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A Homecoming to Remember for the Chargers
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The San Diego Chargers abide by the 24 hour rule, so at this time tomorrow all focus will be on the Denver Broncos.
But Sunday night it was all about celebrating the Wild Card victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, and when the team returned home, there was well over 500 rowdy fans cheering them on as they stepped off the bus.
It was a sight the players said they will long remember.
“It’s always good to have this type of support and love,” said Antonio Gates. “I can’t say enough about what this team means to me and how far we’ve come. We have a lot of things we still have to get done, but it’s phenomenal to see these fans supporting us.”
In addition to high-fiving and mingling with the fans, the players and coaches took out their phones to take photos and videos, taking to social media sites to show their appreciation for the strong turnout. Their overall reaction can best be summed up in the five words uttered by Eddie Royal.
“Wow,” he said. “This is something special.”
Some fans, such as 30-year old David, lined up as early as 3:30pm to get a prime spot when the team came off the bus. There was never any question in his mind after the game ended that he needed to be there when his Bolts came home.
“There was no doubt,” he said. “I’m here every time we are in the playoffs. I am die-hard every day. I love my Bolts. It’s Chargers pride. San Diego pride. Bolt up every day. That’s what this is about!”
A first timer at one of these gatherings was 34-year old Eddie, who wasn’t sure he was going to show up until his friends made sure he came. It didn’t take long for him to figure out he made the right decision.
“This is awesome,” he said. “It’s surreal seeing everyone come off the bus. I’m happy to be here to support the team. I love San Diego and I love these fans. This has been nice.”
Mitzi is a bit younger at 19-years old, and she was one of the lucky fans who got to shake hands with Head Coach Mike McCoy, who made his way down the line to greet those in attendance.
“I got to shake his hand and I got to thank him for turning the team around!” she said. “To be here with all these fans, it’s amazing. I’ve been waiting for this feeling for a long time.”
McCoy has said all season that the fan support has been terrific, and this was certainly another example of that connection and bond between the Chargers and San Diego.
“This is amazing,” he said. “This is what it’s all about. It’s great for the fans and the whole entire organization. It’s a great environment. This is awesome.”