Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Surprise, Surprise...

Well, well, well. Look what is going on out west. Who would have thought that this would be the story this year? The A.F.C. west leaders all by their lonesome, all alone atop the division, your San Diego Chargers. Potentially a 3-13 football team has raised their kilts and their proverbial middle fingers to all of us who thought that this would be another typical footballing year. Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.

Sunday brought us a nightmare of a game. A cardiac arrest inducing screaming match at the televisions. I, for one was standing firmly planted on top of the panic button with the weight of a portly elephant on my shoulders. This game felt like the day after the 2004 Turkey Bowl, conveniently played on a field of broken glass and rusty nails. No sort of comfort level was ever even close to being achieved, and the overwhelming feeling of total stomach evacuation was present until the V. formation was achieved in the final minutes.

Now I am not one for the idea that good teams get the breaks and that’s what makes them good teams. For whatever reason, call it experience, I will never be comfortable with our special teams play. Not that they have played badly this year, I am just used to their lapses enough that Dante Hall was a very scary man, only shorter, come Saturday night. I was very afraid. Very afraid. Low and behold Mr. Hall went nuts. Good thing for us that he choked on the pork chop at about the twelve and after a quick self induced Heimlich, the piggy was back in the Bolts hands. Disaster averted, well delayed until he made up for his memorable gaff by successfully holding on to the ball until he reached the magical six point line. Right about now I could hear the Pony fans extolling the virtues of all things Chief, and their laughter just burned my ear canals. It was like witnessing a high speed pursuit through the streets of L.A. rooting for the guy to get away. After he crashes and is thrown from the vehicle you are devastated that it’s over. Then out of nowhere he drags himself out of his Pontiac by his broken arm and continues to limp down the road. YES! It’s not over yet…

It’s a good thing that the Good Guys never got themselves rattled. As some of us were being talked off the ledge, Skip started picking at the Chiefers like a teenager's acne riddled cheeks. Despite the Zebras attempts to litter the field in Chiefs yellow, what the N.F.L. calls “parity”, we played through the awful officiating. Despite what looked to me like a rookie hazing, a receiver to remain nameless and a certain kicker looked like they had a rough Saturday night out in Kansas. Now, I don’t know what there is to do in Kansas, but I would like to hear from anyone in the “service industry” who may have seen some of our guys out in any sort of questionable establishments enjoying some libations this past Saturday. If there are any female entertainers making their livings in the artful brass pole polishing industry witness to this behavior, please contact this site via email. I am firmly convinced of this. Fortunately, the guys must have snuck in some Advil and a nap at some point because they pulled it back together.

Player of the Game: Sorry Mr. Gates, this one goes to the Skipper this week. Unbelievable game. Lights out. Just awesome.

Play of the Game: Sorry Mr. Osgood, Donnie got you this week with that miraculous interception and return in what might be called a “critical” point in the game. The good thing is we share an alma mater and I know that you will show up here again at some point soon. We Aztecs got to stick together. Keep hauling in midget kick returners and catching 65 yard passes…

Play of the Day: Pony fans vomiting their frozen Rocky Mountain guts out as that last ditch three point effort was dropped like a Pistons fan. How’s that second place feel? How’s it feel?

All by ourselves, the train keeps rolling…..

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Fake Friday Analysis And Prediction

I am taking the next several days off from posting to this board in deferrence to our founding Pilgrim types and their affinity for Turkey and Native Americans. Therefore, I will today address a number of issues, starting with my take on the state of the NFL, followed by some typical flip flopping, and finishing with my Chargers at Chiefs in depth game analysis. Ready, Okay!

Inspired by my co-contributor once again, I too have assembled my views on the 32 teams competing in the National Football League this year. I must admit, mine is not nearly as comprehensive as his, but what I lack in content, I try to compensate for in quality.

Chargers: Best running back+best tight end+best hit this year on Jerry Porter= Best.Team.Ever.

Other 31 Teams: In the immortal words of Jeff Spicoli, "Those guys are fags."

Next issue: Drew Brees. I'm actually starting to believe this may not be his swan song after all. No, I'm not saying the Chargers will make the unprecedented move of trading away their first round pick before ever really putting him on the field. And I'm certainly not inferring that we'll keep Rivers on the bench for another year, or that Brees will gladly accept less money and a back-up role. I believe that Brees will stay in San Diego because I'm pretty sure I saw a bunch of guys in head-to-toe Bolts gear drag Philip Rivers into the back of a white cargo van last night. I can't be positive, but Chargers spokespeople won't return my calls, so you add it up.

Now for the 'piece de resistance' (that's French, cause this is a classy board and all), analysis and prediction for this week's contest. Let me start by saying that I am aware that I have pretty heavily copped out on this stuff over the last few weeks, with a lot of "We're gonna slaughter this," and "We're gonna demolish that," but after last week's close call I'm going to go ahead and earn my keep here.

The Chargers currently sit tied atop the AFC West with the filthy Broncos, sporting an impressive 7-3 record. Unfortunately, our club is only 1-3 against teams that have a winning record so far this season. That is cause for concern if you consider that the Chiefs, tied up in the cellar of the aforementioned AFC West along side the lowly Raiders at 3-7, have achieved all three of their victories versus teams with quality win-loss records. In fact, they beat the ever loving crap out of the Falcons, who came along and stole one from us a week before. Ouch. Trent Green has thrown a solid handful of 300 yard games and KC's running game tends to be prolific, to say the least. All this may explain why we are 3 1/2 point underdogs this coming Sunday. That there is all the bad news.

Now for the good news. True, the Chiefs offense is capable of amassing yards upon yards of football advancement week in and week out. Unfortunately for them, however, even 500+ total yards was not enough to take out the oh-so-ridiculous Saints a couple weeks back. We beat them, right? And even though Derrick Blaylock is a more than capable back-up, our opponent's running game becomes far less threatening without Priest Holmes, who in years past, the Chargers have approached tackling as if he were an icky bug. We shall not even mention the ultra agressive Gunther Cunningham defense, except to say that it baffles this football fan to try and figure out how it's worse than the D they fielded last year.

