The Sad State of San Diego Sports

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Jane Goodall is an anthropologist and animal rights activist who once said, “The greatest danger to our future is apathy.”

In what I’m sure comes as a fun little surprise for you, this is not an article about Jane Goodall. Nor will this article focus on her famous relationships with the primates she cares for.

This is, however, an article about apathy. And the future. And, in a much, much smaller surprise, the sad state of San Diego sports.

First, though, this is an article about the San Diego Chargers.

This is an article about the durability concerns Bolts backers face on a weekly basis: the injuries that mount without mercy, claiming the formerly-healthy limbs of almost $30 million in team cap space. First it was Branden Oliver and Stevie Johnson during the preseason, then Keenan Allen in the first half of Game #1. As the campaign went on, the list of casualties grew: Danny Woodhead. Manti Te’o. Jason Verrett. Brandon Mebane. The 2016 season, like many seasons before it, has been a frustrating exercise in fragility, rendering the organization the NFL leader in games missed by players, and Chargers’ trainers a subpar collection of Osweiler-esque struggles to maintain football fitness.

This is an article about the coaching issues that have plagued the team since the days of Marty Schottenheimer roaming the sideline. A conservative Norv Turner was replaced by an über-conservative Mike McCoy, leaving longtime Bolts backers desperate for the aggressiveness of Air Coryell and the prolific points of an early-2000’s, L.T.-led offensive attack. There is little doubt that Mike McCoy is likely a nice enough guy. But “nice enough” doesn’t cut it when one is asked to maintain control over the muscular millionaires of the NFL. There is a reason that, according to ESPN, the Chargers have peaked at an average win probability of 78.28% in their eight 2016 losses, with blown lead after blown lead dropping them out of playoff contention, and that reason is the 44-year old Long Beach State alum who has sat on the NFL coaching hot seat for so long that its outline is likely branded into his backside.

This is an article about the ownership group that has managed to alienate fans for years with mismanagement of the franchise’s veteran stars and the team’s ongoing soap opera with the city of San Diego. We all remember the Joey Bosa contract dispute of this summer, one that created such deep-seeded tensions that there were murmurings of Bosa simply sitting out the 2016 season and re-entering the draft next year.

Things became so bad, in fact, that it became easy for fans to forget about a certain Baltimore-bound safety that was more or less run out of town by Spanos and Co. after asking for a contract extension. These buzz-worthy battles with marquee names have occurred under the blackening cloud of the team’s impending bolt (pun definitely intended) to Hollywood. The political fiasco that was an ultimately-doomed Measure C was simply the icing on the cake of years of struggles between San Diego and the Chargers. With less than a month remaining before the Chargers’ Los Angeles option runs out, it is becoming increasingly likely that this season is the team’s last in America’s Finest City, leaving supporters with a generation of memories and a five-decades-deep scar from the messy amputation of the backbone of their fandom.

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Noah Hilton
I am a current undergraduate at the University of San Diego and lifelong San Diegan. A pitcher and outfielder on the nationally-ranked USD club baseball team, I have aspirations of one day being the GM that finally leads the Padres to a World Series title. I'll write more once I graduate. You can follow me on Twitter @thebackseatlamp

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