Category: Chargers (page 1 of 9)

Carlo and Hacksaw – TKF Pod #107

This week the guys wrap up on the 2017 Padres. They look at the state of the rebuild and what to expect with the team moving forward. Then they call frenemy Carlo Cecchetto for News 8 San Diego. He’s a Dodgers fan (one of the good ones) and going through what all Padres fans hope to someday experience with his team in NLCS. Will Clayton Kershaw and his squad finally get it done? We hope not! Finally, they check in with Lee Hacksaw Hamilton to see where he’s at with the Padres organization, the Spanos family’s NFL introduction to LA, and the catastrophe that has become US Soccer.

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Also check out the show Dallas is doing American Hero!

Losing That Loving Feeling

Being a San Diego sports fan often feels like you’re trapped in a hyper sexualized volleyball game where you’re the only one playing who needs to hide their body with a shirt. On the Saturday night before the LA Chargers lost to the Miami Dolphins in their first home game at the StubHub Center, I went and saw Top Gun at the Ken Cinema. With a few friends and about 40 other people I watched, laughed, and cheered along with the defining pop culture snapshot of San Diego in the mid 1980s. After Tom Cruise (call sign: Maverick) and his sidekick Anthony Edwards (call sign: Goose) get notified that they’re going to the top naval aviation school in the world, a title card comes up on the screen that reads Miramar, Calif. FighterTown, USA. At this moment, everyone in the theater erupted with applause. In the film, San Diego was the place to go if you wanted to prove you were the best.

When the Chargers finally moved to LA, many San Diegans needed to project an angle on how they were going to respond to the pain. Some picked new teams. Others just kept pulling for the Bolts and adjusted to location. After spending more than thirty years of my life rooting for an entertainment product owned by the Spanos family, the person I was, someone who looked at the NFL and needed to believe in the success of any one squad, died. I spun out, hit eject too late, and broke everything. Now I’m a Hate-Watcher. I only really like football when San Diego’s former team loses.

Before the matchup between the LA Chargers and the Denver Broncos on the first Monday night of the season, I started to feel it. Anger and fear grew inside me throughout the day leading towards kickoff. Would Dean Spanos’ plan work out? Would the LA Chargers beat an old rival and force me to defend something about San Diego? The most jarring part of the Chargers final years here and their subsequent departure was the national media glossing over the situation by assuming that San Diegans were bad fans. The narrative many believed was that Spanos had to leave because the character of the city was too aloof to sustain his family business. The Broncos, in front of a sellout crowd in Denver, dismantled LA on national television in the best and most familiar way. The Chargers lost on a blocked kick at the end and it was glorious.

The Anthony Edwards performance in Top Gun is what jumps out the most every time I see it. His character risks his career and life by choosing to fly with a talented but obviously dangerous pilot. However, Goose always stays loyal to the choice he made. The best scenes in Top Gun are when Goose defends Maverick to the other top pilots. Their exchanges are exactly like every conversation I’ve ever had with any true Dodgers or Raiders fan throughout the years. When fellow sidekick Rick Rossovich (Call Sign: Slider) openly talks trash about Maverick, Goose acknowledges the underdog situation he’s in, but doesn’t flinch. He has a snappy comeback every time.

Then Goose dies.

The most harrowing scene in the movie is where Meg Ryan (Call sign: Hot Widow) is consoling Tom Cruise after the accident. She doesn’t blame Maverick and affirms that he will always be family, while sobbing in a chair behind her son, who appears to be 3 or 4. Maverick receives the message, but still internally blames himself, knowing that his dangerous flying finally ended in tragedy as people had predicted. Goose is still gone and his world where he’s invincible has come crashing down. Cruise does all this with his face, solidifying himself as the next great American movie star. In the story, Goose is a side character who had to die to teach Maverick a lesson.

