Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Have You Even Been Paying Attention, Nick?

Nick Canepa implores GM AJ Smith to get a deal done with Vinnie Jack or at least franchise him. Listen, Little Nicky, a franchise at this point is the only option and here's all you need to know about that.

1) VJ comes back for his first game of the season and immediately pulls up lame.

2) People instantly start to speculate that VJ might be painting himself as even more of a malcontent than AJ has claimed he is and the fear is that this will impact his value on the open market.

3) VJ catches 3 TDs and goes for over 100 yards in his next game back. The performance is certain to make his value skyrocket.

4) Everybody in San Diego screams, "Franchise tag!"

5) Vinnie Jack goes out and has a pedestrian day against the Bengals in a game the team has to win.

And that is how little VJ wants to play for AJ. So, AJ can go ahead and franchise him, but we all better be prepared to have a player guaranteed to take $10 million+ off the hands of the employers who screwed him this year and who has no desire to play for them anymore. Do you trust that player to do break his back for the Chargers next year? Would you? $10 million in pocket and a league that loves to give chance after chance to talent? The only thing VJ could do in San Diego next year to hurt his value is get injured.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Staying the Course.

Wait a minute, this course runs straight through a minefield and then off a cliff into a lake of molten lava! Norv's coming back, people. Now, this shouldn't be a surprise, but if you need answers you can check out Canepa's piece from the UT this morning. Or you can read on as I dissect it:

What Dean Spanos can do that many of his football team’s fans can’t do, is remember. It doesn’t take much for the Chargers president to recall the not-so-long-ago, when he was boss of the worst team in the NFL, when even he admits his organization lacked organization.

His short term memory is nothing to write home about, but he will never forget the mess his last egomaniacal GM got him into. Thank goodness for that!

So, when Spanos, who has been in charge of the franchise since father Alex handed him the wheel in 1994, says head coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith will return in 2011, he almost seems incredulous, amazed that he has to be asked.

Of course he's incredulous. This team's upper levels have gone to great efforts to make two things abundantly clear. That they are far more worried about financial decisions than football decisions, and that they don't care one iota what the fans think. Norv Turner's future in San Diego has only ever been in doubt throughout bars and living rooms in San Diego. This team paid the man directly after one of his greatest failures to date, why should this joke of a season change anything?

“I’ve learned the hard way,” Spanos said. “Your GM and coach have to be two individuals who work together. It’s very difficult for some teams; I’ve been through it. I like the working relationship at this level.

"You weren't there! You don't know what it was like! Mommy and daddy fighting and screaming at each other all the time. They said it was my fault! Now new mommy let's me stay up as late as I want and have cake for breakfast!"

“We’re as disappointed as anyone. But I look to 1996 to 2003, when we couldn’t even get (beyond) 8-8. We’ve turned it around, to where we’re a good team and a good organization. There’s a lot of continuity, but we’re still short.

I'm sorry, give me a minute because my head just exploded. This team is a loss away from being 8-8 for the second time since Norv got here. How is that turned around from a team that couldn't get past 8-8? Is it because the media consensus is that we're better than our shitty record indicates? Well hold onto those press clippings, because they are practically the equivalent of a Lombardi apparently.

It’s not often I can sit across from Dean Spanos and agree with much of what he has to say. I’ve had go-rounds with dad and go-rounds with son, but if he were to tear this thing up now and start all over, it just might be the biggest mistake he’s made. And he’s made a few, which he also admits (and, no, firing Marty Schottenheimer is not one of them; yes, firing Bobby Ross is).

I hate to break it to you, Nicky, but these two situations (Ross and Schotty) are nearly identical. If you're saying it's a bad idea to tear it all up now, how can you possibly say that it was a good idea to tear it up under Marty? Oh right, because Marty and AJ couldn't get along and everybody knows that a good GM/Coach relationship is essential in building a winner. That's why we're so good right now. Didn't you see our offensive and defensive rankings? Fuck the Superbowl!

But there are things to consider before ripping and slashing, given the labor unrest in the NFL. There are no guarantees there will be a season in 2011. There may be a quarter-season, a half-season, no training camp, no minicamps, no offseason workouts.

If this happens and you bring in a new coach or a new GM, with new systems and philosophies, good luck in 2011.

You mean if we bring a new coach in right now we may not be able to compete for the possible partial season that awaits us? And there it is, folks, the reason guys like Canepa make the big bucks. My feeble football brain could never see things so clearly. I would have thought that the possibility of a suspended or partial season next year makes this a perfect time to bring in new coaches and a new philosophy. You'd have plenty of time to assemble your new staff and let them evaluate the team's talent and assess their strengths. I'm a moron like that. Talent evaluation is not essential to winning. A good GM/Coach relationship is paramount to achieving football goals! Everybody in the business knows that, silly bloggers!

Smith and Turner both have made mistakes. If the Chargers get off to another bad start in 2011 — or whenever the next season begins — that it isn’t going to get fixed under Norv, enough will be enough. It’s asking too much to continually rise from the dead. This year, for many reasons, it didn’t happen, but the early season bungling has to stop.

This is it! Four slow starts is one thing, but five?! Five will mean it's time to start considering what actions the organization must take once the slow starts reach seven years in a row. Because I am always doing stupid shit, people are fond of telling me that "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Normally I try to point out that this is the stupidest saying in the world and that it is not at all the definition of insanity. Since it applies here,though, I'm gonna use it because as it is well documented on this blog, I am a raging hypocrite.

Norv took over a good team and I think he’s done a good job under some trying circumstances. I hate to make excuses, but I don’t (care). It’s hard to win without players. Last year we lost six players in our opener at Oakland and Norv won 13 games. This year, I’ve never seen anything like it. I know injuries are a (bleep) excuse, but we started 2-5 and could have caved and we didn’t.

"I hate to make excuses, but here goes!" And here's a newsflash: The 2-5 start was the caving. The Raider game was a caving. Sunday was a caving. We could have caved and we did. Over and over.

Norv has not been good enough to coach this team to a championship. A.J. has not been good enough to manage this team to a championship. But I do know that, just seven years ago, it was the worst team in football.

Only seven years ago? Well, shit.

“It wasn’t coaching. Sometimes the best thing in the world is to make very few changes. There’s an image out there that Norv is my puppet..."

Because he is.

...No changes at the top. And, all things considered, that’s not a bad thing. For now.

Yeah, totally. For now it's no big deal because, you know, the seasons over for all intents and purposes. In fact, I don't really see this "staying the course" thing becoming a real problem until we start playing meaningful football games again. Then, of course, we're screwed.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Thanks for the Memories

Man, we are a spoiled lot out here in San Diego. All of us convinced that a climb back to the top from a 2-5 start was not only possible, but inevitable. Looking around the bar yesterday as the seconds ran out in a miserable game against a miserable team that sealed our miserable fate, the shock was tangible. Maybe it was my fault for never following through on a deal made with the Football Gods years ago, or maybe it was CJ's fault for calling this letdown before kick-off. Or just maybe the writing was on the wall. Here's what I'll remember about this disaster of a season:

The defections: Several key contributors left this past offseason. For some, like LT and Jamal Williams the time had probably come. But what about Kassim Osgood? Grand special teams contributor leaves town and the his old chums let us down early and often.

