Are the Chargers Leaving? Thanks, I guess…

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“This is the end. This is the end. My only friend, the end.”

This song went through my head after the Chargers’ last game. With all the news swirling around about the team’s expected (and all but conclusive) move to Los Angeles next season, this really is the end.

I’ve been a fan of the Chargers for as long as I’ve watched football. I didn’t grow up in San Diego.

I grew up in a part of the country where the main team on television each Sunday was the Dallas Cowboys. I still was a Charger fan.

I have a lot of memories about this team. I watched them win. I watched them lose. I watched them upset the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1995 AFC Championship, and then lose to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 29.

My fondest memories are watching LaDainian Tomlinson run through defenses, and Philip Rivers‘ emergence as the team’s starting quarterback.

This team doesn’t have a history of winning Super Bowls or being revered as one of the elite teams in the league, but this was still my team.

Both sides are to blame in this stadium fiasco. The city refused to work with the team for years. When the city finally had an administration dedicated to keeping the Chargers in San Diego, the organization wasn’t as willing to work with them. The city is to blame just as much as ownership.

The hardest part of this is that the front office has toyed with the idea of doing a full re-branding of the franchise, changing the team’s name and the colors and starting over new. The Chargers name, logo, and colors would be gone. It all would be nothing but a distant memory. The Chargers would go away to a place with the Montreal Expos, the Quebec Nordiques, the Hartford Whalers and other professional sports franchises who did a full re-brand.

This has been coming for a long time. It shouldn’t hurt as much as it does, but it does. This doesn’t feel like losing a friend. It feels like a friend walking out without so much as a goodbye and never returning.

Thanks for the memories, I guess……

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