The Chargers broke countless hearts when they finally announced they would be relocating to Los Angeles, leaving the residents of San Diego in shock, confused and heartbroken.
Some fans decided to decided to follow them to their new locale, while others decided not to support such horrible ownership and what many believe to be an incredibly poor decision.
I have with me a good friend and fellow staff writer who’s made the decision of choosing a new team, Chris Hoke.
Chris: First off, thank you for conducting this interview. It’s been a long six months since greed and selfishness took my hometown team away from me, leaving me to wonder where the fuck do I go from here.
Charlie: No problem at all! I would like to briefly go over your time as a Chargers fan and ask you a couple of questions about the process of being a free agent fan, so to speak. How long were you a fan of the Bolts? Was it a born-to-now thing? This move must’ve really crushed you.
Chris: I was Chargers fan for 25 brutal seasons. Basically since I was a little kid I grew up watching them with my grandpa and my brother. It become a Sunday tradition in our household. No matter how bad the bolts were my brother and I stuck our team.
Hearing about the bolts was definitively soul crushing. I’ve seen the Chargers get killed in their only Super Bowl appearance. I was there for LT’s last game as a Charger. I was there when the Jets beat us in the playoffs in 2010. I thought those were soul crushing experiences. They pale in comparison to losing your hometown team. It’s like your brother died. I would never wish this kind of pain on any fan. It’s truly been one of hardest times in my life.
Charlie: I’m sure if we take the Spanos family out of the picture, were looking at a much different outcome in this whole process. So that being said, what was a couple of moments being a fan that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life? There’s got to be a part of you that wants to see the players still succeed and do great, right?
Chris: As much as I despise Dean, If you took the Spanos’ out of the picture maybe things would’ve worked out. It wasn’t just his fault though the city of San Diego needs to take some of the blame. For the last 15 years both sides did this dance. Dean would come up with plans to renovate Jack Murphy Stadium or build a multi-purpose center downtown, which would host a number of sporting events. Each time Dean would do this the city turned him down; finally capping it off last November when Proposition C failed miserably. The city and Mayor Faulconer basically left Dean no choice but move the Chargers. So no, I don’t believe the end would be better without Dean. San Diego losing the Chargers was inevitable.
I don’t know if you ever went to any Chargers home games in the Q Charlie, but when the Chargers were winning there was blue and gold everywhere. This city was buzzing. One of the things I will miss about home games was the calm before the storm. The music would start and AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” would hit. Then smoke would filter out of the Chargers helmet then the cannon would fire and then the starting units would be introduced. You just got that electric nervous feeling almost like you were in the game. Those nerves would be turned up even more if it was a rivalry or a playoff game.
As far as moments I’ll cherish, every game I went to was with my brother. Win or lose we were always there next to each other for support. The shared experience of moments and memories like that were enough to last a lifetime.
If I had to go back and pick one game. It would be the Colts wildcard game in 2010 when Darren Sproles scored in overtime in one of the craziest overtime endings ever. Shocking the then Super Bowl Champion Colts.
Football and the Chargers were more to me than money or the games I went to. It was family. Not Dean, not Roger Goodell or anybody will ever take that from me. Family is forever and I will forever be a San DIego Chargers fan!
As far as the players, some have handled this in a way where they can put the true San Diego Chargers fan into their perspective. Take Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates for example. They have both expressed how much San Diego meant to not only their careers but to their families as well. For those players I will cheer for them and hope they finish their careers on top.
Now for those players such as Keenan Allen, who by the way was caught wearing a Raiders hat after he was drafted; we know which team he gets soft against. Allen wasted no time burning his bridge with SD fans by tweeting how excited he was to play in LA only moments after news broke about the Bolts departing from San Diego. I would say that in my eyes those players don’t exist to me and that true Chargers fans should question those players loyalty to not only the team but to us the fans.
Charlie: Safe to say that Darren Sproles game winner has to be a top-3 moment in every Chargers’ fan memory. It was amazing. Still gives me goosebumps to this day watching it and seeing Peytons’ helpless face. *Devilish Laugh*. Now that you’re a free agent fan, have you narrowed it down to any teams in specific that you are gonna cheer for from here on out? if so, how did it come down to them? Whats the process on picking a new team? What plays a big role in attracting you to become a fan? I’m sure given this experience, a huge part has to be ownership.