The holdouts: All year we were forced to patch together a workable receiving corps due to injury. It's hard to believe our best receiver wouldn't have helped out a bit during that early start. And it's hard to believe our QB would have spent as much time on the ground if our best offensive lineman had had his back for the first 6 games of the season.

Our smug GM: Have you ever seen someone so satisfied with themselves for "winning" a battle of wills with a player's dimwitted agents? AJ Smith created a poisonous work environment with his hardball bullshit, and the real losers here were the team on the field and the fans in the stands.

Our stingy owner: Dean Spanos saved millions on the Vincent Jackson holdout. That's good business.

Our lousy coach: Perhaps the saddest thing to come of this season is that without a total collapse there is no way our coaching situation is fixed. Norvelle started the season by claiming that this was the best Chargers team he had coached yet, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Due to his inability to make adjustments, his "They'll never see this coming" style of playcalling and his brand of all out panic (see the second Raiders game), that best team of his might finish .500 on the season. That would be his second .500 season in 4 years since taking over a 14-2 team.

They'll never see this coming: Whether it's starting a game with a tricky reverse against a team you shouldn't need a tricky reverse to beat or if it's trying to punch in a TD with Jacob Hester rather than putting the ball in the hands of one of the game's best players, Norv's silly playcalling gambits seemed to hurt us far more often than they helped us. I will, however, give him credit for that one fake punt. Or as I call it, the exception that proves the rule.

Darren Sproles: It's seems like every team has a crazy little Sprolesian scatback on their roster these days. There's Danny Woodhead. There's Dexter McCluster. The problem is, with the success of those other players, the Chargers coaching staff refuses to let go of Sproles. I'm tired of reminding everybody that he's only had 3 really good games in his career and all of them are more than a year removed. Don't ever hand him the ball. Send him on his way.

Malcolm Floyd: The man is a talent. And he's as frail as a spinster. This was your chance, Floyd. Han Solo had cleared your path by blasting Vincent Jackson into outer space and you went ahead and steered your X-Wing into the wall. Crap, that would make AJ Han Solo. I need a better analogy, but you all get the picture. Your number one receiver has to play in more than half the games.

Worthless rankings: Best offense? Best defense? Um, not if you don't win the games. Coincidentally, we are the only team to ever hold those rankings and not make the postseason. Now, that's a typical San Diego sports team dubious honor. You know, like that Padres team from several years ago that became the only team to ever have a 14 game winning streak and still finish under .500.

The NFC West: 2-2 against a division that will be lucky to have a winner with an 8-8 record? What more did we need to see to convince us that Norv's best team wasn't so good?

The Raiders: 0-2 against a team we have dominated for the better part of an entire decade? This was a team so inept over the last several years that I found myself consoling their horrible fans, only to have them return to being complete ass holes the second their team manage to notch 6 whole wins on the year. Ugh, the Raiders cannot fade back into obscurity quick enough as far as I'm concerned.

The sound the window makes when it slams shut: Those Raiders probably aren't going away. And neither are the Chiefs. With the division no longer in the bag, and the team's misguided devotion to Norv Turner, this town will never get it's Lombardi. Sorry everybody.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Leaf to Finally Tell His Story

I don't know when this news came out. It seems like I've been hearing about it for at least a couple of days, so I might as well mention it, even though that's exactly what he wants. Ryan Leaf is going to publish a trilogy of books chronicling his meteoric impact into the brick wall of infamy and, ultimately, absurdity. Let's speculate:

Book 1: His upbringing. Mommy's fat little spoiled angel. The Biff Tannen years. Those golden days. The college years, where everybody on his team hated him and his shitty attitude. His one good season. His determination to be 6'5" and fat without looking too fate lands him a $32 million pro contract with...

Book 2: ...The San Diego Chargers! The Pro Years, where everybody on his team hated him and his shitty attitude. How he managed to extend that badwill to the fans and the media. His 1 completion game in Kansas City. How no one gives him credit for saving San Diego football by getting Bobby Beathard run out of town on a rail. How he started to actually look fat. How he went on to play, Dallas? How he managed to never once put a decent stat line when even other noted fatso Jamarcus Russell managed to do that from time to time.

Book 3: Giving back. Taking young men in college and passing on his acquired wisdom. Detailing his own follies so that they might learn from him. Forcing them to hand over their pain medication. Maybe these are the Biff Tannen years? Blowing all his money and losing his cheerleader wife. Getting popped for bringing illegal prescription drugs down from America's Hat. Failing to elicit any sympathy becasue everybody hates him and his shitty attitude. Writing three books in the hopes that someone might still care enough to hand him a second chance at life or at least a handful of percocet.

Shit, I think I just talked myself into checking this trainwreck out. It's going on my Amazon wish list right next to AJ's Lord of the No-Rings Trilogy. I wonder if the crayons are included? Merry fucking Christmas to me!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Unbelievable, Acee.

Let me start by getting one thing out of the way. Thank you Kevin Acee for clearing up at least some of the questions I had about how the salary cap next year in your article today. I now know that nobody knows exactly how the franchise tags will work or even if they will exist next year. So informative.

Aside from that, Acee continues to prove that he is AJ's most loyal Stormtrooper. That's right, I'm eschewing the normal Godfather or John Wayne tropes and I'm going with Vader. How ya like them apples?

Let's start here, where Acee lays out his cluelessness for the whole world to see:

"Much of the rhetoric since Jackson made his 2010 debut two weeks ago (not counting his mini-appearance at Indianapolis) has seemed to have a central theme: that Jackson has been so good that he certainly must have shown A.J. Smith his worth.

Not exactly.

Smith didn’t know that before? He has called Jackson a “great” player, been effusive in his praise for his practice habits and how hard he plays, as well as his ability to catch passes. Jackson was second in the league in yards per catch from 2008-09. His 63.6 reception percentage last season was remarkable considering the 68 passes he caught traveled an average of 14 yards in the air, most among anyone who caught more than 45 passes. He has 19 receiving touchdowns since the start of 2008 season, tied for 18th in the league while missing the first 11 games of this season. Smith knew what he had before Jackson went for 112 yards and three touchdowns on Thursday."

Who ever said that AJ didn't recognize Jackson's worth? That would be like calling him literally retarded. The issue all along has been AJ's unwillingness to reward that worth, and Acee's little point here only condemns Smith further.

Now let's focus here at the end of the article, where Acee proves that he has swallowed AJ's "The players are the greedy ones" rhetoric hook, line and sinker. Regarding what happens if Jackson is tagged:

"There is the possibility Jackson could withhold his services again. At the very least, we could be going through the will-they-trade-him drama of 2010 all over again.

But one of the league’s best receivers, a guy who is getting better still, would be under control of the Chargers.

For now, that qualifies as good news."

