The Perils of Being a San Diego Sports Fan


I feel a hurl comin' on...

“Rick Folkers is throwing up in the bullpen.” ~Jerry Coleman

Alas, poor San Diego, I knew you well

There’s one main problem inherent with San Diego and sports. The problem is, no matter how badly your team is doing, it’s 72 and sunny outside, so nobody really gives a crap. Therefore, the teams tend to always break your heart, but the reaction is one of apathy because everyone is too busy getting fish tacos.

I’ve been a San Diego Padres and San Diego Chargers fan (sorry, can’t dig the Sockers or the Aztecs) all of my 31 years. And to paraphrase H.M. Murdock, it’s been one hell of a 31 years. No World Series titles, no Super Bowl rings…but enough almosts and maybes and couldabeens to supply an entire defensive line.

The closest I ever got to glory was early on in life, to whit “The Epic in Miami” between my Chargers and the pre-Marino Dolphins in January 1982. Reagan was president, Atari rocked the world, and I was all of three years old. The only memories I really have of it are a power outage in the first overtime and my dad screaming his head off. Everything else was passed down to me in the way fairy tales are. It was the closest thing I ever got to a championship…with Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow (the original), and the gang.

It was all downhill from there.

Oh my God...they killed Kellen The San Diego sports scene was so bad, the San Diego Chicken became the Famous Chicken, the Padres lost their barf-brown uniforms (which I kind of liked), Eric Show committed suicide, and the old Murph (the stadium now known as WTF Qualcomm) was forced to relinquish its status as a dual-purpose venue.But it was OK...all the fans were busy surfing.That's not to say there weren't some great times. The 1994 miracle Chargers team coached by the fiery Bobby Ross and quarterbacked by the unlikely, blue-collar Stan Humphries, who rode that hoss all the way to a Super Bowl appearance. Tony Gwynn, "Mr. Padre," pushing for a .400 season before it was cut short by the strike. Junior Seau in his glory days crashing the offensive line of the Raiders or Chiefs for a molar-loosening sack. Without championships...it doesn't matter in the end. Lombardi said it best. Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing. Or Ricky Bobby. If you're not first, you're last.The Chargers remain the only AFC West team without a ring. The Padres are Series-less after over 40 years in the bigs. There's been a lot of time for "almost." And a long, long offseason with broken hearts every year for the fans (and for those not in SoCal, no surfing or fish tacos.)What, me worry?

On the flip side, there was plenty of bad to go along with the few shining moments. There’s the guy pictured above (whose name we still don’t utter in my household, just like Voldemort in the Harry Potter movies.) He’s arguably the biggest NFL draft bust of all time, and he came out in the same class as Peyton Manning. There were no-name quarterbacks aplenty: everyone from Erik Kramer to Craig “Who Dat?” Whelihan. And now, the clashing egos of A.J. “Darth” Smith and his players, and a coach with all the personality of a neutered squirrel. A 2-4 team going nowhere fast with no LT, no Cromartie, no VJax.

S’OK. There’s fish tacos and it’s 72…remember?

And then there’s the Padres. A team that could very well substitute for the Cubs or the Indians in terms of lovable loser-ness, if only they’d been around 100 years. This year’s titanic collapse down the stretch is only one more entry in the sad saga that is being a Padres fan. They have a pretty new park…but remember, it’s sunny outside…

You ask any casual fan to name a member of the Padres, and they’re going to say Gwynn. He’s a great guy, and in many ways he typifies the Padres. Great singles hitter, but nobody goes to the ballpark to see that. And that alone isn’t going to win championships.

It’s just a game. I have to keep telling myself that. The trouble is, nobody ever says that when their team is actually winning.

So…let’s go Aztecs! And better luck next year.

Hey guys...let's go get fish tacos!

Got comments? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line at wikusandmurdock@yahoo.com!

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on October 17, 2010.

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