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I should be talking about the disgusting exhibition put forth this past weekend in DC by individuals I am ASHAMED to know are my fellow citizens, but I won’t.  I ought to be pointing out the blatant lies being spread about what’s in Obama’s health care plan (coverage for illegal aliens, death panels, etc.), but I won’t.  I am tempted to join in the talk of the utter lack of civility by the likes of Joe Wilson, Kanye West, and yes, even Serena Williams, but I won’t. Read the rest of this entry »

Chargers 50thYup, it’s that time of year again: CHARGERS time!  Seems like it’s been much longer than a few months since delving back into the blue and gold, but all that matters now is that it’s training camp time, with the official season just around the corner.  Woo-hoo!  Larry English’s contract was signed Saturday morning, just in time for him to then get the “newbie” treatment from veterans later at his first training camp practice,  Shawne Merriman is working his mohawk and ready to play, and early camp word is that things are looking VERY good all around.  Anxious, anxious, anxious for this season to get under way, and would LOVE to have Chargers talks with the City of Oceanside come to fruition, but I’ve seen far too many ventures at the old Valley Drive-In site fall through over the years.  Fingers crossed, though! Read the rest of this entry »

Nice to read some good news after just watching my boys (San Diego Chargers)lose another game, this time about as far away from home as possible: the UK (Saints 37-Chargers 32) .  So the good news is that the Anchorage Daily News has endorsed Barack Obama over the ticket which boasts their own governor, Sarah Palin.  The editorial brings up many valid points, most especially who will best handle the monumental task of getting our country back on the road to recovery after the incredible economic mess we are all enduring.  But perhaps what should really ring loud and long for anyone considering a vote for the McCain/Palin ticket is in the last paragraph, which I’m copying below. (Emphasis added by me. ;))

Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.

While this season didn’t end the way any die-hard Chargers fan would like (sigh), it was great fun to hope for a trip to the big game, and to see San Diego County come together with some serious Chargers Pride. Our team ironed out a lot of kinks this season, from huge coaching changes to injuries and shifting of players, and as trite and cliche as it sounds, everyone better watch out for us next year!

THANK YOU CHARGERS!!!! 🙂

PS As much as I can’t stand Tom Brady and do not like the Patriots, I DO hope they win ONLY so that our Oceanside, CA, hometown boy Junior Seau, can get a well-deserved Super Bowl ring. On the other hand… 😉

Sunday’s the day, and on any given Sunday ANY team can win, so naysayers step aside and allow my San Diego Chargers to exhibit their skills, and play some serious, hard-hitting, play-making football against the New England Patriots. (Sorry, Junior Seau, as someone who pretty much grew up in Oceanside, too, I’ll always love #55, but gotta stay true to the Bolts. ;))

Despite our boys being banged up for the game (especially Rivers, Tomlinson, Gates), if they can all come together and rally as the cohesive unit they showed themselves to be in the game last week against the Indianapolis Colts, and have Jackson, Turner, Sproles, Cromartie, and Chambers step up to the plate, with Merriman and our defense putting the pressure on Brady, then there is no way anyone can guarantee who will win until the final seconds tick off the clock.

Regardless of the outcome, I’m very excited to see how far our team has come after massive changes with the coaching staff, and a very sluggish start. Here’s hoping that after the game is done on Sunday, San Diego Chargers fans everywhere will be prepping for one heck of a Super Bowl showdown. GO CHARGERS!!!!!

Yeah baby, yeah baby, yeah baby!!! My San Diego Chargers came to play and play they did, NEVER allowing the much-favored Indianapolis Colts to run away with the lead, or to allow the raucous hometown crowd to get them down. It has been very frustrating to not have the Chargers receive the props they have deserved, and instead hear about how wonderful other teams are. Can we PUH-LEEZE finally give the San Diego Chargers a little credit and admit that they ARE a real football team, that they CAN come together to hang tough and pull out some serious wins, and that they ARE a team to be reckoned with and not some fluke? I’m anxious to read the write-ups about this game and see if ANYONE gives respect to my Bolts. (Boomer Esiason seemed to be the only one to give any kudos to the team at halftime on CBS…thanks Boomer!)

(VIDEO BELOW ADDED 1/20/07: Found this good video recap of the game when posting today’s blog entry about the Chargers/Pats game…enjoy!)

