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Date: September 1, 2010
Time: 5:01 p.m.
Thread Title: San Diego Chargers Near Bottom of Most Valuable NFL Teams List
Thread started by: CoronaDoug
Post # 3: Lightning’s Girl
Bite your tongue!!! The Bolts must stay in San Diego…moving them to LA would be sacrilege of the worst order.

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Lightning’s Girl grew up in Ramona and has “essentially lived and died with this team every year for over four decades.” This, even though she lives in western Oregon and hasn’t been to San Diego in at least ten years.

“Shoot, I remember seeing Lance Alworth play in the late ’60s,” she says. “I remember watching the fans pour beer on Harland Svare when he was coaching. Oh, those were some really hairy years.”

Although she doesn’t recall her very first game, there is one in particular that she says she’ll remember for the rest of her life. It was October 1970, and “the whole end of the state was on fire.” The temperature was at least 105. Lightning’s Girl and her mother went to the stadium to watch the game while her father stayed home to hose down their chicken ranch and protect it from the flames.

“It was so weird because the sun was shining through the smoke,” she recalls, “and it looked like a huge copper penny.”

These were the days before cell phones, and Lightning’s Girl remembers that although the stands held 40,000 or so people that day, they kept getting called out of the stands over the PA so that by the time the day was over, there were only 25,000 people left.

“Ashes were falling all over everything,” she says, “and here these guys were still playing football in the middle of all this. It was kind of surreal, and I’ve never forgotten it.”

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Date: September 2, 2010
Time: 10:06 p.m.
Thread Title: Official Game Day Thread: Chargers @ 49ers – 9/2.
Thread started by: LightEmUp
Post #49: Lightning’s Girl
Shit. 1–3 in preseason. Hope things go better when it counts.

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During games, Lightning’s Girl wears an old Junior Seau jersey. Western Oregon, she says, doesn’t have much in the way of Chargers gear.

“Everything around here is 49ers, Broncos, Seahawks. And Raiders!” she exclaims. “I mean, who in the heck wants Raiders gear?”

Again, the throaty laughter.

Speaking of the Raiders, she jokes that Raider-hating is a “congenital” affliction. “As far back as I can remember, that’s just the way it was.”

Oakland, she says, “is a dirty town. I’ll never forget when my mother and I were on an airplane. We were going to San Francisco, and the stewardess — excuse me, ‘flight attendant,’ this was the ’70s — the stewardess was going on about how she could always tell when people from Oakland had been on the plane because they trashed it. She said she had to pick up crap and cigarette butts off the floor — you could still smoke on the airplane back then. My mother and I just sat there and laughed.”

She cackles, then says, in all seriousness, “I’ve been to Oakland. It’s not pretty there.”

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Date: September 14, 2010
Time: 7:01 p.m.
Thread Title: Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes the bug.
Thread Started by: Concudan
Post #4: Lightning’s Girl
I’ve said this for years, but I’m going to repeat it since the coaching staff doesn’t get it: they HAVE to start mixing up the play-calling better! Even my 5-year-old grandson knows that they’re gonna run on first down…

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Lightning’s Girl is disappointed at the team’s performance in the preseason and opening game of the season, but no matter what happens this year or in coming years, Lightning’s Girl is in it for life.

“San Diego tends to have a lot of fair-weather friends, unfortunately, and bandwagon jumpers,” she says. “But then there are some of us that are just hard-core Charger believers and have been for 40 years.”

This year, as every other, she has her fingers crossed. Her hopes are set on Ryan Mathews and Antonio Gates. “And of course Philip Rivers is fabulous,” she says. “I love him to pieces.”

“She’s hot and she watches football?”

Lisa’s Carlsbad home bears the mark of young children. A giant helium-filled number “five,” left over from her daughter’s fifth birthday party, floats in front of the fireplace mantle. Two guinea-pig-sized Zhu Zhu pets lie on their sides on a coffee table cluttered with tiny plastic cakes and coconut drinks, a miniature thatched-roof bar, and other accoutrements from a Barbie Hawaiian Vacation play set.

The children themselves sit on a pint-sized love seat and easy chair stationed on the floor in front of the coffee table. Eight-year-old Zane sports cowboy pajamas, and Talia wears the footed kind with red and pink hearts. The two play games on a Wii while they wait for their mother to come home from an early-evening run and crank up the Tivo. The Chargers–49ers game is probably almost into halftime.

By the time Lisa returns and changes into jeans and a navy blue T-shirt with a glittery yellow lightning bolt, her husband Mark has already started the game.

“We haven’t scored yet, have we?” Lisa asks, approaching a pile of freshly washed and not-yet-folded clothes piled to the right of the couch.

The question might be innocuous in other circumstances. In this case, it’s almost a warning, as in: You were supposed to wait. I’d better not have missed anything.

Just then, San Francisco’s Anthony Dixon breaks free and sprints for the end zone. Zane, who has recently decided that he will one day play for the 49ers, is clearly torn.

“No, no, no, no!” he shouts. And then, “Well, actually kind of yes.”

Both Lisa and Mark groan, and Lisa says, “It’s a little worrying that we won the first preseason game, but we can’t win any others.”

Then, it’s time to pause the game so she can get the kids’ teeth brushed and their little butts in bed.

“Go, Chargers!” shouts Talia as a final good-bye.

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