I called my Dad the day after the Miami game. We laughed at the Stub Hub Center crowd and the horrible PR the Chargers had dumped onto the national stage. The relief we both shared was very similar to the elation we would feel if the San Diego Chargers had won in their home opener. This time we didn’t have to defend them. Because of the horrible roll out and beginning of the season for the Chargers, people are starting to see the dysfunction this franchise has consistently had under the Spanos family’s control. They burned their audience and now they have to play their games in front of that hallow reality. Kansas City barbequed LA’s new team in front of a sea of red in Week Three and it was validating to know that even Meg Ryan couldn’t cheer Dean up.

If Goose had lived and raised his family in San Diego, Goose Jr. would’ve grown up in the Spanos Family Era as well. He’d probably have a podcast called Great Bolts of Fire and lived through all of it. I like to think we’d be hate watchers together. Anthony Edwards has never been able to shake Goose his entire career. Each performance he gives feels like a reincarnation of Maverick’s fallen sidekick. In ER he was playing Goose as a doctor. In The Client he was playing Goose as an assistant to Susan Sarandon’s spunky lawyer. However, in David Fincher’s Zodiac he plays a detective trying to solve one of the most complex murder mysteries in American History with his partner Mark Ruffalo, who is exhaustively obsessed with finding the killer. After years and years of failing to solve the crime, Anthony Edwards finally quits the case and his detective job. He explains to Mark Ruffalo that he can’t do it anymore and that he wants to watch his kids grow up. In the most polite and genuine way possible, he essentially says there are more important things to him than going crazy. Edwards leaves the movie and completes another solid performance, but I always see it as closure for Goose. He got another chance to make the smart choice and took it.

I didn’t watch the Eagles game on TV. Instead I took my son to the beach at Mission Bay where Steven Soderbergh filmed Traffic. I put the game on the radio and casually listened from about ten feet away. Someday I’ll explain to the boy why it was important for Don Cheadle to confront Catherine Zeta-Jones at the playground. She was a rich person living in a bubble and he needed to shatter it. I want Dean Spanos to live the rest of his life in that same startled state. Significant public money will likely never again be used to fund a football only stadium in California and a part of my city had to die to make that clear for everyone. While my kid played I listened to the Chargers lose with a smile on my face. It was a beautiful day in FighterTown, USA (Call Sign: San Diego).

 

Follow on Twitter @Nicholas_McCann

Take A Knee – TKF Pod #106

This week the guys have no guest and decide to mix politics and sports. Hey, it’s the thing to do! They talk Colin Kaepernick, the Chargers, Donald Trump, and the NBA. It’s fun, scary, and necessary!

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A Team Meeting with Coach Lew – TKF Pod #105

This week the guys check in with Scott Lewis from the Voice of San Diego AKA Coach Lew AKA @chargersflubs on twitter. They talk about the PR disaster that is going on in the early part of the LA Chargers 2017 Season. Is this mess sustainable? Is the entire story heading towards a tipping point where the league has to step in? These are questions that need to be answered and it’s hard to see how it’s going to play out. The one thing we do know is that it’s a lot of fun to watch for San Diegans that went through years of hell rooting for, trying to appease, and slowly saying goodbye to, this seemingly rudderless franchise.

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The Chargers and the Curious Case of Caring Too Much

I’ve realized something recently that I continue to let plague me over and over again: I think too much about the Chargers and about how others feel about the Chargers. A few weeks ago I went into a tirade on the podcast about the media in San Diego continuing to cover the team, and locals getting roped in to caring. The rant mainly called out John Gennaro, who I consider a friend. We then invited him on the pod to “debate” me about his stance and mine. It almost solved something, but then I got angry at Padres Jagoff’s assessment of the “debate”. Then last night I got angry at Gennaro’s stance on twitter that if you didn’t attend the Chargers home opener in Carson then you’re not allowed to comment on the lack of Chargers fans in the stands. His argument that a lack of Chargers fans is nothing new to Chargers home games also got me agitated.