I’ll probably have more to add later, but just HAD to head over to give some major lovin’ to my boys from SD–thank you San Diego Chargers for representing 619 (760 and 858, too! ;)) as well as you have!!! While the video below of San Diego’s own POD (Payable On Death) performing their “Chargers Anthem” at a Chargers rally isn’t of very good quality, that sooooo doesn’t matter since it goes above and beyond expressing the enthusiasm and support of San Diego Chargers fans for their team. Watch out Patriots, do NOT underestimate us because we’re heading your way to ruin your perfect record!

Chargers Anthem lyrics

San Diego Chargers, Chargers

The west coast is back, better respect the name.
It’s the San Diego Chargers, feel the lightning bang.
Kill the hype we reign, S.D. runnin this game.
This is 619 straight born and raised.

This ain’t no fad or phase, this is Cali for life.
We gon’ rally tonight, so pump your fists till you get it right.
And keep it real so all of Diego can feel you.
But for now, sing the anthem so the whole world can hear you.

San Diego Chargers!
San Diego come on, come on!
Chargers!
San Diego come on!

San Diego Chargers!
San Diego where you at? come on!
Chargers!
San Diego where you at?

Stay true to your hood, don’t betray your roots.
East, West, North, South, Diego know your roots.
Fly your flag through the city, cause we callin all crews.
All you Diego dedicated rock your yellow’s and blue’s.

It’s the West Coast, California resurrection.
America’s finest city with border-line connections.
You can have your Raider Nation cause we ready for war.
It’s the San Diego Chargers takin over the world.

And we still Raider hatin’
San Diego Chargers!
South side come on, come on!
Chargers!
South side come on!

San Diego Chargers!
East side where you at east side?
Chargers!
East side where you at? come on!

San Diego Chargers!
North side come on!
Chargers!
North side come on, come on!

San Diego Chargers!
Everybody on the west side
Chargers!
Everybody on the west side

San Diego Chargers!
West Coast are you with me?
Chargers!
West Coast are you with me?

San Diego Chargers!
West Coast where you at? where you at?
Chargers!
West Coast where you at? where you at?

Still not really feeling the blogging bug, kiddos (despite there being so much to blog about from the continuing WGA strike to politics), but since it was one year ago today that I first took the plunge (blog was named “If I only knew then… “) into the blogging world I just HAD to pop on over to acknowledge the occasion. It’s been odd to look back on the previous 168 posts and be reminded of the events I blogged about and the feelings they invoked in me and in others. Goes without saying that the pet food recall is really what put this lil’ ole blog on the WordPress map last spring, which was surprising to me and something I definitely never envisioned. This blog has never been about trying to get readers or hits, but more about me just having a venue to express my thoughts, frustrations, happiness, and of course share pictures of my poochies, past and present. And especially this time of year, to lament AND CHEER my San Diego Chargers and their play-off experiences. Here’s hoping this year my boys take it all the way after having put it to the Tennessee Titans last Sunday, beating them 16-7. Since we already beat the Colts this year, I’m sure we can take care of them again this coming Sunday–GO CHARGERS!

So I’ll close with a “Happy Birthday” video from Concrete Blonde, which I suppose could be me; am still in my pj’s at 9AM…just substitute the cat for my pooch Rudy, and her dark hair for my blond…am sure I can dig up some champagne to toast in the event..but rest assured I would NOT release any balloon into the air since it causes harm to not only our environment, but to wildlife. (Hey, if you didn’t know that last part about me from reading this blog over the past year, you’ve got more reading to do! ;)) I’m sending out a HUGE thank you to all that have popped over to SoCal Muchacha to read a blog entry, agree or disagree with me in the comment section, and who also put out so much interesting reading on their own blogs. Happy blogging everyone!

Hope everyone who celebrates Christmas is having an enjoyable Christmas Eve (more so than it appears my pooch Rudy did in the accompanying picture; rest assured his tail WAS wagging at the time), although for most of you it’s already Christmas. I’m coming down off of too much sugar, and a bit too much of the yummy Wilson Creek almond champagne, so thought I’d pop on over and post a quick blog.

