Ticketmaster asked me to write about a once-in-a-lifetime experience I have had as a fan of the San Diego Chargers. There is one that stands out, and I don't believe I have actually written about it in years.
The most magical "game" I've ever actually been to in person was in 2009, when the San Diego Chargers traveled to New Jersey to take some revenge on Eli Manning. Superduperboltman did a fine recap of this game last year before the Bolts walloped the Giants, and former regular commenter Clip Show actually wrote a FanPost about going to the game with me. (I believe he is putting together the broken pieces of New Zealand these days, which cuts into his time on BFTB.)
The atmosphere was electric. From kickoff to hours after the game, I almost felt like I couldn't breathe. The teams were evenly matched and had rosters meant for clashing up against one another. Every play included at least two near-misses of interceptions or sacks or missed tackles. It was action from the very beginning to the end.
What I'll remember most, though, was the fans. I know this may not have been everyone's experience, but I thought the fans were great.
There were plenty of Chargers fans in the crowd at Giants Stadium, and there seemed to be plenty of cheering from both sides without any ugliness. After the game, Giants fans identified me by my LaDainian Tomlinson jersey and would yell "What a game!" or "We'll get you next time!" I can't remember a single negative thing being said.
Civility in fandom. It's a rare thing, and usually only brought about by an amazing football game. That's my once-in-a-lifetime moment. The time that everyone in the stadium stopped caring so much about who won and enjoyed the sport for everything that it could be.