SAN DIEGO-Judgment day is coming to the city of San Diego real soon. Hopefully, for the fans of the San Diego Chargers, they’ll breath a little easier after the NFL casts its relocation vote in January.
As of now now, a lot of noise is being made about the Chargers’ future home. A lot of anxiety and panic is flowing through the city about whether or not the Chargers will dismiss 54 years of history as the pillar of the community with its annual Qualcomm Stadium dateline.
“I wouldn’t support them if they go to LA,” said George Becerra, who had season tickets for 15 years. “I equated it to being happily married and your wife walks out on you. I love the Chargers. They’re leaving me. I’m not leaving them. I wouldn’t support them in LA. I would be a football fan in general.”
This is where things are at when it comes to the Chargers and the team’s possible move to Carson or Inglewood. Some longtime ticket holders are totally against the idea of the franchise making its way to the Los Angeles area.
Some fans see it as a blatant slap in the face. Others have stated that making the trek to Los Angeles to see the Chargers play was no longer in the cards. It would be an undo burden for them. Unless the city comes through with a decent proposal for the NFL to review and accept, the handwriting is pretty much on the wall. The Chargers are gone. Qualcomm Stadium would become an ghost town.
After the Chargers put up a strong home season finale against the Miami Dolphins wit a 30-14 win, the vibe after the game was packed with emotions from players to fans. You could sense it in the air, Quarterback Philip Rivers struggled with his emotions during the postgame press conference. Antonio Gates and Malcolm Floyd closed out the evening mingling and saying good-byes to their fan base. Of course, the fans had their say on the topic.
And they are not too happy about the prospect of losing their team.
“There’s no business model that I am aware of where considering 25 percent of your market share over 75 percent of your market share makes any sense,” said Scott Stahl, a season ticket holder of 15 years. “So the argument to go to LA means nothing. The question is for a billionaire, ‘When is enough enough? How much money is enough? Do you want to be known as Art Modell (Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens), the plague on a city or do you want to be known as as Tom Kraft (New England Patriots), the savior of a city?’ That’s something that (Dean) Spanos has to figure out himself. Let’s hope he makes the right decision. I’m part of the 75 percent. I’m not part of the 25 percent. So I’m being forsaken for 25 percent.”
It would be heartbreak for Jo Jones and her husband Mel and their family for the Chargers to play their home outside of San Diego. For the last 18 years, the Jones family has made the trek from Kent, England to San Diego at Christmas time to catch a Chargers home game. They rotate their travel plans every other year to join in the tailgating fun and hang out with friends. If the Chargers were to relocate, it would take away a family tradition, Jo Jones said.
“My husband is a super-duper Chargers fan,” Jones said. “We came all the way from Kent in England. We come every two years. We were here two Christmases ago, and we really hope this won’t be our last visit to Qualcomm (Stadium), but maybe it will. We hope not. We love San Diego. We’ve made some amazing friends. We’ve been coming here since, our son is 18 now…we’ve met these guys since he was nine months old. So we met these guys when we came over.
“We were just walking through the lot and we met these guys. We were just bowled over by the tailgating, because we don’t have that kind of thing in the UK. We have soccer leagues , and it just doesn’t come anywhere near tailgating. He’s in total denial. He says they’re not going. I really hope he’s right because it would be an end of an era for us. We’ve spent the last 18 years coming out here. It would be a sad thing.”
John Cauillo is about as die-hard of a fan of the Chargers as they come. His parents had season tickets when he was a child. Cauillo has held season tickets himself for the last 15 years. He is in the minority when it comes to the Chargers’ fate. Contrary to popular belief, Cauillo doesn’t see the Chargers going anywhere.
“I’m a big Los Angeles Kings fan, and I don’t make it up there for those games,” Cauillo said. “I’m mixed on that. Los Angeles is too hard to get to from here. My parents had season tickets when I was five (years old) in the 80s, and so I’ve been coming ever since. It’s really going to be hard, but I really don’t think they’re going anywhere. I just have a feeling.”
Julia Fahlstrom is not passing judgement one way or the other. Her approach to the situation is to wait and see how everything unfolds.
“I love San Diego,” Fahlstrom said. “I bleed that blue and gold. I feel like they’re cheating on me. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I don’t let things bother me until they fully happen.”