On January 11th, 2017 my sports world was forever changed.
I stood outside of a Vons shopping center near my home, looking at my eventual new car. It felt like maybe five minutes transpired… then it happened. The Chargers announce they’re moving to Los Angeles. This notification on my phone was the end all, be all, of painful Chargers’ notifications from 2015-2017.
The conversation I was presently having with the gentleman I was purchasing the car from, turned to Charlie Brown adult speak. I test drove, and purchased my new vehicle that day, but in a complete fog. The next evening, after fielding calls and texts, my mom informed me of a loss in our family. Needless to say, 2017 had started off rougher than I could have ever imagined. Nearly a month has passed since the announced move and I’m still a mess. My ritual has now been altered for my productive years on this earth. From 1991 through 2016, I loved my San Diego Chargers like no team ever in pro sports.
Growing up in San Ysidro & Chula Vista California, in a single family home, I watched my team wide-eyed and dedicated. In the early years. I didn’t understand what I know now about the game (free agency, owners, stadium debacles, etc.) Nowadays I write, do jingles, and have joined a local podcast. It would be perfect, had they not left my beloved city in my first year of doing great things. I’m in my late 30’s, and perfect doesn’t exist.
I would need to type up a 50 page report to scratch the surface of my love for my San Diego Chargers. Plaza 38 would know who I was by time the game ended. I take that back, they would know me within minutes of the first quarter. I talk it up. I get hyped, I lose my voice, my hands hurt. It’s like that.
If I didn’t have tickets, I would still tailgate in the parking lot. You would know me for many of the same reasons. You would assume the Chargers had won the Super Bowl with all the chatter I have on game day. Family members, friends, opposing fans… people know my love for my team.
So What Now?
I still want to see what happens to my team. I feel like I’ve raised them. I’ve given them my heart and soul. It wasn’t reciprocated, like with so many of my favorite players, who were cast off and under appreciated. I don’t like the owner of the team. He doesn’t even get the pleasure of me writing his name in this piece. I used to want to meet him. I considered him a great man, but not any longer.
San Diego is a great city, but often times not progressive enough. I don’t blame him entirely, that would be wrong. I just wish he realized that he was cutting off the lifeblood of many of us folks in San Diego. I’m often made fun of for my love of my team. I don’t care, it’s involuntary. I have to watch them up the road now. Not a five-minute drive, not an hour drive. I have to watch them in Los Angeles.
I can tell you how the average San Diegan feels about Los Angeles. It’s our rival city, as one-sided as that rivalry may be. The owner couldn’t have picked a worse place to move the team to and expect support. Now I have a long distance relationship to work out. They say these don’t work. We shall see.
I’ll purchase my adult beverage about 9-930 or 12-1pm (on game day next September) and see if the feelings are still there. I suspect they will be as they were in San Diego. The love was never in question. Unconditional love, unconditional dedication, was never in question before now.