My nephews and I have been tracking Santa Claus on NORAD tonight (really fun site I was turned onto last Christmas–thanks Donna!), and as pathetic as it sounds, even though they’ve just gone to bed I’m quite sure I’ll keep checking the updates and watching the videos. Hey, it’s fun to “be a kid” for a little bit. I suppose it’s that “wishful thinking” state which has me posting this video of Santa’s trip to Paris, France, since I’m hoping maybe one day I’ll be spending the holidays there myself. Hey, I DID say it was wishful thinking. Right now NORAD has Santa tracked in Tucson, Arizona, so at least he’s getting closer to good old SoCal.

Speaking of SoCal, thanks to WordPress I’m having a white Christmas without having to head up to the mountains. Until January 2nd, the good folks at WordPress are giving us the gift of blog snow. (Anyone else getting a visual from The Breakfast Club right now? lol)

We opened family gifts early since the Chargers were playing the Broncos on Monday Night Football. No way in heck we’d be focusing on what the kiddos were opening while the game was on, and the nephews had NO problems with being given a MUCH earlier gift opening time. I’m sure they’ll be hoping the Chargers play every Christmas Eve if it means getting at those presents earlier! I’m just wishing the Chargers had been playing as well all season as they did tonight in their dominance over the Denver Broncos (23-3). Always nice to pull out a win over a division rival.

Before I head off to “help Santa” with a last-minute request in a note my five-year-old nephew penned for the jolly old man in the red suit tonight (this is in addition to the note to the right asking for a guitar), I’ll leave you with a classic rendition of “Santa Baby” by the absolutely amazing, Ms Eartha Kitt. Thanks for sending it along to me, Janice–love it. Off to put on those elf ears!

First off, CONGRATULATIONS to my San Diego Chargers (long-time Chargers fans like myself stake claim on the team, hence the “my”) on becoming the AFC West Division Champions! (insert crazy, pathetic dancing) Mind you, a 9-5 record is not where Chargers fans thought we would be at this point in the season, after coming off the incredible season we had last year, but we’ll take it. Our team has been through some tumultuous times this year, from the head coach change to most of the coaching staff changing as well, from Merriman’s suspension to Rivers’ hit-and-miss effective efforts, so to be able to somehow keep it all together and have more wins than losses is something worthy of a bit of pride.

Second, FOX 11 in Los Angeles you are officially dubbed the Scrooge of this holiday season by all Time-Warner subscribing Chargers fans in the Temecula Valley area (Southwest Riverside County…just northeast of San Diego County). For some absolutely ridiculous reason you opted to NOT show yesterday’s Chargers-v-Lions game and instead showed the Eagles-v-Cowboys game! ARGH, which definitely makes you worthy of being added to Santa’s naughty list for life!!! We were seriously in shock when we flipped on the FOX station (something I try hard to NOT do too often ;)) and didn’t see the Chargers game as we have all season on the various LA networks. Was bittersweet to see the constant positive updates online on NFL.com and realize we were missing such a high-scoring game. Trust me, Chargers fans deserve to see some fun after having endured some seriously disappointing times this season, yet FOX 11 decided to keep that fun away from those of us just outside San Diego County lines. Lumps of coal in your stockings, FOX 11, lumps of coal!

Here are some previous Chargers-related posts I’ve done. Fingers crossed that the good Chargers streak continues! Back to the pathetic, celebratory dancing. 😉

“Sometimes when you cheer, you’re able to let some steam off, just to yell,” Tomlinson said. “So hopefully we give them a lot to cheer about on Sunday.”

(LaDainian Tomlinson on Chargers returning to Qualcomm.)

Are you ready for some football? I am! And I’m pretty darn sure that Chargers fans everywhere are welcoming the opportunity to escape the reality of the heart-wrenching scenes we have all experienced over the past week, most especially those directly affected by the California fires of October 2007. (***Update: Chargers 35-Texans 10!!!***)

There has been debate as to whether the San Diego Chargers should be playing today at home (Qualcomm Stadium, although it will ALWAYS be “The Murph” to old school San Diegans like me! :)), but I find it very hard to believe that not only the City of San Diego, but the San Diego Chargers organization AND the NFL would go forward with the game without regard to the health and welfare of San Diegans, all in the name of the almighty dollar. That’s just not the case. There was a lot of thought put into whether the air quality would be safe enough, whether public safety officers would be able to help with the much more urgent need of San Diegans regaining and rebuilding their lives while still able to cover the game, whether the stadium would still be needed as an evacuation center, and whether moving so quickly forward with the football game (which to some may appear to be quite trivial) is a slap in the face to those facing the life-changing events caused by the fires. San Diego Chargers president, Dean Spanos, covered such issues in this story.

