PEERING INTO THE BLANK AND SUNLESS SKY, WONDERING WHAT IT COULD POSSIBLY MEAN, EMBARCADERO — On December 30, San Diego’s waterfront was once again host to the biggest balloon parade in the country (recently rechristened as the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade, to better to assist with local branding efforts). The exciting event gave over 100,000 spectators a chance to stand on a street curb and look at and listen to olde-timey things like marching bands, floats, and floating balloons — including an enormous football sponsored by and bearing the logo of the Chargers, San Diego’s longtime football team. The “footballoon,” as it was known, made for a grand sight: a nod to the tradition of football in San Diego, and the unbreakable tethers of love and loyalty that keep it here.
SD on the QT has learned that plans were made to shower the footballoon with taxpayer cash as it passed the County Administration building, as a sign of the financial commitment that local government has shown toward the franchise through its stadium proposal. (Static cling, otherwise known as Charger Power, would make sure the bills stuck.) Unfortunately, just before the footballoon was in position, all eight tethers mysteriously snapped, and the enormous football took to the air like a Philip Rivers desperation Hail Mary. Carried by a strong south wind, it rose into the clouds and disappeared. A great cry went up from the spectators, who then turned their attention back to whatever else was going on in front of them.