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Any Given Sunday
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   Who could have said this?

   "What makes the Chargers likely to win a Super Bowl?

   They can see Mexico from their house. When Calderón rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America, where do they go? It's San Diego. It's just right over the border. It is from San Diego that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Mexico, because they are right there, they are right next to our state.

   And that makes the Chargers qualified to win a Super Bowl and me qualified to be Vice President of the United States."


   Brawn Over Brains - Philip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson, and      Toughness In Pro Sports
By Christopher E. Smith, February 15, 2008

   Picture this scenario: two secretaries get hired by a well-known law firm, and work there for several years. One (let's call him Phil) is somewhat of an underachiever, and is notorious for his surly attitude. The other (let's call him LT) represents the firm with class and dignity, and is the most efficient worker they've ever had. One day, they both come down with injuries while typing. Phil has a torn ligament in his wrist, while LT is in the early stages of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. They both need time off, but the firm's biggest client goes on trial in one week. Phil decides to fight through his tremendous pain, because the person who would take over his work (William E. Volek) isn't trusted by anybody in the firm. LT takes the necessary time off, comforted by the fact that his replacement is infinitely better than Phil's, and can help the company get through its busy time. After the trial, everyone hails Phil's courage, even though the damage in his wrist is so severe that he might not be able to work when they next need him. LT is condemned for his choice, even though he decreased his risk of suffering a long-term injury by getting adequate rest. Despite the fact that LT is an all-time great secretary, and had only called in sick once before in his career, he will forever be remembered for failing to come through in that one week, and his years of hard work become tainted in the process.

   Seems kind of rough, no? How many of us would do what LT did, and make sure to avoid long-term injury in order to continue earning a good living for their family? This situation came to fruition this past Sunday in the AFC Championship Game, when San Diego's future Hall-of-Fame running back, LaDainian Tomlinson, carried the ball only twice against New England due to a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee. Their inconsistent quarterback, Philip Rivers, played the whole game with a completely torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, and actually had preliminary surgery six days before in a last ditch effort to play. It's possible that he won't be back in time for their next training camp, as recovery time for this injury can last up to eight months. As expected, Rivers has been universally hailed for his courage, while Tomlinson has been lambasted by fans and media members alike. The obvious question that emerges is this: why do we expect so much from pro athletes? In no other area of life would we debate this dilemma. If you have an injury, and it's going to affect your production, you take time off to heal. Case closed. However, if you play pro sports, and especially pro football, it isn't enough to just be good at your job. You also have to have a level of toughness that's acceptable to not only your teammates, but to the millions of people on their couches who watch and criticize what you do.

   We as fans always expect a superhuman effort from our athletes. We demand it, since they charge us so much for tickets, and especially since the athletes get paid such ludicrous amounts of money. So this past Sunday, everyone wanted to see the Chargers play the Patriots with their full complement of starters. We wanted LaDainian to tough it out, since his presence would have made the game better. The problem is that there are plenty of instances when athletes did risk it all, and never were the same again. We always seem to forget that Bill Walton felt such pressure to play through injury that he went against his personal beliefs in the '78 playoffs and took pain killers in order to deal with his foot problems. We also seem to forget that over the next five years, he missed 3 full seasons, and played in only 14 and 33 games in the other two. We also forget that NFL players are more prone to depression, arthritis, and an assortment of other mental and physical problems when their careers are over, because they take risks similar to the one Rivers took. So while I respect Rivers' toughness, I can't use his decision as a reason to fault Tomlinson. Because there is no right or wrong way to deal with this dilemma. If Rivers felt like the risk was worth it, and LaDainian didn't, then who are we to tell them otherwise? Only one thing is certain - next year, if LaDainian continues to break records, while Rivers struggles to make it back from his injury, people will finally acknowledge the complexity of this issue, which isn't as clear-cut as it's currently being presented.


Had to get this off my chest ....