Why?

I like Jagoff and I like Gennaro. They’re both intelligent, well-informed fans of sport. They know they’re stuff, and in Gennaro’s case he’s paid to stay that way. Yet, I found myself getting angry. I found myself getting pissed at Woods for liking a tweet from the LA Chargers. Why? Why did I care, and why does it still bother me?

When I was three years old my family moved to San Diego, and I lived in Clairemont until my early twenties. I then moved to University Heights, then College Area, and eventually landed in Oceanside with my wife as she grew up in North County. Last October we moved to Temecula for what the city offered us: space, affordable housing, and an impeccable school district.

To say I grew up loving the Chargers is an understatement. It was a religion in my household. My mom pulled out her Seau jersey every week, and we had cookouts, and pot lucks, and went to watch parties, and some times would just go tailgate without ever heading in to the stadium. I cried, literally, during the 1994 Super Bowl. I danced with joy when the team passed on Vick and pulled off an amazing move to get Brees, LT and Tim Dwight. I wrote one of the longest most ridiculous pieces of my life when the team decided to let Brees go.

I even found a way to legitimately root for Cleo Lemon.

I loved the Chargers. They were always a part of my life.

I always ignored the stadium drama, and as I got older I started to get very complacent about a new stadium for a team that didn’t really win much. I thought former Mayor Jerry Sanders always handled the issue correctly – basically saying we had more important things to worry about as a city. He was right then, and that mentality is still accurate (see: Hep A).

When we re-launched the podcast a few years ago a new Chargers stadium was all the rage. We talked about it, and for the most part never imagined the team would ever leave San Diego. Then, we had an anonymous source tell us before the start of the 2015 season that the team would be leaving no matter what happened. Slowly, the few friends I still had in media started to confirm that assessment. They all knew, but pretended to act like they didn’t. This was for ratings, and I do not blame any of them, as I hate seeing friends in radio lose jobs and forced to spin Staind records at some low level nothing of a station in Lancaster.

However, when I learned they would definitely be leaving it was the straw that broke my huge alcoholic back. I had long been confused on how to feel about the NFL. The players seemed to get more and more stupid. Ex-players were literally becoming brain dead, owners were more greedy than ever, and off the field conduct made me feel like I was rooting for the villains in every 1990’s teen movie.

The only other team I had connection to was my Dad’s favorite team – the Bengals. He lived in Ohio, and that’s where I was born, so I adopted the team and let go of the Bolts. It was more that I let go of Spanos, and would cheer for the Chargers if they were on the TV and I happened to be watching.

Then they moved. Spanos decided he could do better in LA. He left fifty years of history, generations of fans, and one of the most beautiful markets in the country to be fifth fiddle in a town that had no desire to have him. He was the Travis Jankowski of NFL owners.

I was pissed. Infuriated. I knew he was going to leave for almost two years, and I still cared. I still couldn’t believe it or understand it and I felt awful for die-hard fans that had tattoos or spent thousands on tickets or got duped into thinking Spanos ever cared about San Diego or San Diegans.

Spanos was and is an asshole. He made an asshole move. The national sports media took notice, and agreed he was an asshole. Other sports noticed and agreed he was an asshole. Well, now the asshole is getting a little comeuppance and it’s more beautiful than the view from the cliffs in Encinitas.

However, I got too involved. I hated them too much. The fury with which I cheered turned into the ire with which I denounced. And, I expected others to feel the same as I did. I was wrong.

Being a fan is different for everyone. You didn’t grow up in my house, with my family. Likewise, I didn’t spend Sundays with you and yours. We had separate experiences that culminated during a shared event. I shouldn’t expect you to hate or to denounce or to even have an issue with the Chargers or Spanos.

Gennaro can have his takes, Jagoff can have his takes, and Woods can show support for a colleague. If I disagree with that what does it matter?