In closing, this game actually frightens me. Do I feel we should win? Of course I do. I feel that things are definitely stacked to our favor right now. But the Chiefs get to play the rest of the season with virtually nothing on the line. I have no doubt they will relish the role of spoiler, and we can not afford to make some of the glaring mistakes we made in Oakland. In my estimation, scoreboard will read, Chargers: A teeny bit more than the Chiefs, Chiefs: A tiny bit less than the Chargers. and I can live with that. Go Bolts!

Part II...

After much consideration, here is the rest of my take on the “State of the N.F.L.”:
The Have No Idea What Will Happen Teams:
The Gints, Overachieving running back, ancient quarterback that gets sacked with a finger that looks like a telephone cord. Bring in the Little Brother and let’s experiment.

Bucs, New quarterback at the helm that rivals Aaron Brooks for the worst throws in N.F.L. history. Patchwork team, playing okay right now, but they still are in this category.

Jacksonville, If Bryon was healthy they may move up. But his knees are “fragile” (must be Italian) and who knows what this backup clone of his can actually do.

J.E.T.S, with Pennington they can move up considerably. With a blow addict at the helm, well, appropriate category. Curtis Martin is still playing out of his mind after ten years.

Minnesota, similar to the Jets, in that with no Moss they are depleted. Struggled against Detroit. Culpepper is much improved with his best receiver out there.

The How Do They Win So Many Games Teams:
Ravens, good “D”, shaky quarterback. Winning games due to M.V.P. Ed Reed. Ray Ray always good for some antics.

Seahawks, they could fit into any category I have developed here. They are head cases due to their Rams fiascos. Their receiving corps is also very special. Aged Hall of Famer, and guys who have pot fetishes and drop footballs.

The We Think They Are Good Teams Teams:
hard to doubt Brett Favre. But there is still that 48-10 debacle at home to Tennessee. Too tough to get on their wagon with anything but reputation.

Falcons, No doubt they are winning games. Not impressively, and no real serious competition yet. But their record and their “Quartering Back” keeps them here for now.

Ponies from Kobeland, a top their division. Skeptical about their running back. And for that matter their very over rated Quarterback. Definitely don’t give off the odor of invincibility, but first place is first place.

Our Bolts, the next three games will tell the story for us. We almost don’t even need to say anymore.

The Good (read: favorites):
The Iggles, playing well. Quarterback can be amazing, can also be indecisive and sketchy. Me-O is Me-O, someone needs to cover him. Defense is their weakness and I think can be exploited.

Pittsburgh, riding momentum. Should be derailed soon. Young Impressive Quarterback. Overachieving older running back. Excellent defense. Have that "team" thing working like a few others. I think they fit pretty nicely here at #3.

Indy, potent offense, that’s for sure. Quarterback is very full of himself but has performed thus far. Defense once again can be exploited. Something seems like it is missing here to me… maybe a year away. Maybe this year. Maybe never…

New England, fresh off a big win on Monday. Very composed quarterback. Almost seems numb out on the field. Strong “team” atmosphere leads to the ownership of lesser foes in the past (read: Colts). Umm, defending champs? This is going to be an interesting post season. Again.

That’s my list. I feel pretty good about it. I am sure there will be much disagreement with my assessments. But I like the way it has settled out. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

If They Were They Probably Sucked...

Nice work here. Although I have a couple of points to contend and then we can move on. First, I will never be “that guy”, I don’t want to seem like a naysayer or that all is lost to the doomsday prophecy. It’s not. I just expected more from the team that I have seen “more” from. We got worse. Whether it’s from the hangover, or a more prepped Raider team, or whatever, if we truly are a playoff team and we are finishing up with a pretty tough schedule, we can’t play like that ever again. Ever.

On a side note, the definition of “that guy” is the guy on the beach in the way to small speedo dragging a boogie board behind him with Ben Wallace’s afro sprouting out of every conceivable exit to his swimwear. “The guy” inevitably gets caught in an undertow and has to be dragged out of the ocean like a dripping wet mop by some unfortunate lifeguard. Now, back to what I wanted to say…

My team by team analysis of the N.F.L. through week 11:

Teams That Really Suck:
San Francisco, really no other way to describe what is going on here besides poetic justice. By the way, where are all the loudmouth niner fans now?

Oakland, really bad football team. They have their work cut out for them. Can’t stop the run, can’t really run an offense.

New Orleans, these guys played a horrible football game this Sunday. Aaron Brooks is just horrible. He makes worse decisions than all of the Indiana Pacers combined.

Miami, Really not good on offense. Defense isn’t that far away. Abysmal offensively. Or offensively abysmal.

Dallas, You have a 52 year old quarterback and you are 3-7. I think it’s over, let the young guy start.

Teams That Just Suck a Little Less:
Carolina, just destroyed by injury. Go git ‘em next year.

Cleveland, they should be in the above category. They really suck. I mean really. If Garcia is getting benched you know something is really wrong.

Cards, as long as they play eight games on the road they are in trouble. If they change the schedule to give them 16 home games they might go 10-6.

Bears, Ryan Leaf might be able to get a tryout here next year.

Bills, 62 year old crippled quarterback. Stop the run and you stop the Bills. Bledsoe should be getting sacked more than a call girl in Vegas…

The Almighty Rams, they sacked Bledsoe zero times. That team is quitting before our eyes.

Bengals, Titans, Lions, these are the kind of teams that when they win you aren’t really surprised, but the few wins just manage to stick out more than their unspectacular losses. Really not good programs, with a miniscule amount of potential. But hey, it’s a start…

Teams That Suck But Shouldn’t:
Kansas City,
if you can’t stop anyone you have to score 73 points. Until they figure out how to do that they remain here. Can beat any team in any week with a healthy running back.

Washington, Good defense, good running back. No quarterback. Receivers who drop the ball. They are not that far away from success.

Texans, young and talented. They just need some time to figure out how to play football. Like Brittney Spears, they will either achieve massive success or totally derail and kill everyone on board.

Part II tomorrow…

Weren't The Happy Sundays A Band?

Wow, I hate to call you out in a public forum, compadre, but you’re beginning to sound a lot like “that guy.” You know the guy I’m talking about, don’t you? The guy who can’t wait to say, “I told you so.”

