My first interaction with the Brisket Broads happened after week 2 of the LA Chargers’ 2022-23 season. Starting QB Justin Herbert had suffered a scary rib injury, and the Brisket Broads, formally known as Heather Lubeck and Mary Miller, took it upon themselves to shine a light on this dark time. Taking to Instagram, the two posted a question sticker on their story, asking fellow Charger fans to write “get well” messages that would be featured in a card to Justin.
How the two managed to get this card to the Chargers is beyond me. But that’s kind of the magic of the Brisket Broads.
Heather and Mary dubbed themselves as the “Brisket Broads,” thanks to none other than Justin Herbert.
“First we made a brainstorm page where we wrote down all the potential terms for ‘female,’” says Heather. “‘Herbert’s Hags’ was one of the frontrunners and my mom was particularly fond of ‘ChargHERS,’ but we weren’t sure if that would be distinguishable enough. We ultimately settled on ‘Brisket Broads’ because we felt like ‘broads’ summed us up better than ‘chicks’ or ‘ladies.’ And we liked the idea of referencing something that fellow obsessed fans would know about…the ‘victory brisket.’”
They may have become fans of the Bolts only recently in 2020, but the Brisket Broads have only gone all in for the team since then. Just last season, they attended almost every game, both home and away, only missing two games due to conflicting schedules.
And this dynamic duo doesn’t just attend every game, they SLAY every game. Decked out in homemade blue and yellow outfits, brandishing their tastefully done posters, they are the true embodiment of what it means to “bolt up.” You certainly won’t miss them in a crowd.
“We donned these outfits for our first in-person Chargers game as well, and we kind of…stood out,” Heather laughs. “I had also made a few posters that caught the attention of the Jumbotron operators. It was very fun and silly!”
Despite their untamed enthusiasm for the Chargers, Heather and Mary use their platform to elevate others. Memorizing the roster was no longer a means of simply being knowledgeable about the players. It was a way to interact and cheer for the people who weren’t in the limelight. Not just the players either, the social media team, the photographers, the reporters…the list is endless! And this love is made tangible in the form of an alphabetized sketchbook featuring pencil drawings of the people that play and work for the Chargers.
“We figured it must get kind of tedious going down a line and signing an endless array of footballs and jerseys,” says Heather. “What if we did something different that made them stop and say, ‘Hey, that’s fun!’”
I recently had the privilege of attending Days 1 and 2 of training camp with Heather and Mary, where I was able to witness this care firsthand. In the midst of the blaring music and the rowdy energy of autograph-hungry fans, the Brisket Broads were addressing players by their first names and conducting fun, impromptu interviews while they got their iconic sketchbook signed. That wasn’t all either. The Frosted Min i Wheats that the broads had brought for breakfast ended up being one of the items they got autographed. The looks on each player’s face when they saw their sketches (and the Mini Wheats box) truly captured an appreciation that extended beyond the field. They were being seen and valued as individuals, not just athletes.
“One of the things we love so much about football is that it really is a team sport,” says Heather. “There are a lot of positions that don’t get much love. People give all the praise to quarterbacks and wide receivers when it was probably some O-lineman who made a body-sacrificing block that really made the play possible. We wanted to do something that would let each member of the team know that they are important and appreciated by us fans.”