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I’ll Miss the San Diego Chargers

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I’ll still be a fan of the Chargers, but it won’t ever be the same.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

I was born in Ukiah, California. I didn’t have the same middle or last name, and I lived up there until I was about 2 12 years old, at which point I was adopted and moved down to live in Penasquitos, CA. For those of you who don’t know where that is, it’s close to where the 15 and the 56 intersect. I spent my life from when I was 4 all the way until after I turned 18 and moved up to UCLA. I can’t say I was a Charger fan that whole time. For some reason or another, I hated football until around 2006. They weren’t exactly terrible, and my parents loved Flutie, Brees, and LaDainian Tomlinson. Whenever football was on, I was probably reading a book in my room like a good, studious kid. When I started to actually watch football, though, I loved it. I immediately started playing fantasy football and immersing myself in statistics and videos of the Chargers. Whenever someone asked me why I was a fan of the Chargers, I would think it was an obvious answer, because I was from San Diego.

My grandfather was complaining about the Chargers losing to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game in 2008 a day or two before he passed away, which started a burning hatred for the Patriots that is still burning to this day. Images of Philip Rivers being hurt, LT sulking on the sidelines, and Billy Volek almost winning the game are seared into my memory. When I moved up to LA for college, I thought that it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if the Chargers moved up to LA, because I’d be closer to them to enjoy their football. Since I became a fan, the Chargers have enjoyed a 97-79 regular season record. It hasn’t been phenomenal, and a lot of questionable decisions have been made, including letting Darren Sproles walk, Eric Weddle recently, and the general crap that spews out of Fabiani’s mouth on behalf of the Spanos family. But, up until last year, none of it bothered me.

I wasn’t happy about the Chargers not re-signing players that I liked, but it’s a business, and these people know more about football than I ever will. I let the Chargers front office be the way they wanted to be, and I was generally happy about the front office decisions. I was happy when Norval Eugene Turner was fired, I was happy when Tom Telesco was hired and when he hired Mike McCoy. I was perfectly fine with giving them 4 years to figure things out. I have generally appreciated the work Tom Telesco has done, and he’s built a really talented team that just has had a problem staying healthy. I think that the team that was fielded by the Chargers even late this season was a talented one. That was obvious, considering how close their losses were this season, despite the unprecedented amount of starters who ended the season on IR.

What I’ve had a problem with, is the owners of the Chargers. As long as I have been aware, it has never seemed like the Chargers wanted to find a stadium solution in San Diego. There’s a reason so many games didn’t sell out, and it wasn’t lack of production on the field (until the last two seasons). It was because fans were tiring of the foolish agenda the Chargers pushed. I became privy to it when I realized that the Chargers really wanted to move to LA. They kept forcing the story that San Diego was unwilling to work with them. From my perspective, the Chargers were acting like a little kid who only wants things one way or not at all. They refused to work with the city on a solution at or near the Qualcomm site. They figured they deserved a stadium near the water and were not going to listen to anything the city said otherwise and forced the city’s hand to put Measure C on the ballot. Of course, that failed miserably because the residents of San Diego knew that the Chargers wanted to leave. If they were just trying to force San Diego into giving them a better offer with the Carson project, that backfired terribly. Same with the threats to move to LA and be a tenant with the Rams. I guess the Chargers ended up having to eat their words.

I don’t know if most fans realize how much the Chargers neglect to acknowledge their fans, but I’m sure they’re starting to. Part of that is being proved at this moment as people are egging the Chargers compound and piling up Chargers memorabilia in the parking lot, showing they don’t want it anymore. Personally, that’s a big deal, because NFL licensed stuff is not cheap. The Chargers have lost many fans today, and it’s going to take a lot more than a new (terrible) logo to win over new ones.

The LA market isn’t strong enough to sustain two teams. The Chargers also just lost quite a few fans from San Diego too. I mean, I guess this was a business decision and it won’t matter to them anyways.

The Chargers are a joke, and we know for a fact that Mike Smith (former HC candidate) has decided a simple “no thanks,” would be better than joining this heaping dumpster fire.