I’m not trying to say that I don’t agree with a lot of what you are saying, but it just doesn’t seem to warrant the level of doom and gloom you’re giving it. Sure, it sucks that “Captain Carry –the-ball” had to grab the rock 37 times in a game that probably never should have been in doubt, but it was. And it was an important game to win as it sends us into a very testy little stretch with a little less to worry about. Good teams have bad games and they win them. Like we did. If Payton Manning makes that toss to Marvin Harrison at the end of the game, it’s a testament to their greatness. Their ability to persevere. Why should it be any different for us. Our tandem has rocked with great consistency for a number of weeks now. You act like that’s the first time you’ve seen that sort of thing out of this team this year. You know it isn’t. Enjoy it.

Maybe we got a little comfortable with this team, and maybe that affected our clock management and play calling and concentration. And maybe we had a bit of a bye week hangover and maybe the Raiders prepared a little harder in the face of San Diego’s first regular season sweep of them in twelve years. The bottom line is, no matter how bad it looked, it was our bad win. Let’s wait until someone hands us our ass before we get too upset.

I believe this team can play with anybody right now, but there are ups and downs to come. And I have no problem sleeping at night after a game like that one. Here’s your cliché for the day. Scoreboard, baby! Scoreboard!

Still Not Happy About Sunday...

Something was just off this weekend. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Like trying to pin a fish down with your thumb, I can’t quite figure out why this win was so unfulfilling. Wait, maybe I can. Let me give it a shot…

Yesterday I mentioned the coaching gaffs of the day. I neglected one major gaff. I didn’t quite think it so important yesterday for it is semi convoluted, but I think it merits taking a look at. “Hoss” had 37 carries. Yes he rushed for 160+ yards. Yes he looked good. Strong like bull. But I am still dumbfounded that after the bye week, a) we looked terrible and b) our running back was getting healthy and you decide to up his workload tremendously. It’s not like we don’t have a competent backup in Jesse Chatman that could have spelled the “Hoss” for a few plays. If he starts coming up lame again I am going to be furious.

I never was able to find any sense of comfort in this game. As Skip tossed that third down prayer to essentially ice the game, the crowd erupted. I couldn’t even cheer. It was such a terrible play on so many levels that I was just relieved it was over. I couldn’t cheer for what was nearly a huge disaster. Not only was Skip nearly sacked, he threw off balance. If that ball falls incomplete, the clock is stopped and the Effeminate Pirates have another shot at us. Safe to say that I am very glad that things turned out the way they did and we got a tough road win leading into another big road one next week. That group on Sunday just shook my confidence a bit with their play. We were so used to seeing progression, the team getting better each week. This was a monster step backwards for many reasons as mentioned. And that “holy God I am going to pull my eyes out so I don’t start crying” feeling of watching the evil time out monster back in action full force. I don’t know why people don’t talk about this more. We can’t apparently get our turd together to run plays properly. It is a problem that has already cost us one game, and in this division, it cannot cost us another. I am done, I promise. At least until it happens again… then all bets are off. I might lose my mind….

Lastly, my really hugest apologies to Randall Godfrey. Yesterday I identified the “Destruction of Jerry Porter Missile” as Steve Foley. It was in fact Mr. Godfrey. The best part is watching Porter on the ground, reminds me of that old Snickers commercial, “Who am I?”, “You’re Coach…” “Who are you?”, “I’m Batman!!” Classic gem.

My “State of the N.F.L.” thoughts later….

I Like A Trick Play Now And Then

Wow, apparently some people were none too impressed by Sundays victory. Truthfully, I can't blame people for being less than thrilled with the overall performance. It was sad, sorry, basically incomplete. But there are a few things obviously to take heart in. "Brilliance" is looking less groinally challenged, eh? "First Down!" continues to make some plays, huh? These are givens, though. I saw something that may have eluded some folks. I wasn't positive I was correct until I looked it up (That's right, people, research!), but it seems as though some of my brain cells have not given up on me. So let me set the stage.

Two years ago, a kid named Brees and his high school all-star game running back, had the San Diego Chargers out to a 6-1 start. The best start this team had achieved since it went to that game that people are always acting like it would be a good idea to go to. The Super Challenge Fighting Match-up or something like that. Now a lot of observers of this blog might say 6-1, 7 games, is a weird cut off point. Not quite halway through the season. Why would 6-1 be relevent? What happened the next week? Did we reach the halfway point in style? Well, the answer is nyet. Nyet! Nyet! Nyet! We entered the bye. We entered the stinking bye on a roll. We were impressive. We were then much like we were before going into this bye. And then we dropped the biggest stinker I can remember to a Jets team that was something like 2-4. They destroyed us. We were exposed. We couldn't scrap, and we couldn't overcome adversity. That year the Jets turned their season around on that one game and made the postseason. We were never the same. 8-8, no more games. You all know.

So we can all sit around and bitch and moan that we didn't slaughter the Raiders like we all know we should have. We can lament that we tried to give away the game and they just didn't want it. But yours truly here will take the win. I've seen what this team can do this year. More often now than I've seen the other, and I take heart in the fact that we can suck it up and drop a 20 yard rainbow off the back foot into the arms of our best midseason pick-up ever, when we have no other choice. Go Bolts!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Uglier than the Third Olson Twin...

We can start with what I like to call the bad. The oh so bad. Of the bad, which there was a plenty, the most horrible offenders this Sunday were the coaches. I am not one to really rip coaches; the belief here is that the level of incompetence has to be sky high in order to really sabotage an entire game. The idea is that even a coaching gaff can be overcome by good quality football squads. This game had a bucketful of bad decisions and just had me scratching my head in confusion for quite some time. So for those of you who missed this gem of a game here is my recap of the coaching genius at work yesterday.

1) Giving the ball to the fullback on the one yard line, who generally doesn’t get many (read: none) carries, and he proceeds to cough up a pig inches from the goal line. The general point of football is to breach the “goal” line. It is the “goal”, hence the name.

2) Halfback passes. Halfback passes are stupid. They don’t work (ask Herm Edwards) and they do not belong in the game if you are a good team. Why are we reduced to trick plays against the bottom dwelling Raiders?

