Damn, I have read a lot of thinkpieces and articles today about the Chargers moving, but your last line was the one that hit me hardest: Whenever I chant (joyful or sarcastic) “San Diego Super Chargers” I’ll know they are no more. Damn.
I enjoy reading your essay, and as Non-Sandiegan Chargers fan, I also find hard to understand why the moving up Freeway 5 North really bums me down.
I was born, raised and live in Tijuana, so I have always been connected to the Chargers and more of it, to San Diego. I have been in the city and the county so many times, and had the luxury to visit a lot of San Dieg0’s attractions: the beach in Coronado, Balboa Park and its museums, the Zoo, Sea World, and the Q. Even though I know San Diego is not my city (not even my country), I have always rooted for San Diego. After all, both American Finest City and the World Capital of Television (Tijuana) are connected in many ways.
But I must confess, I didn’t grew up a Charger fan. Since I have memory I have watched NFL games with my father. He is more of a fair-wheater fan with special love to the Bengals and Falcons (and grown-hatred to the Cowboys), so I didn’t pay notice to the Chargers. The team started to grow on me precisely in those early-2000s, with Junior Seau, Natrone Means and coach Shottenheimer. And then, my father and I went to our first NFL game in 2004. Jets@Chargers. Doug Flutie scored a running TD in garbage time, and the Chargers lost. I feel struck by love with the team. I pay closed attention to rest of the season and prepare enormously for the playoff game against the Jets. I don’t have to tell what happen, but only that, right after the game ended, I knew this team was the s&%$. They just had bad luck. I enjoyed those glorioys days of the mid-2000s when the Chargers dominate the division, I jump of joy after the Scifres playoff game and was crushed enourmously after every one of Keading’s flukes.
In these years, when the team have suffered, I have always found solace in knowing that the team still put a good fight against everyone, better years will come and I’ll be there for the parade when the Chargers bring the Lombardi. But now, if the Chargers won a Super Bowl, the Lombardi won’t be coming to Dowtown.
With the economy down in my homeland, is likely that I won’t be able to afford another NFL ticket, nor many trips to San Diego. Why I am so bum down about the Chargers leaving? Maybe because I felt I was too part of the great fandom, maybe because I always found joy when I see the Bolt in my hometown, maybe because I still like how the team played and I’m excited for the new season, maybe because they were the nearest football team, maybe because I don’t want to feel that all my years of suffering have been for nothing, maybe because the San Diego Super Chargers are no more.