The few folks who were still at Qualcomm as evacuees (less than 100 Thursday night) either returned home, were moved to evacuation centers closer to where they lived, or transfered to the Del Mar Fairgrounds which has said it will NOT close until each and every evacuee there (animals included!) is able to go where they need/want to. San Diego air quality as of 7AM this morning was “moderate” in only four scattered areas of San Diego County, with the “unhealthy” category being tagged onto Poway and Escondido, ground zero for two of the worst fires. And the mental health benefits of returning to something so “normal” for many of San Diego’s citizens can’t be denied. Of course it’s just a mere break, and the ramifications of the seriousness of what has occurred and how it is affecting the psyche of so many, is nothing anyone seriously thinks will magically disappear just because of a football game, but it CAN help, even if only a little, and only for a few hours. There is no denying the community-building that a good Chargers game can have, as is brought up by many Chargers players in this article.

One of my dear buddies, Pinky (pseudonym for her internet life ;)), did a FABULOUS blog today; so good that I just HAD to post it here. Pinky has an incredible sense of humor, so I would highly advise checking out her blog for that reason, but in this case her devotion to, and love of, San Diego shines through, despite the fact the poor gal is now living in Texas. (Sorry, Pinky, just HAD to get in that jab!) She and I both adore San Diego County and spent many of our best years (not that we don’t have many more “best years” ahead! ;)) in various areas of the county, but most especially North San Diego County. To say we are Chargers fans would be a total understatement!

From the incredibly talented Pinky:

san diego chargers…it’s more than football
Current mood: rejuvenated
Category: Sports

the bolts………the san diego chargers are playing this weekend. in their home stadium. as it should be. and just like when the new orleans saints took the field for the very first time after hurricane katrina, this game is about a lot more than football. it’s about showing pride. it’s about showing that we can get on with our life. it’s about showing that we can succeed, despite tragedy. so many homes were lost. so many lives were lost. and everybody’s lives were changed. forever. sure, as a native san diegan, fire is part of life. people say that california doesn’t have four seasons. we always joked that we did, fire, flood, mud and earthquake. and this year, we took our hardest hit. ever. and when the chargers take the field this weekend, they’re not just playing for themselves. they’re showing san diego and all the world, that we will get on with life. why do we rebuild? because it’s our home. and that’s what we do. san diego is about so much. the navy, the beaches, the zoo & wild animal park, balboa park, the padres, the chargers, trips to tijuana, the apple festival in julian, the mt carmel high school marching band (ok, just some props for my high school!), fish tacos, etc. but first and foremost, it’s about the people. and when things turn bad, that’s when people show their true colors. and today, our colors are flying……..blue and gold. go chargers! let’s go bolts! we love you.

So, for all our fellow Chargers fan across the globe, and for our dear San Diegans affected by the fires, here’s hoping our Chargers can give us all a brief break from the sadness, pain, and heartache, and give us a few hours of slipping away from reality and into the time warp of high energy, fun, and community our Chargers give each Sunday.

GO CHARGERS!

Hard to believe that pockets of SoCal are continuing to deal with possible threats from still raging fires. Here in Murrieta (part of the Temecula Valley/Riverside County) we’ve got the San Diego County Poomacha fire about 15 miles to the south, and the arson-set Orange County Santiago fire northwest of us about 20 miles or so. Granted, we are not in any immediate danger, and for that we are eternally grateful, but continuing to see the enormous clouds of smoke from both fires is something that reminds you daily that even if they are that far away, it’s still too close for comfort.

View of the Poomacha fire from a hilltop in north Murrieta on 10/27/07 morning.

I’ve continued to trek up to a nearby north Murrieta hilltop to videotape the view west (where the now-contained Rosa/De Luz fire was), then down south (where the currently raging Poomacha fire is), and seeing the differences each day has been interesting. Click here for videos from three different days from the same area hilltop.

