Valentine’s Day can go one of two ways for people. Some people love a day where they can pamper a significant other or try to take a relationship to the next level. But some people just down right hate it. It’s the same way in the sports world. You can either love a player or hate him. With Valentine’s Day upon us, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at some of the most beloved and some of the most hated Chargers of all time.
Most Beloved (in no particular order)
LaDanian Tomlinson – He leads basically every category in rushing for the Chargers. He led the league in rushing three times, scored 138 career touchdowns and ran for nearly 12,500 yards with the Chargers. Fans love him not just in San Diego, but all over.
Dan Fouts – Fouts was another great leader for the Chargers. He led the league in passing yardage four times, racking up 43,040 yards for his career. He also has the most passing touchdowns in Chargers history with 254. It’s hard to think of a bad thing to say about Dan Fouts.
Junior Seau – The late great Junior Seau will never be forgotten in the city of San Diego or in the entire country. Seau had 948 career tackles with the Chargers in his 12-year career. He also racked up 15 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles, and 46.5 sacks. Outside of football, Seau was known as being a leader in the community and worked with many youth programs.
Antonio Gates – What’s not to like about the stud tight end? He’s produced year in and year out and has grown to be a fan favorite. He’s played every season of his career with the Bolts, racking up 8,321 yards and 83 touchdowns in his 10-year career. He’s been a favorite target of anyone who steps under center and has always represented the Bolts with great honor.
Lance Alworth – Alworth was one of the greatest receivers of all time. He piled up 9.584 yards and 81 touchdowns in his short 8-year career with the Chargers.
Most Hated (in no particular order)
Ryan Leaf - Leaf was undoubtedly one of the biggest busts in NFL history and that always falls back on the Chargers. Chargers fans absolutely hated this guy and still do to this day. Leaf went 4-17 in just two seasons with the Chargers.
Eli Manning – We all know the story. Manning whined and cried about not wanting to play for the Chargers and eventually was shipped to the New York Giants. Now he has two Super Bowl rings and Philip Rivers is the most winningest QB to never see the Super Bowl. You can put it all together.
David Boston – The Chargers wasted a big chunk of change on him just for one season. Despite catching 70 passes and 7 touchdowns, Chargers fans never grew to like him.
Shawne Merriman – Fans have a love/hate relationship with Merriman. Everyone loved him when he was turning the lights out on quarterbacks around the league. Then he was busted for steroids and the fans quickly turned on him. He was one of the most dominate pass rushers San Diego has seen. He racked up 43.5 sacks during his time in San Diego.
Who would you put on your most beloved and most hated lists?
You can follow Matt on Twitter @Welch1048