It has been a tough week as a San Diego County native. I’m a 4th generation San Diegan. This year I turn 30, and throughout the past 30 years there has always been a constant in my life. That constant remained even when I went out of state for college. It remained through the loss of loved ones and the birth of new loved ones. The day I met my girlfriend, proposed to her, and married her. And the day that she gave birth to my son. This constant has been there throughout every major life event since I was born. That constant was the SAN DIEGO Chargers.
Today, that constant left. And not only will that loss leave a huge void in my life, but my closest friends’ and family’s lives as well. As I search through Facebook I see photo after photo of friends and family at “the Q” in their powder blues cheering on the bolts. And picture after picture I am reminded of just how much the Chargers have meant to nearly everybody in San Diego.
I am reminded of how much the Chargers impacted me as a child. When I was a child I would go to Jack Murphy Stadium, and I would cheer on the Chargers. Then I would spend Monday through Saturday pretending to be Natron Means, Stan Humphries, or Junior Seau. Now, with a child of my own, and no San Diego football team for him to grow up around, I understand just how much those memories meant. My son won’t be able to see his version of Rodney Harrison, Ladanian Tomlinson, and Drew Brees in person. He won’t be able to take pride in where he is from when his local football team wins, and he won’t be able to feel the heartache when his town’s team loses. He won’t have the feeling that comes along with wearing that bolt on your chest. He won’t be able to share the same kind of emotional connection with San Diego fans that I was, that all of San Diego was. And to know that I won’t be able to share the love I had for the Chargers one day with my son is nothing short of heartbreaking. And the fact he won’t have a hometown idol to emulate, like we all did with Junior Seau or Natron Means or Dan Fouts a generation before and LT a generation following.
And it’s not so much about just losing your team, but rather losing a part of your identity. You root for the team that represents where you come from. The team that when you wear a bolt, people knew where you were from and what you were about. It’s the same feeling that you have when you put on the SD cap. It’s a show that I’m from San Diego. I’m not from Los Angeles. I don’t root for the Dodgers.
So when that new logo was unveiled, in Dodger Blue, with the interlocking LA, I felt sick to my stomach. It’s like a divorce, but now you have to see that person with someone else that you know isn’t better for them. A dirtier, smellier, much more obnoxious person. I won’t cheer for a football team in LA. As I look out my office window at Qualcomm Stadium, it’s hard to believe there will not be an NFL team playing there come September. It’s something I have never had to deal with in my near 30 years of living.
These last two years have been trying, but there was always that glimmer of hope that they were staying, that San Diego would still have a football team. Well, they’re not staying, and “America’s Finest City” is left without a football team.
Now, I don’t blame the city, and to do so is asinine. Why should a city be expected to finance a stadium for a billionaire? They shouldn’t, and fans and critics should abandon that notion very quickly, remembering the rich get richer. All we can do now is remember the good times we had, the heroes that we idolized, and focus on getting a team back to San Diego (but hope it is an expansion so no other city has to experience what we went through). That being said, go every other team not called the Chargers! And Dean Spanos I hope you are there in LA where the much more popular Rams only get the 4th lowest attendance in the NFL, and you are sitting there in an empty stadium on game day not realizing that you left every Charger fan back in San Diego with a broken heart and hostility.
Sadly and Sincerely,
A former Charger fan