Chris: I have narrowed it down to three teams. Those teams being the:
Green Bay Packers
For me it came down to several reasons,
First of all with the Packers, I’ve always loved the Packers and the history that comes with this franchise. Not to mention they are publicly owned. The team cares about its fan base. It would also be nice to be a fan of a franchise that knows what it takes to get to a Super Bowl and win.
Secondly, the Philadelphia Eagles. One of the oldest franchises in the league. Like my former team the Eagles have struggled to win a championship. They have had two Super Bowl appearances. One was in 1981 where they lost to the underdog Oakland Raiders. The second loss came in 2004 at the hands of the New England Patriots. Why the Eagles though? My best friend comes from Philly. So I’ve already become a secondary Eagles fan. Since I am now a free agent the idea of being a part of a fan base that is loyal to its team no matter what would be a breath of fresh air compared to the fair weather fan base of the San Diego/LA Chargers.
Lastly, the Chargers. I still can’t call them that disgusting cities name because really it makes me sick to my stomach. It’s like the New York Yankees moving to New Jersey and becoming the New Jersey Yankees. It would make a New Yorker sick. I digress though many may call me a hypocrite since I said “I would never cheer for a team in that city.” However, the Chargers have been all I have known for 25 years. I’ve grown up with this team. They are my blood. They are the bond that my brother and I have always shared. The Chargers are like family to me. If I were to pick them it would be not because of that shithead of an owner. Not because the Mayor of San Diego had a stick so far up his ass he refused to see the grander picture. It would be my heart. My heart has belonged to this team. Whether I like it or not it will always belong to this team.
Charlie: It truly sounds like you have limitless love for the Chargers even after this whole disaster. That’s why you and I connect in good ways. The Packers and Eagles are pretty fair choices as well. Both places can get very cold though, so if you plan on taking trips to see the teams, at Lambeau especially, make sure to bundle up. So before we get into the actual team that you’re rocking with, how has this decision affected relationships with fellow Chargers fans? Do they understand why you’re doing this? I’m sure people feel your pain to some degree. Have you lost any followers on social media?
Chris: I live in Missouri and just moved from Nebraska. I’ve adjusted to cold weather I actually prefer it as well. As far as the transition to being apart of the bolt family on social media to a free agent fan. Man, its been rough. In fact its been one hell of a past seven months. Some have accepted it and understand why I have done it. Some have chosen the same path. Such as former BoltBlitz writer Zak Darman. Others who I have considered close followers have shown anger towards myself and others saying “we were never true fans” which is preposterous. I believe as humans we all grieve in certain ways. Of course I haven’t helped my own cause when I have drunkenly mocked the bolts and L.A. For that I apologize. It was a part of the seven steps of grief anger. In fact after this interview I will no longer be talking about the move or how much I hate Dean Spanos. The subject on this matter is now officially closed!
Charlie: Hypothetical question here, lets say you pick a team that isn’t the Bolts and they end up over exceeding expectations and making playoffs, how would that make you feel? Would you consider coming back? I myself would welcome you back with open arms. Everybody makes mistakes right? All 3 teams are good this year so there should be no letdown where ever you choose to land.
Chris: If the Bolts finally exceed expectations that would be a shock. I mean every time this team is predicted to “take over” the AFC West this team falls flat on its face. So I would be shocked and happy for the players like Rivers, Gates and other veteran guys who deserve to go out on top. However I would not change my mind to be Chargers fan again. Though I’ve thought about trying to be a fan for just one year. Like a player does when he signs a one-year contract. That’s not for me though. When I pick my team this is gonna be the team I stand by till I die!
Charlie: Is everybody in the Hoke family going to be following you on this decision or will this be a solo mission? Somebody in your family had to have either helped with your decision or entice you to go a certain route? Joining a fan base alone can be like switching schools as a kid.
Chris: As I’ve stated in an earlier question. My brother will be remaining a Chargers fan. The rest of my family is either fans of different teams or they are not into football in general. So no, this is something I’ve done on my own unfortunately.
Charlie: Alright so by now, I’m pretty sure the people are on their toes. Everybody can feel your pain and love for the Chargers throughout the article. A lot of people understand you and share those same emotions. Hopefully, this article and your decision can help others and their futures as football fans. With all that being said Mr. Man-of-the-hour, what team are you going with? Who are you going to support going forward? This is a huge decision and it has me so ecstatic to find out! I just hope you’re choosing to stay with us!
