The San Diego Chargers’ season is over, but fans still have a reason to follow along.
Forget about a new coach, draft picks or free agent signings. Fans just want to know if their team is staying or packing for Los Angeles.
As the possibility of the latter becoming the reality grows, Bolts fans are realizing that they may soon have to say goodbye to their favorite team.
The thought of salutations for a few Chargers super fans aren’t as emotional as you might think, though, because they'v been toughened after sitting through the same drama last year.
“For me, it’s not as emotional as it was last year only because we’ve been on this roller coaster- are they staying, are they going- for too long,” said lifelong Chargers fan Gail Tomkins before heading in to watch the Bolts lose their season finale on Sunday.
Tomkins fought off tears as she spoke with NBC 7 at the Chargers final home game last season. She’s been following the team for 38 years.
It’d be difficult for a fan with nearly 40 years invested in a team to all of the sudden switch sides. Others have, at the very least, entertained the thought.
“I went through the grieving process,” fan Chris Stoefen said. “In the beginning, last year, I was questioning ‘Am I going to follow the Chargers or not?’ And I realized, these players- that’s what it’s all about.”
Chris and his son Morgan hung around Chargers Park on Monday to toss the pigskin and fetch a few autographs. Players like defensive end Cory Liuget appreciated the Stoefen family’s loyalty and scribbled his name on Chris’s powder blue jersey.
“Obviously, I’d love to see them stay in San Diego,” Stoefen added. “But I’m a fan of the players, and it’s going to be a sad day to see them leave San Diego.”
Stoefen’s son Morgan was adamant that his support is unwavering. After all, he’s been following the team for more than a third of his life.
“I’m so attached to them,” 11-year-old Morgan Stoefen said. “I love the Chargers. They’re, like, my life. I’ve watched them day by day. I mean, how could you switch teams after following them for four years, you know?”