So Long, Seau
An era has passed for the San Diego
In the most shocking of its off-season personnel
changes this year, the Chargers management has
pink-slipped its most dedicated player, linebacker
Junior Seau. While its true that Seau didn't play
at his usual level of intensity this past year, and
the Chargers defense as a whole ranked dead-last
against the pass, the man has long been the team's
leader. His pride and professionalism have set a
high standard for his teammates to meet. And the
Pro Bowler still has a couple of good years left in
him. Alas, the San Diego native that has done so
much for this teamand this citywill
have to play his NFL twilight years elsewhere.
With the excision of the heart from this
now-undead team, I wonder what new incarnation will
arise from the ashes. Given the Chargers' recent
whining about financial matters; the organization's
selfish claims that it needs a new stadium to
remain competitive; and its seeming callousness in
releasing players like John Carney, John Parella,
Curtis Conway, Rodney Harrison and now Seau
himself, I can't help but wonder if we have another
godless Raider-like organization materializing.
While the rest of the NFL has been consumed by
the almighty dollar, and the star players that
millions of them can buy, the Chargers have plodded
along with chins held high. Perhaps they haven't
won as many games as they should have in the past
ten years, but they maintained a heart and
soullargely embodied by Seaueven
through the dark days of Bobby Beathard and Ryan
Leaf. But the Spanos family finally gave in to the
Way of the Wallet. Now, the organization doesn't
seem to care about its loyal stars who have been
the only bright spots in a streak of losing
seasons. I guess I shouldn't be surprised; they've
already demonstrated that they don't care about
their loyal fans, or the residents of this city.
They just want those dollars to roll in.
I feel a sense of bitterness (in case it wasn't
obvious), as I suspect many other Chargers fans do.
I've spent the past 20 years rooting for a team
that has had a losing record more often than not.
I've endured countless wisecracks from friends who
support winning teams like the Broncos or 49ers.
I've stood steadfastly by my Chargers all these
years, proudly wearing my blue-and-gold bolts. Now
the organization cuts its best players and
threatens to move if the city doesn't give it a new
stadium (even though the city has paid out over
$100 million under the existing agreement to play
in Qualcomm Stadium). The blue-and-gold has become
I doff my Chargers hat to Seau and wish him
well, wherever he goes. But now I have to decide
whether or not to put the hat back on.
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