The passing game was shut down considerably the last time the Chargers played at Qualcomm Stadium.

Just ask Jesse Unger.

The 27-year-old was throwing a football in the stadium parking lot before last month's Bolts-Colts game when police officers told him to stop.

"Coach's orders?" quipped a grinning Unger, thinking they were joking.

When he kept throwing, they gave him a ticket.

Turns out, you really can't throw a football in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot. In fact, it's the first rule listed on the city's Parking Lot Policies and Procedures web page.

Even so, one of the officers told Unger that, if it were him, he'd frame the ticket because of how ridiculous it was (the citation literally cites "playing ball" as the infraction). Unger didn't do that, though. He took it to court.

Now, we should mention that Unger never really had any ill feelings toward the policemen. They were affable throughout the ordeal, and he agreed that they were just doing their jobs.

But while they told him the ticket was for $60, Unger discovered online that it was $280. And though he did just earn his mechanical engineering Masters, he is presently unemployed.

So this past Tuesday, Unger walked into Clairemont Mesa Traffic Court determined to beat the fine. He didn’t have much of a defense – just that the rules weren’t posted in the lot. And given how the judge was short with all of the previous defendants, he grew increasingly pessimistic.

Then, he approached the podium.

“Hmmm, now this is an interesting case,” said the judge.

The actual law, per San Diego Municipal Code 59.0502, says that one cannot "intentionally throw, discharge, launch or spill any solid object (including footballs, baseballs, frisbees and other such devices) or liquid substance or otherwise cause subject or substance to be thrown, discharged, launched, spilled, or to become airborne.”

And according to Unger, the judge said that the law was in place for the sake of public safety – that footballs flying everywhere posed a danger to drivers navigating the lot.

Nonetheless, he told Unger that if he pleaded guilty, he would suspend the $75 fine.

“But the ticket is for $280 according to the court documents, Your Honor” Unger replied.

“Yes, but I think that is just ridiculous,” responded the judge.

“You and me both,” Unger muttered back.

Then came something even more ridiculous – Unger’s plea.

“I plead guilty to throwing the football, Your Honor.”

According to Unger, the judge then dismissed the ticket, wished Unger luck, and went off on a tangent about the Chargers’ running game. It was absurd enough to make you think that Bull was the bailiff.

But amusing as all this may be, there’s a bigger issue at hand here: Seriously, you can’t throw a football in the Qualcomm lot ?!

According to their websites, only three other NFL venues have this policy in place for tailgaters: LP Field in Tennessee, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and CenturyLink Field in Seattle, which happens to be Unger’s former residence.