On Thursday, Rudy (that dog LOVES to go for car rides! :)) and I headed north on I-15 to see what the area was like with the Santiago fire about 20 miles northwest of us, still in Orange County, not yet dropping over the Santa Ana mountains into Riverside County. Just getting on the 15 and heading north from the Clinton Keith on-ramp (in Wildomar, just north of Murrieta), allowed you to see that the normally clear Santa Ana mountains were obscured by smoke, which quite honestly would normally lead one to believe that there was a heavy marine layer hanging over them. I snapped a few photos of the increasingly pink/orange color on the western horizon atop the mountains on the way north, then opted to only go as far as the exit (pictured below), where local favorite, Tom’s Farms, is located. The colors in the photos are quite accurate: very pink/orange/brown.

As I headed toward a dirt lot across from Tom’s Farms to let Rudy relieve that constantly full bladder of his, I could see a few fire trucks parked nearby, which always gives a jolt of reality to the entire situation.


After Rudy gave the area his “expert sniffer on the job” okay, and marked his new territory alongside a small dirt hill (to the right in the photo below, and also in the video), I popped him back in the auto and took out the camera. As had been the case a few days prior in Murrieta (although not the case on Wednesday and Thursday), the air so close to the fire was not smelling much like a fire at all, nor were ashes flying about. Again, those erratic winds, which were much calmer that day, quite often kept the polluted air at bay.

The video I took isn’t the best, but quite honestly it was hard to see what the camera viewfinder was focusing on, once it was immersed in the orange/pink smoke over the mountains. You can even hear the camera itself trying to adjust and focus in on what it was taping.

The yellow spot you can see in it is the very eerie smoke-covered sun doing it’s best to break through.

 

As we headed back onto the I-15 south we passed a small convoy of fire trucks headed in the same direction, and after I passed them I snapped this shot of them in my rear view mirror. Those fire fighters deserve more respect, love, and thanks than we could EVER possibly give them; truly amazing, dedicated individuals.

As of today, Saturday (10/27/07), the latest news is that the Santiago fire is continuing its trek, albeit a much slower one, through the Cleveland National Forest. As Rudy and I took another jaunt north to Tom’s Farms today, we saw the Martin Mars flying boat Canada sent to help us fight the fires (here’s a video someone else posted of it yesterday as it loaded up with water at Lake Elsinore), as it was heading south toward the Poomacha fire–thanks my Canuck friends! And more good news is that we did get a slight misting of rain this morning in Murrieta, as did other areas along the Santa Ana Mountain region, and one can only assume this HAS to help the fire fighting efforts. (THANKFULLY we just now (5PM PST) are getting some SERIOUS rainfall and I couldn’t be happier!)

This is a short video of what you can see of the Santiago fire from the Lake Elsinore Outlet mall, along with a photo below of the same.

Here are some interesting articles. Was extremely sad to read that two animals at the San Diego Wild Animal Park did perish, but happy to read others were born!

And last, here is an incredible video montage I found on YouTube yesterday. Take care, everyone, and please continue to keep the victims of the SoCal fires in your thoughts. I’m off to go revel in the rain!!!

Sometimes people need to just keep their mouth shut, and from what I’ve seen and read of Clinton Portis today (and Chris Samuels wasn’t much better), he is one who would be wise to think before speaking.

Redskins RB Portis: Vick can do what he wants-ESPN.com

When told that dog fighting is a felony, Portis replied, “It can’t be too bad of a crime.”

Sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Portis, but it IS a crime, and it IS a bad one. Perhaps you’d like to trade places with any of the dogs used in dog fighting? We’ll see how you feel about how “bad of a crime” it is after that, okay?

Portis, Samuels defend Vick, ridicule dog fighting as a crime-AP-DailyPress.com

In an interview with WAVY-TV, Portis said that if the Atlanta Falcons quarterback is charged and convicted of being involved in a dog fighting operation, then authorities would be “putting him behind bars for no reason.”

Um, no reason? If Michael Vick is charged and convicted then that means he broke the law. Sounds like a reason to me.

For more information on animal fighting and the recent legislation aimed at penalizing those who take part in it, click here. For the Humane Society of the United States response to the situation, click here.