3) Now this one really gets the acid reflux boiling. I can taste the bile. I still can’t believe that this actually took place and as I am still seething about it, I know it really did happen. We line up for a field goal, motion a lineman attempting to draw some laundry from the officials. Even the morons in Silver and Black don’t fall for this so we fry a timeout. Fine with me we can just move on now. Kick the ball, punt the ball whatever, just move on. Move on. We come out of the timeout, line up in field goal formation and miss the freakin’ kick. If we were going to kick it all along, why not just kick it the first time? Instead, we successfully managed to "ice" our own kicker. Awesome.

4) Throwing the ball once again very near the “goal” line to an offensive lineman. Let me get this straight just so I understand what happened here. We have arguably the best running back in the league and we decide to throw the ball to an offensive lineman? Said ball proceeds to clank off of Old Roman’s hands. Just so we are clear, do you think there is a reason Roman plays offensive line? Do you think that if he had any better than a Bree Walker’s chance at that ball he might be playing receiver? Obviously, Roman’s catching prowess has diminished somewhat during his career.

I am done with the coaches. Putting all of that behind me we come to the players performances from yesterday. This is what I like to call “the ugly” portion of the post. Ugly like the girls you met in college at 2 a.m. after “bladder buster” fifty cent beer night. This was the poorest game of the season as far as execution is concerned. We were terrible on offense. Just terrible. We were up to all of our old tricks, incompletions, fumbles, scorching timeouts, just plain awful. Combined with the fact that we were playing so poorly right after the bye week making this game all the more hideous. We escaped with victory this weekend which is nice, but we can’t play that brand of football anymore. That was complete utter useless garbage and we should have lost that game. Fortunately the Raiders and their fans are very, very bad and they couldn’t take advantage of some opportunities. Of course this is all their own fault as they employ players that do incredible things like trying to date rape themselves.

Finally, the “good” portion of the post. We did some things right, and in no particular order:

1) The Defense. The defense was okay. Not great, not horrible. Nice hit on Jerry Porter by a missile that looked like Mr. Foley. That hit had Porter in tears as he had forgotton who he played for. When they informed him that he was indeed on the Raiders and that they were God awful, he broke down and then asked Mr. Foley to hit him again, only harder so that he would forget all of that horror again.

2) Miraculously, we scored more points than them. And thanks to a really bad block in the back call, and a receiver with a case of Roman Oben’s shared malady with a certain newscaster we escaped. The final score was a pretty sight in a day long sea of horse pooh.

3) The 4:17 victory shot prediction came true. Exactly. 4:17 on the nose. I am officially awesome. Officially.

Friday, November 19, 2004

If I must...

Okay, I can do this. Got to make up for a lack of content and all, as I’m still trying to find a creative and lengthy way to tell all of you that one of our beloved Chargers will walk away scott free at the end of the season. I’m not saying who. Anyway, here goes.

1) 38? Our boys should cover that by themselves. However, I would not put it beyond crew of the Jolly Roger to find a way to score in the negative integers. Still, I have to go with the over on this one.

2) I’ve got to say, this makes no sense to me. I mean, I was starting to gain a lot of respect for Coughlin, but switching to a rookie quarterback, while you’re in contention in the lousy NFC is just plain stupid. Sounds to me like the ownership has a case of Roethlisbergeritis. They say they feel that Manning’s slightly better mobility should help to offset the inadequacy of the Giants O-line, but let’s face it, nobody’s that fast. And while we’re on the subject of Manning’s I hate, brother Payton best be sure not to taunt the fates too harshly. Pass, pass, pass, pass in the fourth, up by four touchdowns? If indeed there be football Gods, surely they must frown upon the chasing of records.

3) Sad as I am to say it, I don’t see Cincy as the train derailing type this year. The Steelers are on a roll, and are fully deserving of their opportunity to be offed once again in the playoffs by none other than our resplendent Men of Bolt.

4) This one is easy. ALL of them. So, the over, I suppose.

5) As with all the pony shows so far this year, as goes Jake Plummer, so goes Denver. Saints pull this off and I’m buying some sort of Saints related item. Maybe a brown bag or something?

6) I’m a little worried about “He Who Shines Brilliant Like The Sun.” Reports are that the groin is still an issue. Could this be a misdirection move by the Schott? I can just see him with a maniacal grin while twisting the ends of a handlebar mustache. Man, that’s a good look on you Marty. I’ll second your motion, buddy.

Is that all? I was really starting to have fun with this. Anyway, scoreboard reads, Chargers: A Whole Bunch, Raiders: Much, Much Less. Everybody likes to see the Raiders lose, and that, my friends, is why they really play the game. Go Bolts!

I've Missed You The Most, Scarecrow!

Ahh, what a lovely break. The bye week has certainly replenished this battered shell of mine. Caught up on my correspondence and powered my way through about half of a really good book. Spent last Sunday watching the also-rans vie against one another for a piece of “almost best” pie. All in all, it was a pleasant escape for yours truly, but now it’s time to get back into this thing we call Charger football.

Yesterday at work, the Vice President of Real Estate and Facilities made clear his allegiance to those pirates from up north. No, I don’t mean the automated gang out of Disneyland, but rather, the less threatening persons up there in Oakland. I must say, for a moment I had to question my fealty to this particular corporate organization. Then, as I drove home, I took heart in all that I saw around me. In parking lot traffic, the I-5 was a sea of Charger Power bumper stickers, banners and antenna balls. Last night the bar was awash in Lightening Bolt emblazoned caps, jackets and beanies. It occurred to me then that the people of this town know when their team sucks. You can see the despair in their faces and you can tell by the way the skanks in the Beachcomber work overtime to raise the spirits of the dejected on a Sunday night. It’s work on those nights. In realizing this, I have to believe that these same fans are equally sentient in regards to an entirely opposite situation. A situation where our glorious warriors in blue and gold hammer down castigation like a monstrous cudgel on each and every lowly adversary this National Football League sees fit to set in their path. The situation we are experiencing right now.

Once again, my friends, there is no need for analysis. There is no sense in prediction. The outcome of this Sundays contest in the black ditch has already been mailed in. Etched in stone. The cards all came up Queen of Chargers, Chargers of Swords, and just plain Chargers. Drew Brees continues his San Diego Swan Song and Death comes ripping into the bay area. So smoke ‘em if you got ‘em and line up those victory shots, Bolts faithful. Then show them what class is and move along, there’s nothing to see here.

Quick Hits for Happy Friday...

