Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
When the season opens Sept 13 in Kansas City, Marisa Gomez will be in front of a screen at Metro 53 with dozens of other Chargers fans. A Chargers flag will unfurl outside the door. Inside, a signed Charlie Joiner jersey will hang on display. Touchdowns will initiate "San Diego Super Chargers" on the bar's speakers and Hype Man will weave through a crowd clad in blue and gold, high-fiving everyone to kick-start the celebration.
Not an unusual scene. That is, until you take in to account its location at East 53rd street between 1st and 2nd Avenue in New York City. A group that started in 2007 with less than 10 people erupted to more than 300 at a tailgate party last season as San Diego played at the New York Giants on Nov. 8. A few hundred Chargers fans ate hot dogs and enjoyed a bean bag toss.
Gomez, 30, is the co-chair of NYC Chargers Fans. She credits the social media era for the ability to unify fans throughout the area and created a Facebook group with more than 130 members. Most are San Diego natives. "It feels almost like you're at the stadium," Gomez said. "We're tight-knit. Everyone knows each other's faces because we see them every week. There's something about watching the game with a bunch of people that have lived in San Diego or loved the Chargers." Asked if their presence creates animosity with the New York crowd. Gomez said yes and no. "We're from San Diego," she said. "We love our team but we're laid back. We're not angry."
Her apartment is filled with Chargers stuff including a starter jacket from the '80s that comes in handy during snowstorms. But the most special is the breast cancer team hat that she received last season. Her mother had just been diagnosed, and now is cancer-free.
Her favorite player is Philip Rivers. Her blue and gold No. 17 jersey offers New Yorkers a glimpse at her passion that gets magnified with further observation. "His leadership and commitment to the game is admirable." Gomez said "Not to mention his Southern accent. It's great."
Thursday, January 21, 2010
So here we are talking about next season again...sigh. While I
scrupulously avoid turning on the TV or reading the local paper this
week, I'm left to dwell upon why this loss, after countless seasons of
having the rug pulled out from under us, just feels so... different.
I'm a loooong time Charger fan, I'm used to the defeats, to taking the
positives and writing off the negatives, to enjoying watching the
superbowl with no emotional investment, but this- and no real Charger
fan would say it out loud while we were still in it- this really felt
like THE YEAR.
So we analyze and theorize, talk about Kaeding and Phillips, Turner
and Jackson, penalties and strategies, discipline and motivation and
all the incalculable things that add up to, once again, losing to a
team we should have beat. A team that somehow wanted it more. And we
look for blame...
The problem is, it isn't so easy this time. Preparation? Two weeks.
Rested? Plenty. Healthy? Incomparably. Talent? Pro-Bowl.
Experience? Once again, check. Momentum? Like a steam train. And
IF we had bitch-slapped the Jets like we should have, we would be in
the enviable position of facing lesser teams with glaring weaknesses.
No Patriots. No Steelers. Colts? Liked our chances. And I'm not
seeing anything on the NFC side that made me quiver, either.
It's like the stars lined up this year. We stayed strong, the
opponents weakened. And yet, we lost. We simply walked onto our home
field on a beautiful San Diego day, and we forgot how to play winning
football. If we had even played average football, we would have won.
This one hurt. It's gonna take some time to come upp with answers.
And it's gonna sting for a long time.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
New York City - Most of you know, I've been a San Diego Chargers fanatic for 32 years now. Rough times mostly, but here we are, yet again. Playoff time and the Chargers are in the mix, as has been the case the last few years.
A good number of early season predictions had The Chargers meeting the Cowboys in this year's Super Bowl. Prior to the 2009 season, the "Football Outsiders Almanac", considered by many to be the benchmark of football predictors, said of San Diego... "The San Diego Chargers are the prohibitive favorites to win Super Bowl XLIV. Our 2009 statistical projection for the Chargers is so off the charts that it may endanger the boundaries of reality." They also picked the Cowboys to be the Chargers opponent in XLIV.
