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There’s no playbook for this

The Los Angeles Chargers are forcing their fans to confront a situation that no NFL fanbase has ever dealt with before. Nobody knows how it’s going to play out.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers Press Conference Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Some thoughts on a Sunday morning...

I haven’t been around here as much as I normally am, or as much as I’d like, and there’s a very good reason for that: As a San Diegan, I feel a little like I’m on the outsider looking in at the Chargers’ fanbase these days.

Almost on a daily basis, I get asked if I’m going to support the Los Angeles Chargers. I usually answer, “I don’t know.” However, it’s obvious that these people are looking for some guidance on what to do as fans.

Based on the people that I meet or talk to, Southern California seems fractured between “new Rams fans”, “new Chargers fans in Los Angeles”, and “former Chargers fans in San Diego”. There are times in my life where I thought I’d be in one of those groups, but now I’m not so sure. I haven’t conclusively decided to give up on the Chargers completely, at least not yet, but I’m not going to thumb my nose at San Diego either (as a native San Diegan).

The other day I was thinking about how odd this position is that I find myself in. At the moment, I am still a Chargers “fan”, but I don’t know that most of the Chargers current fans would embrace and accept me for one reason or another and I don’t know that most San Diego NFL fans would side with me either.

How did this happen? Well, quite simply, there’s never really been a situation like the one we currently face with the Chargers.

Sure, NFL teams have moved before. They’ve even moved within the same state, making it slightly awkward. However, the Chargers are the first NFL team that I can think of that moved such a short distance while completely shifting the dynamic of their fanbase (and marketing).

That unique situation means that we have no playbook to follow. We’re making this up on the fly. Should I, as a San Diegan, be okay with the team I root for taking on “The Fight for L.A.”? I don’t know! But I do know that I’ve spent long enough rooting for Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates that it would seem foolish to root for a different team while they’re still in the league.

That’s enough for now, although it hasn’t been enough to make me care about the draft, and I’ll figure out the rest when I have to.