The Children Always Suffer Most


Among the ashes of a disappointing season, the future of the San Diego Chargers looms large. In the upcoming days, a final decision will be made about where the team will call home. As San Diego fans hold their breath after a strong and emotional turnout for the final home game just weeks ago, the NFL and it’s owners will announce which team, or teams, will be chosen to move to Los Angeles.

I have been a Charger fan for 35 years. As I watch the situation unfold it resembles watching a long marriage coming to an end. Blame has been thrown around, ugly arguments are constantly erupting, both sides have been unfaithful, an inability to communicate in a rational manner has been lost, income has always been a factor with inequity between the parties, disrespectful behavior toward each other is a given, bad decisions have been made, there is a total lack of support for each other, topped off with a total refusal to change, or to sacrifice oneself for the good of the union. Exit strategies and defensive rhetoric have become the norm, while keeping up appearances all year. As one of my favorite poets wrote, heavy words are so lightly thrown. It may not have always been pretty, but we hoped that things would work out, and things would get better.

I have always maintained that it is possible that the Chargers stay in San Diego. There has been report after report of the stadium issue, and it seems like there has been a new theory each week. There is no shortage of national & local media throwing out wild scenarios, while almost making sense, yet every plan has “Ifs” and “buts”. Then fans have known this was coming, and are getting ready to absorb the blow. We are like Harry Houdini, ready for the gut punch, but hoping they at least wait for the count.

The fans are like the children of a broken marriage. Forced to choose between two things we love most. We are keeping a stiff upper lip. We have had our voice, and are pretty sure that nobody has listened. We have tried to get both parents to work things out, despite the imminent break up. If it’s over, the fighting will finally be over, despite the grief of losing what was closest to us for so long. If it isn’t over, we hope things can be reconciled. However, if things aren’t reconciled properly, or they are just going to prolong the inevitable, things can get even worse. If things don’t change, there will just be more bad blood. With the NFL yapping in everyone’s ear, and manipulating the situation like a poisonous snake with full control, it’s hard to imagine that things will get better.

The reality is that the NFL is a business. There were no Holy vows taken, or lifelong promises to remain together until the end. All we can do now is wait. Quite honestly, I’m ready for the gut punch. Just give me the required three-count. And, if they choose not to swing, then everyone better come back to the table waving a white flag, because it will take a lot of action, not words, to apologize to the awful way Charger fans have been treated. Personally, I am going to be the good son. I wish both parties well, and will continue to love and support both parties.

Keep Bolting Toward Excellence. Thanks for always reading. Your support has meant everything to me.

Peter Thompson