Dear San Diego,
I’ve been thinking about the Chargers and why it’s so hard for me to watch them this year.
When I moved to San Diego, I had just come from Japan, where I’d received “arduous sea-duty orders” to join a deployed ‘Small Boy” home-ported here in Southern California. When the ship got back, one of my childlike delights, was pulling off I-15, and on a whim one day, getting Season Tickets to the 2015 Chargers.
I mean here I was, 3 years of living 8000 miles from home, and now I could attend real NFL games at historic Jack Murphy field, 3 miles from home!
It was magical. Almost every other Sunday, after that deployment to the Middle East, I had garnered a date scheduled with my wife to watch glorious Pigskin sail through the air as passionate Philip Rivers yelled “Shoot” and embodied a winning love for the game and led a competitive team.
Fast forward to fall 2017. Anyone living in San Diego knows that the team has lost many close games the last few years, holding a record —9-27 since fall 2015— that doesn’t reflect their hard work or talent. I want to submit a simple reason, a “perhaps why “, drawn from studies with the Naval War College.
According to the classical strategist Carl von Clausewitz moral courage is a critical intangible that is often the difference-maker between two opponents in the wrestling match of war. It has to do with morale, but also with warriors’ esprit de corps, it propels forward our reason to fight.
No matter how much talent is stacked up for this team, no matter the sweat, or reps and sets of practice, I believe their moral courage was mortgaged when they sold out a city for a bottom line. Personally I confess to anger and hurt, of which I’m genuinely seeking to let go.
It feels silly to care, especially as I’m preparing to deploy and leave my loving pregnant wife…but I wonder as I go, that maybe if, in this wide world, this team can also confess what’s happened; and determine to do the right they can, even if they don’t return, maybe I’ll see the Once-Upon-A-Time San Diego SuperChargers be awesome winners again. Such moral courage revived and on display will remind us how we all desperately need it to overcome and to live well.
Navy Lieutenant & San Diego Resident
PS: I promise that this LT is not so usually intense! This issue just struck a raw nerve that hasn’t gone away. This person is praying blessing upon the Chargers’ ownership and players.
PPS: In no way does this writer speak for the United States Navy or any branch of the military. They simply represent one voice in a population demographic within San Diego.