This what it’s come to in The Land of The Lightning Bolt. I can’t blame Mike. If I lived in San Diego, I wouldn’t want to hear about the Chargers any more either. Mike went on to tell me that he might “hate watch” this year, however. That’s a sentiment I can also understand. I can’t watch a game that the Chargers AREN’T involved in without rooting against someone. I don’t find myself pulling for another team, but rather cheering for them to lose. I know, that says a lot about me. But being a Charger fan hasn’t exactly left with a positive attitude.
But am I better off than guys like @sdmike? At least I still have a team to root for, even if it is the Chargers. It’s almost like I have survivor guilt for still rooting for the Chargers. Mike went on to point out that I am probably way more objective than San Diegans when it comes to the Bolts. That’s true and yet really odd since I’ve always been the least-objective Charger fan. In fact, they put me in the Hall Of Fame for being so. But even though I’ve lived in New York all my life, I can still feel the lingering effects of the “relocation.” Dean is a douche, even if the political climate in San Diego was also a part of the problem. Another year of limbo wasn’t going to be good for anyone, but I didn’t think it would come to this.
Before the schedule was released yesterday, I was cleaning out my Twitter account. I would estimate that a couple of hundred other fans had to do as Mike did. But as I started looking for new followers, I noticed how many accounts were dedicated to hating the Bolts. There were a smaller group of those emphasizing the “LA” in Chargers. Thankfully, I didn’t see any referencing the “Fight” for the city. I get why they need to attract local fans, but the slogan just seems corny. As Philip Rivers pointed out immediately after the move, the only way cultivate fans is to be better on the field.
Clearly, I’m not the only one caught in this weird space. But unlike John G, I never lived in SD. I’m a vengeful dude, so I can relate to this leaving the Chargers for the Bills, Rams, and Browns. You don’t hear about any Boltheads leaving to become Steelers, Cowboys, or Patriots fans. I know many people said that they would support a San Diego Raiders, but you never know until you know.
I think that’s what both of those pieces hit the nail on the head on. There were those who were on the fence until the schedule was released. Others will make their decision after the draft. People have to do what feels right. XX1090’s Marty Caswell recently joined Facebook and admitted that she’s still unsure. Marty is not only an excellent interviewer but as San Diego as they come. She’s always done a great job of bridging between fan and media member. I DM’ed her a while back and expressed how sad it would be to lose her as part of the Charger experience. She responded that Joey Bosa apparently told her the same thing.
To get an idea of how the Land Of The Lightning Bolt looks different now, Dr. David Chao, whose exploits the Union-Tribune chronicled all these years is now a consultant who works with the paper. Our former beat reporter is now working for Pro Football Talk and covering the Raiders. I can’t decide which part of that is worse. Obviously, I’m kidding. You knew that, FAITHFUL READER. My hatred of the Raiders burns strong still. The rivalry has never been about geography for me. However, when you’ve had to tolerate the face paint and armor wearing types in your stadium for so many years I bet it’s as local as local gets.
After the schedule was released and it became public that the final game would be against the Raiders in Carson, those who plan to hate watch rejoiced at the idea that the crowd would be even more hostile than in years past. Everyone claims that LA is even more pro-Raider than the crowds that showed up in San Diego. But no one really focused on the crowds when we were beating them for years on end. Come to think of it, I didn’t hear so much about “Raider Nation” back then either. My point is that the Chargers are the relocation losers while their rivals are don’t seem to be getting that much shit by comparison. Mark Davis and his Bucky Larson haircut stopped to talk to an angry fan after the move to Las Vegas became official. Would Dean have done that? No, but I’m not sticking with the Chargers because of who owns them. I don’t think Dean has anything on Charles Dolan, who I think is an even worse owner.
Talk about a team in transition—I just read that the “war room” for this week’s draft is still in San Diego. I hope they don’t disclose the location or who knows what will happen. I don’t have too much insight about the aforementioned schedule other than what you’ve already read. It’s the toughest in football for the first 8 weeks and the Chargers face opponents with the highest winning percentage in the NFL. That’s quite a task for a 5-11 team who will be seen pariahs who abandoned their city. But the players didn’t decide to move. If they look like anything besides their normal choking selves, the chatter about relocation will go down a bit. I don’t think LA will embrace them unless they win. The Dodgers and Lakers that get so much love in that town both came from other cities. No one really cared about Jack Kent Cooke’s other team, the Kings until they won two Stanley Cups over the last few years. This team still has lots of holes, especially up front. Barksdale’s contract hangs like an albatross around Tom Telesco’s neck. There is no way that he is much better than Dunlap, Fluker, or Franklin. But we are stuck with him.
Is justice really ever coming? I know how sad that mantra seems now. But the draft awaits and this is real now. So I’d like to hear back from some of you. It’s been a while since I’ve seen comments. I know some of the Legion of The Lightning Bolt are still out there. If you are still on the bus, give me a shout out here or on Twitter.
Speaking of being on the bus, I’ll leave you with a pair of tracks from the new box set being released on 5/5. It’s not quite the best show of all time, but that’s a debate for another day.
Talk to you after the draft.