Ever heard the words "Grab Grab Grab everybody's just grabbing out there" Lombardi's words echo through NFL Films. I remember seeing Parcells, Ditka, Cower, Holmgren and Gruden's tirades on the sidelines. Shula, Johnson, Madden, Gibbs and Stram only seemed  more subdued but they were still as fiery. What they all have in common is that they all won superbowls. Many Superbowls.  The Chargers have never had a coach who won a superbowl. Coryell would have gotten us there if not for a cross country trip to 58 degrees below zero in 1981. Don't forget that followed a cross country trip to a 98 degree 5 quarter game in Miami the week before. And Bobby Ross, fiery sort. Yes he did put the Bolts in our only Superbowl.   Marty, excitable guy, best record in Bolt history.

The point is a team subconsciously or consciously reflects the personality of it's coach. Norv is a nice mellow guy. Nice guys finish last. This team has a noticeable lack of spark and it starts at the top.  I look at my season ticket and it appropriately reads "Ready to Strike". Hi-octane with no fire leaves you sitting dead at the starting line "ready to strike" every time. Ironically Norv is the only Charger head coach with a Superbowl Ring. Yes he is one heck of an offensive coordinator. If only he was still in that position under a fiery captain. What if Cowers, Ditka, Parcells or even Marty were here with Norv as his right hand man? But is there a chance in hell of that happening?  Pride comes before a fall as the Good Book says and I am afraid the pride of A.J. Smith will soon have us watch the sinking of the Titanic with the wrong guy at the wheel.

Jack Valentine, season seat holder since 1962

Webmaster note:  Permission to post this article has been obtained from  Special thanks.

The Logo

December 7, 2004

NEW YORK--Fresh off a 31-7 drubbing at the hands of the lowly Washington Redskins, Giants quarterback Eli Manning has demanded a trade to the San Diego Chargers. The demand was issued through his agent, Tom Condon, who said that Manning would rather play for a contender than a team in disarray like the Giants. Condon expressed confidence that a deal could be worked out.

“Eli has told me time and time again that he wants to win in this league,” Condon told reporters during a conference call. “In order to win an organization must have talent, good coaching, and an effective front office. We feel that the San Diego Chargers have the foundation to be a winning team for years to come. They’re a model organization. The Giants are, to put it kindly, a franchise in transition. This is not a good place for a young quarterback. We’re looking for someplace more stable, like San Diego.”

Condon did not say what his client would do if the Giants did not comply with his trade demand. He simply expressed hope that GM Ernie Accorsi would honor Eli’s strong desire to be part of a successful and “sturdy” franchise.

“When you think of sturdy, rock-solid organizations, the Chargers would be at the top of that list,” said Condon. “They have a running back in LaDanian Tomlinson that’s one of the best in the game. They’ve got a superb tight end in Antonio Gates, an underrated defensive unit, and a proven winner in coach Schottenheimer. The Giants just aren’t the right team for Eli. Nothing against the organization or the city, but my client deserves better. He’s way too good for New York.”

Though Eli has not commented publicly about the matter, his father, Archie Manning, has spoken to the media in an effort to clear the air. He said that the decision to ask for a trade was made after a lengthy discussion with Condon and the entire Manning family.

“There are a lot of factors involved here. This wasn’t about just one thing,” Manning told ESPN’s Dan Patrick. “The Giants situation has been unsettled for quite some time now. We’re just looking to put Eli into a situation where he can have a chance to succeed. I think that’s all any player can ask for. I certainly don’t want to put the Giants in a bad light here. We appreciate all they’ve done for Eli. But you only get one chance to have a professional football career, and my son wants his to be in San Diego. Did you know they have the best weather in America?”

Manning acknowledged that his son would be criticized for his decision to ask for a trade but said the decision was final.

“We’re just not going to accept playing for the New York Giants,” said Manning. “It’s as simple as that. I’m sorry about having to ask for this trade. I talked to Ernie [Accorsi] and told him that I hate this. I really hate this. I think it makes my family look bad and it makes the league look bad. But I’ve spoken to a lot of people in the league about this and the consensus is that it’s the right decision. And people in the league are never wrong about anything.”

The Giants started the year off with a 4-1 record but have lost four in a row, and their chances of making the postseason have dwindled. Kurt Warner was throwing the ball well but could not avoid the pressure caused by aggressive defenses and a patchwork offensive line. Tom Coughlin is a controversial coach that the players may turn against if the team bottoms out.

