Ode to the Chargers and my Father

3 Jan

The Chargers play their first play off game today at 5:15. I thought it would be fun to post something after the “thrill of victory” or the “agony of defeat” but found myself contemplating my father today more than the Chargers themselves because he initiated me as a fan in the early 80’s.

Prior to that, I have no recollection of football other than games being on all day on Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years and Howard Cosell’s nasal voice coming through the t.v. or radio. I had been shuffled to Padres games from the time I was little, bored to no end, as I sat through sometimes two games on the weekend, entertained primarily by the KGB chicken and the peanuts and popcorn. The highlights came from running down the circular ramps at Jack Murphy stadium (now Qualcomm) in a race to the bottom or hanging over the third base dug out talking to players from the opposing team. (You can get away with this when you are five years old). Otherwise, I sat reading Nancy Drew books in the bleachers marking time by the 7th inning stretch.

But when I was ten years old, I moved in with my dad (my parents were divorced) which coincided with his getting season tickets to the Charger games on the 50 yard line. And slowly, with lots of explanation, I began to understand the game which had previously seemed like watching a play in a foreign language without any subtitles. By the time I was in high school, the Chargers were in the Golden Age of Correal (spelling) with Dan Fouts amongst others. Then in the 90’s, I lived in San Francisco when the Chargers and 49’ers were in the Super Bowl. Of course, I was in the fan minority as the 49ers kicked our butts.

Now today, the Bolts are back in the running. If Dad were alive, he’d be excited, having me bundle up in the rain to watch the game in person. Instead, I will be inside (I watch on t.v. these days) but the replays I’ll pay close attention to are my memories of my father who died about five years ago. In actuality, I lost him in college when we became estranged for quite a long period of time. Addiction took the man I knew to be my father away, replacing him with a person I sometimes in horror didn’t recognize. The father on the pedestal fell far down and the rose colored glasses of childhood were yanked off my face breaking my heart in what felt like “a million little pieces.” Like Humpty Dumpty, I wondered if I could ever be put back together again. But time and God have re-organized my heart, as well as my happy memories that can’t ever be erased. Here’s to you Dad and to the Chargers. Charge!

4 Responses to “Ode to the Chargers and my Father”

  1. bub January 3, 2009 at 6:41 pm #

    Glad you started a blog, I always love your comments on Ed and Todd’s blogs. I definitely relate to the Chargers games bringing fond memories of my late parents and our mutual love of all things Bolt! I also was running down the ramps of Jack Murphy at the Padre games. Thanks for bringing back fond memories and Go Chargers!!!

  2. lisesletters January 3, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    Thanks for responding , Bub. I’m new to how this all works, so hopefully my response will post as me. I wish I was a techno geek but unfortunately, am a little slow in this department. Anyway, how cool that you ran down that ramp thing too – I used to call it the swirl thing and would race my father’s girlfriend’s son after most of the people had left the stadium. What fun. Anyway, enjoy the sweet nostalgia and may the boys prove us proud today.

  3. Michael January 5, 2009 at 8:06 am #

    Thanks for letting me read this, Lise.
    Your dad would be happy with their victory yesterday. It was awesome!

  4. Todd T. January 8, 2009 at 11:23 am #

    Great post, Lise. Glad to see you’ve joined the blogosphere!

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