I know, I know, it's been around ever since team sports began way back when. It's just something that Charger fans are not too familiar with. Now don't get me wrong. I've been a Charger fan for over 25 years. I've stuck with them, just like you have, through the good times and the bad. Unfortunately, there have been more bad than good recently. That's o.k. though because I'm not going anywhere.
There is one thing that I cannot stand and that's a bandwagon fan. Where are all of those Buc jersey wearing fans these days? I'll tell you where. They're all wearing Patriots' jerseys. Give me a break! I'll even take it one step further just to prove my point. I don't even believe in Fantasy Football. That's right, I said it. It goes against everything that being a true fan stands for. Why and the hell would I root for a player from another team? Especially when they are playing my beloved Bolts!
Now, let's get back to my point. Stop and ask yourself this question. What does Home Field Advantage really mean?
Does it mean having 51 percent of the crowd cheering for the home team? Don't even think about answering yes to that question!
HFA is an annual sellout crowd all decked out in the home team's colors. Can't quite picture this? Just think back to last Sunday's win against Houston. Reliant Stadium held 78,000 rabid fans all dressed in Texans' colors. Despite the loss it made a little difference, didn't it?
HFA is having crowd noise that is so loud that the opposing team's O-line false starts on a crucial scoring drive because they can't hear the QB's audible.
HFA is getting out of your seat whether your team is up by 20 or down by 20.
HFA is being knowledgeable about the game.
HFA is having an appreciation for the history of the NFL.
HFA is showing true sportsmanship towards your opponent. Yes, even if it is the Raiduhs.
Not one member of the New York media asked the Jets players or coaches: "How will you handle the crowd noise?"
In fact when you look through the annals of sports reporting, it is a question that never gets asked about the Chargers. Every other team in the AFC West gets that respect. Marty Schottenheimer was asked it about last week's game in Houston. The Chargers are one of the only team's whose opponents never get asked that question.
HFA is the Dawg pound, the Lambeau leap, Raymond James Stadium, Mile High Stadium, Arrowhead Stadium.
Why do so many teams have it and we don't? Don't give me that old argument about there's more to do in sunny San Diego than in other parts of the states. It's sunny in Tampa, isn't it?
We have tradition, although not recent. We have the best uniforms in the league. This doesn't really count though. Recently we have spent right up to the cap for free agent players. Still no HFA.
How do we get this elusive ingredient? I, like you, am tired of waiting for it. I'm tired of seeing visiting teams and fans come into our house and take over! The time is now for things to change. It starts with management, coaches, and it starts with this team. It starts with winning. It's also going to start with your support and it starts this weekend vs. the Jets.
There is no ticket guarantee. We live in the new world order -- the blackout.
If you have plans, change them. Do whatever it takes, just get down to the stadium and support the Chargers this Sunday!
Kenny Williams can be reached at Kenny@sandiegosports.net
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