By contrast, the San Diego Chargers are one of the most exciting teams in the league. Quarterback Drew Brees, left for dead on the team’s bench last season, is having a career year but is also a free agent at the end of the season. Condon’s plan is to have Manning replace Brees, taking snaps from behind the Bolts’stalwart offensive line.

“Clearly the Chargers are a brilliant franchise on the cutting edge of the NFL,” said Condon. “A talent like Eli Manning deserves a team that is solid from top to bottom and has an unwavering commitment to excellence. Also, Eli enjoys the west coast lifestyle. He’s one of those laid back, easy going California dudes. He really dislikes all that media attention in New York.”

Some critics have pointed out the fact that Manning spurned the Chargers during the 2004 draft and demanded to be sent to the Giants. The irony of the situation is not lost on Archie, who tried to explain the family’s sudden change of heart.

“I know what people are saying about my family. They’re talking about how we had our chance to go to San Diego last year but refused,” he said. “That’s not fair, really. The Giants looked like the better club to us and to everybody we talked to. Even Phillip Rivers didn’t want to play for the Chargers. Lucky for him, he got his wish.

Special thanks to the great website    Copyright 2004, The Brushback - Do not reprint without permission

Eli is a Pussy

Webmaster note:  Permission to post this article has been obtained.  "If you would like to post my rant on 'Raider Nation' and why it has been over-hyped, be my guest. For the record, I am neither a Raider Hater or a Raider Lover.  I am simply someone who offers observations on the sporting scene - particularly when things have been taken to excess."

2/4/03 - I have really gotten tired of "Raider Nation" and all the unwarranted homage that it is paid by seemingly responsible folks in the media. The team and the team ownership and the city fathers in Oakland and the fans in Oakland have become far more than merely tedious. This is probably not an expression of an East Coast bias because I suspect that lots of other people on the West Coast got tired of all of these entities a while ago but it took time for the stink to percolate over here to the DC area.

Where to start? The team is a mess. The reactions of several players to the Barret Robbins situation go way beyond "insensitive" and approach "monstrous". If this is how the words "teammate" and "camaraderie" and "commitment to excellence" manifest themselves in "Raider behavior", then I would not want to see Frank Middleton and/or Mo Collins act out "anti-social boorishness". Even after it has become privacy-invadingly-clear that Barret Robbins is a man in need of medical help (and not in any small measure!) these two comrades-in-arms have yet to say that their previous remarks were wrong-headed, hastily concocted, hurtful and in desperate need of retraction. Additionally, some words along the lines of "Sorry 'bout that…" would be something that socialized bipeds might consider. Since you haven't heard them yet, you make the call…

    [To be fair, defensive tackle Sam Adams did say yesterday that he was sorry that Robbins was sick and that he wished Robbins well and that he would welcome Robbins back on the Raiders' team.]

After the Raiders' "roll-over-in-a-fetal-position performance" in the Super Bowl, you might think that some of the team would be glad to learn that the city wanted to stage a rally in honor of the team. They had a very good season but the most polite thing you could say about their performance in the Super Bowl was that they stunk out the joint and made it smell like a skunk's butt. Nonetheless, the city wanted to throw a rally to honor them. Granted, it was not going to be as huge a throng as it might have been had they won the game or actually made it a competitive struggle, but it was a rally in honor of the team. Who showed up? No players did; no coaches did; none of the front office did; none of the owners did. The Oakland Raiders as a team and as an organization and as human beings stiffed their fans.

Why would that surprise anyone? Remember that the Raiders got about 11,500 tickets to the Super Bowl and only made about 2,000 of them available to their season ticket holders. That not only stiffs the fans of Oakland; that stiffs the people who pay good money to come out and see the Raiders. The tickets in Oakland are far from the cheapest in the league and there is a long-term purchase commitment that goes along with the honor of getting season tickets. These people dig deeply into their pockets for this team, and the team turns around and stiffs the fans that are part of that great and wonderful institution revered as "Raider Nation".

