he made. His donation was matched by the Chargers and his agent and, in total, raised over $7,500 for the ACS. To this day, Novak still gives back, inspiring many others to do so themselves. This year, Novak and teammate Jahleel Addae are serving as the 2014 Honorary Race Chairs for the Susan G. Komen San Diego in order to support the fight against breast cancer. Their efforts are serving to defeat breast cancer that has affected their loved ones in unexpected ways.
October can be one of the most celebratory months for all types of people. Whether you’re celebrating the lives of those who have passed, praying for those who are currently battling or rejoicing with those who have conquered the disease and can proudly say “screw you cancer”; everyone has some kind of connection with the color pink. Next time you attend a Chargers game or watch it on TV, try to remember the meaning of the pink ribbon by keeping those currently fighting the war, or have lost it, in your thoughts. Allow October to not just be about juicy brats, cold beer and candy corn, but about coming together as a football community so that one day, cancer can be conquered and eradicated for good.
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
Fans of NFL teams come in all shapes and sizes and with differing variations of a knowledge base. Heck, some just like to wave pom-poms in the air and shout “I don’t care”. However, in San Diego, fans really stay true to their team – The Chargers. These fans are a different breed, cut from a different cloth, continuing to support a team that doesn’t even have a Super Bowl ring…yet! Even though the fan base is excellent, there are still those few who can sharpen their skills set and become an even better fan of their Chargers. Here are 5 simple tips that will make you a better Charger fan:
1. Read Anything and Everything
In order to see both sides of every story, you need to understand each point of view and opinion. Reading an article from Chargers.com will not broaden your view on any given subject. Seeking various sources will help you recognize that multiple experts have the same concept, with their own twist to it. Not only will reading various articles help you see different views, it will also give you the true facts. There’s no way you can enter a heated discussion about how many playoff appearances the Chargers have had in the last decade without actually knowing that number yourself…it’s 6 – to be exact. Researching stats from reliable sources such as ESPN.com or NFL.com will help you support your “two cents” worth.
2. Attend Live Games
It’s very difficult to attend NFL games nowadays with the inflated costs of tickets, parking, and concessions. However, if you have the opportunity to go to a game – even a preseason one – GO!! I cannot stress enough the feeling you get when you see Qualcomm in front of you, whether it’s your first time or your 100th. The butterflies in your stomach and your heart racing is what most, if not all, football spectators feel when they see that big swirly stair concrete stadium. Yes, it’s old and has gone through numerous name changes, but 100’s of games have been played there. Conference Championships have been won and lost; tears have been shed and so many other things that we won’t mention here. Going to a dive bar with the lonesome Chargers fan in the corner doesn’t compare to the flood of blue and gold jerseys you see at an actual game. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spilled my beer because I jumped up for joy after a long downfield pass from Philip Rivers to Antonio Gates ended in a touchdown. Going to the games will make you a better Chargers fan because it gives you the experiences you can’t have anywhere else but at the Q.
3. Watch Every Game
Unfortunately, not everyone lives in sunny Southern California or has the resources to watch every game from home, yet with all this new technology, Chargers games can be watched in various ways. The only way you can see how this weeks’ game was played is by watching it. Examining each play, seeing the mistakes, and the glorious game winning plays will imprint that visual image in your head that will never go away…unless you had one too many beers. If that’s the case…cheers to you! If you can’t watch the game, record it! We all have busy schedules and prior commitments, except for those that can eat, sleep and breathe Chargers football. Recording games allows you to see them…even after they’ve been played. Watching games in a Sports Bar gives you the opportunity to interact with other fans and discuss what happened…and you get to high-five every one of your new “friends” after a really great play! No one ever likes to hear “Rivers sucks!”…especially from someone who didn’t even watch the game. We call those people…well, that’s another topic for an article that isn’t about becoming a better Chargers fan.
4. Accept that You don’t Know Everything
No one knows every single detail of every game of every Chargers player, unless it’s someone with a photographic memory, so don’t think it’s a requirement. Yet, there are those who know quite a bit and have gained a significant amount of knowledge over the years…when they want to share some insight with you on the subject – LISTEN. Don’t argue and don’t try to prove them wrong because, more than likely, they know what they are talking about. Accept that others have useful knowledge to share and they aren’t trying to bash you…they’re just trying to inform you of the facts. Speaking of facts, your thoughts on Manti Te’o being a bust is not one…it’s an opinion – there’s a big difference!
5. Support the Chargers Unconditionally
The age range of Chargers fans is pretty significant. That being said, many younger fans have not experienced the heartache my older family members have endured in previous seasons. Nonetheless, they still remain diehard fans with their throwback Fouts’ jerseys and a twinkle in their eyes. To become a better fan, don’t jump ship – if Rivers throws an interception or Eric Weddle misses a tackle that ends in a touchdown – that’s football…no need to give up on your team. Things happen so you should continue to support, cheer, scream and shout…until you can’t anymore. My voice is gone and, you better believe, my face is beet red after every game I attend or watch on TV. While I may feel unwilling to “talk about it” after a loss, I will talk anyway…you should too! Always support your San Diego Chargers!
The San Diego Chargers defeated the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night, 12-9. However, unless you listened to simulcast on the Chargers Radio Network or lived outside the blackout area, you didn’t see it live. I did. At the stadium formerly known as Jack Murphy Stadium. This game was the first of what I hope to be many games I hope to see in person this season.
