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Fred Phelps is an ass.  A hateful, vile, waste of space.  There, that’s as angry as I’ll be getting…hopefully.  Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church lunatics (mostly relatives of his) are planning on coming to San Diego within the week to spew forth their despicable ramblings, and thankfully San Diego folks are not going to let it take place without responding.  Mind you, PEACEFUL responses, without engaging these imbeciles who have the audacity to even protest at funerals of military men and women.   (Yes, I will be practicing restraint.  Practice, practice, practice…) Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

San Diego Prides Activism for Equality float
San Diego Pride’s “Activism for Equality” float

Went to my first San Diego Pride parade yesterday and had a great time.  Yes, I admit I went to not only show my support as a straight ally, but to hopefully ogle some hot guys with my buddy Gordon. (Hey, at least I’m honest!) Read the rest of this entry »

(AP photo/Denis Poroy)(AP photo/Denis Poroy)

Just a quick shout-out to the San Diego State Aztecs women’s basketball team, and superstar player Jene Morris, for their exciting 76-70 win over DePaul in the first round of the Women’s NCAA Tournament. I may be a CSUSM alum, but I’m always for San Diego teams, especially one in the State system. Way to go, Aztecs, and best of luck in the next round!

Just putting some “good luck vibes” out into the universe in the hope they work well for my 2nd favorite football team, the Seattle Seahawks (I’m a Seattle-born gal) against the Green Bay Packers today, and for my FAVORITE TEAM, the San Diego Chargers (grew up in San Diego County) against the Colts tomorrow. Both of my teams have been deemed the underdogs by most of those who are supposedly “in the know” (cough-cough), but quite honestly being the underdog is a place I’d much rather be. Here’s hoping both teams surprise everyone (well, other than their fans who always have faith ;)) and rack up big wins this weekend.

“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!!!

Witch Creek Fire-nctimes.comWhat a difference a day makes; a huge chunk of my dear SoCal landscape has erupted in fire, most heartbreakingly the area where I’ve spent most of my life, San Diego County, with 250,000 500,000 (as of 10/23/07) people being evacuated so far! It’s jarring to hear about fires forcing the evacuations of friends, fires lapping at my alma mater, CSUSM, and especially fires endangering already endangered animals at the San Diego Wild Animal Park; a place which holds countless fond memories for me from the past two decades.

I’m currently living in Southwest Riverside County, pretty much in between all the chaos, and can hear the winds whipping at my wind chimes as I look out my window and see the smoke-filled hazy skies, but oddly enough I don’t smell the fires like I have in the past. At times like this, when you wonder if somewhere down the road you might have to evacuate at a moment’s notice, it makes you think hard about what in life is really important. I can tell you right now it’s not the material things, the things you can easily replace, but instead it’s the friends, family, and pets, that are what bring true joy to your life and could never be replaced.

I’ve been getting phone calls/emails from friends today wondering how I’m doing, how close the fires are (closest one to me right now is about 15 miles south in Fallbrook), etc., so I thought I’d post a few resources below which I’ve come across today while trying to access information. CNN seems to be doing the best job on a national level in covering the fires, by actually showing ALL the areas affected (live feed), and not just the Malibu fire which most networks seemed to be focusing on for obvious high rating reasons (star homes, etc.). I hope the resources I’ve assembled below will help those of you out there trying to find out information. I’ll update it if I find more.

I would ask all of you to let those you love know that you do, and please, please, PLEASE keep my fellow Southern Californians (and domesticated and wild animals!) in your thoughts, most especially those in the path of danger and those heroic firefighters putting their lives on the line.

***10/23/07: I’m updating and adding links as information changes, and also added this new post:California fires: Murrieta/Temecula perspective (pictures/video) AND Kudos to the North County Times/Californian for being a local lifeline for information***

Riverside County/Inland Area

Camp Pendleton

San Diego County

Los Angeles Area

Government

American Red Cross

__________________________________________________

Added on 10/23/07

  • Fire breaks out west of Temecula“-nctimes.com (The Californian) This was the ONLY way for local residents to get information throughout the night on the “Rosa” fire which was reported at 11PM 10/22/07. An incredible job was done by the reporters who kept a real-time update constantly flowing in the comments section, along with allowing readers to add their personal experiences and information. Kudos to the North County Times/Californian!!
  • Fires force more than 500,000 from California homes“CNN.com
  • Videos of KFMB Channel 8 reporter Larry Himmel as his home burns in one of the San Diego fires, and a follow up later. This was especially heartbreaking to view since I’ve been watching Larry over the past couple of decades in San Diego. For those from the area you are well-versed on Larry’s humor, his touching and heartwarming “about town” stories, and probably also memories of his “Biff and Skippy” episodes from WAY back in the day. While anyone losing their home is a terribly sad situation, there’s something which tugs at the heartstrings more when it’s someone you feel you have a connection with, even if it is just via the television. The thoughts and good wishes of many fans are with you and your family, Larry.

