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An Open Letter to Chargers RB Ryan Mathews

The following is a fan's heart-felt public apology to San Diego Chargers' running back, Ryan Mathews.

Ezra Shaw

Dear Ryan,

Hi, I'm Christina, San Diego native and true-blue (and gold) Chargers fan. August through January, my Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays revolve around Charger games. I try to convert nearly every person I meet into a Chargers fan, and when we lose I cry like I'm five and someone just told me the Care Bears aren't real - a short lifetime of dreams destroyed.

Now that I have formally introduced myself, I want to make sure you are seated comfortably before proceeding. This isn't the type of letter you read from your phone while waiting at Starbucks or in the bathroom when you need a couple extra potty minutes. Nope, this heart-felt, uninhibited, fan confession and apology is most appropriately enjoyed in a plush recliner with an ice-cold beverage.

What I am about to say to you is not easy. In fact, it's embarrassing and horribly humbling. Ryan, I have not been kind to you. You surely do not know it, but I spent the majority of years 2010-2012 vexed with you. A feeling that inappropriately and ignorantly manifested into my snickering at "fumble-ina" jokes, doubtfully glaring at you on the sidelines of Chargers' Training Camp, vilifying you at tailgate parties, and in March 2013 (while misspelling your name) taking to the world-wide-web saying:


Ryan, I was rude, and I was very wrong.

You should know this letter is not driven by a spiritual sports journey or a support program for survivors of the Norv-AJ era, this letter is something I felt obliged to do after the tremendous 2013-14 season you had and after learning more about your journey to the NFL.

In a recently found opportunity to write for Bolts from the Blue, my two cousins and I chose to make it our mission to cover the good things Chargers do in our community. Our first story on LT, and his fight against hunger in San Diego, indirectly led me to you, your story, and your community involvement.

At the close of the Chargers' 2013-14 season, for the first time, I felt a sense of relief and pride knowing you would be our running back in 2014. I saw you play the season with the gusto, passion, and fire many fans had been waiting for. In the December 12th game against Denver, you celebrated a 23-yard touchdown with the signature "LT ball flip." At that moment an electric surge of excitement came over me, and I thought, "He did it - he's our running back!"

These feelings of pride and new-found admiration for you were only reinforced after researching your involvement with the Salvation Army and the program you and your mom founded to aid homeless families in San Diego. Even more so, once learning of the circumstances you've had to overcome - including your own experience with homelessness - I really felt like a jerk.

Please accept my sincerest apologies and my gratitude - you believed in San Diego before San Diego believed in you. We could all learn and thing or two from the dedication, work ethic, and compassion you've shown. In the 2014-15 season, even more than applauding your work on the field, I hope to continue to be able to write about all the great things you do for our wonderful city.

Keep up the good work, my friend! Now you can focus on the backfield, and know there are a few Little fans who have your back.


Christina Little