So Long, San Diego

No one likes to receive bad news. In an ideal world, bad news would only ever come when we were sitting down in a comfy chair, surrounded by friends and family, with a big old mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Sadly, things don’t always happen quite like that and I found myself hearing of the Chargers inevitable departure from San Diego to Los Angeles while I was at the gym, surrounded by testosterone filled behemoths, and not a marshmallow in sight. To say that the news was a shock would be a terrible overstatement, with the threats of the team’s departure hovering over them for a number of years. With a lacklustre season all but sealing their fate, it became a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.

But that does not help soften the blow of a loss that you can’t quite compute. No matter how old your dog is, you’ll always shed a few tears when it passes away. And much like a real death, there are  certain stages that you find yourself going through: first it was grief, then annoyance, then hope, and now finally acceptance.

I accept that the Chargers will no longer play their home games in sunny San Diego. Their powder blue uniforms will never again grace Qualcomm Stadium. The city that looked after them for look it up will never be able to lay claim to Super Bowl Champions.

It may seem odd to have these emotions surrounding a team that I have never seen play, from a city I have never been to, but that is the nature of fandom; the head is often ruled by the heart.

Having only supported the Chargers since 2008 (the only good thing about the NFL’s International Series), it is hard to comprehend the devastation that fans in San Diego must be experiencing with the loss of a team that has been a part of the community for over 55 years.

To a Brit such as myself, the concept of moving franchises is still a mind-boggling. If Tottenham were to suddenly up sticks and relocate to become the Bristol Hotspurs, then there would be riots in the streets, the likes of which have never been seen before, probably.

In the meantime, I do not know what I will do next or if I shall remain a fan of the Chargers as a whole – that is for another day – but I do know that today is a sad day. A sad day for fans, a sad day for San Diego, and a sad day for the sport.

Image Credit: Jeffrey Beall

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