The Los Angeles Chargers draft party on Santa Monica Pier demonstrated that Bolt Nation is stronger than ever.
Believe it or not, the Chargers’ upper management (or whoever in the publicity department who decided to run the event) hit a home run with the fans last Thursday.
According to KABC, over 16,000 fans claimed free tickets for the Chargers draft party on the Santa Monica Pier. It certainly felt like there were that many people at the event.
Near 6 p.m. (well before the Chargers would be on the clock), the pier was buzzing with energy.
There was a nearly two-hour line for autographs from current and past Chargers players (you can see a short piece of the line below). There were cheap beers and Chargers merchandise for sale all around. On the front stage, the NFL draft ticked along while Chargers fans heard from some of their favorite players in person.
The Santa Monica Pier overflowed with Charger fans last Thursday as the team hosted a draft party featuring current Chargers as well as team legends like running back LaDainian Tomlinson. https://t.co/pXFcNZeHNc pic.twitter.com/3W1ZcZ2U24
— The Miramar Santa Monica (@TheMiramarSM) April 29, 2019
In the front of the stage, fans old and young alike hounded Chargers on the stage for autographs. Rightfully so, the players focused on making sure the kids had their things signed first.
As day turned to night, the crowd in front of the stage really started to pick up. When the Denver Broncos were on the clock at 20, boos rained down.
But the energy really picked up when the Oakland Raiders came on the clock at 24. “RAIDERS SUCK” echoed throughout the pier and likely Santa Monica itself. The name Josh Jacobs, the Raiders pick at 24, was completely rained out by boos from Bolt Nation.
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By the time the Chargers were on the clock, there was not a fan left sitting. As current Chargers Denzel Perryman, Michael Badgley, Austin Ekeler, and Desmond King came onto the stage to rile up the fans for the pick, there was no need. The hearts that bleed powder blue were focused on the screen.
Matt “Money” Smith was asked to give his prediction for the pick at 28. His answer was better than any posted on a mock draft site. His answer – “It doesn’t matter.” He has pretty good evidence as Tom Telesco’s last several first rounders have been beautiful selections.
As Jerry Tillery’s name was announced as the newest Charger, the crowd roared. As happy as I was with the selection of Tillery, I was happier and more excited about the crowd itself. Whether in its proper home or not, the Chargers fanbase is back and better than ever.