#14 of 31: Qualcomm Stadium
San Diego, California

December 30, 2012


Patches of dark clouds mixed with a bright morning sun greeted us as we pulled into Qualcomm Stadium’s parking lot to tailgate with the San Diego Chargers’ fans. But wait, where are the Charger fans?

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

On this day, the Chargers were playing the Oakland Raiders. The parking lot was a sea of black - just like our visit to the Oakland Raiders a few weeks ago. What a turnout of Raider fans! Why? Oh, right, the Oakland Raiders were the Lost Angeles Raiders from 1982 thru 1994. Those fans and their progeny live on as the Inland Empire1. In fact, so large is the Raider Fan base in Southern California that historically, dressed in black, they have “Blacked Out” the San Diego fans on game day every year.

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California




Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CaliforniaAnd so, at least in Southern California - two nations, The Inland Empire of the Raider Nation and Charger Fans are partying, singing and getting engaged to one another side by side. All kinds of music... country, rap, salsa and good ole rock and roll filled the air as we wandered from mixed group to mixed group. Definitely the friendliest, most diverse collection of fans we have partied with so far.

Play-off hopes for the 2012 season were gone by mid-October when the Chargers began to go into free-fall. They finished the year at 7-9-0. However, the fans were optimistic... News that coach, Norv Turner, and GM, AJ Smith, would be fired at the end of the season buoyed the friendly folks in Qualcomm Stadium’s parking lots. They were up for the last game of the year. (Monday morning the coach and the GM were indeed fired.)




Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CaliforniaGood food was everywhere. It was kind of a Foodie Paradise. Deep-fat friers were turning out huge fried shrimp, whole turkeys, golden chicken parts and tender fish filets. 

Neither Cindy (CindEEE) nor her Hot Salsa will ever be forgotten. Very Tasty!

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CaliforniaMark, at the Beautiful Bolt Pride Fan Van was cooking up some Easy Pulled Pork Barbecue. He graciously shared his simple formula. Like so many recipes we pick up at the stadiums, it was long on flavor and short on precise measurements... that’s probably why it was so good. Definitely an “eyeball it” ingredient and measurement list. I broke down and tried some... very succulent. Just hand me a spoon and let me have at it.

...and there were fresh shucked grilled oysters dipped in melted butter on the grill. Great food - great and generous people. Thank you all.




Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CaliforniaWe did watch a new and nauseating but funny drinking game. Contestants drank beer from a hollowed out baseball bat while the seconds it took to finish were counted off. When the beer was completely downed, the player than spun rapidly in a circle bent over the bat, which appeared to be attached to his forehead for as many seconds as it had taken him or her to finish the beer... Finally, in order to win,  the player then had to toss a wiffle-type ball up and hit it with the empty bat. There were some very green faces as the players ended their turns.

As game time approached, the dark clouds gathered and heavy rain began in earnest. Along with the blowing rain, hail began to come down and batter the partying fans as they rushed for cover. We, of course, headed to our camper, poured a hot toddy and watched the HAIL pile up in our windows.

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

Final: San Diego 24 , Oakland 21

1 The Inland Empire Black Hole Chapter is officially recognized by the Black Hole in Oakland as Southern California's first Official Black Hole Chapter.

I really enjoyed this since I think I told you I lived in San Diego for 23 years. I'm a big "Boltz" fan. Thanks Peg..Stay in touch. (By the way...they fired Pioli today with the Chiefs.) :)


Another fab story.  You must have really hurried to get to southern CA.

By the way, Peggy, it was so good to connect with you again at Christmastime.

Much love,

When it was New Years day, We were thinking of you two. We had our black eyed peas like we do every year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.


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