Yeah, that's great news for everyone. Everyone except Jackson, of course, who only wants to go out and be rewarded in the same manner as most other top performers in the league have been. Listen, people, and I can't stress this enough: Don't let the $ millions involved cloud your judgment, the players are the ones who are like you, not the owners. They are the ones who are doing the work. They are the ones whose employers have their fate in their hands. You may think the market is bloated, but the individual players are not the ones who created the market. You are. If you don't like that people in football make all that money, stop going. Stop buying their merchandise. Until then, rail against the owners who hold you hostage for ticket sales and try to steal you tax dollars so they can make more millions still. The players are the ones you pay to see, so stop being misled by the misers here. Do the players get paid too much? Probably, but the owners make far more money, and don't think for a second that any of the savings they create by withholding a value contract from players like Vincent Jackson is ever passed along to you. Only a shill like Kevin Acee should buy into that.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fox Has a Great Idea!

Music to My Ears

Fox is experimenting with adding music in between plays of games. No one knew about this because their trial run was a Frisco-Seattle game that nobody would ever have watched on purpose. I strongly suggest you watch this video clip of this new twist in the way you will experience football. It's every bit as ridiculous as it sounds.

Not only is it annoying and goofy, it does nothing to shut Joe Buck the Hell* up, so what's the point?

The Picks

I didn't do picks last week because the football pool at my work seems to have disappeared. Presumably because the person running it hasn't won a single week. That is why girls should never be in charge of anything important. Except you girls who might read this. You are all the exception, of course. Anyway, my picks would have sucked. I mean, did you see football this weekend?

Vincent Jackson Sticking Around?

So, the buzz around town is that the Chargers will in fact franchise Vincent Jackson. Which makes perfect sense. I mean, why wouldn't you franchise a guy for a year in which there won't be any football? I kid, sort of. I'd be as happy as anyone who isn't Vincent Jackson if Vincent Jackson continued to be a Charger. And it tickles me in a very inappropriate way that the team would have to hand him a check for over $10 million. I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if we franchise him and then AJ trades him to Carolina, Buffalo or some other perennial bottom feeder, just to be a dick. You know, kind of like how he asked his old pal Buddy Nix over in Buffalo to pick Merriman up off waivers this season. Seriously, you know he did that.

*Some people don't capitalize Hell, but I do. Because it's a real place. And the people at Fox who decided to add more music to the games are going there some day.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Well Played, Vincent Jackson.

Gee, Frisco. Why even bother showing up? How was this team favored to win even that horrendous disvison? You know, that God awful division that we just secured a 2-2 record against on the season. Okay, okay, no need to poo poo last night's victory.

Another solid showing by the Bolts, followed I'm sure by a sweet after party throwdown at Bar West. As a younger man, I would have headed down there to party with the team. One has so few chances as the years advance to get throttled by professional athletes, after all.

Alright, I'm sorry. Enough jabs! Let's talk talking points!

Vincent Jackson

Vincent Jackson is back. Now that's the kind of performance that should wake up fans to the great talent we are about to lose. Once again, the airwaves and the fanwaves are clammoring for a deal to be done. And to listen to Jackson talk, one might believe the possibility exists. Not at all sorry to burst your bubble here, but Jackson is saying what Jackson is supposed to say. Every TD is another $million and every contrite statement is a promise to a future employer to be an upstanding locker room presence. Let me point something out to those of you that believe he might stay. AJ essentially fined him no less than $3+million dollars this year for having the audacity to expect the team to reward his performance. If your boss did that to you, and there were other companies out there willing to reward you handsomely for your services, would you stick around?

There is also a lot of talk about franchising VJ. This option is far more likely due only to the fact that AJ would probably get off on keeping VJ from realizing a true value contract for as long as possible. However, there are so many Chargers hurtling towards free agency at the end of this year that I find it more likely we spend that tag making somebody else's life miserable for a while. And speaking of guys on the brink of free agency...

Malcolm Floyd

Y'know Floyd, I've been singing your praises for a while now. "Malcolm Floyd has the best hands on the team..." "Malcolm Floyd is our most exciting big play receiver..." "Malcolm Floyd is every bit as good if not better than Vinny Jack..." Every time, though, the declaration is immediately followed by the same caveat. "...if he can stay healthy." Well, Floyd, you can't. Every game is important right now. If you can walk, you should be out there. But you can't walk, can you? It's getting old. I'm over you. You are glass.

Next year's receiving corps will be Crayton, Naanee, Ajiratoutou[sp? WTF?] and Washington.

Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert

It's apparent that the coaching staff has little to no faith in Ryan Mathews at this point. He didn't even see the field until the game was already in hand. Actually, I'm okay with this. Tolbert has shown enough to convince me and pretty much everyone else he deserves to be the go-to guy right now, and this is no time for experimentation. What does bother me is, as I've mentioned before, that the staff was unable to recognize Tolbert's potential before this season. Why was this guy languishing at the bottom of the depth chart while our running game sputtered the last two years? Why did we have to move up to grab Mathews when the heir apparent was warming the bench all along? Look, I still like Mathews, but we are now rapidly approaching a crossroads. When Tolbert hits free agency, he will command money from somewhere. And this team is unlikely to spend big money on two running backs again anytime soon after Tomlinson/Sproles failed to produce anything from this backfield (Call it the Ryan Leaf effect). Who's it going to be when the time comes to make a decision, Chargers?

The Playoffs

Ultimately, this regular season is going to end up one of two ways. Either A) We win the division for the fifth straight year and AJ and Norv sweep another slow start under the rug until it happens again next year, or B) We miss the playoffs, lose our best receiver and go into the offseason bitter and unsure of whether the window has closed completely. There may be some minor variations, but those are your two basic outcomes and neither one is ideal, really. Personally, I think we win the division again, and I still can't tell if that's good or bad in the long run. But hey, who doesn't like an extra game?

Oh, well. We won last night and it was pretty glorious. Let's bask in the glow of that for a while now. Talk amongst yourselves. Go Bolts!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Big Game for Bad Teams

Okay, I didn't really mean we are a bad team, but there is still no excuse for us being 7-6 and on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. And there is definitely no excuse for the fact that Frisco is 5-8 and also only a game out of contention in their pitiful division. At least when the Chargers came back from 4-8 to win their division, it looked like a bona fide miracle. The details are fuzzy, but did three other teams go down in a plane crash that year? I honestly can't remember how we pulled that off.

So how is tonight going to shake out? Ugly, is my guess. It's not supposed to be out and out raining tonight, but it's gonna be wet, and apparently that sort of thing doesn't fly with these Bolts. Remember opening night? Me neither (glug, glug).

Also, Malcolm Floyd is questionable for the 35th time in 14 games. Maybe this is my fantasy team playoffs talking, but what the effing eff, Floyd?! Your whole career? Drink a glass of milk from time to time, brother! Or are you just trying to get VJ his contract? O R you?

Speaking of VJ, he touched the ball like three times this week and an entire community that was ready to burn him at the stake because AJ yelled "Witch!," suddenly became aware of his superstar status and is calling for a stop to the insanity and a new long term contract. This is why people call you a bad sports town, San Diego. You shouldn't need a minor showing in an important game to remind you that our best receiver over the last two seasons was, well, our best receiver. And it shouldn't have reminded you of that anyway, because it was basically a pretty so so showing. Still, sign the guy. Cause that'll totally happen.

