Before Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, the San Diego Chargers held a pregame tailgate for former players just outside the stadium.
Guests included players and their families as well as a few a few fans seeking autographs and pictures with their favorite Chargers of all-time. Also in attendance was Grammy Award nominee Brian McKnight.
“Any opportunity to do a couple of my favorite things: sing the National Anthem and take in my favorite game, it’s always a pleasure,” McKnight said.
Not only did the event allow players of all decades to interact, it also allowed the players to reminisce with former teammates about their days in a Charger uniform.
“It’s terrific to see the guys you played with, the guys who played before you admired, get caught up and see what they’re doing now,” said former offensive tackle Billy Shields, who played with the Chargers from 1975-83.
“I’m glad I was able to make it out and see all of my old friends,” said Leroy Jones, who played defensive end for the Chargers from 1976-83. “There are a lot of guys I haven’t seen since at least ’78. “Once you play with a guy, he’s like your brother. Sometimes we communicate, but we lose phone numbers and don’t associate like we should, but it’s just kind of nice to get together once a year and how everyone is doing and reminisce about the old times.”
Players also emphasized the honor of seeing Darren Bennett inducted into the Chargers Hall of Fame.
“I’m just so happy for Darren,” Don Macek, who spent his entire 14-year career (1976-89) with the Chargers and is in the Chargers Hall of Fame. “He’s very deserving and he’s one of the nicest guys to ever play for the Chargers. I wasn’t a teammate of his, but I’ve been around him for years and he’s just such a great individual. His performance on the field was astonishing, so he certainly deserves it.”