For too long a time, "Raider Nation" has been the US version of English soccer hooliganism. Passion in supporting a team is one thing; "Raider Nation" is far closer to thuggery. And don't be conned by the media's suggestion that these fans are unswerving in their support for and dedication to the Raiders. The Super Bowl was supposed to be a "Raider Home Game". If you taped the game, go back and play the tape but instead of watching the plays, listen for "Raider Nation" once they were down by 14 points. Instead of exhorting the team, that pack of poseurs and front-runners shut their noiseholes just like every other set of fans. Like the Raiders' team, this group is living on reputation.

The reputation that the Raiders are living on is at least 20 years old. Since returning to Oakland from LA (was that in 1995?), they have not had stellar teams. In fact, some of them have been pretty bad teams. So maybe you feel sorry for the fans that are paying premium money to see a mediocre product while some poorly dressed superannuated guy with a mullet and sunglasses on a chain swears that "commitment to excellence" is driving the decisions and that the only thing on his mind is "Just win, baby." Add to the mixture here the fact that once a good team had been assembled under the tutelage of a coach who actually knew what he was doing, Al Davis ran the coach out of town and put another $8M in the bank. Of course I do feel sorry for the fans who have to put up with Al Davis. Remember I grew up in Philly and had to endure owners like Jerry Wolman, Leonard Tose and Norman Braman; I know what sorry-assed and incompetent ownership can do to a team and its fans from first hand experience. But the sorrow for the fans of Oakland can't stay with me for very long.

After the beloved Raiders were so inept in the Super Bowl that you would swear that they could not get jobs as firing squad targets, these fans went out and rioted in the city. This was to celebrate what? Certainly not the team's performance. Was this to honor the admission of "Raider Nation" to the UMN – the United Moronic Nations? Some of these civic-minded geniuses had to be subdued with rubber bullets because they looted buildings and set fire to things such as police cars and fire department vehicles. In one way, it is good to see the rioting and looting and burning after a Raider loss, it shows that the Oakland fans are equal opportunity boors.

The city fathers of Oakland and the ownership - as represented by Al Davis -are not without guilt here too. Davis conned these geniuses into a deal whereby they gave him one of those "guaranteed sellout" leases – such as the one the Chargers have in San Diego – and it is costing the city serious money. In addition, the city has other costs associated with its deal to get the Raiders back in town and the annual output from city coffers is estimated in various places to be in the range of $10-20M per year. I have not been to Oakland in about 16 years so this next observation is dated and could no longer be valid. But I doubt it. Oakland is not a city that looks like it has such huge budget surpluses every year that it takes the City Council months to figure how to bestow these riches on deserving people and projects. Oakland looked to me like a marginally upscale version of Newark NJ; got the picture?

So Al Davis fleeced the city fathers; and you might think that is the reason that Al did not show up at the rally. Even he might be embarrassed; can you actually gag a maggot? As Johnny Carson often said to Ed McMahon, "Wrong, buffalo breath!" In the midst of all this, Al Davis is suing the city of Oakland asking for $1.3 billion (not a typo) because the city fathers "deceived him" when they promised him sellouts or the revenue equivalent. Think about that; they deceived him out of $1.3 billion? Did he misunderstand and think he was getting the deed to the city and not merely the ceremonial keys to the city?

Who's to blame for all this nonsense? Everyone gets a richly deserved splash of the blame-goo because no sector here seems to be sufficiently oppressed that it comes close to justifying is horrid behavior. But add the national sports media to the list of folks who deserve some censure here. Instead of being a bunch of jock-sniffing sycophants, they might try to stand up on their hind legs and call these folks what their actions show them to be:

    The team has lots of prima donnas who think their uninformed opinions matter to others and who think they never have to say they are sorry. And boy, are they ever sorry!

    The ownership is sufficiently devious that you can't call it two-faced. It has more faces than a clock factory.

    The city fathers can choose between being portrayed as "gullible buffoons" and/or fitting the description "as useful as a kick-stand on a horse". I'm indifferent as to their choice; they can choose both if they want!

    The fans – the glorious "Raider Nation" – are merely front running, fair-weather fans whose "original costumes" for the games are no longer original - because all of them look the same.

