Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

San Diego could see its last charge

SAN DIEGO — Come Sunday, any Chargers fans who haven't been turned off by bad football or ownership's hardball attempt to bolt to a Los Angeles suburb will head to Qualcomm Stadium, perhaps for the final time.

Wearing replica jerseys with Rivers or Gates — or Seau — on the back, fans will see their Bolts face the Dolphins. If the Chargers find the end zone, the cannon in the southwest corner will fire. If rookie Josh Lambo kicks a field goal, the disco ditty San Diego Super Chargers will blare from the one thing that still works well at the aging Q, the sound system.

Then it could be all over after 55 seasons.

No one knows quite how to approach this game, one with no playoff implications. Some fans will be nostalgic. Some will be angry at team chairman Dean Spanos — who, in his race to Los Angeles, is competing against a bid by Rams owner Stan Kroenke, whose team might have played its last game in St. Louis on Thursday against the Bucs.

Fans were stunned in February when the Chargers announced a partnership with the archrival Raiders to build a stadium in Carso. The Chargers began life in L.A. in the AFL in 1960 before moving to San Diego the next year.

"It could be emotional. I mean, it really could be," 12-year veteran quarterback Philip Rivers said of Sunday. "Certainly not knowing, and not going to know right after the game, either."

Mayor Faulconer wants the Chargers to stay but insists voters have a say. He also wants a deal that protects taxpayers, and is offering far less public contribution than the Chargers and the NFL expect.

"I hope it's packed with a bunch of fans who want to cheer us on," said safety Eric Weddle, who will play his final home game because the Chargers won't extend his contract. "We're obviously not a very good team, but the fans still support the players, they support the team."

Colts: Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday with day with a rib injury.

Giants: The team reached back to its Super Bowl season of 2007 by signing defensive tackle Barry Cofield, who hasn't played this season after Washington released him.

Jets: The team has to send a sixth-round pick to the Texans to complete a deal for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, ESPN reported. A clause kicked in to upgrade what was originally a seventh-round pick because Fitzpatrick has played in 70 percent of New York's offensive snaps this season.

Fine: Contrary to earlier reports, the league fined linebacker Vontaze Burfict for a low hit Sunday on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, according to ESPN.

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