Yes, I think Craig Ferguson (The Late Late Show on CBS) is one of THE funniest things on TV, and most definitely THE funniest late night talk show host. His monologues are, much more often than not (okay, 99.9% of the time!), gems that will have you laughing harder than heck. (You might want to borrow one of those NASA diapers from Lisa Nowak. ;)) His rapport with “big name” stars to the “who in the heck is that?” guest, is down-to-earth, enjoyable to watch, and full of off-the-cuff comments and humor.

I had the opportunity to be in the audience for one of his shows and am pleased to say that Craig is as welcoming with his studio audience as he is with his on-screen guests, spending the break time coming over to chat with us instead of getting primped and coiffed. Watch the show for any length of time and you’ll also see that this is a man whose humor is rivaled not only by his intelligence (he is quite articulate on just about everything!), but also those devilishly handsome good looks! (There, I’ve said it.) Plus, the guy’s a San Diego Chargers fan so OF COURSE he’s got my support. Yup, humor, intelligence, Chargers fan, AND good looks…sigh. 😉

Here are a couple clips of his. The first is called “Bad Hair Day” and is his take on…um…uh…hair. Yeah, that’s it–hair. The second is of him talking about going to his first Chargers game. Enjoy!

***UPDATE: CBS posted a couple more that you MUST watch–they’re hilarious! One is “Playboy Bunny Craig”, the other “When Connery Met Sally” All of these videos, except for the Chargers one, were from the same night. So WHY is it that you aren’t watching the show?!?!***

Those who know me are well aware of my passion for live music of all sorts. That being said, I will admit that while my taste in music would easily be described as eclectic, rap has never really been something I could just pop in the CD player and listen to for hours on end. Give it to me in the infectious, body-moving sounds and beat of Ozomatli, or in the politically infused lyrics and rhythm section of B-Side Players, and I’m fine. Give me rap with nearly-naked women shaking and rubbing their body parts all over the place, and sorry, but no matter how important the rapper’s message might be, you’ve lost me.

Maybe that’s the difference for me: the message and how it is delivered. To that end I’d like to share with you a local talent (San Diego area) who not only has a message to share, but feels strong enough in it to do something I could never do: appear on anything FOX news-related! (UGH!) Tommy Hanna (AKA TIMZ in the music world), is an American-born rapper of Iraqi and Chaldean descent and someone whose music I first ran across due to his Super Chargers 2006 video (yes, I’m still in mourning over my Chargers NOT being in the Super Bowl…sigh). TIMZ recently released his debut album, “Open for Business” and is getting a lot of attention for his video/song “Iraq”. Definitely powerful stuff, definitely a strong message.

I’m including not only the video of “Iraq”, but also his recent appearance on George Bush’s media outlet (AKA FOX news), if you’ve got the stomach to watch Chuck Norris stumble through his attempt at being an interviewer. There’s also a story on the local ABC news affiliate, KGTV 10, and yes, I must also include “Super Chargers 2006″…part of the healing process for Chargers fans everywhere. 😉

…is the collective sigh of Chargers fans everywhere. Thanks for the great season, though, Chargers. You made SO MANY of us SO PROUD!

Two other things:

  1. Ellis Hobbs, karma is a bitch, babe. 😉
  2. Go Saints! (Hey, my number #1 Chargers and #2 Seahawks are out, so now it’s up to my #3 Saints with San Diegan Reggie Bush, and former Chargers Drew Brees and John Carney.)

I’m no sports authority. Heck, I couldn’t really even explain the different plays and logic used in playing football, or the specifics of what each position really entails. But thankfully none of that is really needed in order to call yourself a fan of any particular National Football League team. In my case all it takes is living in San Diego County for about 35 years (save two years spent in Los Angeles), and being inducted into the religion known as “San Diego Chargers Fandom” by my step-dad over the past 30 years. (And yes, he also subscribes to the religion of “San Diego Padres Fandom.”)