Larry Himmel in front of his burning home.

Larry Himmel walk-through of burned out home.

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9/14/07

Statement from Bill Belichick

New England Patriots

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has issued the following statement.

“I accept full responsibility for the actions that led to tonight’s
ruling. Once again, I apologize to the Kraft family and every person
directly or indirectly associated with the New England Patriots for the
embarrassment, distraction and penalty my mistake caused. I also
apologize to Patriots fans and would like to thank them for their
support during the past few days and throughout my career. ”

“As the Commissioner acknowledged, our use of sideline video had no
impact on the outcome of last week’s game. We have never used sideline
video to obtain a competitive advantage while the game was in progress.”

“Part of my job as head coach is to ensure that our football
operations are conducted in compliance of the league rules and all
accepted interpretations of them. My interpretation of a rule in the
Constitution and Bylaws was incorrect.”

“With tonight’s resolution, I will not be offering any further
comments on this matter. We are moving on with our preparations for
Sunday’s game.”

Yeah, Sunday’s game against my San Diego Chargers, a team whose fans just HAVE to be wondering how much (if any) of Bill’s “interpretation of a rule in the Constitution and Bylaws” might have had to do with the Patriots win over the Chargers in that heartbreaking January 14th, 2007 AFC Divisional Playoff game. Nothing we can do about that now, but we can look forward to our Bolts knocking some sense into Tom Brady come Sunday night. I’ve read portions of a North County Times article over and over again to try and understand the point Brady was weakly making, and all I continue to come up with is that he feels you can do whatever you want, right or wrong, not worry about repercussions, and just go along your merry little way.

“I don’t think this is a concern of anybody,” Brady said during a conference call with the San Diego media. “It’s certainly not a concern of mine. I don’t think anybody cares too much about what people say or what people do. It’s probably more flattering to us than anything.

“People sometimes, when they think we have everything figured out, maybe it speaks to our preparation so I’m actually flattered by it.”

Flattered? Did he actually say flattered? Perhaps dear Tom has been sacked one too many times (Go for it, Merriman!), and his gray matter has begun seeping out in large portions. If the Michael Vick debacle didn’t show you that people DO take notice, and people DO care about the actions of others, Tom, then you really are more clueless than anyone imagined. So much for role models, eh? Say LaDainian, mind showing him how it’s done? Thanks. Perhaps you can don one of Belichick’s infamous hoodies, Tom, and do as Dennis Dillon of Sporting News suggested to Belichick.

Shame on you, Bill Belichick. You need to put a zipper on that hoodie so you can hide your head — and hang it.

Guess NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision doesn’t quite agree with your “I don’t think this is a concern of anybody” logic, either, Tom, since he handed down fines and the loss of draft choices to your team.

New England coach Bill Belichick was fined the NFL maximum of $500,000 Thursday and the Patriots were ordered to pay $250,000 for spying on an opponent’s defensive signals. The commissioner also ordered the team to give up next year’s first-round draft choice if it reaches the playoffs and second- and third-round picks if it doesn’t.

“This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field,” Goodell said in a letter to the Patriots.

While I do appreciate the tough position Goodell has been in this year from Vick to this situation, I tend to agree with Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune, regarding the fact that monetary fines for those in the NFL really means diddley-squat.

Money? Roger, it means nothing. It’s the NFL.

I won’t say he totally blew it, but after discovering Belichick, who personifies the latter-day, Paul Revere-less Patriots (coincidentally, they play host to the Chargers on Sunday night) had been cheating, he should have gone Samson on the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass.

Fines are not fine in 2007.

So Sunday night’s Chargers-v-Patriots game will be interesting on many fronts. Have to say it would be a lot more fun if it was a home game for the Chargers and we got to see how SD fans would express their thoughts on the cheating scandal. Oh well, either way it’s bound to be a good game. Think I’ll go with what Tony Moss of Sports Network predicts for the game.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Many will give the Patriots the advantage in this matchup of talented teams. First, because of the homefield factor, and second, because Belichick is twice the tactician that Turner is. But don’t let last week’s dominant performance against a mediocre Jets team fool you. With the new pieces on offense and Seymour and Harrison missing on defense, New England is not as good in Week 2 as it will be in Week 16, giving a San Diego club that basically had no turnover from last year’s 14-2 unit the edge. The Chargers win this battle, though things could be very different when and if these two meet in the postseason.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Chargers 27, Patriots 20

Have a great football weekend, everyone. And LET’S GO CHARGERS!

