n November 22nd 1987, I was born at Sharpe Hospital in San Diego and have been a Chargers fan ever since. My mother was born and raised in San Diego and was a die hard Charger fan, my father a Dallas Cowboys fan, my mom won out and I was brought home from the hospital wrapped in a Chargers blanket.
My father was in the Navy and my first move was from San Diego to Virginia Beach VA at 9 days old. I spent the next 18 years moving every 2ish years to places like Landover MD, Rickmansworth, Chorelywood, and Brampton, all three of which are in England, Rota Spain, Moscow Russia, and finally to Denver Colorado.
Through all of those moves, all of that change, the one thing in my life that remained a constant was my San Diego Chargers. My family would rent a TLF (Temporary Lodging Facility) room on base in England and in Spain whenever the Chargers got picked to be shown on AFN (the Armed Forces Network). We would gather around our old desktop computer and listen to the radio broadcast of the game over dial up internet, getting kicked off anytime a relative would call to rave about a good play.
But it isn't the owners I would like to thank. They have shown, more and more over the last few seasons, that they care little about us as fans as long as we still buy anything they can slap a lightening bolt on or a seat in their old, crappy stadium.
No, this is not about the Spanos family, this is about the players. The guys who day in day out put on those blue, yellow, white, and baby blue uniforms, left their families multiple weekends a year, put both their current and future health on the line, for both their own personal pride, and for us.
I remember when I was deployed to Iraq in 2009, the Chargers were playing Bengals and the normal place on my FOB (Forward Operating Base) to watch the games was closed for some repairs. The only other place to watch was the gym. I didn't want to be that guy just standing in the gym doing nothing and watching tv so I got on a treadmill and set a decent walking pace. 3 hours and change later I had walked 8.6 miles and the Chargers had narrowly won the game 27-24 with a 52 yard FG from Nate Kaeding with about 12 seconds left.
In 2013, when I spent the entire year in Afghanistan, I remember heading to our work tent an hour early (Midnight Afghanistan time) to make sure the snow was cleared off our crappy satellite dish so the signal was good enough to watch the Chargers on December 29th vs the Chiefs for a "win and we're in" game to finish the season. The Chargers rallied in the 4th quarter to force overtime and kick the field goal in overtime to make the playoffs.
As we say goodbye to the "San Diego" Chargers, those are the types of things I will remember. It is the players that have kept me supporting the team this long, and probably a little longer. All of us will have to make our own decisions on how we want to handle what, at this point, looks all but certain move. To me, because of the players, I don't think I can make this an immediate goodbye. I will likely stick with this team no matter what happens until all my current favorites are gone.
So to longtime Chargers like Junior Seau, Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, LaDainian Tomlinson, Eric Weddle, Nick Hardwick, Kris Dielman, Mike Scifres, Jamal Williams, Malcom Floyd, Shawne Merriman, Luis Castillo, David Binn. Thank you.
Guys that came here later or left to continue elsewhere, Donnie Edwards, Tim Dwight, Nick Novak, Vincent Jackson, Drew Brees, Darren Sproles. Thank you.
These men above contributed to some of the happiest, some of the saddest, some of the most frustrating, and some of the most enjoyable times I've ever had.
I know nothing is certain yet, I know this is "just a game," and I know this may be a bit dramatic, but I think the players deserve to hear some thanks, because after all, it is their team too.