The Chargers have done their part and are considered by many to be the hottest and strongest team heading into the playoffs in either conference. In the NFC, the Cowboys appear to be primed for a playoff run that gets them beyond the first game, for the first time, in a looong time. However, listening to the multitude of Cowboy fans that have come out of the closet for the first time all season, you'd think the Cowboys had done well in the playoffs the last few years. LOL
I've been holding my tongue more than usual this season because, well... first the Bolts had that slow start and then I realized something different is happening this year. Something special. It's a number of things... some of which, I've mentioned a few times in my emails with some of you. Most surprising to me though, is how the team's depth has shined, through numerous major injuries this season. We've played 99% of our games without our all-pro anchors, Jamal Williams(NT), and Nick Hardwick(C) in the trenches. Numerous injuries to other linemen and all-pro linebackers have also been abound all season long. LT was absent for 4 games. Vincent Jackson and Eric Weddle have been battling serious knee and hip injuries the last few weeks. I don't care what anyone says, to beat a starting team with a decent defense, like the Redskins, with your 2nd and 3rd string players, is pretty impressive. There's something going on here.
Everything seems to be in place for San Diego this time around. This year, for a change, the PATS get the major injuries to their top scorers heading into the playoffs. The Colts rested players when they probably shouldn't have. They need to stay on a roll more than SD. Especially considering how River's and company owns them in the playoffs. The Chargers have already seen the Bengals and handled them handedly. The "little JETS that could" are around for a laugh, and over in the NFC, a former Charger defensive coordinator seems to finally have his team primed to make a run for the Superbowl. I'm hoping he does now. Previously, I've said that it would be nice to see Rivers go up against Brees in an XLIV showdown. I also wouldn't mind an Aaron Rodgers or McNabb battle. The Cowboys though? America's team? Jerry "the next Al Davis" Jones' team? A bigger international audience? The team we manhandled in week 14? Yes, that's right.... I'm talking to you Marion Barber! A win over the Cowboys in the Superbowl would be the cherry on top of the storied franchise's now, 50 years in existence. It would wipe out the San Diego Sports Curse ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Diego_sports_curse ) , help Charger fans forget the 1993 Superbowl disaster against the 49ers, and amongst other things shut up Cowboy fans for a few more months.
Every team benefits greatly from winning a Superbowl but, c'mon! Why can't this be our time?!! I think it is. I'm hoping it is. I'm hoping you all jump on the Charger vs. Cowboys Superbowl bandwagon and then let's see where the chips fall. Go Chargers!!!
Here is a link to Darbe's blog: The Goat Check
Friday, January 1, 2010
Regarding the Chargers, I'd like to keep the one game mentality as I have since the beginning of October, however, I can't help but think, is this our year? I don't want to dwell on it too much considering it is the mentality I wanna keep. We have a solid team, there is not one star player on this team and that's why I love them.
Chargers fans in New York City have been away for the holidays, either in San Diego or elsewhere in California. We expect a big crowd at Sunday's game vs. the Redskins not only because we are back from the Christmas break but, because it is the last regular season game. Can we pack the bar so that other fans are not there starting stuff with us like they did Dec 20. Let's Go Bolts!
P.S. Did I mention that we got a Charlie Joiner jersey inscribed to the bar? Thanks to @1stClassGraphs
for hooking that up. We just need the bar to hang it up now!
Follow me on Twitter: @chargers_NYC
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Is there a lightning storm brewing in San Diego? From what we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks, this seems to be the case. That dominant Chargers defense that we saw take form two seasons ago seems to be reborn.
Merriman, out most of last season, was obviously a big chunk of the defensive picture for San Diego, a necessary piece of the puzzle for their signature “lights out” pass rush. This rang true as the Chargers dropped in their 2008 sacks, and the rest of the defense seemed to lack energy and production as well. It’s clear that Merriman is the leader of the San Diego D, always being the center player in the pregame pep talk.