I remember Sunday afternoons, back in the late 70s-early 80s, being a mixture of Star Trek reruns and San Diego Chargers, me plopped on my tummy in front of the TV with my head propped up with my hands, and my step-dad sitting in the recliner behind me. Yes folks, these were the days prior to cable TV in our neck-of-the-woods, and long before anything as wild and crazy as hundreds of channels being available to you. Back then something like that could only be imagined on something as far out there as some Star Trek episode. And no, my step-dad was never able to get me to be a fan of Star Trek. He was, over time, able to get me involved in the craziness of talking back to the TV, arguing a call with a referee who for some unknown reason is unable to hear you via the television, and of course indulging in the overly-used practice of giving a “high five” to someone. (You really need to click that link to read about the history of high-fives…pretty funny.)

Of course there did finally come the day when my step-dad initiated me into the REAL world of football and took me to an honest-to-goodness San Diego Chargers game. Been beyond hooked since then! Yes, memories of spending cold nights in front of the bowling alley at Camp Pendleton (step-dad is a retired Marine) in order to get tickets when the Chargers were in the playoffs in the early 80s. (The military has their own ticket agency which sells reduced price tickets to various events for military folks and their dependents, and the Camp Pendleton office was in the bowling alley.) I remember a Monday Night football game so unbelievably cold (well, cold for SoCal!) I had to wear thermal underwear, but it was all worth it because we beat our rivals, the Oakland Raiders that night…”We are the champions” by Queen, blasting through the stadium PA system.

Then there was THE playoff game to beat all playoff games, the Miami-San Diego 1981 season playoff game which went into overtime and had Kellen Winslow being carried off the field from exhaustion. I remember I had to work that day and was SO disappointed I’d be missing the televised game. I kept calling home for updates. Who would have known it would last as long as it did and that I’d be able to watch at least the overtime section. Un-be-lieveable game!

So many fond memories of Air Coryell, Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow (I waited on him one time and MAN did he look good in a suit! ;)), Chuck Muncie, Charlie Joiner, John “JJ” Jefferson, Louise Kelcher (man, oh man, the stadium would rock with choruses of “Loooooooouuuu-ie”, which unfortunately sounded like we were booing!).

Also memories of Chargers placekicker, Rolf Benirschke, surviving his horrific near-death battle with ulcerative colitis, and of being in the stadium crowd on November 18, 1979 when he first returned. He didn’t play, but was honorary captain that day and looked so tiny when burly Louie Kelcher helped him out onto the field. There was nary a dry eye in the stadium that day and the applause and cheers were truly deafening. Happy to say that the annual blood drive with the San Diego Blood Bank, which started back in 1979 to help Rolf with all the blood he needed during his illness, has continued to this day. They’ve even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest drive in one day, at one location! Also happy to say that I’ve taken part in it many times myself over the past twenty-eight years.

The days of Air Coryell have long since passed, but Chargers fans have had a few moments of shining glory. While our trip to the Super Bowl for the ’94/’95 season was a thrill, the game itself on 1/29/95 was a total bust. Best memory from that season was when the Chargers shocked the football world by beating Pittsburgh IN Pittsburgh for the AFC Division Title. After that game ended, and without ANY planning or notice, fans from ALL OVER San Diego county (and probably from beyond the county borders) found themselves heading to the stadium. Reports said there were about 70,000 people that showed up, cheered, celebrated, and enjoyed. And yes, I was there! I was married at the time and my husband and I looked at each other after the game ended and decided, what the heck, let’s go cheer the team when they arrive home. When we drove into the stadium parking lot people were cheering, celebrating, high-fiving each other, there was even one of those huge dragon costumes you see during Chinese New Year celebrations, dancing on top of a bus with drummers along side it. The MOST incredible vibe you could even imagine was felt that night, and when it was decided that the stadium itself would be opened up for the fans to celebrate each and every seat was full, with many standing in the aisles. And yes, the team did NOT disappoint, various players and coaches came onto the football field and addressed the jubilant crowd. We got our fannies spanked in the Super Bowl game, but not even that could ever tarnish the incredible memories from the night that all of San Diego seemed to be magically drawn to the stadium to share in their collective joy.

So many great players, so many great times tailgating, so many ups-and-downs, but mostly so many fantastic memories! I’m not quite ready though, to only have memories, so am hoping that this record-setting season our team and players are having will continue on–all the way to the Super Bowl! Oh, and to my step-dad (who will be at the Chargers/Patriots playoff game) I say, “Thanks for the Sunday memories.” Go CHARGERS!


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