It is getting closer and closer to the start of training camp and I am excited for the upcoming San Diego Chargers season. There is a giddiness in my step. I have a smile that hints of great victories. I believe the 2014 Chargers are on the verge of something special.
It's just that nobody I know believes me. You see, I live in San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders country.
About a 30 minute drive from Fresno, CA sits the city of Visalia. It's a quiet little city surrounded by some of the world's most valuable agriculture. Find a map of California and its pretty much smack dab in the middle. I've mapped it out and Visalia is 323 miles away from QUALCOMM Stadium, which after you add up all the gas and bathroom stops, makes it about a 6 hour drive. Though Visalia is still 3 hours away from the Bay area, make no mistake, this place is completely Raider Nation and 49er Empire territory. It's Silver and Black and Red and Gold everywhere you look.
Perhaps more than most of you, I can’t stand the fans of those teams. They are annoying and pompous. They are dismissive and arrogant. It’s partly why I am a Chargers fan. I truly can’t stand Raiders fans. I see so many on a daily basis I almost sometimes feel like I'm in Oakland. I get even more upset when they have more fans at Qualcomm than the Chargers when the Raiders visit. Every year those fans proclaim that this is their year to win it all.
49ers fans are just as bad, especially with this recent run the past few years. They certainly have gotten closer than any other California team lately. And if that's not good enough, they hold up four fingers to signify how many Super Bowls their team has won.
And so when I proclaim in my most confident voice that this is the Chargers year, I get laughed at.
Outside of Philip Rivers, Eric Weddle, Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates, Ryan Mathews and Dwight Freeney, none of my friends know of anybody else on the roster. They don’t know about Jahleel Addae and the potential budding star we may have emerging at the safety position. They don’t think much of Melvin Ingram or Corey Liguet. Donald Butler was our most important signing in free agency before Brandon Flowers. And when I tell them Butler has a chance to grow into one of the finest Inside Linebackers in the league, they ask "What team did he used to play for?"
Speaking of Flowers, Raiders fans know of him, and just like Chargers fans would undoubtedly say if Flowers was still wearing a Chiefs uniform, they tell me he’s washed up and gets burned for the long ball all the time. Phillip Rivers got lucky last year. Ryan Mathews is always hurt. The Chargers have no receivers. These are the same types of insults I hear 365 days a year.
Its the price you pay for being a fan of a team not in your near vicinity. Surely the Chargers 2013 playoff run lends some credibility to my argument of a post postseason run for this year, right? Nope, because I already told you it falls on deaf ears.
And so, it brings me to pose this question to you, wonderful BFTB readers: After all the Kyle Posey and Stephan Hwang in-depth analysis, John Gennaro's truthful takes, Maximilian Schultz salary cap breakdowns, Manny Casillias and Kevin Grauel's thought provoking articles, Richard Wade Linking us up with everything Chargers, The Littles' community awareness pieces, SDNativeinTX Editorials and the rest of the BFTB communities commentary, Are we too bias for our own good?