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PS Leave it to the Daily Kos to post this delightful (yet somehow all too believable) item about a possible “back up” job for Bill Belichick.

marc-broussard-hob-8-20-07.jpegFirst off, Marc Broussard is one act you do NOT want to miss if he’s in your area. Second, WTF San Diego concert-goers?!?! Let me just get my rant out of the way before I rave.

While I love San Diego county like crazy and have spent the better part of my life there, I find myself becoming more and more disenchanted with the downright rude behavior I seem to run across at local concerts. Can someone PLEASE explain to me why anyone would pay for a ticket to a show, then stand around and talk–LOUDLY?! In my opinion it’s beyond disrespectful to practically drown out the performance of someone on stage who is giving it their heart and soul, but it’s also stupid to spend your money on something you obviously aren’t there to enjoy. If you’re there just to pick up on someone, save your money and just hit up a bar or go online–sheesh! There ARE those of us who must obviously be somewhat demented because we assume that folks who come to a show actually want to enjoy the show. Mind you, there was a healthy dose of attentive fans in attendance last night (despite the surprisingly small crowd), but it was embarrassing to hear so much talking when Toby Lightman and/or Marc were singing something without heavy band back-up and you could hear all the morons blabbing away. Sigh. (And yes, I eventually did tell a few to shut the **** up. 😉)

That being said, oh my gosh what FUN last night’s House of Blues-San Diego show was (rude idiots aside), and what energy and enthusiasm Marc brought to each song. For those of you not aware of Marc Broussard, you are totally missing out on what many are calling this generation’s “King of Blue-Eyed Soul”, and they are so on the mark with that one. The first time I heard of Marc was a couple of years back when his chart-climbing “Home” off his first major labelmarc-broussard-carencro.jpg album, Carencro (an homage to his hometown of Carencro, Louisiana), caught my attention upon first hearing it on the radio, in much the same way Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”, or The Cliks’ “Oh Yeah” song and video made me stand up and take notice. I love it when a musician and his/her music is something so different from the rest that your ears alert your brain to something magical. Have to admit that when I tracked down more info on “Home” I was shocked to discover this Bayou Soul voice and energy came from such a young man, let alone a white one at that! That point is played upon in the first 35 seconds of the “Home” video where you are led to believe the soulful humming is coming from the African-American man on the bus, then POOF, the young white boy sitting behind him pulls out his guitar and starts wailing away. Love it!

Marc Broussard: “Home” from Carencro

Marc’s latest CD, S.O.S.: Save Our Soul, is full of classic soul tune covers except for one marc-broussard-save-our-soul.jpggreat original song, “Come In from the Cold”, penned by Marc. Several reviewers have wondered what the point was to doing a CD of covers but I say why not? Marc’s voice is perfect for these songs and it has reawakened in me the appreciation of old-school soul music. And heck, they’re fun! Plus it’s a bit of a “filler” while he’s working on his next CD.

Marc Broussard: “Love and Happiness” from S.O.S.: Save Our Soul

This current tour is called the “Soul Revue” tour and with the soul that Marc, the band, toby-lightman.jpgand featured guest Toby Lightman (subbing for Shannon McNally) put forth, the show most definitely lived up to its moniker. Unfortunately we missed the first twenty minutes or so, so only caught the last two Toby songs. We were very disappointed to walk in and discover that Toby was taking Shannon’s place because we’d seen Toby open for Carbon Leaf a few months back and she was incredible. I’m sure Shannon is great too, but missing out on songs from Toby was a bummer. What was great, though, is that she came out and joined Marc and the band for several songs throughout the night.

Marc Broussard and Toby Lightman at Stubbs

“If I Could Build My Whole World Around You”

What was also surprising and great, was that for the encore it was just Marc, sans band. He was giving it his all and having a fabulous time with the crowd, as we all were with him. (Especially when we all helped him remember the words to his memorable performance of “Lonely Night in marc-broussard-solo-sd-hob-8-20-07.jpegGeorgia”.) Who he wasn’t so thrilled with (and boy did he let his feelings be known, capped off with a flipping of the fingers under the chin directed at HOB ;)) was the fact that HOB apparently is pretty strict with getting their performers off-stage at a particular hour–enjoyment of performer and crowd be damned. Marc was in a bit of a “f**k you, I’m playing for my fans as long as I want” mood (pretty much the words he used. ;)) and continued his encore for about thirty fantastic minutes more. He did apologize at the end to the employees of HOB for making them have to work late. 😉

All in all, and despite the rude talkers in the crowd, it was a VERY enjoyable night (even more so than when I saw him there a couple years back and got to do a meet and greet with him–THAT was a great experience!) and one I would highly recommend you take in for yourself as soon as Marc and his “Soul Revue” hit your town. Now if they’d only all worn some classic soul garb like crushed velvet jackets and some shiny pants . . .

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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