As of this moment, the San Diego Chargers are undefeated and maintain sole ownership of first place in the AFC West (sure, they've only played one game, but that's not the point). They are heavy favorites to whoop the Tennessee Titans today.
As of this moment, the San Diego Padres are 77-70, 1/2 game down in the NL West race, and 1.5 games up in the NL Wild Card race. They're playing the rival Dodgers today and tomorrow, and should whoop them (they smoked them 11-2 last night). If the Padres make the playoffs this season, it will mark the first time ever that the Pads made the playoffs in two consecutive seaons.
Both teams have produced national greats. The Chargers: Dan Fouts, Lance Alworth, Junior Seau, Leslie O'Neal, LaDainian Tomlinson. The Padres: Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, Ken Caminiti, Benito Santiago.
But still, damn near the entire country outside of Southern California still considers San Diego a second-tier sports team. Unfortunately, it's hard to disagree with them.
San Diego is, among other things, one of the most beautiful places in the United States, and is easily arguably the most beautiful big city in the country. A beach culture, the Western Hemisphere's best weather, a foreign country right next door, Hollywood to the northwest, Vegas to the northeast... what more could you want?
Well... dominant sports teams. And more of them.
San Diego is in danger of losing the Chargers to another city (likely Los Angeles, which would really piss me off). A few years ago, they were in danger of losing the Padres to Arizona (thank you for the Diamondbacks). A little known fact is that they've lost two NBA teams (the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets both used to call San Diego home). They've never had an NHL team, and despite being a soccer haven, they can't even attract an MLS team.
The storied San Diego Sockers of arena soccer? Now defunct. Hell, even the San Diego Rip Tide of arena football is now defunct. Is San Diego a damned sports town or not?
Well, that depends on if skateboarding and surfing are sports in your book (and they should be), because we've got plenty of those superstars.
Anyway, the point is that San Diegans should be PISSED about not being considered a sports town, and should do something about it. Long have the Padres and Chargers been victim of "fair weather" fans... the irony being that San Diego ALWAYS has fair weather. We need to step up and support our friars and our bolts. This is bullshit.
I'm not a huge basketball fan, but come on... San Diego is the 8th largest city in the country. The largest without a basketball team, the second largest without a hockey team, and in danger of being the largest without a football team (should the Chargers move to Los Angeles). What fucks San Diego's position as a sports giant is the damn media market it's in. Despite being number 8 in U.S. population, San Diego is ranked a measely 26th in terms of media size (right above Charlotte and right below Indianapolis - 20th and 12th in terms of population, respectively).
So, I'm ready to admit that I really don't know how to fix the problem... but we need to. San Diego is America's Finest City for a reason, and we need sports to stay that way.
* This is the first part of what will hopefully be a nine-part entry in the River of Mnemosyne challenge that's happening over at The ...
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