So the creativity bones are a creakin’ with this being Raider week and all. At the beginning of the season I had this one marked, you know, Raider Week? This was one of those “games we might win” at the start, now it is much more significant than that. It is the beginning of three in a row in the division at a time when the Bolts cannot afford a let down if they really are serious about this playoff tease thing they are trying to pull off. I only wish that the Raiders were a bit more stable as an organization and might make a game of this thing instead of rolling over like a bulldog ready to go to work on his own junk. That being said, how can we not just destroy this ailing football team? I have been looking for reasons and signals that might indicate we could be in trouble in this one. I have come up with none. We should dismantle this group of quitters and head into turkey day still tied for that top spot in the division. Go Saints, pummel the Denvers soundly.

Some of the Quick Hits from around the league since the Bolts are in control:

1) Simply Prop Bet #1: Over/Under Bolts points, let’s say a nice round 38. I want feedback on this one. Otherwise, I got the over.

2) Watching the Baby Manning run for his life this weekend against the Falcs. Boy, can I not wait for this one. I can’t wait to see the inauguration of the little brother at the hands of that defense. I hope he actually breaks down and cries on the field. “My daddy doesn’t want me to play for those losers in San Diego. Wah, Wah, Wah!” I would pay up to $500 to be at that game. Good Luck Eli!!!

3) Big time Cincy fans this weekend. Time to halt the Roethlisberger train. I want to see Chad Johnson’s gold teeth in the end zone all day long.

4) Prop Bet #2: Over/ Under on The Antonio’s number of first downs this weekend. The line is 5. I will let my cohort make his choice here. Just hold the hat up high…

5) Must See Game: Saints v. Ponies. All I know is that we are big Saints fans and there is rumor that Joe Horn isn’t 100%. I got a message for you Joe, “Get in the game!!” I want to see more cell phone celebrations. I want to see at least three celebrations from you that warrant fines. I will chip in to pay them if you get in three times. This I promise…

6) Most likely to have a big Bolt game: Ladainian. It’s time to test your groin. Take some pressure off the Skipper for another week. Let’s go tailbacks.

That’s all for now. My prediction is Bolts 38, Effeminate Pirates 21, you know, home field and all. My second prediction is that there will be victory shots at 4:17 p. m. Lastly, can anyone remember what winning feels like? This all feels so very new to me… I think I am still in shock…

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Playoff Synopsis...

So here we are again. It’s time to get ready for the mighty Raiders once again. For the first time in many, many years, we are in a position to make the final push to the playoffs. This week should go the way of game one with the Nation, as it appears that at the slightest inkling of negativity, this team throws their proverbial hands in the air and pitches the towel in. That being said, with a two week rest for our ailing groins, and some time to regroup, we should just continue to roll down this golden paved road. So where do we possibly go from here? Let’s talk about what needs to happen in order for the Golden Squad to be playing in January.

Four of the last seven Sundays need to be put in the victory column. We have to go through the most unpredictable group of footballers (Chiefers), Big Brother Manning, and then the Ponies from Kobe-land. In order to do that a couple of things must happen… wait, what the hell am I talking about? It’s Raider week again for crying out loud! For the first time in some time, it has become that magical time in all of our collective Bolt lives, it’s broom time, get ‘em out cause we got some sweepin’ to do.

Time to pound Pirate town, prison style. Abuse them like the step-child that put an empty milk carton back in the fridge. The kind of beating that only happens after a 17 hour binge in Vegas, complete with that blackjack dealer who takes your money, insults you and then laughs in your face. I want this team to waltz into Pirate town, pillaging and plundering all the way. I want them to score enough six pointers to burn out all the light bulbs in the Jumbo-tron, make off with their cheerleaders, arms raised in the air, middle fingers extended, shouting our praises as we head off into the sunset leaving behind nothing but the remains of the “Nation” in our wake. Get ready for “Charger Power” Oakland…

Thursday, November 11, 2004

A Bit of Venting During the Slow Week...

So at the risk of being mocked and ridiculed by most out there more than the usual abuse I take, I am positioned to take a stance against the bandwagoneers in our world. You know, the hot ticket takers who after week nine have decided that the Bolts are worthy of their time and effort and (finally) their words for print to be shared with the public. You know these people, the people who have been blowing the warmth of the sunshine up the skirts of all that is Red Sox, Roethlisberger, Pat Patriot, and Me-O and the Iggles. Who goes and sneaks up on them? Bolt fever, everybody jump on and ride it until the Brees goes flat. Hope nobody needs the Schilling ankle procedure when they leap like lemmings from the wagon in the second half of the golden season.

Now, I am glad to see the guys getting print, getting some credit for what was deemed by all (me) a disastrous 3-13 campaign. Overachievers are the Bolts and they are playing with the confidence of a team that could make a “chemistry run” like some of the recent World Series Champs we have seen. But the flavor of the day attitude is not one that I enjoy and I’ll tell you why. The same guy that said the Bolts were a go nowhere team, led by a go nowhere coach are now touting the team and Marty-ball. If and when things stray from the yellow brick road that we are steamrolling down, these same guys will be saying all along that Bolt fever was merely Bolt flu and we were never really that good, they knew it all along and we should go Old Yeller on the team and the respective staff. One former imitation quarterback of ours (think steak) is doing this as we speak. First we were “go nowhere”, then we graduated to “pretender”, and now the next logical step is, you guessed it “contender”. If we are unable to continue the demolition derby that is ’04 and falter against the Chiefers, or either Pony Crew, watch for the ankles to go All-Theismann. Watch them leap and give you the “Told you so.” Watch for it…I almost would prefer to just throw them all off right now. Get off our train, all you’re doing is slowing it down. Leave us to be the team that we are and go back to your respective posts servicing your above mentioned masters. I hope you wake up in a strange place with a severe hangover and sore lovehandles…

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Sacks...

Oh, Big forgetful on this one. There was a day long poll at the ball field this past Sunday. It was for research for the Friday Prop Bet #2, the over/under on the bagged heads of ‘Aints fans. I set the line at 13 originally, then upon thinking during pre-game festivities that it was a bit high and probably should come down a bit. By game time I was still craning my neck hoping at this point to catch just one glimpse of the elusive ‘Aints bagged head. To my utter disappointment, there were no bagged heads. Zero, none. So, I set out to get an explanation in my oh so tactful manner.

