San Diego State Kicking Off 2017 Football Season At Qualcomm Stadium
The 2017 NFL season begins next week, the first one in 50 years that hasn't included a football team from San Diego. As they say, when one door opens another closes. The San Diego Aztecs are ready to open that door. Here is Rocky Long at a news conference.I see Mork people here at the press conference the normal, more cameras than normal. I don't necessarily think our team feels more than they normally do.The San Diego Aztecs have their season opener this Saturday against UC Davis, joining us to talk about the prospects is longtime San Diego sports writer, J Harris. He is the author of game of my life, memorable stories of charger football. Welcome back.Good to see.How many charger fans are going to switch allegiance, don't pro football and college ball have two different fan bases?A little bit, the San Diego banner that is on the Jersey, that is going to get some people over there also. There are a lot of fans here, there still a lot of hurt, I do not know if it will be easy to make that switch, what San Diego state has going for them, it is a very successful program.Ticket sales are up, coach long noticed that they are getting more attention to, it is not just because they left?They have back to back conference settle, they have been playing football around here a long time. They are almost as long -- there almost older than me, they've won 11 games four times, he puts it in perspective to how special this program is. The timing is good. San Diego State is putting a good brand of football, and selling a lot of tickets but a lot of that is at opener against UC Davis. lot of people come from the sky sure, that gets people in the house, what is important is that we get a good first impression. They have fun out there at Jack Murphy Stadium, they might come back.You are a contributing sportswriter, I am sure you are focusing a lot more on the Aztecs now that they arch gone. Are the Aztecs feeling extra pressure ?may be, pressure comes from outside sources, yes, they are -- the Chargers are not at the sable dish table anymore.Is the teams are coming off consecutive championships, can they do it again next year?Yes, unlike a protein, a college team changes quickly, DJ Pumphrey the all-time leading rusher, he left in his 6000 yards when with them when he graduated. Russia had Penny is going to pick up the pace, we are certain that they are favored to win the Mountain West, the key is what happens in week two and week three, they are going to play at Arizona State and they are going to Stanford to play at QUALCOMM. They have two Windows games.No pressure there [ laughter ]Pressure when you're 19 and get to go to college, what can you do.How big a role does the coach play?He is not looking to use this to go somewhere else, he wants to play football, he plays old self of all, that is one thing about San Diego State they throw the football around, you'll see a lot of passes, Rocky Long is an old-school leather helmet guy.There was a transfer for lacrosse, we just heard that San Diego is getting a professional lacrosse team. This is a big sport on the East Coast, is it -- is there a following here?It is possible with my teenage sons friends at all them, I missed it in my generation. It was not popular in the West Coast, it is in ascending sport. I don't know if they want 80,000 people, there are some interesting stories behind it as well. It sounds like you will --Is I like you want to bone up on the cross [ laughter ]You have that right.The lease expires after the 2018 season, is it an overstatement to suggest, considering the stadium situation that this is the most important season in school history?Absolutely not, this is critical for the life of the program, at some point, the powers that be have to determine where they are going to play and how they are going to pay for it and all that. At some point this bridge is going to have to be crossed, you get a good year, you get one excited, San Diego State is packed that stadium before, we are not talking about things that have been done before, is an important, yes, is it the most important, if it isn't it is on a short list, I can't think of any other seasons.Just so you know, all these Aztec press materials are referring to the queue as San Diego Stadium.I always like the Murph, but I'm a little biased, he was an old sportswriter.I have been speaking with Jay Paris, he is the author of game of my life, memorable stories of charger football and, Jay, thanks.Happy summertime.
At a news conference Tuesday, San Diego State Football Head Coach Rocky Long noticed something right away.
"I see more people here at the press conference than normal," Long said. "And more cameras at the press conference than normal."
The Chargers departure to Los Angeles leaves the Aztecs as San Diego's premier football option.
Coach Long might be getting more local coverage, but he said any extra attention will not affect his players.
"I don’t think they think one thing about the Chargers not being here, I don’t think they care," he said. "I don’t think they think about it.”
And perhaps they should not, the Aztecs have been picked to win their division this year.
“Our team relishes the idea that we’re considered good, our team relishes the idea that they’re supposed to be good,” said Long.
The Aztecs will host UC Davis in their season opener on Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium.