The San Diego Chargers’ 30-14 win Sunday night over the Miami Dolphins may have marked the end of a era for San Diego football fans and players. as the Chargers organization continues to seek a new home in Los Angeles, and beloved player Eric Weddell has yet to secure an extension to his contract.
It was a sad night despite the Chargers win over the Dolphins. Weddell, likely to be moving as a free agent, said his farewells to fans, team and stadium for two hours post-game. The Bleacher Report website posted video of Weddell laying on his back taking in his last moments on the field as a San Diego Chargers player.
Chargers fans have been fighting the looming possibility of losing their team of some 50 years to the Los Angeles market. Heated meetings between fans and commissions from the NFL, the Chargers, and the city of San Diego have yet to sway the Chargers’ leadership from a play for L.A. territory.
Also fighting to claim a stake in Los Angeles are the two teams that left there in 1994–the now Oakland Raiders and the St. Louis Rams. The Rams spent 49 years in Los Angeles before leaving, while the Raiders spent a shorter stint in the region.
In October, NFL representatives visited the three cities with teams considering an L.A. move. They held town hall-style meetings where fans largely rallied to keep their current home teams. In an interesting development at the San Diego meeting, residents of L.A. came down to call for the return of the Rams — the team with the longest tenure in their town.
“This is tough,” Weddell said, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. The report described the safety as “fighting back tears” as he returned to fans, saying, “In my nine years here, they’ve been a part of me as well and helped me get to this point. This is my chance to say thanks.”
Fan Steve Kincaid told the Tribune after the Sunday game, “It’s great to have a guy like this on your team–ever.” He continued, “The fact that he’s not going to be here next year makes me very, very sad. I’ll be at Denver to watch the last game. You know why? Because I love that guy.”
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