Friday, March 31, 2006

I Feel The Need To Explain.

Let me go ahead and expound upon my disdain for Mr. Smith. Many people seem to forget, this entire mess might never have reared it’s ugly head, and A.J. would have gotten his way long ago, if he hadn’t tried to play hide the dollar with Philip Rivers in the first place. Now, you can say that it was Rivers and his agent, but let’s be realistic. Smith pulled this garbage with Gates and, in my opinion threw away our opening game against Dallas and whatever momentum we might have garnered from a victory there. Then he pulled it with Shawn Merriman who only ended up starting, what, 9 or 10 games last season as Defensive Rookie of the Year. I doubt he could have been much of a factor in those first two losses.

The common denominator here is Smith. Not the Poston Bros. Not Rosenhaus or Condon. Smith. Or more accurately, the Charger organization. Butler did it. Beathard did it. The Chargers have a rich history of pissing off veterans and not getting 1st rounders into camp. I can only imagine the Spanos’ GM evaluation worksheet:

Would you describe yourself as a(n)___?

A) Spendy little bitch

B) Sound financial investor

C) Tight-fisted shrewish bastard

You answered C. Welcome aboard, here’s your corner office.

Let me be clear, I really liked Brees, but the truth is, I’m excited to see the Philip Rivers era begin. I have high hopes. But if this team falls apart and fails because of this, I will be more than happy to throw Smith under the bus. And then get in the bus. And drive it. Okay, I don’t really know how to drive a bus, but you get the idea. Screw it, go Bolts!!!

A.J. Smith Is A Big Fat Winner

Let me preface this by saying that I think Canepa is a douche bag 98% of the time, and this falls into that percentile.

A few things I don't like here:

1)The subtle dig at Brees early on, "If we think you're worth enough, you're going to get paid.”

2)He didn't sign LeCharles Bentley, and presumably any other big free agents, because he knew he would get a 3rd or 4th round pick next year if he didn't? I think the disparity between LeCharles Bentley and a 3rd or 4th is enough to make this one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

3)The not so subtle dig at Brees at the end, “I don't care who holds the trophy over his head.”

See, this is my big problem with this guy. The ego. He is completely unlikeable, and not only does he know it, he embraces it. He feels like Brees and his agent slighted him in the public eye, and he may be right, but there was certainly grounds for it. Brees did all he could in a high pressure situation to compete at the highest possible level with the promise of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and in the end, the team's management basically turned their back on him. Do I think the team was wrong? No. But to not acknowledge the fact that Brees' hurt feelings had some amount of justification, and instead make digs like the preceeding, shows an almost Leafian level of "neener neener neener" childishness in a grown man. I don't know if I'll ever actually like this guy, even if all his moves turn out to be the right ones.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Explanation. Part I...

So it has been but a few weeks since we found out that the team that resides for the time being here in San Diego would not be retaining the services of one Drew Brees. Feedback around town has been divided like a province in the Middle East, well, no that would suggest that there is a bit of unity here in town. There isn’t. Not even a bit. So it’s my duty to try to unite the city, one city, under sunshine, with belief in our new squad leader, Phillip Rivers but that comes later…

On the surface and to those not in the know, it might appear that we made a mistake by not resigning our designated leader. But, as we have covered here and need not rehash ad nauseam, but our quarterback was injured. Seriously. He was. A torn labrum is not something that is easy to recover from. Add to that a torn rotator cuff, which I know a little bit about, you are talking about a climb uphill somewhere between Mt. Whitney and Everest. Not that it can’t be done mind you, but it’s a bit more than a difficult task. Can Drew recover from it? If anyone can he will. Will he be the same? No one really knows. But there are problems with the situation that he found himself in and blame can only be placed on the people that allowed him to play in week 17. That’s it. Unfortuately, the worst thing that could have happened short of a mysterious spot on your tingly parts after a trip to T.J., happened to Drew that week…

I’d number the problems and rank them in order of importance, but they are so numerous, and almost really equally important, so in no particular order:

A quarterback with a sub par, I mean below avera…, I mean ‘good arm’, hurt his good arm. Now, I’m not an expert, but if you are making a paycheck and you significantly injure the part that makes you a paid professional athlete, sorry, but you’re out of luck. Sorry. It’s just the way it is. Sorry. Get over it. When your arm strength isn’t your strength, and you hurt your arm, there’s the door. Sorry.

Now, I can understand if you are under contract, say five or six years on your deal, millions of dollars still to pay on that deal, and you hurt your gunslingin’ arm, well you might get another shot. You might even compete for the starting job, you might even be the favorite for that slot, but when you hurt your moneymaker and you have no contract, sorry. There’s the door. Happy trails. Don’t look back…

Ohh, and when the guy that is backing you up is the number one draft pick for the guy that seems to specialize in drafts, and oh by the by, has a long term deal. The kind of long term deal that has most of the guaranteed money already in the kid’s bank account, job security is not your friend. In fact, when you’re hurt, demand top dollar, have no deal, and the number one draft pick behind you does, not only do you not have job security, you don’t have a job. Sorry, there’s the door. Sorry.

Yes. There was a mistake made in our organization. The last day of 2005 marks that day. Drew shouldn’t have been playing. That’s the mistake. It’s unfortunate, tragic, demoralizing and awful that it happened, but it did. Get over it. He’s gone. There are no more mistakes. There was one, and that’s done and it’s over.

