As I walked around the parking lot of Qualcomm Stadium, (the largest parking lot of all 32 NFL teams) looking for Chargers' fans to interview, I was attracted to one particular section of the parking lot filled with die-hard Chargers' fans.
They called themselves, The Bolt Complex, in short The BX.
The Bolt Complex was started by a lifelong San Diego resident and avid Chargers fan, George Ricoy. Ricoy, was sick of seeing Qualcomm Stadium over run with fans from other teams, (who had either moved to San Diego or traveled to watch their team play) and outnumber the hometown crowd, especially when the Oakland Raiders come to town.
Thus the BX movement began.
Ricoy, who is a graphic designer by trade, used his talents to create a line of apparel, posters and stickers by Chargers' fans, for Chargers' fans. While taking in this massive tailgate party, (especially for a Thursday night preseason game) I began to converse with the man behind the Bolt Complex.
He is an enthusiastic Chargers fan watching, adoring and loving the Bolts through the good years of the "Air Coryell Era" to the bad years that followed.
The roller coaster ride that came with being a Chargers fan.
As I enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells of this awesome tailgate party, one thing in particular caught me eye.
A poster of San Diego Chargers' quarterback Philip Rivers wearing the blue and gold uniforms that former Chargers' players Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow, Charlie Joiner and Willie Buchanon (Fouts, Winslow and Joiner are in the Hall of Fame) wore during the "Air Coryell Era" from 1979 to 1983.
I asked Ricoy what that was all about, "I started a petition, that was a tribute to former Chargers' head coach Don Coryell."
"I wanted the Chargers to honor the one man who played a significant role the history of the franchise."
Don Coryell was head coach of the San Diego Chargers from 1978 to 1986 and led the Chargers to three straight AFC West division titles (1979, 1980 and 1981).
An innovator and early pioneer of the "West Coast offense," Coryell would be the first head coach to win more than 100 games at the collegiate and professional levels.
He spent 12 seasons as head coach at San Diego State University where he amassed an impressive 104-19-2 record, with three undefeated seasons (1966, 1968 and 1969) and three bowl game wins.
While at San Diego State, Joe Gibbs and John Madden, both assistant coaches under Coryell, would go on to coach at the professional level implementing the "West Coast offense" teachings of their mentor.
Both Gibbs and Madden won Super Bowl titles (Gibbs, Super Bowls XVII, XXII and XXVI and Madden, Super Bowl XI) and have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Gibbs in 1996 and Madden in 2006).
Ricoy, who started the petition in July 2011 is hoping to gather 20,000 signatures (along with the attention of the San Diego Chargers' organization) in the hopes of persuading the Chargers to wear the "Air Coryell" jerseys at one home game a season.
Any uniform change must be presented to and approved by the NFL. While the powder blue throwbacks are a fan favorite (the Chargers incorporated the color when redesigning their uniforms) and the Chargers use a new variation of the old uniform twice a season.
To bring back a uniform that defined a legendary coach and an era of football. This tribute and petition may end up doing something else in the process. Cementing the roots of the San Diego Chargers and showing the franchise what they mean to "America's Finest City."
You can follow me on Twitter @BR_JayBrown
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