That really loud thud that you heard Saturday night was not a rain-drenched Southern California falling into the Pacific. Despite four days of off-and-on showers, we're still here, still getting out on the highways of adventure and eating our fish tacos. Rocks may be sliding down cliffs and normally dry creek beds may have become rivers that have been keeping the lifeguards on standby, but Southern California hasn't gone anywhere, yet.
That thud you heard was something different. It was the sound of thousands of disappointed San Diego Chargers fans jumping off of a bandwagon that they've been riding since mid-October. Thousands of them who hadn't watched football since the mid-nineties--the last time their Chargers were in the playoffs--fell so hard that they may not remember spending over a hundred dollars for upper-deck seats and that they sat in the rain and watched as the field goal by the guy whose name they couldn't tell you without looking it up sailed right of target giving the other team--another New York team to bust the bubble of San Diego sports fans--the ball back. When the kick by the other team split the uprights, the thud echoed through the city. Then there was an eerie silence, the only sound was the rain and the slurred, indeciperable words of John Madden. TVs were turned off, replica jersies removed and put in the wash, tears fell into beers.
So it's over Chargers fans. A good ride, but you knew it had to end sooner or later. Or did you? This team played over its head all year, got lucky more times than not, and Saturday night, the luck went wide right. Even for a non-Chargers fan, like myself, it was enjoyable following this team, watching a city that expected at best four or five wins galvanize around a team that ended up winning twelve games and home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. It was easy to cheer them on and hope that they might go the distance. But the realists knew that the end was nearing. Maybe it just came one week early.
Take it from an Atlanta Braves fan, after a few weeks you'll be able to enjoy life again.