Many people speculate that they are a team that is not cut out to make it all the way to that big game in February. They point fingers at the coaching staff, the aging LT, and the defenses’ production last season. But things seem to be changing this season.
Merriman has had two sacks in each of his last two games. Tomlinson hasn’t had outstanding stats yet, but he’s been showing that ever-dangerous LT cut he’s executed throughout his career. He’s making defenders scamper, stumble, and miss when he gets the ball now. This is very good for the Bolts’ offense since him and Darren “Lightning Bug” Sproles are lightning-quick for the run game, not to mention the spectacular rise of their passing game under Rivers.
On the other side of the defensive line from Merriman sits Phillips. They worked together in the 2007 season to electrify their opponents with their pass rushing skills. They led the league in sacks, and were a nightmare for any quarterback. This is happening again as the season has reached its halfway mark. Phillips and Merriman are getting back to their old ways, which makes it a bit easier for San Diego’s secondary to capitalize off any hurried throws or throws deflected as the quarterback gets ran over by the two beastly outside linebackers.
The Chargers showed they are back in full swing and mean business when they pulled off a 21-20 win over the Giants this past Sunday. They have gone from a 2-3 record to a current 5-3, now only one game behind their divisional rival Broncos. Will they be able to keep the momentum going all the way ‘til that game in February that they long so badly for?
The road to the playoffs won’t be the worst they’ve ever seen, but it does certainly have its obstacles. They face Philadelphia this week, then in week 12 they face the rival Broncos. Unfortunately, the Broncos have an easy opponent this week against the Redskins, despite Denver on a current two game losing streak. If the Bolts can beat the Eagles at home, and then beat Denver in week 12, it would in fact put them into a 1st place tie with Denver in their division.
It’s feasible to see San Diego take the division title for the fourth year in a row, they’ve just got to keep doing what they’re doing. As for the rest of the season, the Chargers have three lighter games (Chiefs, Browns, and the Skins), as well as three more difficult games (Cowboys, Bengals, and the Titans). As for the Broncos, their schedule is equally as evened out. The only difference: the Bolts are hot, the Broncos are not.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Here is the story behind Chargers Fans in NYC written by one of the original members, Jessica Thompson.
Two seasons ago, a group of 6 Chargers fans living throughout New York City began watching games together. By word-of-mouth and the power of the internet, that group has now grown into well over 100 people. We have an “official” Chargers bar here in NY that sports Charger memorabilia, has a Charger themed menu (the B”LT”, “Gates”adilla and Merriman Steak “Sackwich” to name a few) and has been featured in local newspapers here. On any given Sunday you can find dozens of Chargers fans chanting “LT, LT!”, dancing on benches and tables while singing “San Diego Super Chargers” and cheering for our beloved Bolts. I’ve had friends visit from San Diego tell me the only other place they’ve experienced such an awesome vibe for Chargers fans is at Qualcomm Stadium itself. It has become a place for Chargers fans to find a piece of San Diego nearly 3,000 miles away and as the co-chair of the group, I am proud and excited to have found such an amazing group of people who share my passion for all things Bolts.
We were delighted to find out the Chargers would be playing the Giants at the Meadowlands this season and as soon as tickets were available, we started scooping them up. We arranged to have one 45 person limo bus take a group of us to the stadium to tailgate, and that bus filled up so quickly and was in such high demand, that we ordered a second 45 person bus. Since then we’ve arranged a tailgate that will be over 220 people; both NYC/Tri-State area residents and San Diegans flying in for the game. We’re also hosting a pre-game party/pep rally the night before the game (Saturday, November 7th) at our local bar, MJ Armstrong’s (located at 1st Ave and 19th Street) that looks to be 100+ Chargers fans strong.We welcome you to join us at MJ's or our tailgate party this coming weekend! Email us at email@example.com if you have any questions.