Chargers? Not sure that name still rings a bell.
OK, the San Diego Chargers? Got it.
It’s that ungrateful bunch that delivered a stiff-arm and a one-finger salute to a region after nearly six decades of the team’s fans passionately supporting an inferior product, and honestly, it did sting.
The manner in which they bolted from town for the city with brown air and Dodger Blue left a mark.
And that sensation lasted about a week.
With the Chargers thumbing their nose at America’s Finest City, Mission Valley is being eyed for a new sports complex, one that includes futbol instead of football. You can always get your kicks on Route 66, but by 2020, they’ll likely be available just off Interstate 8 and Interstate 15 as well.
A chunk of asphalt is also being set aside just in case the NFL wants to hang its shingle in these parts again. But really, is that a conglomerate anyone wants to do business with?
Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice is what likely happens if joining hands with the NFL again.
The quickness in which developers swooped in was revealing. It showed that the 166 acres is an amazing blank canvas for a fan-friendly stadium, San Diego State dorms and a plush park along the San Diego River.
It also served as an example of what can be accomplished when an entrepreneur offers his hand to write the check to fund his vision, instead of showing an open palm seeking taxpayers’ funds.
So we got that going for us and that’s right up the North County pipeline.
Cruise our area any Saturday and the fields are filled with soccer games. We’ve heard the argument that soccer is the world’s most popular sport, and the fastest growing one in America.
If all that is true, why not hitch our wagon to a future, which includes it?
But it’s not just what’s happening in Mission Valley, an area that was once home to dairy farms. The sour taste the Chargers left in everyone’s mouth is easy to rinse away with North County events and athletes.
The Farmers Insurance Open just laid claim to Torrey Pines Golf Course and maybe that’s what chased the wet weather away. If TV viewers aren’t jealous of where we live, then their reception must rival the video boards at Qualcomm Stadium.
And the field was filled with locals: Phil Mickelson and Charley Hoffman (Rancho Santa Fe), Pat Perez and Michael Kim (Torrey Pines High) and J.J. Spain and Xander Schauffele (San Diego State).
Plus Encinitas’ Dennis Paulson, a former pro, is commentating on the PGA Tour’s Sirius XM Radio network.
Then there’s TaylorMade, which Tiger Woods has taken a liking to. He’s bag now includes its woods and irons and that’s a nice plum for the Carlsbad-based company.
At the high school level on the boys basketball front, it’s clear where the best ball is being played. Our locale is showing its prowess with three teams — Torrey Pines (No. 3), Mission Hills (No. 4) and Vista (No. 6) — appearing in the San Diego County top 10.
Don’t forget, as well, CoCo Vandeweghe (Rancho Santa Fe) advancing deep into the Australian Open.
Nothing tops the Chargers being in town? Maybe.
But among coach John Wooden’s more enlightening quotes is one that applies to the fans the Chargers left behind: “Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.”
Follow Jay Paris on Twitter @jparis_sports. Read his book “Game of My Life Chargers” which is available at local bookstores and at amazon.com.
Sportswriter Jay Paris has written his “Sports Talk” column since joining the Coast News in 2013.
Paris, a Cardiff resident, is a longtime Southern California writer, getting his start with the Orange County Register before coming to San Diego in 1992 to cover the Chargers.
He had the Chargers beat for more than two decades with Oceanside Blade-Citizen, the North County Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, before being named a sports columnist with the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Paris has won numerous awards voted on by his peers in the Pro Football Writers of America. He has also been a staple on countless media platforms, everything from the KPBS to MLB Network and various radio outlets.
Paris is also the author of three books, with his latest one being, “Shohei Ohtani: The Amazing Story Of Baseball’s Two-Way Japanese Superstar.” He has also written “Game Of My Life Chargers” and “Game Of My Life Rams.”
He currently covers the NFL in Los Angeles for Forbes. com and is a contributor to USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow Jay on Twitter @jparis_sports