Ryan Mathews looks to get a bigger chunk of the action this week just in time for slick conditions, which should definitely be a boost for his confidence. Let's pray our fumbling issues are behind us. I'm serious, get to praying. Even you, CJ!

As I've mentioned before, the NFC West, in what is perhaps the greatest indicator that our championship window is slamming shut like [insert someone who withholds sex simile here]'s legs, is 2-1 against our Bolts. Our one win came against the Arizona Cardinals who presently stand a Grand Canyonlike 2 games back in that horribly sad division. Still, I just can't believe we lose a game like this at home. Frank Gore is out. Alex Smith is in. Perhaps most importantly, this is Frisco. Of the "Beat us to death in our only Superbowl appearance" Friscos. Maybe you've heard of them? We must forever take advantage of any opportunity to avenge that injustice, damn it! Anything less than an utter woodshedding is unacceptable! Niners 13, Bolts 31 Palindrome victory!!!

Go Bolts!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Apparently, We Beat the Chiefs on Sunday. Also, Screw the Patriots!

Sunday's Dismantling of the Chiefs

I probably should have wrote something about this Chargers victory yesterday or Sunday night, but you people don't sign my paychecks. In fact, no one does. But I try to cash them every week anyway.

So, the Chargers beat up on the hapless Brodie Croyle and the "predictably bending under the pressure of trying to win their first division title in too many years to count and/or look up" Chiefs on Sunday. A must win game for us and what I would think was a must "at least show up if we want people to believe we are good enough to compete in the bigs" game for them. Well, we won. If you'd like a baseball parable, there is a solid chance that in this scenario we are the Frisco VaGiants and the Chiefs are sputtering Padres. Yeah, sure, Matt Cassel was out, but fuck that guy. I don't buy him one bit. The running game is what makes the Chiefs go around and it was non-existent against a Chargers defense that got steamrolled by the Raiders the week before. Good effort, Bolts. We may be on our way to another enormous postseason letdown after all!

My sometimes cohort, CJ, says we're going to end up losing to the Bengals in two weeks, to which I have two short replies:

1) If you have been watching the Bengals play football at all this year then you know just how ridiculous that prediction is.

B) That is a foolish prediction to make, because now if the Bengals somehow manage to beat the Chargers, I will be forced to kill you, CJ. Just a major faux pas on your part there, muchacho.

The real worry here should be this Thursday night's game against the 49ers. In case you haven't been paying attention the NFC West has been beating us up a bit this year. Well, not the Cardinals, but the real upper level squads* over there have been handling us. And don't look now, but the 49ers just hung 40 on the Seahawks. Now, for personal reasons such as the fact that I hate the fucking Seahwaks with the white hot passion of a thousands suns, I found this to be a rather charming outburst of competency from the filthy Niners. Outside of that, however, that game should stand as a warning to our team that we should probably not make a trend of assuming teams from the Bay Area cannot hand us our shit from time to time.

Oh, and here's another warning for our players. Stay the fuck away from Bar West. First off, that place is fucking awful. Secondly, it's a sad fact that this is one of the few, if not the only places in the country where the hometown football team can't go out and celebrate a victory without having some douchebag Raiders, Patriots, Niners or Jets fan trying to pick a fight with them. Seriously, stick to the few bars that actually cater to people that would beat up the other teams' fans for you. They're not easy to find, but they're out there, I promise. Hit me up in the comments if you need a list. Also, no bars with bottle service. If you are allowed to hold the bottle, the temptation is just too great.

Anyway, I like our chances on Thursday, because I have no choice and because I can't believe a team helmed by Alex Smith and without Frank Gore is capable of doing much of anything against anyone but the Seahawks. Let's keep this train a rollin' fellas.

The Damn Patriots

Now, about those Patriots. As I've mentioned before, the sports media loves it's dynasties. Makes it so much easier to be a pundit, and it's why they can never truly let go of the Cowboys and 49ers. They long for those halcyon days and they secretly pine for the end of the salary cap so they can all go back to stating the obvious and patting each other on the backs for doing so. Right now, the dynasty du jour is the Patriots. The Patriots are special because they are the only dynasty to have achieved their status during the cap era. Sure, there may have been some cheating, but they were a dynasty nonetheless. So, as they put up another solid season and manage to string together a couple of impressive blowouts it is a popular stance to crown them Kings of the World!

The Jets win is impressive. No one does that to the Jets defense and no one is likely to do it again for a long time, but stranger things have happened. As for the Jets offensive woes, it's not that hard to see what has happened there either. When Santonio Holmes returned to the line-up, the team took their extra receiver and used it to spread the field a bit for Mark Sanchez, taking away a blocker for LaDainian Tomlinson whose numbers then gradually declined to the point now where he is basically ineffective in the running game. That should be pretty obvious to any Chargers fans who are paying attention to the Jets. Shonne Green hasn't been nearly as effective in limited work as the team had hoped he'd be and could probably also benefit from an additional blocker. The offense is now, for all intents and purposes, one dimensional. This spotlights the one concern everybody had going into the season, and that is Mark Sanchez. He's a good young player-and it certainly doesn't help his cause when guys are dropping game winners against Miami in the endzone-but that's a lot of pressure to put on him. Still, I give the Pats credit for that impressive victory. Shit happens.

Now, let's talk about that other blowout victory. The Bears? Fuck the Bears! That team is a filthy lie and everybody knows it! They are not nearly as good as their record indicates and when bad teams play in the snow it just exaggerates their badness!! God, they make me sick! The Patriots are a good snow team and they picked on a bad team in the snow! No credit! Fuck the Pats! They are totally overrated! Fin.

Go Bolts!!!

*I hope you can tell I'm using sarasm when I refer to NFC West teams as upper level. In case you can't, here you go, idiot.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I'm the Worst

Lagged on the picks again. I did pick Thursday's game correctly straight up, but like everybody else in the world the Colts desperate attempt to continue to look bad ruined me against the spread. Here's the rest of my picks, in case you give a damn.

Cleveland @ Buffalo
Cleveland at sad Cleveland. Buffalo has given up. Cleveland still seems to think they make it into the playoffs. I want to believe! Browns 34, Bills 27

Atlanta @ Carolina
Mercy, please. This is the sort of weird division game where it wouldn't surprise me if Carolina rises up and attempts to sabotage their draft position. Except that it would surprise me into a coma! Falcons 35, Panthers 13

Green Bay @ Detroit
I go up against Aaron Rodgers in my Fantasy playoffs today. He will throw 6 TDs. 6. Fucking Detroit. I don't talk much shit about you, but if you don't keep Rodgers from throwing 6 TDs the gloves are coming off. Fuck, he's going to throw 6. Packers 42, Lions 34

Oakland @ Jax
Who exactly is Oakland? Who exactly is Jacksonville. At this point I'm totally guessing, but since the Jags burn me every single week, I'm giving MJD the nod today. Raiders 17, Jags 21

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh
Again, a weird division match-up that could wind up surprising you. But would it be a surprise? Pittsburgh looks beatable nearly every week, and yet they pull it off every time. Their luck has to run out, right? Not this week. Bengals 17, Steelers 20

