Chargers lose to Steelers on Monday Night Football

Scott Tozzi | Contributor

Qualcomm Stadium will remain empty if the Chargers leave. Photo Courtesy of Kevin Baird/Flickr

Qualcomm Stadium will remain empty if the Chargers leave. Photo Courtesy of Kevin Baird/Flickr

The San Diego Chargers were beaten by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 12 by a score of 24-20. The winning score came on the final play when Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell outstretched his arm to bring the football across the goal line. This is the first of two Monday night home games for the Chargers, the second and possibly final one will be on Nov. 9 against the Chicago Bears.

The atmosphere was loud and exciting and the return of tight end Antonio Gates provided more electricity for the Bolts. Gates, who had served a four game suspension, caught touchdowns number 100 and 101 of his career on Monday night. He also accumulated 92 yards. However, it wasn’t enough, and at the end of the game Chargers fans left Qualcomm Stadium both frustrated and abandoned knowing that they might not be watching their Chargers here after this year.

Fans of the Chargers had plenty to say about the possibility of a move to Los Angeles. San Diego resident Alexis Romero was overcome with emotion when asked about a Chargers’ potential migration. He had passionate tears shedding from his eyes as he left Qualcomm Stadium following the game.

“If they leave for Los Angeles I’m done with them,” Romero said. “I’ve been watching the Chargers for over 20 years and if I can’t watch them live in San Diego then they are not my team anymore.”

San Diego is one of three professional American football teams that are considering leaving their cities for Los Angeles. The Oakland Raiders and the St. Louis Rams are the other two that have been mentioned. The deadline for the Chargers to fight for a new stadium in San Diego passed in September and with no deal.

Chargers fans showed their frustration after the loss to Pittsburgh. Robert Grant, a 20-year-old college student at San Diego State and loyal Chargers fan, has struggled to come to terms with the state of his team.

“I have no words that would describe my animosity and abandonment if they move to L.A.,” Grant said. “Sure, San Diego is a melting pot for people from all over the United States, but there are loyal, dedicated fans that would bend over backwards for them.”

Even transfers to San Diego are adamant about the team staying in America’s Finest City. Nicole Sanders, a 35 year old from St. Paul, Minnesota, is part of that group of new San Diego residents hoping for a solution.

“I wish our mayor would step it up,” Sanders said. “I wasn’t born in San Diego but I like to be considered [a San Diegan]. I moved here in 2006 and my husband and I have been Chargers fans ever since. It’s a great city and without a professional football team it just wouldn’t be the same.”

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer met with Art Rooney II, Pittsburgh Steelers owner and the fourth member of a six-owner NFL special committee team. Faulconer has talked to other members of the committee in previous months and his goal was no different on Monday. The Mayor’s goal is to convince the committee that San Diego needs their Chargers to remain at home.

For now, the Chargers must remain focused on their upcoming games and not on a possible change of locations. Their next game will be a true test of their resolve, as they head to Green Bay to take on the undefeated Packers. The following week will feature a matchup of both AFC West rivals that are rumored to be flocking for Hollywood. In the first division game of their season, the Chargers will host the promising Oakland Raiders on Oct. 25. If all this speculation actually comes to fruition, it could be the last meeting in San Diego for the two longtime rivals.