Chris: Oh man, This is a question I’ve asked myself over and over for the past seven months. Its taken a lot of soul-searching to get to this point. Being that I’m the man of the hour and I’m a man of my word.
I’ve decided to take my fandom with the Chargers to LA. At the end of the day this is my team. No owner can strip that away from me. I’ve seen these players such as Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates come up from nowhere to be the NFL’s elite. More so than this the Chargers are family. As the line in “Fast and the Furious” series always says “You don’t turn your back on family.” As hard as it is to cheer for a team in a city I hate, things change and I will learn to love this team again. I would once again like to apologize to all the bolt family I’ve spurned for the past seven months. It was a part of the grieving process. I hope you all can forgive me and let me back into the bolt family once again.
Again, Charlie I would like to thank you for these wonderful questions and helping me to close a huge chapter in my life. I look forward to cheering with you on Sundays. Go Bolts!!
Charlie: Yesssssss!!! Words can’t describe how hyped I am to hear you say that. I sure as hell speak for the entire bolt family when I say “welcome back”. Something told me all along you were going to stay with the team. Your passion for this team stretches further than most. This would definitely would not be the best time to leave anyways. The talent on this squad has everybody hyped for the future and I’m truly happy that you are able to look past all the destruction and let downs over the years to stay with them. It’s only going to make winning that much better. I truly am grateful to have found out your great decision first! Next round is on me!
Charlie LaFurno and Chris Hoke
On Monday, I posted an article regarding my thoughts on how utterly stupid the whole “#FightForLA” stance is for the Los Angeles Chargers.
I shared the article per my normal posting guidelines — all over social media.
One of my favorite writers on any site ever — who is now a FORMER writer of mine due to the team’s relocation to Los Angeles — read the article and then posted the following response.
Before you read it, I told him how much I felt his emotions along with him as I read his comment. It is raw, real and unedited, and he even apologized at the end for his post being, “so long.”
He had NO reason to apologize, which I also pointed out.
You may be able to sense what I’m getting at when you continue to read.
I was re-considering my decision during the draft on whether or not to be a Chargers fan. I have checked up on them and saw they had a great draft. I started reading about their picks, I unblocked them on Twitter and started looking through their old tweets that I have missed because they were blocked.
As I was reading, I was starting to get excited again. I was getting excited for the season, getting excited to watch my favorite team play football again. Then as I was reading some articles and tweets a little hashtag caught my eye. That hashtag happened to be #FightForLA. Seeing that made my heart drop again. As if looking at your newly broken up relationship and seeing her engaged two months after a 24 year relationship. I simply can’t root for a team that is all about LA and has no intention on remembering their true home, San Diego.
Now, I wish you guys all the best. I will probably just end up being a fan of players, fantasy players, the game, etc. as I recuperate from my city no longer being an NFL one. It sucks, but hopefully one day we will get our team back. Hopefully one day the league realizes what a mistake it was leaving a loyal city whether it looked like it or not. Hopefully one day I can look at the Chargers and think to myself “I wish they would win a Super Bowl” because right now, it still hurts and it’s nothing but bad wishes and resentfulness.
This young man’s name is Zakariah Darman — it’s Zak, by the way, but whatever — playfully known as ZDizzle around these here parts.
His highly placed love for the Chargers was only trumped by his love for his city; the finest city in all of America, San Diego.
You almost sucked him back in, Chargers… but you found a way to fuck it up with your ignorant “#FightForLA” bullshit.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A big shoutout to Zak for allowing me to use this on the website that he used to bless with his knowledge, charisma and incredibly good looks. You are still missed, Sir.
A few weeks back, I wrote a piece on my thoughts on the Joey Bosa contract negotiations. I told everyone to “chill” on the Bosa contract. At the time, I had faith that the Chargers and Bosa’s agent would come together, reaching a deal that was mutually beneficial for both sides.
In the time since I wrote that first piece, it’s been a deadlock where neither side has budged. Currently, there are no signs of the parties blinking anytime soon.
Matters were escalated when Joey Bosa’s mom, Cheryl, exploded on Facebook saying, “wish we pulled an Eli Manning.”
We all know this story. I’ll sum it up again for our younger audience.