Tampa Bay @ Washington
If their is one thing I know, it's that Mike Shanahan is a weasel-faced jag-off. I couldn't be happier with the horrible situation he finds himself in. I have no doubt he will be coaching the Los Angeles Chargers in 3 years, BTW. That's how much the Spanos' care about the fans in San Diego. Tampa feasts on shitty teams. Bucs 31, Skins 12

St. Louis @ New Orleans
I want the Rams to be good. They are the Bad News Bears of the NFL right now. Unfortunately, the Saints are really looking like the Saints right now. Rams 17, Saints 30

Seattle @ Frisco
Every time two teams in this division meet an angel gets run through a wood chipper. Seahawks 21, Niners 20

Denver @ Arizona
This game is so bad that it screams out to your children "There is no Santa Claus!" Broncos 17, Cards 16

New England @ Chicago
The weather is horrible in Chicago today. These are the games you tell yourself, as an NFL fan, that you love to see. Two hardened teams gutting it out in the elements. The truth is that this game will aggravate the shit out of you. Pats 17, Bears 10

Miami @ NY Jets
I wouldn't want to be a middling NFL contender facing the Jets after that embarrassing prison yard gang rape they suffered Monday night. Yet here you are, Dolphins. Pity. Dolphins 10, Jets 24

KC @ San Diego
Okay, we have to win them all. Losing here would end the season. Matt Cassel is out. So yeah, I'm picking us. But here's the thing. I never really bought Cassel. And two years ago, Croyle, with a lesser Chiefs team by a mile, came one miracle finish away from ending our season. You don't think he's excited for the opportunity to do it right this time? Chiefs 23, Bolts 24

Philly @ Dallas
The network could have flexed out of this game for a game with bigger playoff implications, but decided against it. I don't blame them. This could be the most fun you'll ever have watching a football game with the filthy Cowboys in it. Such is the power of the Vick. Iggles 35, Cowpokes 30

NY VaGiants @ Vikings
Snow by 1,000. Seriously, how far is Minnesota willing to go to get a new stadium or get out of town? If this game ever gets played New York should roll. VaGiants 34, Vikes 24

Baltimore @ Houston
I wouldn't want to be a middling NFL contender going up against a Ravens team that let a big game against Pittsburgh slip through their fingers Sunday night. Yet here you are, Texans. Ravens 31, Texans 14

Good? Good. Happy football. Go Bolts!!!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Matt Cassell Is Dead.

Well, maybe not technically dead, but he had appendix surgery yesterday, so there is a very good chance he will miss at least Sunday's game against the Chargers. Now, this isn't that big a deal to me, considering I'm not particularly high on Cassell, but he has to be better than all time 0-9 starter Brodie Croyle, doesn't he? In a must win game for the Bolts it appears that God has stepped in to try to save Norv Turner*. Man, that guy must be tremendously likable in person.

*Just kidding. Norv could lose his next 20 games and he'd still have a job. No joke, Spanos is that cheap. The only way Turner gets canned before his contract is up is if the team moves to L.A. before then. L.A. would never stand for Norv Turner.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Same Song and Dance...

One thing that will continue to flabbergast me, and by flabbergast I mean completely infuriate me in the highest degree is the inconsistent nature of this football team. Not merely in this highly yet unsurprisingly disappointing 2010 campaign, but throughout the previous five seasons this complete lack of anything consistent continues to ravage its menacing stink on the squad.

This one was simple to analyze. We, as a squad, were outplayed, out-coached, out-executed, and out sobered. Obviously, everyone involved on Sunday was looking forward to Kansas City coming to town and completely abandoned any semblance of preparation for a football game. Dominated on both sides of the ball in the trenches, the coaches failed to make anything resembling an adjustment and completely mashed the panic button abandoning the run like a Malaysian orphan when staring at what they determined to be an insurmountable fourteen point deficit on the scoreboard in the second quarter. Fuck and you coaches.

Needless to say that me laying some of this responsibility on Norv and his feeble minions would be ignoring the nude elephant in the room that without a doubt, the players were drunk. I don't mean like, ooh, these guys were obviously out drinking last night, you can see by their lack of hustle and mental lapses. This wasn't the challenge flag kicking variety, it was the real deal hammertits, cuts on the forehead from banging skull against porcelain during an intense stomach evacuation session at 3:47 a.m.. Somebody get the manager from Platinum on the phone and find out who was there and until what time. There is no other explanation except maybe mescaline. I'd buy that one too.

I was fortunate enough to be in my pick 'em pool with a solid two losses (thanks and fuck you to Miami and San Diego) rolling with the Jets in a tiebreaker on Monday night. Ha. That worked well. I was in that one for approximately eighteen seconds. But, more importantly something very telling came from that Monday night affair. No, not the Patriots are destined for the Super Bowl normal wanking motion bullshit, but something telling of the Jets. The Jets are the Chargers of the past few years. Yep. Believe it. It's there and true and smacking you in your stupid face. I know, I just blew your mind. What a classic fecal smear on the kitchen table that was.

All flatbilled optimism aside, consider the playoffs a very indistinct possibility. We have continually managed to ride the underachieving coattails of our division foes into the postseason and the possibility of Kansas City getting all gaggy on cock is remote along the lines of Sasquatch showing up to beat me at poker and car bomb races this Saturday night. I saw it on the internet once. That hairy fucker can down those things while slow playing a nut flush like it's his career.

Bottom line is that winning out is now not just optimistic drivel but imperative. So, here I'll be as pissy as ever wondering why I still allow myself to be continually let down by these guys. Guys I don't even particularly like ('cept you Gates and Marmalard, you cool). Oh well. At least we have cheerleaders.

TJ Simers is a Dick. Also, Right.

Any one who has ever read anything by L.A. Times columnist TJ Simers knows two things. He gets off on being an ass hole who thinks he's knows evrything there is to know about sports, and he reserves a special hatred for all things Chargers. In knowing that, it should come as no surprise to find out that he wrote a piece recently that pretty much spelled the end of the Chargers in San Diego. Normally, I'd just say Simers was trying to get the dander of the Chargers faithful up-and no doubt he is-but sadly, he is probably hitting pretty close to the truth. Still, fuck that guy.

That Was Hard to Watch

My God, that was a beating last night. Rex Ryan, you now know the worst possible ramifications that come from running your mouth. You may have come to New York to kick Belichek's butt, but he just fed you your balls. 45-3?! Damn.

I'm not going to lie. I didn't watch much of the game. It was out of hand early, and I haven't enjoyed watching the Patriots beat anybody in nearly 10 years because they and their fanbase are such a bunch of smug pricks. You have to give them credit, though. 45 points scored? The Jets were giving up about a third as many per game all season. 3 points allowed? Well, that's what happens when you get taken out of your game early, Jets. Just ask the Bolts.

The sports media ought to be sending Belichek a portion of their weekly pay today, seeing as they're going to have it easy this week. "The Pats are Back on Top: Belichek a Genius!" Now, if Brees can throw 6 TDs this coming Sunday, every pundit in the country can mail in their Superbowl analysis and take an early vacation. Unless Matty Ice over in Atlanta has anything to say about it. Ugh. Matty Ice. That is the worst. Whover came up with that deserves to get Face AIDS.

