Anyone who knows me is well aware that I used to be a huge San Diego Chargers fan. I had so much NFL merchandise that I rivaled a Fanatics store. I never missed a game on television or in person thanks to my 16 years as a season ticket-holder. I even hyphenated my last name when I got married so my initials would be NFL.
Well, times have sure changed.
Amidst the whole kneeling BS that Roger Goodell did nothing about, Dean Spanos decided to move his team to Los Angeles. Granted, the Chargers did play their first season in L.A.; however, for the next 50 years, they were in San Diego. Because the voters didn’t approve a new stadium (city voters, not county voters where the majority of season ticket-holders resided)—and Spanos was too cheap to fight for his team staying in San Diego—they defected.
As far as I’m concerned, only one good thing has come out of Los Angeles. Me. I was born there. And, of course, I jest. Well, kinda.
Anyway, for the next three years, the Chargers played in an outdoor soccer field that barely held 30,000 spectators, and they couldn’t sell out. Well, the home team couldn’t sell out. In fact, visiting fans oftentimes occupied the majority of the seats. They had winning seasons the past two years and even made the playoffs last year, but, as usual, they sputtered and died. Of course, it didn’t help that their perennial nemesis the New England Patriots was the team to knock them out of the postseason. Again.
Fast forward to today as I sit here watching the hapless Chargers play the Oakland, um Las Vegas, Raiders, and since I have disowned them (and destroyed most of my Chargers paraphernalia sans the autographed stuff), their ineptitude doesn’t bother me whatsoever. I used to get so stressed out during games that I couldn’t eat while they played, and if they lost, my week would be ruined. Nowadays, I just laugh and couldn’t care less.
I remember the days when Drew Brees was a Charger and fabulous players like Natrone Means, LaDainian Tomlinson (photo), Vincent Jackson, Anthony Miller, Junior Seau (RIP) Rodney Harrison, Shawne Merriman, et al. played to win. They had a sense of pride that was palpable by all who watched. They had coaches who knew how to coach. They had a front office who consistently acquired quality players. By no means am I saying that the team doesn’t have excellent players today. Philip Rivers has consistently been a top-5 quarterback in terms of passing yards, completion percentage, and TD passes during his career, yet he has never won a championship. In fact, the Chargers’ only Super Bowl appearance was in 1995 with Super Bowl XXIX where the Bolts were spanked by the San Francisco 49ers, 49-26, way back when Stan Humphries was the team’s quarterback, and I was pregnant with my first daughter. Then, I could blame the nausea and vomiting on her. Since moving to New Orleans, however, Brees has played in—and won—a Super Bowl. Rivers hasn’t, and it doesn’t seem as though he ever will.
The merry-go-round of head coaches, offensive coordinators, and defensive coordinators hasn’t helped much, nor have the relentless injuries and crybaby players who sit out because they think they are entitled to more money year after year. Ultimately, however, what do you expect with a cheap owner who doesn’t want to invest in decent front office people, adept general managers, or competent coaches?
On a side note, I have to add that I truly despise the powder blue uniforms. Many assert that these are the “best uniforms ever” in the NFL. I disagree and think it’s quite humorous that when they are televised nationally they are wearing these atrocious uniforms. And lose.
Next season, the Chargers will take up residency with the Los Angeles Rams in their new shared stadium in Carson, CA. I’m as excited for that as I am doing my laundry…which reminds me, I have clothes in the dryer.