To one and all adorned in Saints gear I started to ask questions. Not the usual lineup you might expect. “Why is your team bad?”, “Do you miss Ricky Williams now that he is an honorary Marley?”, “Is your coach going to ever be fired, or do they drink so much in New Orleans they forgot you even had a team?” No, my line of questioning goes a bit more like this:

“HEY!!! WHERE’S YOUR BAG???!!???”

The most popular response was laughter, followed by the obligatory, “It’s not like that anymore.” To which I kindly responded with, “Oh really? Well what is it like then? Is it better?” followed generally with,


So, I have to commend the Saints fans for laughing and gaming along with my taunts of covered heads and horrible football teams as we pummeled them by touchdown after touchdown, but I was rather disappointed that there was not one brown bagged head in the whole stadium. I mean tradition is tradition folks, get out your brown bags and support your franchise for the pleasure of all the rest of us…

Bring On the Mission Bay Buccaneers. I Think We Can Take 'Em This Year

At this point, it’s hard to be original. The whole of the sports world is singing the praises of our glorious Chargers. Brees is a hot topic on every sports website going. Gates is poised to take the tight end crown from Tony Gonzales, and everybody knows that “He To Which All Others Must Be Compared” will be back at 100% percent after the bye, and ready to wreak havoc on those unfortunate to put themselves in his path. We are the hottest story in the NFL…

…except for that ‘Burger guy. Go figure, the Chargers have to compete with the second coming of Marino. It’s not our fault he gets to actually compete with teams that don’t suck. We didn’t make up the schedule. Let us have our thunder, damn it!.

Eh, I’m not really complaining. This team is firing on cylinders we weren’t even supposed to have. Even our defense is showing up. I mean New Orleans has some talent, but hell if we didn’t show them a little contain. Everything is working. Fake punt? Are you kidding? Safety? I can’t remember our last. Forcing the quarterback to throw a backwards pass to a lineman, which was almost picked by the Ref? Not quite sure that’s ever happened. Yeah, I like what I see.

Anyway, just a quickie there, not ready to sound off on what I think of this Brees/Rivers situation, but I’ll address it soon. Until then, Go Bolts! Please continue to play at a caliber which makes me able to remember the game even when I’m that hammered. Sweet.

Pre Vacation Success...

I don’t feel like doing this today, but since my team was kind enough to oblige us with a massacre this weekend and it came on the heels of the rainstorm, not during it, I managed to stay dry and have a bit of fun so here goes…

Much like the last time out, we rounded up the crew, and jammed them all into the A3 section where the grill did its job and the coolers did theirs too. Much to my dismay, the friends decided not to heed the warnings of not letting me get anywhere near a football and allowed me to throw the pig at will. I did however keep an eye scanning for the Pot Guy so I could immediately run away from all that dives on cars. The third party involved in the car diving incident was in fact in their same spot, yet we managed to avoid contact at all costs. Mostly incident free tailgating equals nice!

Pre game highlight #1: My cohort caught a little post pattern and tried to make a beeline for the six point line. Unfortunately he ran into the best hitter in the parking lot from Iowa, and coughed up the football like a bulimic’s breakfast. Being as alert as possible, I jumped on the loose pig and after the best spin move in my arsenal I made the trip to pay dirt. My first fumble recovery for a touchdown of ’04.

To the game… just a great experience all around, watching the number one offense in the league, yep, you read it right. Fourth and short on the first drive, we all cringe when Marty sends in the kicking group, and as quickly as I could boo the decision, Jesse was off and running down the field after a direct snap found him instead of the punter. Top it off with a Keenan McCardell passing attempt and we were suddenly transported to a Rams Patriots trick play festival. Antonio was once again Antonio, and all the receivers were running wild all day. I can’t remember a time when Skip dropped back and you didn’t see someone shedding their defender and breaking into wide open space. Skip was a little less than his sharpshooter self of the Raider game, yet he did enough in some mildly difficult weather conditions, he managed to complete about 61% of his bullets, which is good nonetheless. Once again a great day, a great game, and some good celebratin’ post game style.

Post game highlight #1: My cohort and the Card Dealer playing an impromptu game of “Tackle the Moron” in the parking lot of the Murph. And for those of you who missed the “Tackle the Moron” session I will do my best at some point to provide adequate description of what my eyes had the pleasure of viewing. Stay tuned…

And since no one else outside of this site will proclaim it quite as obnoxiously as me, I guarantee that we will NOT lose this weekend. My personal guarantee… No losing for us. More later…

Friday, November 05, 2004

What? You thought I'd go away???

So you stole my title with your close you starfish chugging monster. Stupid Blog site sucks for an hour and my post sits in limbo. So....

And so here we are. Here we are at five good ones and three bad ones (admittedly, two of those three weren’t that bad) one week away from vacation. One more big one before said vacation on the home patch of grass, and unless you plan to brave the torrential downpours that San Diego’s finest Doppler 382,967 is predicting, you aren’t going to see the ol’ ballgame this Sunday afternoon. No tele for you. Primarily due to the fact that 9,500 of you decided to skip yet another game for the comforts of your couches and the musical stylings of the Sister Simpson’s on MTV. Shame on all of you. My cohort in all of this and I will be near the A3 signs in the parking trap, grilling up soggy venison and holding the one and oh foam finger high. The other finger is for the Southerners on the visitors’ bench.

And now what will be the weekly installment of the Quick Hits.

Ready, Go!

1) The Bead Hoarders want Skip to throw the ball. Okay, so we’ll throw it on the 31st ranked defense in the league. I am guessing we might run it a bit, and a bit more also, but since we know their game plan, Prop Bet #1: Inches of rain at the Murph, or six point passes by the Skip. I’ll take the rain, only because I want the Southerners to pay equally in passing and running scores. Two for the Skip. Then two for the tailbacks, for a total of four, and then a quarter brick (that’s six) from Mr. Kaeding. Let’s go two and a half for the rain!

2) Prop Bet #2: Over/Under on the number of soggy brown bagged heads of Southerners fans we see. This one is tough, so I am setting it at 13. No thought process went into that one at all. That being said I will take the over. Any takers?

