There have been a few “lasts” for the Los Angeles Chargers on their way out of San Diego, but Thursday truly brought closure.
The Chargers completed their last minicamp practice at Chargers Park in San Diego. That was the last activity for the team in their longtime home, wrapping up 56 years of San Diego Chargers football. The Chargers’ next practice will be in Costa Mesa, for the start of training camp.
Philip Rivers began his NFL career in 2004, and you can understand why he has an attachment to Chargers Park.
“I had sweaty hands and was nervous before practice. I was like, ‘What is wrong with me?!’” Rivers told reporters, according to the team’s site. “I’m going into the last mini camp practice in year 14, and here I am nervous before going out there. It was a little bit ridiculous. But it was because of that.”
Rivers wouldn’t use the term “sad” about the team closing up Chargers Park. But it was obviously more than just a normal final day of minicamp.
“Sad to me is probably too strong of a word,” Rivers said. “There are a lot of things that are sad that people are dealing with. Sad is probably a little too strong. But [it has been] emotional…. Sad is not the word, but I think thankful. Shoot, it’s been awesome.”
If Rivers isn’t sad, others are. It’s still hard to believe that the Chargers left their home of more than five decades, just to move to a city that doesn’t want them and ultimately be the tenants of the Los Angeles Rams in their new stadium. It’s the strangest relocation story in recent sports history. It seems like the NFL could have easily have saved football in San Diego if it wanted to, but everyone let hurt feelings about taxpayers not giving into stadium extortion get in the way. And generations of San Diego Chargers fans are left without a team.
Yet, the Chargers move on and while their might be some emotions about leaving San Diego, there should be some excitement about new beginnings too.
“What’s the atmosphere going to be like at the first home preseason game? What’s the training camp site (going to be like). All those things,” Rivers said, according to Chargers.com. “Anything new is always exciting.”
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