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The Legend of the Lightning Bolt

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    By Curtis Egan
    <em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>

    <a href="http://boxoffice.printtixusa.com/ultrastar/advance?i=8470&amp;v=2819&amp;t=&amp;kk5=x5HtEr87YfWM6Fd3228&amp;2kk19=khUi9GfsPlFwiUMb422B5K0s7S7wQ" target="_blank"></a>

    <div class="alignright"><a href="http://image.examiner.com/images/blog/wysiwyg/image/Optimized_chargers50th(5).png"><img title="Chargrs 50th Anniversary" src="http://image.examiner.com/images/blog/wysiwyg/image/Optimized_chargers50th(5).png" alt="Chargrs 50th Anniversary" width="205" height="205" /></a></div>

    The complete History of the San Diego Chargers

    Take a moment and ask yourself a question, a question for a football fan. That question is, how exactly do you measure the greatness of your favorite tem? What is the measuring stick you use? Is it how many Lombardi Trophies your team has hoisted after the last game of the season? Is it how many players from your team have busts that sit in the NFL Hall of Fame? Is it how many players from your team have commercials, or the number of players from your team are called the greatest to play the position? Or is it a mixture of all of these things?

    Regardless of how you measure greatness, no matter what measuring stick is used to judge the level of success that your favorite team has had, they have all gone thought the highs and lows. Rough patches and good times, no team is above this simple law of reality. Any and all franchises in their history will have moments of greatness, shining moments that get their fans on their feet cheering.

    The Chargers have had their share of highs and lows like any other franchise. Some great highs and some gut wrenching lows. The Chargers as an organization turn 50 this year, from their days as an upstart team in the American Football League, to their place now as perennial contenders, the Chargers have 50 years of highs and lows that resemble a rollercoaster at Magic Mountain.

    The Chargers are the 5th oldest sporting franchise in California, in those 50 years they have only called two cities home, Los Angeles for one year, and San Diego. From the days playing before nearly empty stadiums in Los Angeles, to winning the AFL Championship while calling Balboa stadium home, the Chargers have built a storied history full of excitement and at times frustration.

    With the assistance of NFL films the Chargers have, compiled this history into a movie, ‘<em>The Legend of the Lightning Bolt; The Complete History of the San Diego Chargers</em>'. I was invited to go to a screening of this movie, and while I would never consider myself the most knowledgeable or best informed of Chargers fans, I will say that the amount of information that I learned from this film was impressive. There was so much more to the Chargers than I knew before.

    The film started with the conception of the Chargers and the AFL, showing black and white footage of the team as they played before empty stadiums in LA, and went through the history in about 85 minutes. Not once did I want to get up or take my eyes off of the screen. There were times when my heart was racing with excitement, and a few times (such as when the film showed the ‘<em>Holy Roller</em>' the greatest botched call in the history of the league) that I found myself growling out loud. This film is a rollercoaster of emotions and a treasure trove of information, history and insight into the team.

    The thing that I liked about the film was that it is not just a highlight reel of the best of Chargers times; it shows the downs as well as the ups. It made me recall the jubilation I felt as a fan watching Ryan Leaf win his first two games a Chargers. It also made me remember the train wreck of reality and emotion as we all found out that character was not one of Leaf's strong points, to put it lightly.

    It made a great comparison I thought. It showed John Butler being announced as the Chargers General Manager, and how he traded down from the number one spot in the draft, letting Michael Vick go to the Falcons in order to take LaDainian Tomlinson. I remembered how I was frustrated that we left Vick get away, no I was sure we GAVE Vick away. Now how many of us are glad I was not the General Manager? I know I am- I digress, because the comparison it made was to show that after Butler's passing, AJ Smith came in and made his big trade. We all know about how he fleeced the Giants to get Philip Rivers and picks that would turn into players like Shawne Merriman. I had never thought of the two in that light.

    I also think it is important that any fan of the Chargers watch this movie, it is important to know where your team has been, not just where it is going. Often these days fans will say a season is a failure without winning the SuperBowl. That is indeed a common measurement fans place on teams. But regardless of the measurement, every team has had event in the past that are great. Take for instance Kellen Winslow's game against Miami. That season the Chargers did not win the SuperBowl, but that game will always be talked about when you talk about the best games ever played. The film contains dozens of interviews, sideline sound, player and coaches wires and vintage radio accounts, vividly detailing the entire history of the franchise.

    The film showed me more about Chargers great coaches like Sid Gilman and Don Coryell than I knew before. It showed interviews with players like Ron Mix, Paul Lowe, Dan Fouts, Lance Alworth, Junior Seau, Stan Humphries and Han Bauer. These were interviews that I had never seen before.

    Hank Bauer, former Charger Running Back, who is known for his NFL Record 52 Special Teams tackles in 1981; as well as for rushing for 3 touchdowns on 4 carries and only one net yard, was on hand and I asked him what his thoughts of the movie were.

    "<em>It is a perfect celebration of 50 years of Chargers football. I mean anybody who has ever gone to a Charger game, or claims to be a Charger fan you will watch this, you will love this, you will learn a ton. I have seen it twice now and each time I have learned (something new). It is hard to take it all in, in one viewing. But it is pretty amazing.</em>"

    Now if you are in the San Diego area, mark September 9th on your calendar. On the 9th of September, the Chargers will be showing the movies at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center. They will be showing ‘<em>The Legend of the Lightning Bolt; The Complete History of the San Diego Chargers</em>' in al the theaters. Chargers Alumni will be on hand, and there will be a red carpet event. The showings will be at 7:00 and 9:30 PM.

    The DVD version is planned for release on 15th, but if you can see it on the big screen, I would highly recommend it!

    The Chargers throughout the year will be celebrating in various ways their 50th anniversary, up to the time that they hold a block party in the Gas Lamp District around Thanksgiving.

    <a href="http://www.bolttalk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=19106" target="_blank"><em>Discuss this article.</em></a>

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