During the week one debut of what is now the 2005 National Football League season, a friend of mine that I regularly football talk with asked me what I thought of this years Chargers team via one of the newest most popular forms of non verbal communication, the email. I wish that I had that email still saved to this day, had I the ability to reincarnate that communication from the archives, you would see that my frustrations (read: worst fears) to this point have been realized.
My biggest concerns for the 2005 season, were a) the secondary (most obvious, but since everybody knows it now and won’t shut up about it, I will take the lead and close my yap first) and b) the fact that we just might lose a whole bunch of close games. I thought to myself in looking over the ’05 squad that we never really ‘improved’ the team in any area. We just brought back a consistent group of guys who were able to get the job done last year. I thought (now it looks like I was correct) that we wouldn’t get blown out by anybody, despite the horror that is our schedule, but that we would give new meaning to the ‘Cardiac’ label that gets tossed around so easily. And we have.
(Side Note: I am officially getting off of the defense’s back. They played great. Failure to move the chains in critical times and questionable coaching decisions, and one HUGE holding penalty started this mess. The act of God merely finished it. So, listen up ‘D’, you are off the hook as far as I am concerned. The Iggles couldn’t do anything on offense. Absolutely nothing.)
How is a 3–4 team, us, a six point favorite against a 4-2 Chiefers team? Why is everyone with the exception of Sean Salisbury saying that we are the best 3-4 team that has ever played? Is it the 4 losses by a combined 12 points? Is it the fact that we held the lead or were tied in every one of those losses until late in the fourth quarter? Does losing a game by a last second field goal after having the lead for most of the entire game hurt less than getting destroyed by the same team? Does a miraculous blocked kick that gets returned for a touchdown that ultimately wins the game for those bastards from Philly mean that God hates us? Do any of these questions make you want to throw up in your Charger hat and then light it on fire?
(Side Note: Salisbury after the game was busy wearing out his knees servicing the McNabb’s and the Owens’ of Philly, by spouting off how Philly had dominated us all game. Yeah, to the tune of 14 run plays, three of which were kneel downs to kill the clock. Fifty plus passes, and nothing to show for it. Nothing short of an act of God miracle saved them. But I can see how the dominated us all game. Really I can…)
I can’t answer any of these questions. Call it bad luck, call it bad coaching, call it an inability to finish out these games we had the lead late in. The players haven’t been making plays, the coaches have been ultra conservative, and the dice have been rewarding the only guy on the “don’t pass” line at this season’s craps table for weeks now. No one is cheering, no one is celebrating, and no one is ordering shots and lining up limos to get the big winners to the adult entertainment bars in this our Vegas scenario. There is no Vegas scenario. Nope. If it was, we’d be the ultra drunk guy that keeps getting the pit boss all riled up when he swears at the dealer because she keeps dealing him garbage hands every time. We’d be the guy muscling his way to the front of the line of the only game he can win, high limit ATM. We’d be the guy calling his bank at a shade before midnight yelling at the customer service rep to release his funds for the next day a little early. This season has been standing on 20 with the dealer showing 16 and losing every hand. This season has been having your aces cracked by a guy playing a 5-2 offsuit cause his daughter was born on May 2. This season has been like a Halloween party full of guys dressed as chicks with a warm keg of PBR that has been sitting next to a broken Chevelle in the neighbor’s garage for three weeks. This is not our season.
That Philly game was something unlike anything I have seen in my years of watching San Diego sports. There have been times, like the 2-2 Mark Langston pitch to Tino Martinez in the ’98 World Series. The whole country saw strike three and we were out of the inning. Too bad that the ump saw it differently, or rather didn’t see it and one pitch and one grand slam later the Fucking Yankees as they are known around here flattened us. As that scene unfolded Sunday, I was without words. What the hell just happened? Did that just happen? Who does that happen to? What the hell just happened? I am still not convinced that happened. This felt like that Jets game that ruined my birthday last January.
Can this team rebound from that? I don’t know. Can we make a push and still contend for the division? I think so, but after that debacle on Sunday, I don’t know. And if I have any doubts, I think we would be asking a whole hell of a lot from the guys actually playing the game to put it out of their minds. I ran into Donnie Edwards on Monday, it looked like he had just finished practice, and he looked tired. I wanted to console him and say, “Tough Loss, man”, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to be the one that brought that crap back to the front of the gray matter. Hopefully the guys can wash that residual shit off of them and get back out there on Sunday and make Vermiel cry. If they can’t, we can rinse ourselves off for the rest of the season.