Eli’s dad didn’t want him playing in San Diego. So, when he was drafted by the Bolts, they refused to even go and there was the awkward presentation of Manning holding the Chargers jersey with complete disdain on his face.
Luckily, a trade was worked out between the Giants and San Diego received Philip Rivers and other picks in that deal. Since then, the name Eli boils the blood of SD faithful.
Cheryl Bosa is Joey’s mother, and she has every right to say what she wants as his mother. Was it timely? No. Should Chargers’ fans be expected to take a statement like that lightly? Hell no!
In an effort to avoid this post/situation seeming to be one-sided, I spoke with BoltBlitz.com staff writer Zak Darman, asking him his take on the predicament.
We’ll take a look at this from multiple perspectives.
Chris: From the Chargers’ perspective, what has been the hold-up on Bosa’s deal? What do they seem to gain from this standstill?
Zdizzle: The hold up on Bosa’s deal is the fact the Chargers are not wanting to pay him his entire bonus money upfront or to take off his offset language. What that means is, if Bosa is cut anywhere between Year One and Year Four of his rookie contract and he signs for less than $2 million somewhere else, he would then get paid the remaining deal from the Chargers and from the team who signs him. What Bosa’s side gains is a fair contract deal that 80 percent of all top-5 picks have received since the new CBA was put into place (2012), and what three of the top-five picks have received (three of the four not included him) this season alone.
No matter the outcome of this, it’s a bad look for a team that is supposedly trying to turn a new leaf and save face for a stadium vote in November. The longer this drags out, the worse it will affect November’s vote. As they say, though, winning cures everything, and only time will tell.
The Bosa Camp
With only two Preseason games left, Bosa has yet see the field at all during the preseason, missing precious reps that could help him come along in a defensive scheme that is like learning a foreign language to him. The reps and games he’s missing now could be better served by getting on the field with his teammates, earning the respect of said individuals. With pass-rushing defensive ends coming at a premium in this league, the sooner he begins playing and learning this scheme, the sooner he can trade up from his rookie deal for an even better payday.
Once again, I’ll bring back Zak to give his opinion on the subject.
Chris: So much has been made of what Bosa wants from the Chargers. If you could, please reiterate the two things the Bosa camp wants? Which one of the two do you think his camp would be willing to move on?
Zdizzle: I think Bosa’s camp would more than likely move on from the bonus money because Joey will be getting it regardless. The biggest thing I think is the offset language which is petty from both sides which is why this holdout is stupid but should still be taken care of and if failed to, should be a fireable offense.
The fact that this has dragged on for both sides. Makes you think that A. Bosa may need to think of a new agent next time around if there is one. B. The Chargers seriously need to rethink their contract negotiation strategy.
It is worth noting, the past two years have been some of the hardest times for Chargers fans, not solely due to the team losing on the field; the threat of this team moving to a different city has inched closer and closer, too. It has tested the loyalties of a fractured fan base; one which may not recover for a long time. Yet, with all of the offseason additions, coupled by the drafting of Joey Bosa, the fans have had something positive to hang our collective hats on. Most individuals are not fond of millionaires fighting with billionaires over money; we just wanna see our players play.
Once more, here’s Zak to chyme in with his hot take on the situation.
Chris: When should the fans truly begin to panic? With the recent news that the Chargers and Bosa have reconvened, when do you expect a deal to be struck? Will see Bosa play in preseason? If so, will he see more reps than a normal first-round pick, just to catch him up on the time he’s missed?
Zdizzle: I’d say the time to panic would be the start of regular season games (which I don’t think it goes that far and, in fact, I think it gets done before the team’s third preseason game). With that being said, I’m not expecting him to be rushed into game action, as he is far from being in football shape, and still needs to catch up on the playbook and assignments given to him by defensive coordinator John Pagano.
All in all, this is a very silly holdout on the part of Bosa and his agents, and very silly for the Chargers to conduct business in such a manner. At the end of the day, not one side is more to blame than the other and both are equally at fault.
Is time to panic on Bosa? I tend to lean toward what Zak said regarding the regular season. Then I will panic. As for now, I’m remaining optimistic. Both sides have started talking again. Per some social media stalking done by multiple bloggers, the team’s personal plane was even spotted on Tuesday, landing in Fort Lauderdale, where Bosa lives.
Hopefully, I will soon be congratulating the two sides on FINALLY getting this contract mess worked out.
For the time being, try to stay positive, BoltFam.