Posts Tagged ‘San Diego Chargers’

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Antonio Gates wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity to see LaDainian Tomlinson officially become football royalty.

After several days of uncertainty about whether Gates would be at his former teammate’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony Saturday – uncertainty that started after a report suggested the Chargers wouldn’t let Gates and Philip Rivers miss training camp to attend – the veteran tight end ultimately got the green light.

But that’s not to say he was really seeking permission. As Gates told Marty Caswell of Mighty 1090 before the ceremony got underway, he was prepared to make the trip to Canton, Ohio even if the Chargers fined him for a brief training-camp absence.

“Absolutely,” Gates said. “I would’ve paid the fine twice to be here.”

Rivers didn’t join Gates for Saturday night’s induction ceremony, but the quarterback did pass along a congratulatory video message recorded from the end zone where Tomlinson broke the single-season touchdown record in 2006.

The star trio combined to lead a stellar offense in that season and each of the three that followed, posting top-five scoring finishes and capturing AFC West titles in four straight years.

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LaDainian Tomlinson pleaded for racial unity and harmony during his Hall of Fame speech, a common theme of the evening amid a turbulent political climate.

The former Chargers running back recounted a story of his great-great-great grandfather coming to the United States on a slave ship from West Africa, and called for harmony in these polarizing times.

“The family legacy that began in such a cruel way has given birth to generations of successful, caring Tomlinsons,” he said Saturday. “I firmly believe that God chose me to help bring two races together under one last name: Tomlinson. I’m of mixed race, and I represent America. My story is America’s story. All our ancestors, unless we’re American Indian, came from another country, another culture. Football is a microcosm of America. All races, religions, and creeds living, playing, competing side by side.”

Tomlinson continued, invoking the message of change championed by former President Barack Obama.

“On America’s team, let’s not choose to be against one another. Let’s choose to be for one another. My great-great-great grandfather had no choice. We have one. I pray we dedicate ourselves to be the best team we can be, working and living together, representing the highest ideals of mankind, leading the way for all nations to follow. One of the most eloquent orators of our time said it best in his farewell address. Paraphrasing and humbly building upon what President Obama said, ‘We all have to try harder, show up, dive in and stay at it.’ I am asking you to believe in your ability to bring about change, to hold fast to the faith and the idea whispered by slaves: ‘Yes, we can.'”

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LaDainian Tomlinson paid his respects to his former coach, Marty Schottenheimer, during Saturday’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Tomlinson, arguably the greatest player in Chargers history, lauded Schottenheimer as the greatest coach he had during his decorated career.

“I spent nine years with the San Diego Chargers. Head coach Marty Schottenheimer was the best coach I ever had, and we won five division titles,” Tomlinson said. “Marty, would you and your wife, Pat, please stand to be acknowledged?”

The crowd then broke out into a “MARTY!” chant to honor the 73-year-old. Schottenheimer, who is battling Alzheimer’s, was visibly moved by Tomlinson’s shout-out.

It should be noted that three of the division titles Tomlinson referenced were won under the guidance of head coach Norv Turner.

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The Chargers officially relocated to Los Angeles, but Philip Rivers is relishing one last opportunity to play under the San Diego banner.

Rivers was named to the Pro Bowl, and considers himself as a member of the San Diego Chargers, until the 2017 season commences.

“We walked off the field after that Kansas City game and we thought it might be the end, but we didn’t know,” Rivers said of the team’s relocation to Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune. “This will be the last game I play as a San Diego Charger.”

Rivers has been the face of the franchise since being acquired during the 2004 NFL Draft, and has been named to six Pro Bowls over the course of his career.

“I made this team as a San Diego Charger,” Rivers said. “That’s cool.”

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Roger Goodell may have backed the move publicly, but what else was he supposed to do?

As the dust settles on the Chargers‘ official announcement of a move from San Diego to Los Angeles, it appears as though the NFL is actually quite irked about the development.

The league has been “beside itself” since Chargers owner Dean Spanos officially announced his club’s relocation last week, and “there are a ton of owners very upset” with the move, a pair of sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

League officials would never admit to such feelings on the matter, as it’s undoubtedly now in the best interest of all to ensure that both the Rams and Chargers can both succeed in the nation’s second-largest media market.

As unlikely as it may be, Schefter explains in his Championship Round notebook that there are even some prominent executives still holding out hope the Chargers end up in San Diego long-term.

But some NFL owners and some league officials are still hoping that, now that the move has been made official, Chargers chairman Dean Spanos will wake up one morning soon, recognize this situation has been “bungled so bad” and take his team back to San Diego, where it spent the past 56 years. Again, the chances are at best remote that this happens.

But there are owners and league officials still praying that the longest of long shots comes in and the Chargers bolt back to San Diego.

Whether Spanos would truly ever consider calling off the move remains to be seen, but perhaps nothing can be ruled out, given the back-and-forth nature of the several relocation sagas that continue to dominate league headlines.

The Chargers are scheduled to play the next few seasons at the 30,000-seat StubHub Center, home of the LA Galaxy, before joining the Rams in the $2.6-billion stadium in Inglewood.

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LA QUINTA, Calif. – If more people in San Diego shared his passion for the Chargers, Phil Mickelson figures the NFL team wouldn’t have bolted for Los Angeles.

”I just wish that all the people in San Diego loved them the way I do and fought a little harder to keep them, but I understand it,” the golf star said Thursday after the first round of the CareerBuilding Challenge.

Mickelson grew up in San Diego and lives in the area.

”What’s disappointing to me is that the city of San Diego didn’t appreciate the value that they had,” Mickelson said. ”And it was obvious in their votes. So, I’m sad, but I don’t blame them. I understand the way that the economics in the NFL works and the ticket sharing of 60/40 percent and how the suite money is where you make your money. I get it. And the suites at Qualcomm are the worst I’ve ever seen out of all the stadiums I’ve been to. So I totally understand where the Chargers are at

”When the vote came in … it was disappointing. Because it, if it were me, on the other end, I would feel very unwanted. It’s no fun being at a place you’re not wanted.”

Lefty shot a 4-under 68 at La Quinta Country Club in his return from two sports hernia surgeries. He will be back in San Diego next week for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

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Rumors that Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is trying to force a trade away from the team are false, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Acee spoke to Rivers and confirmed that the veteran passer has no issue with moving to play in Los Angeles. Acee also pointed out that Rivers has a no-trade clause in his contract.

The rumor of Rivers’ unhappiness with the move originated from a tweet by a Bay Area journalist who claimed he heard the San Francisco 49ers were interested in trading for Rivers.

The 49ers don’t even have a head coach or general manager, so trading for a quarterback would be awfully hard to pull off.