Chargers all Charged up?
Each year the start of the NFL preseason games symbolize the wiping away of the past season, and starting anew. San Diego fans will be disappointed if the new Charger season brings anything less than the Super Bowl trophy this year. Tomlinson and Merriman are back this season healthy and ready to go, and the Chargers seem to be recharged and heading in the right direction.
Proving his skill and leadership in the past seasons, Philip Rivers signed a six year contract extension worth $93 million dollars on Monday. Moves like this are increasing the notion that the Chargers are becoming a team that has no stop in sight.
Although these are all steps in the right direction, it means nothing if the Chargers don’t come home with the Super Bowl title. Teetering on the edge of the Super Bowl in the recent seasons, San Diego fans taste the blood, and want that title. If that Super Bowl trophy isn’t riding the lightning wave, everyone will be disappointed.
The Chargers also have to deal with the fact that their current core group of players won’t last much longer after this season. Shawne Merriman, Marcus Mcneill, Vincent Jackson, and Chris Chambers all have contracts that expire after the 2009 season. The probability that the Chargers can extend all of their large contracts after this season is slim. LaDanian Tomlinson hit the big 30 this year, which is the year that most running backs start to lose their juice.
Players falling out, stars getting older and attendance at games are all looming threats for the Chargers. Attendance this year has dropped dramatically, and the Chargers have yet to sell out any of their home games. Although this is unusual for a team of this caliber, it is no doubt a result of the current economic downturn.
In order to squelch the loss of ticket sales, the Chargers will undoubtedly offer package deals and lower ticket prices.
Perhaps another possible boost to ticket sales is the recently announced 50th Anniversary Charger’s Block Party. This party will take place on Friday Nov. 27th, in downtown San Diego from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., in celebration of 50 years of Charger history. The party will introduce the top 50 players in Chargers legacy, as voted by fans online, and is sure to produce a number of celebrities. Fans will hopefully get riled up from the celebration, ultimately leading to an increase in ticket sales.
The Chargers face tough expectations mixed in with many urgent questions this year. Are they getting too old? Do they still have the drive? The close calls in the previous years have made the players as well as the fans desperate. Let’s hope that hunger for the championship translates into a winning season.