Updated at 11:20 a.m. June 29, 2018
Dan Jauregui hasn’t attended a Chargers game since his unsettling run-in with Carson stadium security last September. But will Boltman — his alter ego — be back?
After suiting up as a crowd-pleading mascot for 22 years, the Ramona resident may auction the heavy, sweaty gear to someone in Los Angeles. Or he may “retire and archive Boltman in the Boltcave deep below the surface of the city of San Diego to never be seen again in public.”
Those were the choices the “No. 1 Chargers fan” posed on his Facebook page Tuesday.
On Thursday, Jauregui seemed headed to auctioning the get-up while putting his finger on the poll scale.
“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting the percentage to be where it’s at currently (about 50-50 on selling vs. retiring),” he said via email. (In a radio call-in, he thought 90 percent would favor retiring the character.)
He said the option of letting Los Angeles “continue the legacy” seemed to be picking up steam.
This poll could be a “determining factor” in his decision, he said.
“I strongly believe that when those who voted no learn that half of the proceeds from a potential eBay auction will go to a well-deserved charity, they will change their vote to yes,” he said.
(In 2010, Jauregui tried to auction his suits with a starting bid of $75,000, but got no takers. Jauregui says that was because it wasn’t clear whether intellectual property rights were included.)
In a 440-word post, Jauregui said: “I can’t just simply hand Boltman over to another fan – it’s not that easy. The issue is complicated by the liabilities, expenses and responsibilities of just anyone stepping into the role.”
He feared the new Boltman could lead to Jauregui being sued or “doing something inappropriate and ruining Boltman’s great legacy … a risk I’m not willing to take.”
But Jauregui says if Boltman goes on eBay, the winning bidder would have full intellectual property rights.
He says he holds copyrights and trademarks on Boltman, and the winning bidder would have no limitations on what he or she could do with the ever-grinning character.
“They [may choose] to use it for marketing advertising purposes or merchandising,” he said. “The choice is theirs. Or … they [could] choose to donate it to any organization including the Chargers.”
He wondered: “How cool would that be if [team owner] Dean Spanos purchased it, [and] puts Boltman back on the field with the historic Chargers cannon?”
“He could go from zero to hero with the swipe of his finger,” Jauregui said, especially if Boltman was put to charitable use.
What charities would Jauregui share proceeds with?
At first, he said he was considering (and asking input on) former Bolts Hall of Famer LaDainain Tomlinson’s Touching Lives Foundation.
“My other favorite for personal reasons is Rady Children’s Hospital — San Diego. I’m really struggling with both these charities more than I am putting the Boltman character up for sale on eBay. … San Diegans can help choose [between] the two options.”
On Friday, he said he had settled on just the children’s hospital.
On Wednesday, Jauregui called the “Scott and B.R.” talk show on the Mighty 1090.
He told of how the gig has become physically taxing.
Scott Kaplan was incredulous about selling a San Diego icon to an L.A. party: “Can you imagine the [McDonald’s mascot] Hamburgler going to work for Burger King?”
Jauregui was asked: What dollar figure would satisfy you?
He said he hasn’t decided, but noted that the last of five costumes cost him $17,000.
“My CPA told me: You’re going to take a beating on this,” Jauregui said.
Kaplan said he was “1,000 percent” against an L.A. Boltman, saying the suit “should be buried under the [rubble] of a broken-down Qualcomm Stadium.”
Jauregui responded via email to a series of questions:
TIMES OF SAN DIEGO: How many games in Carson did you attend as Boltman?
DAN JAUREGUI: I only attended one game. It was a horrible experience for Boltman, and I haven’t returned since. An apology phone call from the Chargers’ front office would have been a great start to maybe making a future appearance to help lead cheers with the fans. I don’t believe I’ll be getting that phone call anytime soon.
How do you judge the fan base in L.A. compared to San Diego? Is the San Diego fan base shrinking?
The fan base in Los Angeles is an amazing group of people. I had an opportunity to tailgate with some new fans, and they are very passionate and loyal just as our San Diego fans were. I say that because I’m not quite sure where San Diego fans are at this point with support of the Los Angeles Chargers.
The jury seems to still be out, but based on TV network ratings at 16 points, if I’m not mistaken, I believe it to be 60 percent not in favor and 40 percent in favor of continuing to follow the Bolts in LA, but I could be off without true data polls being completed by an accurate reliable source.
What kind of reception do the fans give you in Carson? Any changes since San Diego days?
The reception I received in Carson was great, as always. It almost felt like I was in San Diego even though I was in Los Angeles. The fight [with] L.A. does not mean a fight within the fan base. I have no ill will toward any fans in L.A. as there are fans around the globe who support the Chargers’ franchise. At the end of the day, we are all united as one, strong, united fan base.
Who are your favorite players? How do you regard the team’s chances this fall? How do you rate the Bolts draft?
This is another difficult question. I look at the players as one. A group of dedicated, hard-working, talented athletes to achieve one goal and that is to win the Super Bowl.
Naturally, [Phil] Rivers and [Antonio] Gates have a longer history with the franchise in San Diego, giving them an advantage that I believe most fans would agree with. But there are so many great choices with offensive, defensive and special teams players.
As for the team’s chances of success this season, we are strongly favored in the AFC West. I would have to agree. As for a playoff berth, it would all be determined by injuries which is an issue that has haunted this franchise for years.
If we can overcome injuries this season, we could definitely be competitive with any of the 31 remaining teams and be in a great position to play in the Super Bowl and win it all.
I would have to give [general manager] Tom Telesco an A-plus. The Chargers’ first round 17th overall pick of Derwin James will make a huge difference in our defense. The Chargers’ draft picks thereafter will all be great additions to an already solid team loaded with weapons on all sides of the ball for successful playoff season.
Anything else readers should know about the future of Boltman?
The reason for me personally to consider retirement is the age factor, though I don’t want to disclose my age. The role of playing Boltman on game day is very physical and can be very dangerous at times with heat ranging in the upper 90s to sometimes triple digits in August, September and October.
This is not a position anyone can just jump into. One would have to be in extreme physical shape, and age plays a big role in it.