Right now we are living through a weird time. No one likes anyone and everyone is smarter than everyone else. When the truth is we’re all morons who wouldn’t dare say half the shit we say online to each other’s faces. Down deep we just want to ingest entertainment in the form of sport, and give ourselves some respite from the shit storm we see on a daily basis. But, what happens when that world of sports also becomes a storm of shit?

We argue with each other about who is allowed to say what about a franchise that abandoned fans without hesitation. We dictate what emotions you’re allowed to feel about an owner who hasn’t thought about you – ever.

We need to just enjoy it. Enjoy the lack of attendance. Enjoy the laughable miscues on and off the field. Enjoy the banner that flew above calling out Spanos. Enjoy your fantasy football team. Enjoy MLB playoffs. Enjoy each other.

That starts with not being like the asshole that left us last year, and I for one am ready to wipe.

For more expert sports stuff, and things you probably won’t care about, follow me on Twitter @dallas_mc

Paul Reindl – TKF Pod #104

This week the guys chat with Paul Reindl from the Mighty 1090. Paul is the producer of the Dan Sileo Show and hosts his own podcast The Reindl Report. They dig into the experience of watching the first game of the LA Chargers by discussing the outcome and the reaction from fans in Los Angeles and San Diego. Will this be a disaster for the NFL moving forward? It’s too early to tell, but it’s not off to a good start and it’s amazing to watch.

Then they talk about the winding down 2017 Padres season. What will happen in the offseason? Does the franchise have a clear vision on what they’re going to do throughout this building (not rebuilding) process? Paul produces the weekly segment called Padres Wednesday for the Sileo Show where Ron Fowler and other team officials come on and explain the team’s position. He gives the guys insight into what it’s like to experience that first hand on a regular basis.

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Summer Finale – TKF Pod #103

It’s the end of summer, so we decided to have some TKF regulars on to talk about where San Diego sports is going this fall. VOSD’s Andy Keatts stops by to talk about the announcement that San Diego is getting a “Box Lacrosse” team. They talk about the differences between indoor and outdoor lacrosse and what having a new pro sport in town will mean for the community.

Then after some brief Mayweather/McGregor chat, Locked on Chargers podcast host John Gennaro comes on to defend his podcast and go toe to toe with Dallas about the future of sports media in San Diego. It gets heated, but hey, there are some killer drops!

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James Clark (EVT) – TKF Pod #102

This week the guys have a fun chat with James Clark from East Village Times. Before talking Padres, Dallas goes on a rant on the problems he has with the Chargers still being a part of the San Diego Sports conversation, while Nick tries to calm him down. Then they talk about the Padres 2017 Tanking/Building/Rebuilding/Developmental season and the different factors that have gone into the results so far. They look at the Hunter Renfroe demotion, the Andy Green extension and the overall future of the farm system that needs to shine through in order to have success come San Diego’s way.

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Tim Spivey – TKF Pod #99

This week the guys sit down with Pastor Tim Spivey from New Vintage Church in Escondido. Tim is a big time baseball fan and contributor to East Village Times in addition to being a man of faith. They talk about what it means to have faith in the Padres during this rebuild and if the recent trade changes that conversation at all. Then they talk about what it feels like to see other people in the community forgive the Chargers after hurting San Diego. Should San Diegans cave and bolt up like nothing happened? It looks like we’ll have to #WaitForSD and see.

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Sports Movies – TKF Pod #97

This week Nick is on vacation so we invite the hosts of Life’s A Binge (lifesabinge.com) into the studio to talk about the Cubs, Padres, what it means to be a diehard fan, and how exhausting Cubs fans have always been. We also talk sports movies! The best of all time, the most underrated sports movies of all time and of course the most rewatchable sports movies of all time. We talk Goon, Major League and he merits of Denzel Washington’s career. We look to twitter to get your thoughts and your favorites and finish it off by giving Nick a call while he watches the All-Star Game in Boston.

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