I’ll spare you fine readers all the fun of getting to San Diego, the horror of living outside of San Diego is a story on its own. Like many fans who fly solo, I loath having to pay $20 to park at the Q. Fashion Valley Mall intimidates me because I take their threats of being towed seriously. Fortunately, a vacant lot adjacent to Fashion Valley provides free parking and a short hike to the trolley stop.
Of course, every other Chargers fan had the same idea so I reluctantly squeezed into a car. Then it hit me, the trolley door that is. A transit cop reminded me to clear the second step and I obliged. I bumped into the gentleman in front of me and assured him I was carrying a pencil in my pocket. In the next stops, the crowded car found creative ways to make room for those leaving the trolley and there were a few.
As the trolley approached the parking lot, many fans near me remarked how they should have parked there instead. I still believe that $20 is too much for a man flying solo. If I had three other fans in the car with me and we’re tailgating. . . . well, I suppose it is a better investment.
The first thing a fan will notice upon arrival at Qualcomm Stadium is the bronze stadium of Jack Murphy and a dog. Tonight, Gate K was closed and so Gate J had to do. With increased security measures, a female fan was turned away because the only bags permitted beyond the gates had to be transparent. I hope she didn’t take the trolley. I emptied my pockets and removed my Chargers cap, per the guard’s instructions. My paper ticket was scanned and I was inside. My $23 ticket meant a hike to the view section. Fortunately, an escalator provided a one-way ticket to the top. I could hear the National Anthem, so I had to hurry.
My seat was in section 61. I was in section 37 meaning I had to walk half-way around the stadium. As the sections passed me by, I couldn’t help but notice how empty the concessions were. When I located my section and stopped for a beer, I found out why. The Super Chargers Dog cost $8 and a Coors Light served in an aluminum bottle ran $9. And how much of that goes to the team?
The announced crowd of over 51,000 was treated to a game where both teams seemed to be allergic to the end zone. Yes, with the exception of Nick Novak, Mike Scifres, and Mike Windt (he’s the long snapper), it was the final audition of about 22 men who were on the roster bubble. Many fans who sat around me confessed that if it wasn’t for GroupOn they wouldn’t be there. One college-aged woman who I assumed didn’t watch football cheered on the Cardinals in an attempt to upset her friends. I spent a chuck of the game explaining the rules to her.
With the game tied at nine in the middle of the third quarter, the fans demonstrated how bored they were when they decided to make a wave. Of course, they do the wave with the Chargers driving down the field (when the crowd should be on its best behavior). I refused to participate. It made six laps before petering out.
The wave has been in existence since 1981 (do a Google search and you’ll find another reason to hate Oakland). Yes, the phenomenon has been alive for almost 33 years. I repeat, the wave started at an Oakland A’s game on October 15, 1981 and have been a distraction ever since. On Thursday night, this particular wave wouldn’t have been so bad if the Cardinals had the ball instead.
By the end of the third quarter, it was pretty clear that Brad Sorensen was not going to do enough to make the team and it was time to beat the crowds to the trolley station. Since every loyal Chargers fan wants to add to his collection of apparel, I thought I’d check out the Chargers team store which was located at Gate A. I’m sad to report it’s not there. However, the good news is the store has moved to bigger location behind Gate G. As a guy who thought that the best place to buy Chargers apparel was Sports Fantasy, I was blown away. Honestly, I’m not hard to please. I did have a difficult time justifying why I should pay almost $300 for a sewn on genuine jerseys. Also, I won’t be talking about unauthorized jerseys that can be purchased from China (another story for another day). Perhaps I’ll return when it is open on a non-game day.
The trolley ride back wasn’t too bad (minus one individual who forgot his manners and hit a bunch of riders with his bike). The crowded trolley thinned out at Hazard Center since I can only assume the owners here don’t have a problem with fans using their parking and taking the trolley to the stadium.
For a moment, I thought the stadium was adequate and didn’t need fixing. Of course, with the price of fielding a championship caliber team always going up that viewpoint won’t fly with the constant threat coming from the north. For this season, I’ll believe that the Chargers have as good as chance as any team in bringing the Lombardi Trophy to San Diego. I’ll enjoy as games as I can afford at Qualcomm Stadium.
My only wish for now is that fans make noise when the opponent has the ball, helps the offense by staying quiet, and if at all possible, lower the price of beer.
Finally, call me David Downer, but kill the wave. It had its moment but after all these years I think we’re too busy live tweeting to even bother participating.
As some of you already know, I am currently on a flight to the best city in all of the world, San Diego. I am extremely excited for this trip due to the playoff implications of tomorrow’s game.
As always, I hope to be able to meet as many of you as possible. Today is kind of all over the place regarding where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing. However, I do know that we’ll be at Buffalo Wild Wings at the location that used to be Seau’s. Feel free to meet up with us there. I believe that we should be there around 10:30 pm tonight.
Other than that, you can contact me via the website in the comment section, Twitter ( @BoogaP ), send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call/text if you have my cell number.
Again, with this being the last regular season game for the Chargers, I would like to meet as many of you as possible. I am writing this while on my flight and I’ll also be posting articles during this trip as well. If you aren’t already, be sure to follow me on Twitter for gameday updates and highlights. I’d also like to remind everyone that I’ll be attending the post-game press conference. Be sure to keep it locked on BoltBlitz.com for some seriously in-depth coverage of Sunday’s game versus the Chiefs.