While moving trucks roar, L.A.’s team takes final snap at Chargers Park
So this is how the empire ends – not with a roar, but with a shuffle.
The sounds of shuffling cleats crossing the white chalked line, a short concrete walkway, and through the big blue doors of the soon-to-be Los Angeles Chargers locker room.
If they didn’t get a last sniff of the grass or last run up the hill, there’s no turning back now.
"It’s not a sad day…I think thankful," quarterback Philip Rivers said.
Whether you’re mad, sad or glad, facts are facts. The Los Angeles Chargers took their last snap on the field Thursday. They will have all but vacated their Murphy Canyon property by July 1. It’s up to you to decide what you’ll do next. The players don’t have a choice to look back. They do have the choice to honor the past while walking toward the future.
"I don’t think of it as the last day," safety Darrell Stuckey said. "This team has roots deeper than anything in this city. We’re not removing our roots. We’re not uprooting anything. The history and the legacy that’s been here in San Diego will stay in San Diego."
"My children have a lot of memories of this place," Rivers said. "They were asking they could come back here one last time. We were riding bikes around the track out here.
"It’s not just my memories here professionally, as a teammate in this organization, but my children will have memories coming up here."
It didn’t take long after the last press conference to see the signs. Boxes laying in random corners. The echoes of stretched tape and clanging metal poles. Empty conference rooms and frames on the floors.
You can ransack buildings. You can’t ransack memories.
In the case of Antonio Gates, you can do both.
"I’ve been sitting in the same seat for so long," the future Hall of Fame tight end said. "Once we get these tools in the next couple of days, I’m thinking about unscrewing this little seat and just taking it with me, signing it, and saying ‘This is my seat I had for 14 years…from the day I stepped foot in San Diego."