The Chargers won last Sunday, and yes, as expected, they were still the San Diego Chargers. After this offseason, I was certain that watching the only professional football team I’ve ever loved would be completely different. The Chargers want a new stadium and they’ve clearly given up working with the city to make that happen here. Despite this problem intensifying in 2015, the central dynamic of the conflict has basically been the same for almost 20 years. It feels normal to root for a team that’s unhappy.
In Week One of the season, it was alarming that after all this turmoil the actual product on the field hadn’t changed drastically. The Bolts displayed the normal progression of a team trying to navigate through a hyper competitive league with a few new faces and growth from the older players. It felt like the beginning of another year. For those of us who cared, we all seemed to fall back into place.
The Chargers gave Philip Rivers an $84 million contract extension during training camp and in his first regular season game he went 35-42, for 404 yds with 2 TDs, and 2 interceptions against the Detroit Lions. He looked like he always has: A guy who will kill himself to win a title for San Diego. Keenan Allen had a big game in what felt like a coronation for a new young star and Eric Weddle made some big plays that some feared were behind him. The crowd at Qualcomm looked decent on TV, with local news stations doing their usual coverage of the parking lot tail gate parties. I watched at a friend’s house and we continued the same rituals that we have for years.
Sunday Rituals for Nick McCann and the Geniuses He Watches With:
- When the Chargers score, play the techno anthem Bolt Up (available on iTunes under The Official Gameday Music of The Chargers).
- If the announcers mention Antonio Gates’ basketball playing past, DRINK! (this rule is currently under suspension)
- If the Chargers are losing, mix up a Darren Sproles (Diet Mt. Dew and Canadian Mist). The Chargers will always come back if this is deployed. Once they take the lead, stop immediately. It was discovered in 2008 and it works. NOTE: this drink can only take the lead back. The Chargers still have to do the rest. Respect the Sproles or you will get burned.
- Complain that we haven’t gotten serious about Charger Island. This is a rap metal band that is always on the brink of coming together. All the songs that have yet to be written will be about a new football structure that needs to be built called Charger Island. The idea is to build a stadium off shore in international waters that resembles something out of Waterworld. Prostitution and gambling will be legal there and you can only arrive via Jet Ski. Instead of making a serious proposal to the city and the Chargers, our plan is to bring back that late 90s Florida sound and scream about it. Currently, we’re looking for the right DJ and practice space.
The Bolts were down 21-3 less than halfway through the second quarter in the Lions game, and then Rivers helped rally the Chargers to 30 straight points for a riveting 33-28 victory. He overcame two interceptions, including a 31-yard return for a touchdown by Glover Quinn. The go-ahead touchdown came on Rivers’ 13-yard pass to tight end LaDarius Green early in the fourth quarter. It tied Rivers with Hall of Famer Dan Fouts for the franchise record, 254.
It was a fun. Remember fun?
More importantly, it felt like a collective type of fun that my city deserves. Some people are turned off by the team’s management and football in general. That is totally valid, but I’m choosing to root for this 2015 San Diego Chargers team. If they win the Super Bowl it will force the Spanos family into one of the most awkward PR disasters in modern sports history. There isn’t really a precedent for a team winning it all and then leaving the next year. This being the case, I don’t want to get sucked into this dangerous idea of wanting them to win so we can “Save Our Bolts”. We shouldn’t have to grovel for the NFL to stay here (a portion of this post was written at one of our many helpful and beautiful libraries).
Win the title, team I’ve supported my entire life. Do it for a goof…just to say you did. Or don’t. Get bounced from the playoffs by Week 14 and then announce you’re leaving. I’ll just be out here with water all around me. The Bengals are next. They have their dry land and I have no problem hating them for it.
Follow on Twitter: @Nicholas_McCann