I enjoyed reading this article. It was very informative from a person in your perspective and I respect the shit out of your opinion on this matter. I have heard a lot of angry San Diegans, who probably feel the same way you do, but haven’t been able to express it in a way other that Hulklike rage.
I was only fortunate enough to live in San Diego for roughly four years, just after September 11th during the very formative years just after high school. I was born and raised and currently live on the Central Coast CA, about 6 hours north of SD. Growing up, I was a fan of the Cowboys, because I was a kid, and they were winning, and I had no teams close enough to me to feel like I was part of. Dodgers yeah, Lakers Yeah, but I was lost for football. I fucking hate the Cowboys. Maybe that’s a little too harsh, but I am not a fan. At all.
Once I lived in SD, I felt like I was part of something. I lived there during the Cedar Fire and saw Qualcomm become home to many. I saw the Padres open Petco, all while hearing every year that they were working on a new stadium for the Chargers. The winning or losing didn’t matter. I just like being in a city that had a team. I couldn’t afford to go to a lot of games, but I did, when I could, tailgated when I could, hung out in Mission Valley and ate wings when I could, partied at State, probably more than I should and felt accepted and embraced by SD, the Chargers and their fans. I finally had a football family.
When I moved away, to Michigan, for a few years, the Chargers remained in my heart. They weren’t going any where. Fuck the Lions. Fuck the Tigers, Fuck the Pistons. Fuck the Wolverines. Fuck the Spartans. Did I leave anyone out? I may have been the only Chargers fan in all of Michigan. “Oh, so you are from CA? You must think you are better than us”.
I was so happy to be home, once I made it back to Cali, but being 6 hours away from the Chargers was rough. I live in an area that sits almost smack dab in the middle of SD and the Bay. It is an area infested by Raiders and 49ers fans. It was a long Sunday for me trying to make a game. Leave my house at 4am to be able to tailgate at 10am. Those were the best morning road trips ever. Not a lot of traffic. The anticipation of the game and getting day buzzed and screaming my fandom to the roof made for some of the best days of my life. But let me tell you, when 4:30pm rolled around, things changed. Traffic out of the stadium. Traffic on the road, I didn’t get home until midnight. Sure, I could've stayed the night, but doing that meant a much more expensive trip, not to mention losing out on a Monday workday.
Selfishly, I have been waiting for the announcement of the LA Chargers for quite some time. I sure as shit am not going to root for the Rams. Things have changed in a huge way for me. I make the short three hours drive countless times a year to the Dodgers , Lakers, LAX, concerts, shopping, staycations. Shit, now I can make Thursday night games, Monday night games, leaving my house 7 am and being home by 7 pm on Sundays. Hell yeah!! I can get behind that. I already put my deposit down to get on the wait list for season tickets. Don’t know if I can swing it, but I am sure as fuck going to try. Have already received handfuls of texts from friends who want to plan trips to games of visiting teams they are fans of. Shit my son is a Broncos, and now we get one game a year. A game that was previously reserved for it having to be a present from Santa because of the cost of the trip.
I am sure SD fans are hurting, but once they have forgiven (if they can bring themselves to do it), I think was can have an even stronger fan base. SD is still a short drive to the game. I know its not down the street anymore, but now we can reach all of SoCal and try to pack our stadium every Sunday.