5 Things You Didn’t Know About San Diego Football

What Do You Know About San Diego Football?

Football is the most popular sport in America, perhaps more popular than basketball and baseball combined, and American football is also huge throughout the world, with an estimated over 3.5 billion fans worldwide. California has been in the football game for many years on both a college and professional level, with many notable college and high school instances as well as the Chargers, Rams, and 49ers. 

Learn 5 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About San Diego Football

If you are a California resident in San Diego and like to focus on local sports, there may be some interesting facts you did not previously know about football in San Diego. For a pastime that has been in existence as a pro sport since 1892, football has a rich and diverse history no matter what geographical location in the U.S. is being discussed.

San Diego Has No Professional Football Team

While San Diego currently has no professional football team, the Chargers were a San Diego football team from 1961 to 2016. The Chargers played in four of the first five AFL national championship games and won once while they were located in San Diego, after the team was created in 1959 in Los Angeles. After many relocation offers, the team chose to move to Balboa Stadium in San Diego in 1961, with the following years seeing many improvements to the stadium itself for more and better fan accommodation. 

Of all of their players throughout history, Drew Brees may be the most notable quarterback for the San Diego Chargers, with successful 2004 and 2005 seasons. The team has also had many notable coaches and players during their run in San Diego, including Super Bowl visits, AFC championships, and many record-breaking seasons. However, after a final losing season in San Diego, the team returned to Los Angeles. 

San Diego Has Two Division 1 College Football Teams

Division one college teams mean bigger budgets, better facilities, and more scholarships. Players who are able to attend a division 1 school have more opportunities for scholarships based around their sport, and have guaranteed higher game attendance so they are playing to a bigger audience.

  • University of San Diego: San Diego’s Toreros are a Division 1-AA school, meaning that they are not considered a principal football school but do have a football program. The football program has been in place since 1956, and has an all-time playoff record of 2-5. The main rivalry for the University of San Diego is the Drake Bulldogs, with the all-time stats going 18-10-0 for San Diego.
  • San Diego State University: San Diego State University is home to the Aztecs, who ranked 24th in national polls in 2021. The athletic team was originally founded in 1921, and by 2016 had hit 21 conference championships. Post-season bowl game stats are at 9-9. Their biggest rivalry is against Fresno State, has been ongoing since 1923, and is known as the Battle for the Oil Can.

A Player Tackled His Own Teammate in the 1929 Rose Bowl 

San Diego football has a few interesting stories. Benny Lom was a halfback for the Berkeley Golden Bears from 1927-1929. During the Rose Bowl of 1929, the game was between Georgia Tech and Berkeley. Benny’s teammate, who famously earned the nickname “Wrong Way” for this stunt, got turned around on the field and began running the ball towards the opposing teams’ goal. Roy “Wrong Way” Reigals was overcome by his teammate Benny at the 1-yard line.

The San Diego State Professors Played Their First Game Over 100 Years Ago

San Diego State football has a rich history. Over 100 years ago, in September of 2021, San Diego State played its first football game. San Diego State was a teacher’s college, and though the college wanted to use the name ‘Wampus Rats’, instead the team was known as the Professors. The school colors were blue, white, and gold, not being changed to the now well-known red and black for another seven years. The game was a 6-0 win over the Army and Navy Academy JC.

San Diego Has Many Flag Football Leagues for Adults & Kids

Flag football is huge in San Diego, with professional and casual leagues for both adults and children. For adults, playing flag football instead of tackle football can have huge benefits. Grabbing for a flag instead of wrestling someone to the ground is definitely safer, and the amount of activity required for a flag football game is a great way to get exercise. Plus, learning and playing team sports as an adult can improve things such as cooperation, coordination, and even problem-solving skills.


XFlagfootball has both adult and children’s leagues from coast to coast. A variety of types and styles of teams makes sure that you will always have a league to play in where you feel comfortable. With a founder and CEO who has played over 30 seasons of flag football, XFlagfootball knows the sport.

Del Norte High School
  • Address: 16601 Mascot Ln., San Diego, CA 92128
  • Hours: Sun: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Mater Dei High School

  • Address: 1615 Mater Dei Dr., Chula Vista, CA 91913
  • Hours: Thurs: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Wangenheim Middle School
  • Address: 9230 Gold Coast Dr., San Diego, CA 92126
  • Hours: Weds: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Army Navy Academy
  • Address #1: 2605 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, CA 92008
  • Hours: Sun: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Ocean Beach Athletic Area Robb Field Navy Academy
  • Address: 2525 Bacon St., San Diego, CA 92107
  • Hours: Mon – Sun: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.

San Diego Parks and Recreation

San Diego Parks and Recreation is focused on youth flag football leagues in the fall. Through the city’s recreation connection website, you can search for activities available for registration by location, age, and other factors. A huge variety of available activities assures that you will find something to keep your children interested. With over 59 recreation centers in the San Diego area, the Parks and Recreation website is the place to go for specific locations and information. 

  • Main Address: 202 C St., San Diego, CA 92101
  • Phone: (619) 236-5555
  • Hours: Mon – Fri 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

National Youth Sports

National Youth Sports operates leagues in 7 different states with over 45,000 participants a year. Flag football leagues are co-ed and play and practice often, and include tournaments and trophies. Leagues are available in North San Diego, East San Diego, and the South Bay area.

  • Address: Varies By Location
  • Phone: (619) 717-8537
  • Hours: By appointment only

i9 Sports

i9 Sports labels itself as the largest multi-sport provider in the nation, focusing on high-quality and community-based sports leagues for children. The goal of i9 teams is not competition, but instead teamwork, inclusion, and growing healthy sportsmanship and even life skills in today’s youth. Programs and information vary by location, but it is easy to find a program in the San Diego area on their website.


San Diego football has a long, rich history of wins, losses, and career stories that will last for the ages. Whether you just watch, participate, or get in on that fantasy football draft party in San Diego, the possibilities for sports interaction in San Diego are rich and diverse. There are even a number of football celebrities who live in San Diego. So no matter your interest, it’s game on!

About the author: When not hiding behind a laptop, Cara Becker can be found asleep or exploring the wide world of interesting things, like how to bake the perfect cheesecake and where to find the best waterfalls. If you’re interested in exploring a food you’ve never tried or learning a word you don’t know, please share your wisdom with her on her LinkedIn profile.