September 27th was the day 150 members of the Lightning Ladies had been waiting for. It was the first Lightning Lady event. Many say that behind every man stands a stronger woman, and that’s exactly what makes the Lightning Ladies a special asset to the Chargers. As members of an official Chargers fan club, many of the women happily made their appearance on the field Tuesday Night.
Before the season began, there was an opportunity for the first 150 fans that signed up to be placed on a list for a special event that took place on the Chargers field. When signing up for the club, one would see there is a fee for joining. However, it was a minimal cost for what the members received on the field and off, not the least of which was that part of the membership fee was used to go towards the UC San Diego Health System to help provide educational programs and awareness for vascular heart disease.
A welcome packet was sent directly to the members’ homes, which included a membership card, a tote bag, a woman’s tee, a hat, flip flops, and a tumbler. Members also get 15% off when purchasing Chargers merchandise.
Many tables were set up on the field and placed in an area occupied by many of the Chargers lady fans. A lot of chatter was replaced by quiet but immense smiles when safety Steve Gregory joined the group. It was soon after the appetizers were served that Scott Mruczkowski came along side Gregory.
Women began to get their pictures taken with and various items signed by the athletes, right before the two humble men took to the stage in what would be one of the most intense interviews they might ever have had the pleasure of taking part in. For the first time ever, Lady fans were able to be seen, heard, and responded to first hand by players. It took no time for the ladies to lay into the players, without a feminine approach.
When asked about the differences between Chargers’ last coach Marty Schottenheimer and current coach Norv Turner, it looked as though the question took them by surprise.
“I started my first two years with Marty. He’s very intimidating but he was a great coach.” Mruczkowski then said, “Norv appreciates that we play for him and he’s a great motivator.”
“Marty was a great coach, leader, motivator – same with Norv.” Gregory went on to say, “He wants to win just like us.”
Although many people have a misconception of football players, the men justified their aspirations.
“People think of football players as stupid. Fans can be very critical. Everyone wants to be the best; we want to bring a championship to San Diego.” Soon after Mruczkowski finished that remark, the women could not help but let out a cheer that sent echoes throughout the stadium. It soon became the realization that not only do Chargers fans want a championship win, but so do the players.
After the players left the stage, it was time for the Chargers wives to make their mark with the new Chargers fan apparel that kept the ladies in mind. This season they showed off numerous new shirts, thermal wear, and other appealing attire. Before the ladies had a chance to go shop for Chargers gear, they raffled off a Philip Rivers signed football and a mini helmet signed by Vincent Jackson.
The night was dedicated to UC San Diego Health and the Chargers for teaming up to create such a generous group. Not only did it show the dedication and love that female fans have for their home team, it also helped Gregory and Mruczkowski realize how large the Chargers’ female fan base actually is. Lightning Ladies are not only a fan club, but a unification of ladies who believe in one team, and one goal.