Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Big Fat Rant.

So I hate for this to become a big venting festival for me and my illustrious cohort. A forum where we can voice our personal dissatisfaction towards the shortcomings of a team I know we truly love. I would be delighted to rain down literary love upon all things Charger, but…there is just too much fodder for that particular cannon. In the immortal words of Marc Anthony, “The good that men do is oft interred with their bones, while the evil lives after them.” Oh what evil this organization has bestowed upon us. Be it through greed, hubris or just plain ineptitude, when will this reign of suffering end?

What point am I trying to make? Do I even have a point? Sure. Why not? So here it is. The talking sports heads of this town have a tough job. Obviously, it is in their best interests to speak at least somewhat highly of the team that gives them about 50% of their daily content and probably even more of their salary. But at what expense? To look foolish? To appear ignorant? Where am I going with this? Oh, right… A couple of our local sports guys- who, I admit, I tend to find rather entertaining- spent the entire morning speaking with incredulity at the fact that our beloved Chargers are unable to sell out Qualcomm stadium. After a win and everything! An impressive win I am told. Against an impressive team. Mm hmm. I’ll get back to that. The problem is that I’m being told how impressive this was by a bunch of people, who, like me, didn’t see the game. This brings us back to sellouts blackouts, and what have you. On the one hand, you could argue that I just made a point against myself by admitting no one went to this game, so nobody saw it, but I’ve always been kind of a hypocrite so stuff it. I intend to focus on why nobody went to this game, and why no one is going to the next one or the one after that, etc…

It has been nearly a decade since this team put a winning product on the field. A decade is, like ten years. In that time we, the fans, have been subjected to the likes of Kevin Gilbride, Craig Whelihan, and Brian Still. I know I’m leaving some people out but I’ll Leaf that alone for now. In that time, we’ve watched this franchise turn its back on such hometown icons as Junior Seau, Rodney Harrison and John Carney. I haven’t forgotten Parrella, Hand or the others, but I’m afraid I’m getting a little long winded here. After all of that, we are supposed to fill the stadium? After a dubiously impressive performance against a crippled giant? Forgive me a moment while I elaborate. I realize that our transcendental halfback, the incomparable LaDainian Tomlinson, did nothing short of putting up another copious stat line against a foe that traditionally feasts on running backs. From the bottom of my heart, I thank “the new LT” for helping us shed the ghosts of Aaron Hayden and Leonard Russell among others. Tomlinson may be the only thing on the field worth paying full ticket price to see. My problem lies with the current praise being heaped upon our defense and our less than consistent field general, Drew Brees.

The defense was definitely able to force some things, and was, without a doubt, as impressive as it’s been so far. This is exactly what should happen when you are lucky enough to miss the opponent’s uber tough guy, MVP quarterback. Kudos to them for doing the right thing, but don’t be fooled, this unit is still holier than the Vatican. Don’t be too surprised to see the Jags pull out of their offensive doldrums this weekend. The Chargers history is riddled with instances of getting underachievers back on track. Can anyone say Gus Frerotte?

Drew had a great game. That is, if you disregard the fact that 58 of his 210 yards came on an amazing catch and run by Reche Caldwell, that Brees admitted he was trying to throw away. Not exactly the kind of thing I’d be confiding to the media if my head were on the chopping block, but I guess you have to admire the guy for his candor. Maybe we can get him a job in the public relations department.

My point is this, talking sports heads of San Diego. Do I appreciate the win last week? Of course I do. Will I be in the stands this weekend? Yes I will, cheering the blue and gold until the end. This team may have a long road ahead of them, but I’ve invested too much time and alienated too many friends to give up on them myself. But, instead of calling out the rest of the city for choosing not to pay too much for too little return, let this team build even a short tradition of winning. Let them give us that before you trot out the tired old excuses like the beach, Sea World, big screen TVs, hover cars…whatever it is you claim is so distracting to the citizens of America’s Finest City. We have proven in the past, during rare opportunities, that we will support, en mass, a quality product. If they build it, we will come. In every way which that implies.

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