3) Does anyone know the number of arrests last weekend at the annual beating of the Raiders? I missed a total. Will we score more points this weekend (34 is my number) than arrests last weekend. That’s probably not even close is it…

4) Soggy field equals soggy hands equals turnovers. Battle plan is to win this one. He who hangs on to the sloppy pig wins. No I’ m not talking about last call at the watering hole, I am talking ‘bout the football. I nearly forgot about this one, but we had better hang on to the damned ball or we could be in for a long day. Like how my confidence wanes from sentence to sentence? Yeah!!

5) Cold, Wet, Day. Prop Bet Numero Tres: Dollars spent on beverages of the adult nature versus Total Points combined by both squads. Let’s see, $7.75 times x equals…, carry the two…, add the seven… and, okay, I will take the money.

6) Lastly, will there be “Victory Shots”?

Sunday afternoon. A3. Full of coolers, food, warm clothes and one big foam finger. Everyone is invited…

Analysis? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Analysis!

Hmm. I am really enjoying this. Wonderfully heated discussions with people about my team. My take, we rule. Their take, we suck. The team sucks, the fans suck, and the fans’ mothers suck. These are people who live in San Diego, mind you. Transplants, to be sure, but living here nonetheless. So I must delve deeper. Upon prodding I am often given the reason for hating the new “hometown” team. We, the fans, are too supportive of our sucky team. The media is not negative enough about the crappy Chargers. This, apparently is grounds for hating the team that plays in the town that was gracious enough to accommodate you East Coast Douche bags for a summer or two. I am uninformed as to the workings of football fandom. Now, true, I am quick to point out the shortcomings of my team, which would seem to absolve me. However, as anybody who is paying attention could attest to the fact that by kickoff I have pretty much convinced myself of certain Charger victory (This will be Leaf’s breakout game, I just know it!). Now Philly hates the Chargers. My cohort and I cheered vehemently when the Chargers looked poised to take Atlanta down a peg, and our buddy, who swears he’s come around to actually liking the Chargers, instantly becomes Falcon super fan extraordinaire. I guess the Falcons fans and media hate their team sufficiently. Now St. Louis hates us. Last week I called the Oakland A-bomb. Oakland has always hated us, but now New York does too for some reason. So how about this week? Tsch. It’s ridiculous to call predictions or talk about the players. It comes down to one simple fact. New Orleans is our puppet. There, that should take care of just about everyone else. Screw you, other New York!

San Diego, we can’t drive in rain and we support our teams. God, I don’t even like us.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Go Whistle Dixie Out Your...

Focus Time. New Orleans is coming to town and I don’t think they are bringing Mardi Gras’ finest qualities with them. This might be the biggest game of the season to date for the Bolts as we attempt to get to the week off with a three over five hundy record. Getting to vacation day with those numbers is nothing short of spectacular for this squad and will do wonders for the prep work that needs to be done to tackle the “Scariest Team in the AFC West” twice in the second half. Yep, The Priest and the Injuns. Twice. Umm…Suggestions, anyone?!?

That being said, this is a very winnable game for the Bolts. In fact, it is another head scratching, “Can this one even be close?” moment for me. The Good Guys are obviously capable of putting up big numbers in the “Makes the Cannon go Boom” column of importance on the home turf. The big question is can the ‘Aints (sorry, that’s all I got) do anything to stop them. From what I have read from the “experts”, the key is to take “Best Ever” out of the game. According to said “experts” if Tomlinson can’t run, and The Skipper can’t find him on the short screens, Skip’s rhythm goes white guy in a dance contest and the Bead Hoarding Southerners win this one going away.

Hmmm, stop Tomlinson from running and catching passes and they have a shot. Gee, that seems pretty reasonable. Sounds easy enough to do. Take Tomlinson out of the game completely. Okay, short of a Kerrigan/ Harding moment behind the goalposts in warm ups, how exactly is that done? Well no matter, Jesse Chatman has proven time and time again that he is absolutely useless, so if they do go the Ice Queen route on “Best Ever” we are through. How do these guys get paid for this garbage? Do they just spit out whatever nonsensical thoughts that are running through their Dyanabol laced brains and see who swallows it hook , line, and sinker? Jesse will get some face time due to the recurring groin, and he will do just fine as he has done all the season long.

So with Tomlinson neutralized and Skip’s rhythm shattered like the hopes of the French during the election, wherever will the Bolts turn? Anyone? Oh, I got this one, no wait I do. Ummm…Hmmmm…Let me think just for three seconds (really that’s all I’ve got, after that the three remaining brain cells revolt and start fighting each other)…. Got it!!! Keenan McCardell, E. Parker, and First Down/Touchdown Mr. Gates.

Let's reiterate shall we? Just take Tomlinson out of the game completely, stop his more than adequate backup Jesse, and then halt The Skipper from finding any one of his three favorite point making friends on our home field. Damn those Saints. Oh boy, now I' ve done it. They have got me so terrified I think I might have just made a deposit in the old shorts, I need a safety wipe . I think I better wear a Depends to the game.

Quick Hits and Super Fun, blackout status update (not looking good) and tailgating info all tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I'm Afraid I Must Take Umbrage.

Wow. That was kind of harsh don’t you think? I think it’s important to remember that the Raiders are an organization rich with the tradition of putting a quality, winning product on the field. Often, when I think of the Raiders, I am reminded of the proud Samurai Warriors of the Serengeti, who helped George Washington and General Douglas McArthur defeat the Redcoats during the Barbarian Invasions of 1812. Their courage and determination should be an inspiration to us all.

And when speaking of their fans, words such as “myopic” and “ridiculously nostalgic” are often bandied about. Have we forgotten how their team has never stopped cheating, and never stopped trying, leading them to five Super bowl appearances and three Super bowl wins, all having occurred within the last two centuries? Raider fans are referred to as cruel and rowdy, but I am reminded of a story related to me, by a nun, from behind the security gate of a Catholic church in South Central Los Angeles, where I once stopped to receive treatment for a wound and also to ask directions. It seems there once was a boy named Billy, who was dying of Cancer or Gonorrhea or something and his last wish was for the Raiders to win some game or something. So a Raider fan came and befriended him and got him an autographed jersey, or put his sister through college, I think. Anyway, the kid died, and the guy kicked a field goal at halftime or something. I think you can see where I am going with this, can’t you?

