Welcome to the refreshed Bolts from the Blue! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card [contest rules]. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!
The stories of how we all became fans of the teams we support are as varied as we are. I came to be a Chargers fan in one of what I believe is one of the most common ways possible. I was raised to be a fan of the then San Diego Chargers by my father who was himself a fan of the team for decades prior to my birth. There was never any doubt that I would follow and support the same team that he did. I had Chargers gear from before I knew what it was or what it meant.
So, that’s how I first came to have rooting for the Chargers as a part of my life, but that is not much of an actual story. How I came to cement my fandom is somewhat more memorable. In 1994, the San Diego Chargers made a run at the Super Bowl and I watched all of the playoff games at a family friend’s house that was filled with diehard Chargers fans. It was those games and one moment in particular that set me on the path of being a Chargers fan for life. That moment if you know your Chargers history at all should be obvious. Dennis Gibson knocking down Neil O’Donnell’s fourth down pass attempt to send the Chargers to the Super Bowl is an image that even over 20 years later I can clearly see when I close my eyes.
Now, in 2017, the San Diego Chargers are no more. Dean Spanos relocated the team to Los Angeles in January. Many of my fellow Chargers fans decided that they were no longer going to follow or at least no longer support the team and organization they had rooted for over decades. I covered how and why I remain a fan of the Los Angeles Chargers previously and rather than try to restate that case, I present it again here:
Personally, I remain a supporter of the now Los Angeles Chargers. Perhaps there is a refusal on my part to let go of the sunk cost of decades spent living and dying with the results of games. But mostly I just find that I still care about the team and their fortunes. I do not believe I could choose to stop caring about the composition of the roster or the outcomes of the games.
Still, things are different from how they were before. So much of being a fan of a team is the sense of community. The shared joy and shared misery are important to the overall experience. The buzz of people talking about the team when you would walk into the breakroom at work, or at a bar, or at a family gathering was a big part of what made being a fan rewarding. At least for now and at least in San Diego, that has largely gone away if not disappeared entirely.
But even with things so different from before I remain a Chargers fan and I will continue to remain one. I am excited for the upcoming season following what I perceive as a successful draft. I am excited to see a team coached by Anthony Lynn. I am excited to see if this year is the year.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. SB Nation Why Are You a Fan Contributor Sweepstakes starts on only to authorized SB Nation contributors who are legal residents of the United States, 18 years or older. Click here for Official Rules and complete details, including entry instructions, odds of winning, alternative method of entry, prize details and restrictions, etc. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor: Vox Media, Inc.