Nick Canepa writes his sports column for the Union Tribune. Disgusted and disgruntled with, and disrespectful of the San Diego Chargers he rightly calls Judases, he wrote some of his memories. Being a Chargers fan since 974, this writer can understand Canepa’s bittersweet remembrances.
Here are a few.
Canepa first went to the old Balboa Stadium with his dad. How could he forget that? he asked. Our family remembers seeing Old Balboa Stadium just east of downtown. In 1982 he covered his first Chargers training camp as a member of the late “lamented Evening Tribune.” Who doesn’t miss that paper?
He said famed coach Don Coryell would be so deep in concentration on game day he wouldn’t recognize him, though he had covered the Chargers for two years. Once in Seattle on game day Canepa boarded the outdoor glass elevator for a trip to the dining room for breakfast. A few floors down Coryell got on. He didn’t notice Canepa, the only other person aboard. All the way down the two of them descended. At the bottom Coryell got off, not having seen Canepa. “I cracked up,” the Greek wrote.
He also remembered Dan Fouts. What Chargers fan doesn’t? After one practice he met Canepa and took him for a ride. To talk. To get acquainted. The great Quarterback, the Rookie writer.
No doubt who ran the Chargers when Fouts came on the field. He also had a game face. Once, in San Francisco, after Fouts and Montana dueled each other all game long, each throwing over 400 yards, the Chargers won. Fouts sat at his locker. A reporter approached. Stuck his microphone out and asked a question. Fouts replied with a profanity that underscored his demand to get the microphone out of his face. He then realized it was his dad, longtime announcer for the Niners. U-T, 6/19/17
There were more memories in the column, but you see how it went. Memories...football, football players and football teams, years and years—56 in all—painful, joyful, disappointing—more of that than anything for Chargers fans. Septembers won’t be the same in San Diego. Memories don’t play within those yard markers.
Have any memories that still delight you? Humble you? Challenge you? Swell tears or bring a chuckle? Memories: what’s gone and won’t return; they last but can’t be made into more. Thank God Christians have memories. And thank God, we have greater golden joys coming than the good memories now embraced.