By the way, last night's game killed my chances at winning the office pool. Well, that game and the Lions, Titans, Chargers, Ravens and Colts losses. Otherwise, I had made reservations at the local Sizzler.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Well, Let's Talk About It.

This one's on me, people. 100%. No doubt about it, I take the blame for yesterday's loss to the Raiders. See, in jumping back on to the bandwagon, I felt it was a good time to redesign the site and make it more exciting and uplifting. Look at that sweet picture of Antonio Gates. You know he caught that ball for a big gain. Maybe even a TD. And look at the rack on that cheerleader to the right! Yes, please. Where I blew it, however, is that tag line. Let's read it together. "The playoffs are already here!" I thought it conveyed the message that the team was ready to buckle down. That each game going forward was important. A must win if you will. Imagine my surprise when I realized that obviously the actual Chargers read this blog, saw that tagline, assumed it really was the playoffs and immediately folded to the Raiders at home. Boy, do I have egg on my face. Sorry everybody. How's about some quick hits?

  • Darren Sproles is dead to me. He is no longer competent at the one thing that secures his job for this team. Do I like Darren Sproles? Eh, he's okay. I certainly don't hate him, but I've been saying to anybody who'll listen for quite some time now that the guy is too small to play running back with any regularity and has had just three really good games (two of which came against a Colts team whose defense is almost as undersized as he is). Hardly makes for a $6million resume. But hey, the guy returns kicks and that job isn't going to do itself, right? That muffed punt yesterday was a heartbreaking gateway to horrible coaching and it sealed our fate early. Time to find someone else to take the returning reins for when Tiny Darren is gone. Maybe we could give the job to Tutu. That guy had one good game and everybody already calls him a superstar. The transition would be seemless.
  • A lot of people want to rip the O line and the D line for yesterday. I'm not going to get too heavily into it, but I will ask if anyone knows which strip club all those guys were partying at Saturday night, because that place must rock.
  • Going down 14 in the first quarter should not necessarily dictate the complete abandon of the running game. But it did yesterday. Here's a little coaching 101, Norv. When you telegraph to the opposition that you have already dropped into desperate catch-up mode and will no longer be utilizing the run, be prepared for the other team's defense to pin their ears back and come after your QB. I've mentioned quite a few times on here that guys like Brady and Manning look a lot more human when they see pressure. Well, it's only fair to say that our boy Rivers is not immune either. The other problem with this is that the defense spends about 2/3 of the game on the field, and that's a lot. This is why I don't put too much of the blame onto our lines.
  • Either Kaeding is not healthy or he's is a tiny child to come up short on that 50 yarder. Either way, the coaching staff should have known about it and acted accordingly.
  • With the departure of Merriman and the decline of Kaeding, that trade of Manning for Rivers way back when is looking like a straight up trade now. I still like Rivers waaay more as a QB, but the other guy already has his ring. Oh, and Eli is playing for a winning team right now and getting it done with a bunch of injured receivers as well. Just saying. That trade originally sealed AJ as a draft genius, but it's not as lopsided as it once appeared, which leads ot the following...
  • Where was Ryan Mathews, Larry English or any other recent 1st round pick yesterday? Is AJ still a draft genius?*

Today, I've already seen and heard a bunch of people out there claiming that this was it. The season is over. Let's hold our horses, people. We're two down on the Chiefs, but we play them once, so assuming we must win out, let's call us one down with three to go. Not impossible. The Raiders own a tie-breaker after sweeping us in the regular season and right now we have an identical record. Not impossible to overcome that either. Certainly more possible than the time we made up 3 games on Denver with 4 to go. Or the time we won out our last six to take the division. Look, I hate it as much, if not more, than you do, but this is what this stupid disorganized, erratically coached, poorly run team does. I believed Oakland and KC would be better this season, but both teams are more than capable of dropping a game or two down the stretch. They are young and they haven't been here in a while. That's a stumble waiting to happen. And no team takes advantage of the mistakes of their less talented division mates than we do. So, keep the faith. This thing is far from over.

Although, seriously, if there's football next year, we really need to get our shit together. Go Bolts!!!

*The answer is no.

Friday, December 03, 2010

As For the Rest of the Weekend...

Here's where I'd be putting my money. If I had any money.

NO @ Cincy
A lot of people expect Cincinnati to step up here in the last 5 weeks and try to end the season on a high note. I am not one of those people. Saints 35, Bengals 13

Chicago @ Detroit
I think Tedi Bruschi called this a trap game for Chicago today on NFL Live. That begs the question, "What the fuck is a trap game anyway?" Has Detroit lost most of it's games this year just weaving an intricate web in which to catch the sleeping Chicago Bears? This is Detroit's Superbowl, who am I to deny them?! Bears 24, Lions 27

Frisco @ Green Bay
Now that Frank Gore is gone I hope that we can finally put to bed all this talk of Frisco pulling their shit together and winning this sorry division. Yeah, they dismantled the Cardinals, but the rest of the schedule is full of trap games! Niners 10, Packers 34

Denver @ KC
Don't look now, but this has all the trappings of a trap game! Unless, of course, KC bothers to prepare for a team that beat the ever loving shit out of them a few weeks ago. I would pick almost any other team in the league to beat KC this week due to the fact that they've got to be hearing little Bolty footsteps, but how the fuck can I ever pick Denver again? Donks 30, Chiefs 31

Cleveland @ Miami
This is getting a little ridiculous. This is obviously a trap game! With the multitude of trap games this week, I wonder if it is I who is being manipulated. What trap awaits me?! Maybe after this week we will have some idea what kind of team Miami is this season. However, I already know what kind of team the Browns are. Those guys are just having fun out there as though they are playing sandlot. They're like a whole team of Brett Favres! Except for this year's Brett Favre. That guy is not having any fun at all. Browns 28, Fins 27

Buffalo @ Minnesota
Speaking of Brett Favre...Why shouldn't the Vikings go ahead and win the rest of their games and accomplish nothing more than a half-hearted attempt to make the offseason about Brett Favre one more time? Buffalo is sad Cleveland. Bills 20, ViQueens 24

Washington @ NY VaGiants
NFC East match-ups have really lost their luster with the Cowboys and Redskins reeling so badly this year. Good. Fuck that division. Skins 16, VaGiants 27

Jax @ Tennessee
Jacksonville is the AFC's Chicago. I know for a fucking fact that both of those teams suck balls, but damn it if they're not going to get into the postseason and annoy the hell out of everybody. Tennessee gets a thousand times better with Kerry Collins. Jags 13, Titans 20

Oakland @ San Diego
Let the new 13 game winning streak begin. Raiders 17, Bolts 34

St. Louis @ Zona
I firmly believe the Rams are the Creme de la NFC West. Which is saying nothing. The turn of the century Rams would skull fuck these Rams to an early grave. Rams 18, Cards 17

Dallas @ Indy
I bet at the beginning of the year media types were jerking each other off over this match-up. Not so much now. Funny thing is, it will probably be as exciting as people thought it would be. It just won't mean shit for one of the teams. Haha, fuck you Cowboys! Cowpokes 30, Colts 33

Carolina @ Seattle
Holy Christ, if you are watching this game and your fantasy team is not littered with Hawks and Panthers then I will gladly come over to your house and drive a nail through your left nut for $500, because you are obviously a fucking batshit crazy masochist and I could use the money. Panthers 17, Seahawks 20

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay
These two took their last game down to the wire, and that should tell you that division games are wild, whacky stuff. Tampa is a year away from figuring out how to beat better teams, but they are on their way. Falcons 27, Bucs 20

Pitt @ Baltimore
This is the kind of game you look at and go, "Holy shit, this is what the NFL is all about!" Admit it, you are salivating at this division rivalry between two smashmouth juggeranuts. The reality is, however, that this game will probably bore you to tears. Steelers 13, Ravens 14

NY Jets @ Patriots
Trap game if I ever saw one. For both teams. Neither one is ever going to see the other one coming. I so badly want to call for a tie here, but I just don't have the sack. Jets 23, Pats 20 (Doesn't that just look like a very Jets-Pats score?)

