It’s six o’clock in the evening on July 21, and the brilliant blue of the late-afternoon sky over San Diego is bleaching at the edges as the sun moseys toward the horizon, throwing the downtown buildings into gray relief as I speed toward them along the 94 west. Once I reach downtown, I turn left on Tenth, find a parking spot just shy of Market, and begin hoofing it toward the visible sliver of Petco Park, passing under banners hung from streetlamps and declaring the 40th anniversary of our home team, the San Diego Padres. The Franciscan Friar who serves as our mascot is, true to history, clad in brown; the banners, like (some of) the team’s current uniforms, are strangely, tastefully navy. I head south toward the park, on my way to see the home team take on the Florida Marlins, a .500 team mired in the middle of the National League East. It’s a beautiful night for baseball.
By Matthew Lickona, Oct. 14, 2009 | Read full article
If ever there were a San Diego Charger whose postcareer success has matched his years spent on the field, it’s the great Ron Mix. Mix’s glory years came in the 1960s, when the Chargers were in the American Football League. Back in the day, Mix was listed at 6’ 4” and 250 pounds, known as a weight lifter long before football players commonly pumped iron, and nicknamed the “Intellectual Assassin.” On the field, he achieved something that’s never been equaled: in ten seasons, he had two holding calls against him. Off the field, he blazed a trail by becoming one of the few players to earn a law degree — he graduated from the University of San Diego law school in 1969 — and one of the very few who got the degree during his career, not after he hung up his cleats.
By Thomas Larson, Nov. 4, 2009 | Read full article
Ten minutes into the second quarter of the Chargers’ second preseason game, a crowd in the end-zone View section of Qualcomm Stadium stands up to shout, “Raiders suck! Raiders suck!” But the Chargers are playing the Cowboys, not the Raiders. And the chanting crowd isn’t looking at the field. Instead, they stand with their necks craned to watch a fight that has broken out behind them, in the very top rows. They’re amped. It’s only the second time the Chargers have played in the stadium in seven months, and these fans are ready for the season — and the glory of all that Raider-hating — to begin.
By Elizabeth Salaam, Nov. 3, 2010 | Read full article
Cage-fightin’ rock stars.
It’s Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., and I am waiting for amateur mixed martial arts fighter Jaime Reyes at the Lakeside Cafe. When he walks past me, I don’t even notice. I am expecting someone beefy, tattooed, or, at the very least, goateed. Jaime is wearing a hoodie and shorts. Black socks peek out from under Adidas slip-on sandals. He is baby-faced and rail-thin and looks no older than 15.
By Siobhan Braun, Sept. 12, 2012 | Read full article
Dark times for high school ball
When the Hoover High School Cardinals take the field Friday, November 8, for their final home game of the 2013 regular season, it will be an afternoon game under the sun, not a traditional 7:30 game under the lights.
By Dorian Hargrove, Nov. 6, 2013 | Read full article
The football game is one thing, fandom is something else.
December 2, 2007: During his radio broadcast of the San Diego Chargers’ victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, announcer Hank Bauer gave a shout-out to Charger fan Alfred Silva, who was battling cancer. (Silva’s brother-in-law Jim Muse Jr. golfed with Bauer and had put in the request.)
By March of 2008, Silva had succumbed. But when he was laid to rest at Singing Hills, it was in a powder blue coffin trimmed with gold — Charger colors. His body was dressed in a jersey honoring his favorite player, Lance Alworth. (Not, however, the jersey that Alworth signed for Silva with his old Bambi nickname; that one still hangs, under glass, on the wall in the Silva home.) On his feet, his Charger shoes; on his head, his Charger hat.
By Matthew Lickona, Dec. 2, 2009 | Read full article