Monday, January 15, 2007

I Did Not Sleep Last Night. See?

So I’m reading all the fan letters to the San Diego Union-Tribune Express Post Journal this morning and the overwhelming majority of fans seem to think that Marty Schottenheimer had little, if anything to do with the loss of that game. Now, I’ll admit that the things that stand out here are individual plays by individual players. For Example:

1) Clinton Hart leaping like a ballerina only to try and reel in an interception near and around his crotchal region.

2) Eric Parker dropping a big third down conversion.

3) Big Vinny’s refusal to drag his foot in the end zone.

4) Eric Parker dropping a big third down conversion.

5) Drayton Florence’s ridiculous personal foul to keep the Pats alive on a crucial drive.

6) Eric Parker muffing a big punt.

7) Marlon McCree’s refusal to cover up an ill-advised fourth down interception.

8) Eric Parker dropping a huge third down conversion.

Every one of those plays were big contributors to yesterday’s heart breaking loss, but they do not in any way absolve Marty of his personal crimes. For example:

1) Going for it on 4th and 11 in the first quarter, eschewing a 48 yard field goal, in an obvious attempt to prove to the world that he could be aggressive in the post season.

2) Signing off on the prevent defense at the end of the first half that prevented nothing.

3) Having a team so unprepared that they were forced to call a timeout after a television timeout on a crucial fourth quarter third down, resulting in a pass to Eric Parker that he didn’t even have the opportunity to screw up himself he was so covered.

4) Signing off on an offensive gameplan that had TBE carrying the ball 9 times in the second half.

5) Throwing the red flag on a fantasy challenge the likes of which makes leprechauns and unicorns say, “Not in your wildest dreams!” That one may have haunted us the most ultimately.

6) Once again, putting his kicker in the most difficult of situations during the playoffs without so much as trying to make one more play for a better outcome. 8 seconds is plenty of time to hit the sideline or throw it away and still try your 54 yarder Marty.

Ironically, the thing that killed Marty was his decision to second guess his own methods. Driving a stake through the heart of Martyball drove a stake through the heart of this town. He should have let his pro bowl kicker kick that first one. TBE should have carried the ball 35 times. Too often the play was put on Rivers, who played well enough for a young quarterback whose receivers continually dropped balls and/or focus.

I, too, see the irony in canning a coach after a 14-2 season, but everyone in the world knew that this game was about exactly that. It’s been a fun ride at times Marty, but all too sad in the long run. Good luck building a solid team for someone else wherever you go next. You are truly the best regular season coach the world has ever known. Maybe someday you will meet your destiny and be paired with Peyton Manning. The two of you could destroy a perfect season together, I’m sure of it.

As for next week, I can not with any conviction vote for the Colts or the Pats, they both make me all with the queasy stomach and such. If the Bears manage to knock off the Saints, football likely ends for me there. I’ll watch, of course, but my heart was all but snuffed out yesterday. I don’t know how much you’ll see from me up here for a while. I’ll try to stay current, but most of the features will be gone until next season. No more INFL summaries for me. No more Cuts either, but if you haven’t already guessed, my last Cut is Eric Parker. Everybody drops passes, but I will never be able to figure out what he was trying to do on that muffed punt.

To the rest of the guys, thanks for the season, it sure was a lot of fun. See you next year. Go Bolts!!!


CJ said...

God Dammit and Fuck.

Ryan said...

About Marty. I felt he had a good gameplan. Though he made some mistakes, all in all, the Chargers were in a good postion to win. In fact they were in a great position to dominate. Unfortunately for Marty, bad things happen to his teams and since I am not a believer in luck, I am left to believe that there can be a culture of losing. In the end, Marty's demons could not be exorcised. Has his past become such a distraction that his players play to tight because they don't want to be the ones to continue to hurt Marty's reputation? The sample size is too big and the trend is too one sided. Marty is 5-13 in the playoffs and has taken three #1 seeds to earliest possible of exits. He has not won in the playoffs since 1993. Can you remember what you were doing 14 years ago? The Chargers will go in another direction not because Marty did a bad job this year, but because they will want to distance themselves from the one man who is the emodiment of a bride's maid.

CJ said...

It all obviously can't land on Marty. He doesn't field punts, fumble the ball, or make stupid decisions resulting in penalties.

What he does do, or rather doesn't do is lead. Where were the adjustments? Where were the admonishments for making stupid plays? Why leave Parker in the game? Why challenge the McCree mistake? Why skip an opportunity to run one more play prior to the last field goal attempt?

As usual, there was no leadership or planning from the coaches. They failed to make adjustments when things were going poorly. They failed to inspire the players to play better, smarter football once the foibles began. One problem that has been prevalent for some time.

God Dammit and Fuck.

Ryan said...

One final whine on my part and then I'm done....maybe. What makes this loss so extra craptastic is the knowledge that the so called "donkey" fans and "raiders" fans now have that much more ammunition to dismiss the chargers as just a quaint team to have in the division.

Ryan said...

One final whine on my part and then I'm done....maybe. What makes this loss so extra craptastic is the knowledge that the so called "donkey" fans and "raiders" fans now have that much more ammunition to dismiss the chargers as just a quaint team to have in the division.

CJ said...

Yeah, I'm not done yet. I'll have to put up the final rant when I can stomach rehashing this awful end.