While everyone thought Eric Weddle would play his last game in a Chargers helmet during the season finale against the Denver Broncos on Jan. 3, it turns this will not be the case.
Instead, Weddle’s tenure as a Charger is all but finished. He was placed on the Injured Reserve (IR) roster earlier this week, and will not suit up for the game at Sports Authority Field.
In fact, Weddle won’t even be at the game. It was reported earlier that the organization told Weddle that they did not have room on the plane to accommodate him and he would not be traveling with the team. Um… what?
Also, earlier this week, Weddle was fined $10,000 by the team because he opted to watch his daughter perform in a halftime show during the home finale against the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 20. He did this instead of being with the team at halftime while they went over adjustments for the second half.
Okay, so maybe that’s a team rule. But, seriously? At least put this into context. He didn’t skip out on his team to go get a hot dog or try to talk to cheerleaders. He wanted to watch his daughter perform in a halftime show. Does Weddle really have to apologize for being a father? I’m a father with a daughter, and if she is going to be in a performance, I’m going to be there. No questions asked.
The news of the fine and later the report that he won’t be with his teammates for their last game is more than just team policy. This is blatant disrespect. Weddle has been with this team for nine years. In that time, he started all but seven games. He’s given his heart and soul to this team, and even became a fan favorite along the way.
This is a slap in the face, not just for Weddle, but to the fans. During this entire stadium saga, the fans stuck behind this team and begged them not to leave. Now, those same fans will watch the season finale with dread as it’s almost a guarantee this is their last game as the San Diego Chargers.
The fans have had to put up with a lot. Fans were left confused an upset after Marty Schottenheimer was fired at the conclusion of a 14-2 season. Those same fans were angry after enduring Norv Turner for so many years, who didn’t have that same kind of success. Sure, the team won division titles under Turner, but that was with the benefit of a talented team, along with playing in a weak AFC West. Norv didn’t do anything extraordinary.
These fans also watched as LaDainian Tomlinson, who is revered as one of the greatest players in franchise history, finished his career with another team, despite wanting to stay and finish in San Diego. That was tough to watch.
The list goes on and on. This organization made dozens of mistakes that angered fans.
Now, this same organization has, or should I say had, a way to make this all go away. Work out a stadium deal and stay in San Diego. It’s what the fans want. The city didn’t always extend an olive branch in terms of making this happen, but now it has an administration willing to make it work. But the ownership is ready to pack up and move to Los Angeles.
The conclusion of the Eric Weddle saga is the tragic ending to a relationship between organization and fans. When people in San Diego think of how this era ended, they will always look to these last two incidents.
It’s sad, yet almost comical, to watch this end they way it is. Thank you for all you’ve done for us Chargers. Despite all of this, I will still carry great memories about people like Tomlinson, Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Junior Seau, Rodney Harrison, Natrone Means, Mark Seay, Shawn Jefferson, Donnie Edwards and the brief tenure of Shawne Merriman.
I just wish I could make new memories to add to what I already have.
It’s been real, Chargers. Thank you.
Mike is the sports editor for the Fayette Advertiser, and has been with East Village Times since 2015. His work has appeared on Bleacher Report. He is an avid Padres fan who is keeping the faith and trusting the process.