Don’t hate on the Raiders and their nation of loyal supporters who are all able to name at least three of their team’s players (Not current players, mind you, but-you know-guys like Romanowski and such). They would surely treat you with the same courtesy.

A Question and a List...

Something curious…. And in no way should diminish what the Bolts have accomplished up to the half way point of this glorious season. Are the Raiders quitters?

It appeared so at the end of the 2003 campaign that the Nation of all that is Raider, quit on Bill Callahan. Quite literally stopped playing football to spite the man that was the leader of the Nation. Quit like a bunch of five year olds playing marco polo and failing to catch their buddy “fish out of water”.

Did in fact the Raiders quit again this Sunday? Did they quit on their second coach in two years, a coach that many teams in the league have encountered generally with disappointing results? Did they mail it in during the blowout on their newest disciple of all that is Al, after just eight weeks? Or was Warren Sapp asking Norv Turner for directions to the venue for the “Big Man Dance Contest” going on in the land of all that is frilly, fuzzy and silly this Halloween weekend? The Raiders have their mystique and their mottos and their dedication to all that is Black and Silver. But I am starting to get tired of things like mystique and aura and all things the like…it all smells like a two year old’s drawers after extra hot spicy chili night at the “Chuck E. Cheese”. I for one am sick of it, so let’s be the one’s who call things as they are seen.

The list of all that sucks, begins now:

-The Raiders are no good. They are no good. They might in fact be the worst team in football.

-Groups like San Francisco and Chicago keep the Raiders from earning this distinction all on their well deserved own. There is no way to measure the worst when they are all so terribly bad. So, by logical conclusion they are all guilty of sucking beyond repair and should literally forfeit all their remaining games so that I can keep the sanctity of my eyesight. If they choose to continue playing, all things camera like should be aimed at their cheerleaders in various weather conditions and stages of dress.

-All Raider fans (and 49er’s as well) hereby relinquish control of both their own and their significant other’s voice boxes when addressing an intelligent discussion about football. Your teams cost you the right to have an opinion by repeatedly desecrating your playing fields with the brand of football that you produce regularly. Stop telling me that the 1994 ‘Niners were Gods. That was ten years ago. Stop telling me the Raiders were in the Super Bowl two years ago. A game that they truly were never really “in”.

Tangent coming in 3….2…..1…..

-Low Carb Everything. Pizza? Beer? Beer? Low Carb Beer? Yes, I am insinuating,… no…, wait., I …, wait…, You…..damn!?? Wait…. My faculties were completely lost for a moment with the vast inappropriateness of what I was about to say. If you can’t handle the “carb load” that comes with regular beer, you should be neutered and sent off to colonize a foreign land in the name of everything that is “Metro” (Dear God, make it stop please.) and not right with our world. Football fans drinking low carb beer, what’s next, manicures? You want to stay in our world, drink Whiskey or Tequila. Eat real pizza, topped with more pizza, and maybe brats.

I think I am off to go kill Bambi, and make steaks for the tailgate this weekend with real carcinogen producing coals for the grill, full strength beers in asbestos lined coolers, preparing for the decimation of what will be the New Orleans Saints.

Monday, November 01, 2004

I was a bad fan...

San Diego Chargers: 42 Oakland Raiders: 14

Complete, Total Domination. Annihilation. Decimation. Destruction. Massive, Ulcer Inducing Beating, Prison Style. I have run the thesaurus dry. The Chargers actions on Sunday spoke at volumes that cannot be reached by the written word, cue to me to shut up.

On that note there is something that I have needed to do for some number of weeks now. I have managed to avoid this moment for many reasons and finally I have had to choke down the turd covered, turd pellets and finally come clean with this team.

I am sorry Drew Brees.
I was wrong. I am sorry.

I was a naysayer and a bad fan.
I am sorry and I apologize.
Read that again. And then again.
(Most of you can’t possibly realize how tough that was)

I will not be hyper critical of your performance any longer. You are a good quarterback. You have been displaying that all season long. Yesterday’s performance just solidified your status in San Diego. I hope that things have not been soured so badly that like me, most people can realize before it is too late that you should be our quarterback and you deserve better treatment in this town. I will quietly sit and watch you play and say I am proud to have you leading our team.

I was wrong.

I am glad that I was.

Hey Raiders! Here's Your Ass!

You know I love this if I’m actually ready to post first thing Monday morning. My football team can beat up your football team. Yesterday Raider Nation had an inflammation of humiliation at the hands of Charger point inflation, to which was toasted many a libation. This has been a long time coming. I can’t remember the last time our boys so thoroughly dominated a team. The last time I could breathe easy in the fourth quarter. No doubt. No worry. Just jubilant celebration with my fellow Bolts faithful. What went right, you ask?

Drew Brees is playing out of his head, right now. He has given up throwing INTs, and is becoming a very serious touchdown junkie. Being no expert, I spoke with some big-time football people and they assured me that these are the sort of attributes that coaches and General Managers look for in a signal caller. What can I say? The NFL is a mystery to me, but I’ll take their word for it.

“Better Than Your Guy” still looks beat up, but is still getting some good touches, while Jesse Chatman just grinds up clock. This running game is potent, and when it comes back healthy after the bye, it’s going to be downright nasty.

The receiving core is showing up. Eric Parker desperately wants a nickname, and Dwight Lightning got a receiving TD for the first time since I can remember. McCardell, so far, is everything we could have hoped for. A solid veteran presence that gets open and makes plays.

Special teams. What can I say about special teams? Nate Kaeding may be the best extra point guy in the league. Yesterday he made a believer out of me.

I know you don’t think I’m forgetting “First Down!” (Who obviously wants to be upgraded to “Touchdown!”) This guy is rapidly becoming the heart and soul of this Charger team. That’s saying a lot, but try to find a detractor. This guy holds his own against anyone in the league, and has so much fight. I need a Gates Jersey, stat.

All in all, a performance for the ages. I know we’ve been here before, only to see it slip through the cracks, but if you can’t get overly excited about whooping on the Raiders, what’s the point of watching at all? Stay tuned for lot’s of mushy Charger hugs and kisses this week. I feel like a schoolgirl.