And you radio guys that insist on the fact that the organization made a mistake by not resigning Drew, you’re wrong. And spending time in the morning trying to prove that the organization made a mistake by telling us that Drew is rehabbing great and can now throw a football to a five yard target, that’s great. I’m pretty sure Phil can do that, I’m pretty sure I can do that, and my six year old niece is getting pretty close, she can hit about one in three from that distance. It doesn’t mean you’re healthy, it doesn’t mean your arm is fine, and it doesn’t mean that you get 60 MILLION BUCKS!!!! It doesn’t . When will you realize that? When will you realize you’re wrong? Sorry. Get over it. Sorry. He’s gone. Sorry. He isn’t coming back. And the guy coming in isn’t half bad....

Monday, March 20, 2006

Goodbye and Good Luck...

It’s officially final and finally official. Mr. Drew Brees is now a member of the one and only New Orleans Saints. A team that cost me $50 last year in their season opener by playing with all kinds of unwarranted emotion have once again left me disappointed. Oh, wait, no they didn’t. They just proved to me to be at the front of the pack in terms of ‘Sports Owners that I Know More Than” group. In what amounts to me as a questionable decision, the Saints have offered and it has been accepted, a 6 year 60 million dollar deal with a 10 million dollar signing bonus. Now as I sit here and read this over and over again, I am struck a bit puzzled as to why you would do this as a the owner of a professional sports franchise. It is difficult for me to see justifying this deal on any level, which brings me great disappointment. There have not been too many quarterbacks for our franchise in my lifetime that I have been able to grow accustomed to. Once again this holds true, as the hard to love Drew Brees leaves town for good. And in all honesty, if that is truly the money it was going to take to keep the guy with injury, I’ll help him pack his stuff and send him on his way with a smile and a pat on the back. Seeing as how I can’t really articulate what thoughts are assaulting the inside of my skull right now, I am switching to bullet format. Enjoy...

-This deal: 6 years/ $60 million, $10million dollar signing bonus, is universally out of this world ludicrous. I would have been disappointed had the Chargers even approached this mark for a one armed man. I wonder if I can get the Benson’s on the phone and tell them I have some property in the 9th Ward with minor water damage for sale???


2002-2003- Drew Brees is our Quarterback. Drew Brees is not my favorite quarterback...

2004 - Drew Brees plays himself onto the favorite quarterback list...

2005 - Coaching staff does their part to deflect interest from Drew Brees’ regressing numbers to their own ineptness on the field...

12.31.2005- Drew Brees injures shoulder in meaningless game. Severity of injury downplayed. Coaching staff escapes ‘Barry Bonds Level’ scrutiny for their decision to start him...

03.14.2006- Drew Brees becomes a New Orleans Saint. I laugh uncontrollably at the terms of the contract. Unfortunately eating girl scout cookies at the time terms were announced. Same cookies are now growing in my lungs.

Drew Brees was a decent quarterback and an easy to like kind of guy when he was playing well. I don’t think that the Chargers, or more importantly, I would have ponied up the scratch for a 6 year/60 million dollar deal, even if the injury never occurred. Drew is a solid quarterback that had one great year, one decent year, and one and a half awful ones. Sorry, a $10 million per year quarterback he is not, even with two arms...

-Miami reportedly put Drew through a series of tests Monday to measure the progress of the rehabilitation. Obviously, they did not like what they saw enough that they went and traded a second round draft pick for Daunte Culpepper. The same Daunte Culpepper that has a $100 million dollar contract and had an interception to touchdown ratio last season prior to his injury of about 126:1. Or roughly the same ratio in Mammoth last weekend of guys to boobs.

-New Orleans in true New Orleans form, chose to ignore the fact that a torn labrum, combined with a torn rotator cuff is a serious career threatening type injury. Opting to focus on the derma band exercises that Drew has perfected post surgery. He is showing professional form raising and lowering his arm, stretching the resistance bands well, and is striving to be able to raise a donut, and turn multiple pages of a newspaper in the next month. But think, he is six weeks ahead in his rehab, no one thought he'd be turning pages of newsprint this quickly. Throwing the ball you say? Not important, as he will not be able to test that ability or lack there of until June or so. Logically that leads us to the conclusion that the Saints ownership just gave $10 million guaranteed to a guy who at the moment, cannot throw the ball. Good thing throwing a ball is not in the job description for a quarterback.

-Finally, as it would be I am saddened to see Drew go. He seemed like a good guy, liked the town and obviously worked very hard to become a good quarterback after what would be generous to describe as an inauspicious start. Things were pretty bleak there for a while. But, he did his best and with the mentality of a team we improved and got much better as the sum of our parts. Had the coaching staff not reverted back to their ultra conservative ways at times we may have achieved a higher degree of success. But, sad as it is to see him go, it’s time. An injury has wrecked his future here. No matter how much personal admiration and good feeling we hold for him, he is damaged goods now. Investing in him financially would be like buying a car with Louisiana Plates and a watermark on the dash. You may get a good deal, but you don’t know what you are getting. The funny part is the Saints didn’t really even get a good deal. They paid top dollar. And, it is being reported that Drew and his wife took out a full page ad to thank New Orleans for their new opportunity. The kind folks in the Big Easy decided to thank Drew by taking up a collection to pay for the ad so that Drew doesn't put a strain on his $60 million dollar savings... A new era begins in San Diego.