      Memo to FOX, ESPN, ABC, & CBS: Stop showing these ass clowns on TV. You are only encouraging them and the other boneheads involved in this less than comic opera.

I know. It's time for me to up the dosage on my medications. I'll get right on that.

But don't get me wrong, I love sports...

San Diego Super Chargers Record Jacket CoverVote for your favorite Chargers Fight Song:

Webmaster note:  Permission to post this article has been obtained:  Author Richard Montenegro, El Centro, Calif.

7/30/03 - Memo to Alex and Dean Spanos: disco is dead.

With the exception of Beyoncé shaking her assets (mental picture, now exhale) to that over-the-top, bitchin’ horn line on her hit single "Crazy in Love," disco couldn’t be more out of vogue than, say, En Vogue, which is why I can’t understand why the San Diego Chargers organization continues to saddle such a fine team with such a sorry fight song.

(Like so many of our readers this time of year, I, too, am obsessed with the NFL. This is still a music column, but it is allowing me to vent on my Chargers fixation.)

Written and produced in 1979 by Jerry Marcellino and David Sieff and performed by Captain Q.B. & The Big Boys (who?), "San Diego Super Chargers" hit the airwaves the same year the team went on to win the first of three consecutive AFC West titles behind the potent "Air Coryell" offense led by quarterback Dan Fouts, wide receivers Charlie Joiner and John Jefferson and tight end Kellen Winslow.

While in 1979 through 1981 the Chargers set a few total yardage marks, the squad never made it to the Super Bowl. The closest coach Don Coryell’s squad would come was a showdown against AFC West rival the Oakland Raiders in the 1980 AFC championship game. Although San Diego captured the division, the wild-card Raiders beat the Chargers in the AFC championship fracas 34-27.

"San Diego Super Chargers" is a grim reminder from an era of what-coulda-beens and if-onlys. What’s worse is it’s disco, and not even good disco to (platform) boot.

If anyone out there reading this column either hasn’t heard "San Diego Super Chargers" or doesn’t remember it, it’s easily obtainable from the Internet. Go get it now. Listen. Then keep reading.  (Webmaster note:  "San Diego Super Chargers" is available to hear or download on the home page of this website; click here.)

It seems to me the song needs to go away and a new one take its place. It’s really quite an embarrassing piece of music without much of an interesting melody or memorable line other than "San Diego Super Chargers! CHARGE!" It’s the worst kind of example of all the mass-produced dreck coming out at the tail end of the disco movement, a vapid era typified by polyester pants, butterfly collars, "The Hustle" and coke spoons. Some cultural benchmarks. Something meaningful to really hang your hat on.

And I don’t think I’m alone in my distaste for "San Diego Super Chargers." A couple months back there was a poll on, the official team Web site, asking in so many words if the song should be retired. If I correctly recall some 65 to 70 percent of those polled thought some kind of modernization needed to happen.

Funny thing is I talked about the song with a colleague the other day, and he was of the opinion "San Diego Super Chargers" was representative of a great team and a great era of Chargers football and that the song needed to remain until another great team reappeared.

"Air Coryell" was a magical time. There’s no discounting that. But a bad song is a bad song, and the Chargers organization allowed itself to let a song borne of the worst genre of music ever devised to stick to its team like a blood-sucking leech.

Look at those heathens, the Raiders. They even have a great song. It’s simple, majestic. It makes them look honorable, good, almost regal ... until you realize it’s the Raiders.

The Chargers need a song like that. Something classy, if not classic.

To be honest, the time is right. The Chargers are on the cusp of greatness and need a new song to usher in this new era, which could start as early as next month. The team is not going to Los Angeles. It’s going to stay in San Diego. Quarterback Drew Brees and running back LaDainian Tomlinson are going to go down in history as two of the greatest at their positions ever and some Vince Lombardi trophies will be on the horizon. A guy can dream can’t he?

Come on, Spanoses, go get us fans another song. So we can give "San Diego Super Chargers" a long overdue funeral.

Used by permission of the Imperial Valley Press


"San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!
San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!

