Bitter fans counting on Chargers to stick it to Eli

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#GoIrish #Aztecs #SDGulls #Raiders #THFC #RipCity
Staff member
Jun 20, 2005
Chula Vista, CA
By Jay Posner

Terry Rice is a self-described “old man.” He attended the Chargers’ first game at Balboa Stadium in 1961 – “I wasn’t a kid even then” – and has been a fan ever since.

He’s seen some good, plenty of bad and even some ugly from his favorite NFL team.

But he’s never seen anything as frightening as the possibility that Eli Manning and the New York Giants might come into Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday night and beat the Chargers.

“If Eli tears it up, I would say that would be the lowest point ever for this fan,” Rice said yesterday via e-mail.


“I’m not an anti-Giants fan like I’m an anti-Raiders fan,” Rice said. “It’s not about the Giants; it’s all about the slap in the face from Eli Manning.”

Judging from the response of other fans, including those on Internet message boards – where Manning is known as “ShEli,” among other (unprintable) names – Rice is not alone. On one thread on, titled “For God’s Sake . . . Beat the Giants,” a fan known as BlueandGold wrote that Sunday’s game “is the most important game of the season; hell, the most important game of the millennium so far for the Chargers. There are so many factors that come into play that losing this game is NOT an option.

“We LOSE (this game), we will be the laughingstock of 2005. The Mannings and their little sister will laugh in our face. Even if we come back and make the playoffs, I could never live it down that a little punk like that beat us in our own HOUSE.”

Then, the self-proclaimed Raiders hater went where few true Chargers fans ever go:

“I’d trade a win against the Raiders for a win against the Giants. There, I said it.”

Other Web forums, including one on SignOn San Diego, have traded ideas about whether it was more important to win or to see Manning removed from the game on a stretcher. (The majority seemed to believe wishing injury on anyone, even Manning, was going too far.)

There was a “noticeable increase” in traffic on Tuesday, according to Joel Price, the team’s manager of Internet services. Price said 30 percent more users logged onto the Web site’s fan forums than the same day a week ago.

Joseph McGlinchey, a Chargers fan from Los Alamitos, said via e-mail that he believed the animosity level toward Manning “is just as great as it was a year and a half ago. . . . This is the day that Eli faces the music just as John Elway had to face the Colts in Baltimore in 1983.”

And yet, there are a few signs that point in the opposite direction, one being that as of last night, about 1,300 tickets remained for the game. Also, the phone lines at all-sports XPRS-AM (The Mighty 1090) haven’t been jammed with anti-Manning calls.

“It’s not the most important thing to (Chargers fans) this week because it’s more about the (winless) Chargers,” said Darren Smith, one of 1090’s hosts. “If the Chargers were 2-0, they’d be singing a different tune, but the majority of Charger fans have 99 percent of their attention focused on the way the team’s played.”

There’s no question, though, that the atmosphere will be hostile Sunday. McGlinchey said he expected it to “approach a Raider level of hatred. . . . Sunday night will be a cathartic experience for Chargers fans.”

Said Rice, the longtime fan: “Sometimes it’s just really difficult to stick by your team when they keep having one bad year after another, but I really think getting beat by a kid that totally disrespected us like that would be the bottom of the pit.”