By Thomas Gast aka munchiesthemonkey 

This year the champions will be…( insert your favorite team name here). Every single year just like last year. Some of you reading this understand heartache, the flood of emotions felt so deep for want of the ultimate prize, but year after year your consolation prize is defeat – the type of dejected feelings reserved for the poor kid picked last when choosing soft ball teams in elementary school. The hurt is a rare kind of pain felt deep in your core being, yet no medication can be prescribed to alleviate your sorrow.

My San Diego Chargers. You heard it right, of course I don’t own the team. What I own is the blood, the sweat, the tears of another losing season. I dry the tears that stream like blood from a wound down my face. I think to myself, Lord when will it be my time? So many years have passed me by. Also an equal amount of teams with a wide assortment of players good and beyond bad come to mind. The good: Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner, Kellen Winslow, Fred Dean, John Jefferson, Chuck Muncie, who can forget the era of Air Coryell. The beyond bad: Craig Whelihan, Ryan Leaf, getting stomped by the 49ers in the Superbowl so hard the earthquake could be felt in China. I recall “We Believe” signs in windows, painted on cars, on banners in restaurants, they were everywhere. Upon closer inspection the fine print below read “in the Easter Bunny, Boogeyman, Tooth Fairies and Bigfoot.”

The present era of the Chargers is loaded with spectacular talent. Philip Rivers is a monster that led the league with 4,710 passing yards and a 101.8 QB rating. Besting the likes of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Matt Schaub, and Eli Manning. Other stand-outs include Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson, Shaun Phillips, Darren Sproles, and promising rookie Ryan Mathews. They have been called the best worst team, a group of sad underachievers. My Chargers, you heard me right, mine because I have been through the best and the worst of times and always and forever will I have their back, my support and my deep admiration and love are unbreakable chains, ties that bind my prayers and faith in a solid victory next year. I don’t need a sign in my window to affirm my belief that next year is ours finally.

Growing up with the fortune of seeing Dan Fouts pass for over 400 yards in a game with multiple receivers with over 100 yards, it was incredible and spectacular. Experiences like that never fade from memory. The hot dogs we ate drowned in sweet relish, mustard and ketchup were to die for. The tailgate parties with carne asada, burgers, chips, sneaking sips of my Pop’s beer, while listening to Journey and Def Leppard, Van Halen (not Van Hagar), and who can forget Styx and even AC/DC. Me and cousin Clyde sporting mullets, Levi’s jackets, bandannas on our legs & necks. Our huge party with neighborhood friends and more importantly their daughters. The sister of one of the guys came along, I had a heart aching crush on her. It was a time of innocence, a transition into manhood, with football right in the middle of it. During home games we didn’t attend, it was BBQ time at someone’s house. Pass the deviled eggs, man do I love those things. Memories of growing up, friendships formed, many first experiences like a first kiss, my first beer, football was the cement that built the bridges that will stand the test of time, the catalyst that begins the trip down fond recollections.

Next year the champions will be the San Diego Chargers. Destiny is a mighty powerful force to be reckoned with. Regardless of the odds, the injuries, and the losses of coaching staff to other teams we will prevail. The San Diego Super Chargers will be super again. As new chapters are written into memory and new lessons about life are learned through experience, football will always be there to bring us together. I believe. I believe, and we are already half way there.