Why This Hurts (Goodbye San Diego Chargers)

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Credit: AP Photo

My largest challenge today is to not exaggerate. Literally my first thought when I went to write this column was that I would be bleeding onto the paper (keyboard). Then I thought that was too strong. But that’s how I felt and how I still feel. Maybe I’m going a little too far with the metaphor, but at this point I’m not sure I care.

I disavowed the Chargers a few months ago and still, this is really hard on me. I’m not kidding when I say I felt a sick feeling in my stomach today. I was genuinely emotional at times.

I should mention these paragraphs are just about me and my feelings. I do not wish to speak for anyone and certainly everyone is reacting differently. I appreciate and respect the range of emotion today. Tears are perfectly understandable.

The reason why this hurts is summed up in one word: investment. Of course, there’s all the money, which really doesn’t matter that much. I mean, it’s gone anyway.

The bigger picture here is the fact people invested part of themselves in this team. Again, no exaggeration. Sports fans love their team. Love is, after all, an action. I love my wife by spending time with her. I love her by buying her things. I love her by continuing to do these things when we’re mad at each other. If these actions are how love is defined, then there is no doubt sports fans perform loving actions for their teams.

I’m not comparing my marriage with sports. That’s silly. Please understand, I am making the point that fans do things that qualify as love.

When you love someone, or something, you’re surrendering part of yourself. The time and energy you’ve spent on them grows large enough to count as a significant percentage of your life. It is understandable, then, for you to have a strong interest in whether that part of you will be happy on its own, away from your protection. You’ve trusted that person or thing and at least some of your joy is tied to their well-being.

The emotion is real, folks. Some may not understand. Some may ridicule fans for how they feel today. But those critical people are wrong. I don’t know why we sports fans do this to ourselves. Doesn’t matter, though. We do.

And it goes even farther than that. My mom and I shared joy with this team. I want to go up to Chargers Park and ask how they could do this to my mom. I’d take an arrow to the throat to save my mom, but I can’t here. She’s feeling all these rotten emotions and I am powerless to stop them. She’s followed them longer than I have and I feel worse for her than for myself.

I really don’t care about the future right now. People are excited for the MLS and SDSU to get a new, smaller stadium. I don’t really care. I bet they’ll be great. All I care about I this raw nerve that is exposed and I wonder how much time has to pass until I feel differently.

If I had the chance, I’d want to know a couple of things: is the money really worth it? Or, better yet, is that all I am to you? When I share love with the team, the team just looks at me as a box on its ledger? Did the thought ever cross ownership’s mind that this decision is morally wrong? Do they even care? Maybe I shouldn’t ask these questions because I won’t like the answers. I pretty sure I wouldn’t.

I guess none of this matters, because that piece of me I gave away is gone. I was careless and gave it away. So, it’s my fault, in the end, for trusting the Chargers. Shame on me.

1 thought on “Why This Hurts (Goodbye San Diego Chargers)

  1. Agreed. Thought I was handling this “breakup” as well as could be expected, but then my mind went to my parents, who are in their eighties. They love that team and were so hoping they wouldn’t leave us. We spent every football game day cheering them on. We have family pics in Chargers gear, me in a maternity Chargers shirt from thirty years ago. We were all so happy in those pics. We still are happy (and blessed), but you’re right, when love is involved, it’s going to hurt.

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