The six stages of being a Chargers fan: Where do you stand/fall?

It is no secret that the NFL franchise formerly known as the San Diego Chargers has taken their talent to Los Angeles. Well, really they moved to Carson, but let’s not quibble over a few miles? The fact remains that they are now known as the Los Angeles Chargers. This move has forced all San Diego Chargers fans to make a decision: are they still fans and, if so, to what level?

After months of reading and listening to many fans discuss the Bolts’ move, I have discovered that there are six stages of Chargers’ fandom. Most, if not all, fall firmly into one of these stages. For those who are still undecided, hopefully their decision will become apparent to them as games are played.

Time will tell.

Here is a breakdown of all six stages.

*Remember, this is only describing how San Diego fans feel, not Los Angeles fans, or those abroad.*



Stage One: “Bolts 4 Life”: This is a fan who has great passion for the Chargers and refuses to let where they play dictate if they love their team. This fan has the ability to love the team, despite the city. Perhaps they are disappointed by the move, but they will not let the business of football affect their passion for the players. They have fat too much history and investment in the team to walk away now.

Stage Two: “Survivor”: Here is a fan who is really bothered by the move, but realizes that they cannot do anything about it. They do not have any passion for another NFL team, so  they will stick with the Chargers. Although they have always been fired up about the Bolts, they find themselves a little less excited this season. They will follow the team and hope that they win, but they will not plan their life around watching games or keeping up on team news. Just a little bit of their heart was torn out by Dean Spanos, never to be replaced.

Stage Three: “Short-term fan”: There are still a couple of players on the team who are huge names in San Diego. Yes, I am referring to Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates. Many Chargers fans have stated that they will remain fans until both of those players have retired. That will most likely happen within the next three years. At that time, the short-term fan says they will say “adios” to their team and move on to someone, or something else. Personally, I would think that they will start to care about other players during that time and they will stick around. Again, time will tell.

Stage Four: “Jury is out”: This fan is in waiting. They are waiting for games to start. Once games begin, they will take note of how they feel after a win or a loss, how excited they are that a game is coming up, or just how similar, or dissimilar, they feel compared to previous years. It is possible that this fan may think they are in another stage, but the start of game play will either help them embrace the team, or force them to sever ties. Winning early in the season will help the Chargers hold on to many of these fans.

Stage Five: “Dead to me”: Just cannot get over it. This fan would just assume the Chargers franchise had dropped off the face of the earth. They would rather watch a curling match between Denmark and Croatia on Sunday than a Chargers game. In short, they were more of a fan of the city than the team. The divorce is final and there will be no reconciliation.

Stage Six: “Hater”: This is my least favorite fan of the bunch. The hater now lives to bash the Bolts. Every chance they get, they rag on the team, its history, Los Angeles, and most importantly, Dean Spanos. It is obvious that this fan still cares, but they are so hurt that they aren’t happy unless they have spent at least a small part of each day berating a Chargers fan, or made some negative social media rant ripping the team. Some haters are so hurt that they are becoming Raiders fans, despite a long history of hating the silver and black. To me, this makes no sense, as the Raiders have shown less fan loyalty than any other team in the league.

There you have it! The six stages of being a Chargers fan. Take a moment to leave a comment below and tell me where you are.

Thanks for reading. Go Chargers! (I’m stage one, if you couldn’t tell)


Will McCafferty


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