We're coming your way,
We're gonna dazzle you with our super play.
The time has come,
You know we're shooting for number one.
With thunderbolts and lightning
We'll light up the sky,
We'll give it all we've got, and more
With the Super Charger try!

San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!
San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!

We've got a plan,
We're gonna do it for our super fans.
All we seek,
Is the goal line to victory.
We'll ignite you, excite you
With high voltage play.
We won't let up a minute,
We're going all the way - all the way!

San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!
San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!

We're coming your way
With the Super Chargers' play.
We're coming at you.
Now we're coming through!

San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!
San Diego Super Chargers,
San Diego Chargers!
Charge! "

The Insiders Logo

Life of a Chargers fan

Ross Warner -
December 14, 2003 at 4:21pm ET

This San Diego Chargers season has been such a steady barrage of crap on my senses, that it's difficult to pick a single topic to write about. Often times, I find myself pointing out the same things over and over. But then something happens or I read something that makes it impossible not to plant myself in front of my keyboard.

It's 2:00 PM, Sunday afternoon and it's snowing like crazy here on the Isle of Manhattan. In less than two hours, I'll be making my weekly trek across town to watch the game at my buddy Mike's apartment. He has NFL "Sunday Ticket," but the Bolts have been so bad this year that I'm relegated to his television in the back room. There I find myself sucking down a Miller High Life tallboy or a Wild Turkey and Diet Pepsi and surrounded by his two cats, Dr. Jeffrey Wigan (from "The Insider") and Dizzy (from "Starship Troopers"). They stick around until I get upset, at which point they join the rest of my friends in the living room. I feel like Michael at the end of Godfather II, when he's moping in kitchen during his father's birthday party. Such is the life of a Chargers fan in December of 2003.

I wouldn't mind it all so much if I could see an end to the misery in sight. Here's what gets me. This morning Chris Mortensen ran down his top five "coaches on the hot seat" and Marty Schottenheimer was nowhere to be found. At least he made the "on the bubble" category. My wife, who was angrily trudging out the door to a wedding shower, shouted, "What do you expect? It's the Chargers. I'm not surprised." She's right. Of course, San Diego is the antithesis of New York in terms of being a pressure cooker to perform in. But I can't blame the local fans for this. They want Marty out. You read all the same articles and message boards that I do. It's The Organization. The Spanoses are spending more time worrying about the situation than what's happening (or not happening) on the field. Jim Fassel will be run out of town for much lesser sins. Dan Reeves was shown the door in Atlanta. Why should Schottenheimer be spared such a fate?

Even with Michael Vick 's injury, Reeves took the blame for not being able to motivate his team. That's the bottom line. Look at the Jets. Herm Edwards has those guys playing hard every week. We've already heard from LaDanian Tomlinson that there are some Chargers who clearly gave up on this season some time ago. I don't know of anybody who was excited when Schottenheimer was hired, but no one could have expected things to be this bad. Since the "Air Coryell" period, the Chargers have built one winning team. The 1992-1996 Bolts were constructed by Bobby Beathard and I'm sure the Spanoses figured that John Butler would have the same affect. Our late general manager was largely the Schottenheimer hiring. With the influx of effective elderly coaches, maybe Marv Levy would have been a better choice. I don't know of anyone felt that the team's success during the first seven games was due to his coaching. After all, the Chargers were 5-2 the year before under Mike Riley .

Arthur Blank is trying to create a Mark Cubanesque, 21st century ownership in Atlanta. He lowered ticket prices even as expectations for the team were raised. He issued a written apology to the fans this year after the team faltered sans Vick. With the exception of A.J. Smith's stock "we'll evaluate everybody's performance at season's end" comments, I've heard nothing from the The Organization about Schottenheimer's ineffectiveness since he came to San Diego. It's not just the Bolts losing record over the last two seasons that he should be blamed for. It's the WAY they've lost. They've been undisciplined, lifeless, stupid and fundamentally horrible. If it wasn't for LaDanian Tomlinson, they might not have beaten either Cleveland OR Detroit.