That it is, suckahs! Happy Weekend! Go Bolts!!!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Tonight's Game That I Can't Watch

Fuck you, NFL. I know you don't care about me or any other fan, but you don't have to rub my nose in it with you're stupid network that my cable provider will not carry because you are a bunch of no good extortionists. Seriously, you are more evil than my cable company. That's pretty damn evil. Anyway, the game.

Houston @ Philly
As has been mentioned here before, Houston is sporting one of the very worst pass defenses in the history of the game. That makes Rusty Smith of the Tennessee Titans quite possibly the worst QB to ever start a game. Mike Vick is not Rusty Smith. I expect Mike Vick to make fantasy football explode tonight. And why wouldn't he? A win for my fantasy football team will do nothing for me. I'm already in the postseason, with no hope of procuring a bye, so go ahead and light it up for me this week, Vick.

As for Houston? Jay Cutler, who I should not need to remind you is fucking terrible, shredded Philly for 4 TDs last week. I expect Matt Schaub to hook up with Andre Johnson for about 400 yards and 5 TDs even though Johnson shouldn't even be playing because he got in a freaking fist fight on the field last week! In his defense, he did not get in a fist fight with a QB, which is all the league really cares about. And the QB matters too. Punch Tom Brady or Drew Brees in the face and you get sent to the UFL for a year. The league probably has a money jar that goes to the guy who punches Philip Rivers in the face.

When all is said and done, I expect Houston to prove yet again how little they want to succeed at anything other than being overrated. Texans 27, Iggles 35

Enjoy the game. I'll be watching LeBron get hit in the head with a bottle.

More of the Same

Check out what Tim Sullivan in the UT wrote today about the prospect of the Chargers skipping town. Now, I've corresponded with Sullivan on a couple of occasions and the one thing I can say about the guy is that he is a true fan. He likes the Padres and the Chargers. He doesn't seem to have some special relationship with AJ, he's a pretty genuinely good guy who has a very respectable knowledge of sports. And you can tell he's a fan, because when you read this article it's apparent that Sullivan wants to believe the Chargers won't leave.

First off, he uses the old Colts comparison, saying there is no way the Chargers are packing up the trucks in the middle of the night and skipping town like Art Modell did to the city of Baltimore so many years ago. Well, Tim, I don't think anybody who's been following this situation ever believed that's how the move would go down. The team has a window during which it can negotiate with other cities every year and their payout to the city drops by millions every year they wait. If they make a deal with L.A. it probably won't happen until this next offseason or the one after that. And then they have to actually wait until they have a place to move into before they bail. So no, they aren't leaving tonight or tomorrow, but the wheels are in motion merely with the mention of a deal with AEG. Haven't you ever heard that where there is smoke, there is fire?

Then he quotes media sources in L.A. as saying it's unlikely that the town could come together and approve a facility for the Chargers anytime soon. But Sam Farmer's article in the L.A. Times doesn't claim the Chargers won't move there. Again, it only claims that it won't be today or even tomorrow, but sometime down the road. As far as the people being unlikely to come together and approve of a Chargers facility, the facilities proposed in L.A. have all been classified as multi-purpose, meaning they could house anything from football games to Olympic events. That might be more appealing to the people of L.A.

The truth is, though, this isn't about what the citizens want. The NFL doesn't care about the fans, they only care about getting a team in one of the nation's largest advertising markets as soon as possible. The television revenue an L.A. team would deliver to the league is enough to make me believe that if all else fails the NFL could step in and put money down for and L.A. stadium themselves, and if that ever happens look for the City of San Diego to be the scapegoat.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Harrison & Harrison

Earlier this season James Harrison of the Steelers had a crybaby hissy fit and threatened to take his ball and go home because the NFL fined him for trying to decapitate opposing players. In general, I agree with him that the NFL is full of shit when it comes to the way they police defensive players for doing their jobs, but I thought it was kind of a wuss move to threaten to quit. What does James Harrison make annually compared to the meager fines the NFL doles out in order to keep up their charade anyway? The interesting thing here, though, is that Harrison has had several more fines levied against him since then and it's starting to look like he's been targeted for discipline. As a San Diego fan, I can say it's probably getting close to time for the Steelers to cut ties with Harrison, for both of their sakes.

One move that longtime Charger fans will always go back to is when the team cut ties with Rodney Harrison, claiming that the fan favorite was a descending talent. As everybody knows, Rodney went on to enjoy several more productive years with the New England Patriots. What many people seem to have forgotten is that Harrison pretty much became a marked man after he levelled Jerry Rice in the endzone during a game. The hit looked worse than it was and was arguably legal, but from that point forward Harrison couldn't so much as breath on a receiver over the middle without drawing a penalty and/or fine. That was his bread and butter. The Chargers had very little choice but to let Harrison go. It took joining up with the lily white league darling Patriots (remember that this was before Spygate) to get Rodney out of the doghouse, and it's starting to feel like Pittsburgh's Harrison will need a similar makeover if he wants to survive in today's mushy NFL. It'll be a bitter pill for the rough and tumble Steeler fanbase to swallow, but swallow it they must if the flags and fines keep flying.

Sorry, Chargers Fans

This deal with AEG in L.A. is happeneing. It may seem like the beginning, but it will in fact be the final straw for the San Diego Chargers. It's no wonder if you are taken by surprise by this. I mean, look at the way the news is reported in this town. Look at this headline, then read the article and tell me where it says the team denies anything. Nowhere. This team and it's newspaper have no respect for the passion or intelligence of the Chargers fans in San Diego. Heck, they may even be justified in underestimating us, but what chance do we have when the organization has never once been straight with us and has ordered it's lackeys at the local paper to spin the truth at every turn? I'm sorry if this kind of thing ruins your day; I just thought you all should know. Let's just try and enjoy the season at hand.

Update: Here's another article from the UT. The reporter opens by saying that rumors the Chargers were selling a controlling share of the team were batted down by a Chargers spokesman. No one who's been paying attention believes the Spanos family would ever do this! But the team and the UT would have you believe this is some sort of blow against those of us who believe the team will leave. This is more spin and misdirection by the UT on behalf of the Chargers. Nowhere in this article does the reporter ever try to refute the original claims that the Chargers will give up somewhere in the neighborhood of 35% of the team, which is all the convincing I'd need that the team intends to move. Not that I needed convincing.

