Tampa Bay Rays
(Photo Credit: The San Diego Union-Tribune)
This past Monday Night football was nauseating to watch. The Chargers, who dominated most of the game, could not hold onto a slim three-point lead in the waning minutes against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers. When the clock displayed double zeros and Le’Veon Bell’s reach over the goal line was replayed numerous times, Bolts fans were disgusted. The final score was not the only thing that upset the home crowd. It was all the obnoxious yellow towels that were whirled about Qualcomm stadium. Players from San Diego were even in awe of the strong black and gold front that, at times, overtook the stadium. The game was, after all, played in America’s finest city and not the Steel City from Pennsylvania. How shocking was it to see and hear?
Honestly, it should not have been that big of a surprise.
The Monday Night announcers made sure that people sitting at home were very aware of the Steelers’ fan-base presence; especially after the end of the game. So naturally sports media, talk shows, podcasts…etc. were talking about it. Chargers fans worldwide voiced their frustrations and even compared San Diego’s fanbase to other football teams, asking why Bolt fans were outnumbered at home.
Let me take this moment to state the obvious:
The San Diego fan base will never be at the same level as the fans from Green Bay, Pittsburgh, or Chicago. Period.
Several articles that I scanned through all had this to say about the Pittsburgh Steelers fans:
“Best traveling fans in the NFL.”
Out here on the west coast of Florida, you could maybe find 20 people out of 100 that were born and raised in the Sunshine State. The other 80 hails from the likes of Pittsburgh, Ohio, Massachusetts…etc. Having gone to several Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tampa Bay Rays games in my 15 years of living here, it rarely feels like a home game. It’s a transplant state after all. Residents bring their fandom with them. In fact, there is a Steelers bar very close to my home called Fanatics Sports Bar & Grill.
So why do fans from all over outnumber the home team? What does Florida have to offer?
The same thing San Diego has to offer….except the awful humidity, of course.
In America’s finest city, people come from all over to reap the benefits of perfect weather, beaches and the lifestyle. Just like here in Florida, after a few visits, people decide to move and plant themselves permanently, or seasonally. San Diego has always boasted the best weather year round of any other city in America. With the ocean breeze slapping them in the face, the surfing, fishing and the relaxed atmosphere, it is no wonder people from twelve-below temperatures are flocking their way out west.
I am a transplant Floridian, and the only games I really attend are those when the San Diego Padres and Chargers are in town. Do I get nasty looks? Of course I do. Nobody wants to see opposing fans at their home stadium.
As disheartening as it was to see those awful towels seemingly exceed those beautiful Charger jerseys in the stands, it should not have been a surprise. It is painful that this story reached such great heights.
However, Charger fans need to worry less about the number of opposing fans and more about the team itself. Call it like it is, Bolts fans: the city of San Diego is a transplant city and those transplants bring their money as well as their love for their favorite team. All Charger fans need to do is to continue to support the team and “BOLT UP!!”
Thanks for reading.
Brian “Big Kahuna” Scott