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Sacco Sez: Goodbye to Jack Murphy Stadium


Many years ago, the king of journalism in San Diego was the Tribune's sports editor and columnist, Jack Murphy.

So fabled was Murphy and his push to build the stadium that the folks in San Diego eventually decided to rename their football stadium after him. What began as San Diego Stadium became San Diego-Jack Murphy Stadium in 1981 after Murphy's death.

Later, it was named Qualcomm Stadium. Money talks the best.

And now it is no more. The stadium is being torn down, bit by bit, as San Diego prepares for a new 35,000-seat stadium for San Diego State.

Of course, the Chargers are gone, back to their ancestral home in Los Angeles.

There are great memories of the old stadium for Broncos fans.

We won our first Super Bowl there, and lost one as well.

And during the years of divisional games in San Diego, thousands of Denver football fans enjoyed making a late fall or early winter trek to eat great food, go to Sea World and, of course, watch the Broncos play the Chargers.

I personally worked more games in that stadium than perhaps any other Bronco administrator — 38 games, including two Super Bowls, plus two more Super Bowls for the NFL.

The Chargers were great there.

Remember the cannon they used to fire when the Chargers scored?

Lots of Broncos wins, lots of memories.

It was the Sunday morning before a Chargers game when then-Broncos owner Edgar Kaiser first broached the subject with me, in a private meeting, of trading for John Elway five months later.

Pat Bowlen had dominant teams when we played there, winning the ultimate trophy in Super Bowl XXXII.

Great weather, lots of wind and great memories.

But times move on, and one of the great road destinations for Broncos fans soon will be no more.

Jack Murphy (Qualcomm) Stadium will soon rest in peace, but it will forever live in the memories of thousands of Broncos fans.

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