The reality is that the Chargers may not have a chance at success until the Spanoses sell the team. Dean Spanos is no Dan Rooney. Grandpa Al doesn't leave his son with such an NFL pedigree that he can run this organization effective. Alex Spanos wants to bring Super Bowl to the city of San Diego. Unfortunately, those games won't actually feature the Chargers playing in them. When Spanos looks at the Maras and Modells that comprise his peers, he should recognize that these men built winning teams, not stadiums.

Sammy Davis , Quentin Jammer , Antonio Gates and even Zeke Moreno have shown growth over the last few games. Nonetheless, we know that the Chargers are lacking in talent. But look around the NFL. Free agency and the salary cap have made it so that the difference between the first and last place is not all that great. Depth is virtually impossible to have. Of course, the quality of the play is not all that great, either. On the field, the position that will have the greatest impact on where this team goes in the future is quarterback. The other "NFL Countdown" segment that mentioned the Chargers asked the question of whether he could be the quarterback of the future. Michael Irvin said that if you can't hit the slant pass in the NFL, you can't be the QB. Tom Jackson was mystified that any player with Tomlinson behind him couldn't succeed.

Drew Brees will start these last three games as basically an audition for a job that he thought he had wrapped up at the beginning of the year. It's not Brees' fault that the Chargers fell behind in almost every game he started, but to say that he wilted under the pressure would be a vast understatement. He claims that he's ready to simplify the game for himself. I assume that means he won't be overthrowing his receivers constantly. Whether the Bolts actually have the opportunity the pick a quarterback in April is unknown. You could certainly argue that they should pick one regardless of these last three games. But if Brees can use Tomlinson and Boston AT THE SAME TIME, it will fill me with some confidence. Would this confidence be based on realism? I don't know, but I need something to believe in at this point. It's getting pretty lonely in that back room and cats don't seem to like the smell of whiskey.

Conspiracy Theory

Jesse Hayner -
March 17, 2004 at 4:08am ET

Perhaps there was a second gunman on the grassy knoll. Maybe a UFO did land in Roswell and maybe the Chargers are leaving San Diego for the unfriendly confines of Los Angeles. Of the three the third is definitely the most likely.

Let's look at the facts:

The Chargers have been spending insane amounts of money on players that did not warrant it. 15 million dollars for Stephen Alexander ? A man who spends more time injured than Michael Jackson does in court. Same for Tim Dwight . Not to mention Cory Raymer , Marcellus Wiley , and David Boston . The last two players are great players but need a supporting cast around them. A kindergarten rendition of Romeo and Juliet has a better supporting cast than the Chargers. As every Chargers fan knows, the team has an out in their lease with the city should they reach certain financial milestones in regards to player salaries. Once these levels are reached the Chargers can trigger an escape clause that essentially leaves San Diego behind. The team says it has reached these levels and has triggered the clause. Now the purge of players and salaries has begun. It doesn't take a genius to put two and two together. And, of course, there's always the move to Carson. The stated reasoning for building team unity away from the beauty of La Jolla obviously didn't work. Perhaps the team is planning on putting all of its eggs in one basket. Now, some of the less conspiracy-minded individuals may be saying, "But the team knows that if they put a sub-standard product on the field no one will come to the games and they'll lose money." The mayor and city council have eradicated that argument themselves. The Chargers offered to void the ticket guarantee and the city, so careful to avoid looking weak to the voters, shot it down. Now the city is on the hook for untold millions when the Chargers go 0-16. By the end of the season Qualcomm will look like a parking lot. The Chargers will draft a quarterback this year with their pick. A quarterback takes a couple of years to fully develop. By the time he hits his stride the Spanos' will be sipping carbon monoxide-polluted Champagne in Los Angeles. And there's always the added bonus of having the first pick in the draft next year to haul in another impact player. The Los Angeles Chargers should be a force to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, back in San Diego Qualcomm stadium will be a haven for birds and Monster Truck rallies and the City Council and Mayor will be saying, "Yes, we have no professional football team, but at least we weren't push-overs!" Maybe they'll be able to swing a deal to bring the world's largest open-air flea market to Qualcomm. That'll be exciting.

MORE TO COME...  If you know of an editorial you think all Chargers fans would enjoy, send me an email and tell me where it is? 

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