It is a sad day to be a San Diego sports fan. Hearing the leaked news last night that the Chargers were officially moving to Los Angeles broke my heart. And it made me angry. I know everyone who is a fan of the team will respond differently, but I am mad.
Mad that there were so many failed ballot measures.
Mad that the ownership didn’t seem to put forth its best effort.
Mad that there were always complaints about the support (or lack thereof) the fans gave the team.
In my house Sunday is for football. It has been that way since we got our first bunny-eared TV when I was a toddler. I grew up watching with the men in my family, and some of my most treasured memories of them revolve around football. They taught me how the game works and how to be a fan. I bought tickets to games, jerseys, socks, and all sorts of random décor for my house. I mean, who really needs Chargers themed candles?? I sure thought I did.
I can joke and say that I now get a few extra hours each Sunday to do whatever I need to. I can say good riddance, they were terrible more often than they were good. I thought to myself, this is probably good for my mental health because they broke my heart each time they lost. Bye weeks and close games were torture. I ate “football food” each Sunday, which I certainly could go without.
But the reality is, I looked forward to Sunday, even knowing it would probably just stress me out. I looked forward to the inevitable house full of people coming over to watch the games. And who am I kidding? I will still watch football, just not the LA Chargers. I love the chaos that comes with football season, and count down the days until the season starts. But when I woke up this morning I was just mad. And there are plenty of things to be mad about.
So much of my Facebook and Twitter feed have been taken up today by fans professing their dislike of the Spanos family. I listened to a radio interview with an ex-Charger this morning who was so emotional it made me tear up. He was sad they are moving, but also angry with how the move was leaked, and how the Spanos family made the announcement through a letter instead of facing the fans who have supported the team for 56 years. It feels very disrespectful, and like one more black mark on how the team, the fans, and the city have handled the complicated processes the past decade.
Don’t get me wrong, I am also sad. Football has been a part of my life for over three decades. While I know I will still watch games on TV, I don’t think my heart will be in it any more. My heart was with the San Diego Chargers and they no longer exist. I will not support a Los Angeles football team. I don’t know enough about the business of professional football to even begin to understand the decision that Spanos made. All I hear is they have to play in a tiny stadium for two years and that the city of LA doesn’t even really want them there. There must be a reason the ownership thinks this is a good idea, because in the end it is a business to them. But to me it’s a passion. The wind went out of my sails for this team this morning. I can’t follow them North, there is just too much baggage. So I guess I will let my wounds heal and find another team to get behind. Maybe one far enough away that if they ever move it won’t impact me to the same degree. Farewell Bolts, San Diego loved you even when wins were few and far between.
I’d like to say good luck in LA (and I do wish the individual players well), but a large part of me hopes the move turns out to be a terrible decision and Dean Spanos regrets this day.