How I Became a Chargers Fan
By Mike Murray
I was born in California in 1970 at the Englewood hospital. My parents brought me home to our house in Carson of all places. My Dad was a sports fans and I remember listening to Dodgers games with him or plopping on top of him on Sundays and watching the Rams. My brother was a baseball nut. He loved the Dodgers. We even got to go to a couple of Dodger games and watch Steve Garvey and Davey Lopes play. I still remember one of those, we had great seats along the first base line probably 15 rows back from the dugout.
Of course being the rotten brother I was, there was no way I could root for the Dodgers since my brother was a huge fan, so I found another team. I searched the division and found a team with a cartoon padre swinging a bat. It was awesome.
In 1977 we moved to Washington State. I nearly froze to death my first year here. I could not believe they made us go outside to recess when it was raining and in the 40s. The other kids did not seem to mind – weirdoes. When we got to Washington my brother found a new love, the Seahawks. It was gross. He even got this Jim Zorn bike for Christmas one year. A blue and green bike with No. 10 plastered all over it. There was no way I was going to tolerate this. I searched the division and found another team from San Diego… the Chargers. And this team was cool they had freaking lightning bolts on their helmets. And as an added bonus they seemed to regularly beat the Seahawks.
I love watching Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner, Kellen Winslow and John Jefferson play. Chuck Muncie was one of my favorites. The love affair did have its downsides however. All the kids at school had a different favorite team – The Raiders. I know right? What a bunch of freaking losers. I guess when you are 11 you think its cool to dress in black with skulls on your jackets and caps. I am sure all those kids are in prison by now. I remember in shop class making lots of projects out of blue and yellow plastic. I always hoped those would be good luck charms to beat the Raiders.
As I grew up and eventually moved to Seattle my team choices changed. I had kept the Lakers through high school, my brother was a Blazer fan, but when I got to Seattle Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp were playing – I changed sides in a heartbeat. I was a huge Sonic fan until some dude stole my team and moved it to Oklahoma – jerk! Now I don’t even watch basketball anymore.
My friends and I also began to go to the Kingdome and watch baseball, you could get outfield tickets for $4 on Mondays back then. There was this kid who played centerfield there,Ken Griffey something, maybe you have heard of him. Anyway, eventually my Padre caps got replaced by Mariners caps. My brother even converted from a Dodger fan – he is still a baseball nut to this day. He was at the game when Edgar Martinez hit ‘the double’.
But I never swayed on football. I have always been a Chargers fan. I even hung around through the Ryan Leaf years. About 10 years ago my wife and I visited San Diego for our anniversary and I fell in love with the city of San Diego. I have been back several times. We love to hang out on Mission Beach, stroll through the artist village and eat dinner and stroll through the shops in Old Town. My love for the city has only strengthened my love for my team. It makes me worry a bit about the possibility of them moving. I am not sure if I will love them as much if they are the LA or Carson Chargers.
Well, there is my story. How did all of you become Charger fans?