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Young fans are among the nearly 18,000 who turned out at Qualcomm Stadium for the San Diego Chargers' Fan Fest in 2015. File photo/Bill Reilly
Young fans are among the nearly 18,000 who turned out at Qualcomm Stadium for the San Diego Chargers' Fan Fest in 2015. File photo/Bill Reilly
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Thoughts of a sports fan

My start in sports was when my father subscribed to four daily newspapers covering four cities.

As a kid, I couldn’t start my day until I read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as it found its way delivered to my snow-covered porch. I immediately went to one section: the Sports page.

In the early 1960s and behind radio and television, newspapers were today’s Google, imprinting players, teams, batting averages, pitching records and those endless stats in our minds.

Today, newspapers are not what they used to be, but they will always remain the conduit between sports and fans. Some of the most gifted writers reported on our favorite teams and games.

We could never imagine the changes in how we receive our sports information.

Now it’s social media, websites, cable television, and many platforms that can give you instant access to anything your heart desires.

Like you, perhaps, I have always been a sports fan. The fans make sports happen. I’ve seen what a true fan will do for their team. And when they win, all fans feel emotionally connected to their team.

Living here in San Diego for over five decades, I’ve watched two professional teams relocate to L.A.

As a transplant, I have always been a hardcore Steelers fan. But I watched as many San Diego fans had their hearts broken twice — once after the Clippers left in the early ’80s and again when the Chargers headed north in 2018.

Pittsburgh fans would have burned the city down if the Steelers ownership abandoned its fanbase the way Dean Spanos abruptly pulled roots and left town. That’s comparable to the Steelers picking up and moving to Baltimore. And San Diego will never be the same.

The Chargers had loyal fans for more than 60 years — rain or shine — and despite years of horrible seasons, the fans always supported their team. But injustice, disrespect and a lack of appreciation were the fans’ rewards. Now, the city’s favorite son has left home and found success in enemy territory (Los Angeles). 

I like good sports fans. Some rotten eggs ruin the games, matches and events, but most are loyalists who cheer for their teams. For me, that’s what makes sports great. The fans are heavily invested (no pun intended).

Also:

Jim Rome is back on The Mightier 1090 from 12 to 3 p.m. daily. Back where he started!
Kaplan & Crew w/Alex Padilla & John Browner: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Keyshawn, J Will and Max:  3 a.m. to 7 a.m. (ESPN)
Mike Greenberg: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.   (ESPN)
Rich Eisen: 9 a.m. to noon
Let’s Talk Hook-Up: The Iconic Fishing Show with Pete Gray and “Rock Cod Rick”
7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

• My pick for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes: Mo Donegal

Don’t miss Opening Day at Del Mar on Friday, July 22!

San Diegans love their Padres — win or lose! I love the FAN BASE! Let’s win a World Series!

Join us for Race and Sports Radio at 9 a.m. on Saturdays at 1090 AM The Mightier.

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