A Chargers equipment man was reportedly seen handing out little hand towels on the field with the illegal “sticky” substance inside, according to Fox Sports‘ Jay Glazer.
A line judge saw the towels and had them confiscated. They have since been sent to the league.
The NFL banned the use of adhesive or sticky substances used to improve grip, such as Stickum, in 1981. The rule was named after famed Raiders Cornerback Lester Hayes.
“We are aware of the inquiry and are cooperating fully with the League,” Chargers stated Sunday.
If the Chargers are found to have used the illegal substance, they could face a significant fine and lose a draft pick.
San Diego blew a 24-0 halftime lead against the Broncos and lost, 35-24.
“The whole game was pathetic anyway, so that just kind of adds a lower note to already sour game,” a Chargers fan said Sunday.
Disappointed fans vented their frustrations on social media sites and talk radio stations blasting the team’s poor MNF performance.
Chargers Director of Public Relations Bill Johnston came out swinging Friday by posting a message to the team’s website telling fans to “take a chill pill.” The message seemed to incite further anger.
“You need to take a reality pill and pull your head out. To attack people that have been lifelong fans of an organization because we are frustrated by the last five years of wasted, poorly coached talent is Ridiculous!” one fan responded to the post.
Phone lines at XX 1090 Sports Radio blew up with reaction to the article. Furious fans were given 45 seconds per phone call to let show host Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton know how they felt.
“Are you offended? Is it a correct thing to say? Do you agree or disagree?” said Hamilton.
“Basically, he said it doesn’t matter what type of play we are putting out on the field. You – the fans – should be out supporting it no matter what and that is putting money in my pocket,” said one caller said.
Johnston said the article was written as a fan and not as director of public relations for the Chargers. The message was to communicate to the fans for what is in store for the team from one fan to another.
“Unfortunately, I put my title under my name, which made it look like it was coming from the team and the P.R. director. I wrote that as a fan. I’ve been a fan of
the team since before I started working here,” Johnston said. “I feel good. I feel good about where we are and what we can do. I think it is all positive in front of us and that is the message I wanted to communicate.”
Johnston would write a follow up column that would go on to say,
“My last column sure sparked a firestorm of emotion among the Charger faith-full. Even though most of the comments were critical of what I wrote, I am proud of the reaction from our fans. Their passion and commitment makes them some of the best fans around.