After being a faithful supporter of the San Diego Chargers, like many native San Diegans, my life was recently turned upside down.
The team is no longer in America’s Finest City, and that is a sad fact that is still very hard to come to grips with.
My father taught me to love the team. He had season tickets for many years in the 80’s, and it is then and there that I first fell in love with this team. Our relationship has been a rocky one though. Constant bad judgement calls by the front office of the team have tested my patience for years.
Letting go of Lionel James was the first to get to me personally. Then there was the treatment of Rodney Harrison and Junior Seau. Both veterans were ushered out-of-town, when they still had much left in their gas tank. Each showed that, as they had success beyond their Chargers’ era. Most recently, Eric Weddle was treated horribly by the team.
The Spanos’ family has run this team with an iron fist. They, time and time again, have done what they wanted, contrary to what is right.
The stadium fiasco is the most recent debacle from this franchise. In the beginning, the City of San Diego was at fault for not helping facilitate a new stadium for the Chargers. Constant corruption within the city led to years and years of neglect of the situation. The Spanos’ family was the victim initially, but they took the problem to a whole new level.
Moving to Los Angeles is a short-sighted attempt to gain finances, and at the same time, thumb their nose at the city of San Diego and its citizens, who did not approve a new stadium for the franchise. Dean Spanos has no clue what he is doing. That is obvious. The team will be a tenant in a stadium owned by the Rams, and one of the richest owners in the league, Stan Kroenke. It will not take long for the Chargers and their front office to have remorse, if they don’t already feel it.
This whole situation brings us to the choice many Chargers’ fans currently have.
Do I support a team that I know and love? A team whose history is known to you, like the history of your own family. Or have their actions soured you on the Chargers, and the whole National Football League in general?
I have so many friends that once supported the team. It breaks my heart thinking about how some have jumped ship to other NFL franchises. Others have washed their hands of the league. It should have never been this way. The city of San Diego did not deserve this.
My first love in sports is baseball and the San Diego Padres. They have taken my attention away from this Chargers’ situation and that has definitely helped me cope. Still, though, the pain is real. I often think of all those fans that loved the Chargers. Those for whom football was their life. The pain and uncertainty they feel must be unbearable.
As I drive around the city, I still see many reminders of the team. Some fans still wear jerseys, while others still proudly display their Chargers’ lightning bolt sticker on their car or truck. More power to them. If they can still support the team without feeling any pain, then I say go for it. I will not hate.
As for me, seeing a Chargers’ lightning bolt still makes me cringe. I am trying to move on with my life, but I seriously don’t know if I ever will be able to. Thanks, Deano. You ruined the game of football for me, and I am not alone in this feeling.