Monday, November 29, 2010

And Away We Go!

Well, it wasn't the 75-0 shellacking I predicted, but it was a shellacking none-the-less. Here's a couple of quick thoughts.

  • Watching Mike Tolbert run makes me believe more than ever that Norv Turner was operating under some mandate last year to make Tomlinson and Sproles work in the backfield due to the amount of dollars they were being paid. Tolbert and, at the time, Bennett were the two best backs on the team for the system Norv runs and they saw very limited time. Too bad. We may have given the Jets a real game if Tolbert had carried the rock. And while I like Mathews and expect him to be a strong contributor for some time to come, we could have used that pick elsewhere and we may very well be headed to another LT vs. Michael Turner type of decision in the future.
  • Gotta get that ball in the end zone. Period. As I pointed out before the Colts are not what they used to be, and it was apparent last night, but if we get into the postseason again the leg is not going to do it. I suspect a great deal of this problem fixes itself if Gates ever gets truly healthy, or at least healthy enough to act as anything more than a mild offensive diversion.
  • Sproles is pretty well worthless as anything other than a receiver out of the backfield at this point. His happy feet give me Ronnie Harmon flashbacks, and no, that is not a good thing. When Tolbert went out for a bit last night, our running game was effectively gone. Seriously, I'd rather see Hester carry the ball.
  • I like Collinsworth and Michaels as announcers, but it appears no one is immune to the disease known as making excuses for Manning and the Colts. And that's fine. They have injuries. They have lost good players. But let's give a little credit where credit is due. And while we're at it, why does no one ever have the guts to point out that guys like Manning and Brady fold under defensive pressure. They don't see it very often, but when they do, it's not pretty. Also, Wayne clearly flopped to try and draw a flag on the play Weddle took for a TD. I'd have thought he was Jerry Rice, but Jerry always got his flag.
  • Anybody surprised to see VJ go down with a strained calf in the 1st quarter? That is a bitter man. And honestly, it's hard to blame him from where I'm standing. You might see him change his attitude a bit, though, if a shot at the whole enchilada materializes over the next few weeks. You don't get too many shots at the ring.

The rest of the schedule looks pretty cinchy, with the possible exception of KC, of course. Oh, and Frank Gore. None of the rest of the Niners, but definitely Gore. I like our chances to do this crap again. Go Bolts!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What's Left of the Picks

Okay, you're just going to have to take my word for it that I was 3 for 3 on the Turkey Day games. Sure I thought Detroit would keep it closer and I didn't see the Cowpokes putting up that much of a fight, but the end result is the same. 3 for 3 and ready to take the pot in my pick'em pool. Let's see if I can't go ahead and fuck it up, shall we?

Green Bay @ Atlanta
I'm tired of telling you how much bullshit I think Green Bay is, so let's just assume you know my opinion on the matter. Atlanta looked a bit off through the first five games or so and after that they rounded out into probably the most balanced team in the league. Roddy White is a monster. I can't see them losing to Green Bay, who I inexplicably hate. Of course, they probably will now. Packers 20, Falcons 28

Pitt @ Buffalo
A lot of people compared that Buffalo comeback vs. Cincy to their comeback in the playoffs versus the Oilers way back when. Problem is, when they came back on the Oilers, they didn't then go on to beat the ever loving shit out of them. God Cincy, be more awful. I don't really know what the Steelers are right now, but they are not giving up 49 to the Bills. Steelers 24, Bills 14

Carolina @ Cleveland
A month ago, this looked like a game they would force insurgents to watch. Now? Cleveland is kind of fun. Crazy white RB? Hell yeah. Carolina sucks butthole. Panthers 13, Browns 30

Tennessee @ Houston
A month ago this looked like the kind of game you'd watch with no pants on. Now? Cover your eyes. The two most explosive RBs will face off in a battle to see who can better carry their awful team through a meaningless Sunday. Coin flip. I honestly have no idea who i picked in my pool. I just checked and this game is not on locally, so you're safe if you stay home. Titans 23, Texans 21

Jax @ NY VaGiants
A month ago this looked like a sure blowout for the VaGiants. Now? Fuck if I know. Ahmad Bradshaw lost his starting job doing his best early Tiki Barber impression and the VaG's receiving corps is beat up. Still, Jacksonville can't possibly be at all for real, right? Right? Jags 10, VaGiants 17

Minnesota @ Washington
Who fucking cares? ViQueens 20, Skins 16

Miami @ Oakland
The season! It's slipping from our grasp! Both teams. I was wrong about Thigpen. I can live with that. Fins 13, Raiders 34

KC @ Seattle
This game gives me flashbacks. Can you believe this is a battle between two first place teams? Let that sink in. My pick really comes down to which team I hate more. I'm looking at you Seattle. Try and run off to another division? Fuck that! I'm onto you. KC gets one more week alone at the top. One more. Chiefs 30, Seahawks 14

Tampa @ Baltimore
For the first time in their history, Tampa is likable. Too bad their fall back to Earth starts today. They could be the real deal in another year. Bucs 10, Ravens 20

Philadelphia @ Chicago
God, if Chicago manages to win another game I am just going to lose it. They are fucking terrible. Jay Cutler throws to the other team at least 10 times a game, and every fucking time the DB drops that shit or a penalty turns it over. Fucking awful. Awful awful awful! Just fucking die already, Bears! Iggles 20, Bears Fucking Die! 16

St. Louis @ Denver
Which Denver team will show up this week? The team that gives up the ass for crack? Or the team that scores a bunch of points but still sucks balls for speed? Their Belichek disciple of a coach just got caught taping another team's practice. How original. Go away, Denver. Nobody wants you here. you are officially the smelly paste eating kid. Rams 24, Broncos 21

Frisco @ Arizona
When they set the schedule this probably looked like a game people would want to see. Now? I will finally find out what other channels show on Monday nights. Niners 13, Cards 17

Awesome San Diego @ Indy
Now, a lot of people are going to say I'm being a homer here, but you have to admit that right now the Bolts are the best team in the history of the NFL. I don't normally buy into that "We've got Indy's #" bullshit, but it's pretty apparent that they could never ever beat us if their lives depended on it. We own them and they turn to shit when they see our uniforms. This will be a slaughter and Manning will likely apologize for his brother's foolishness and then retire after the game in utter disgrace. We get Vincent Jackson back, which is good because Malcolm Floyd is Samuel Jackson from that Manny Shyamalan movie nobody went to see. If Gates is back as well we will win this game by 100 points. If not, 50. I don't even want to call an actual score here, but it will probably be somewhere in this ballpark. Bolts 75, Colts 0.0

Disband the NFL! The Chargers own thee, bitches!!! Go Bolts!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

First Hurdle? Cleared

There is no way in Hell it should have taken this long, but even at a game behind KC, the Chargers look poised to snatch this awful division yet again from the clutches of teams that don't seem particularly interested in taking on the responsibility. Maybe they've seen us get whacked in the post season enough to know that there's no point in advancing anyway. That's certainly how it looks for us again this year, after once again stumbling blindly from the gate. We may well take this AFC West title again, but where do we stand against playoff calibre teams?

Well, we might find out this coming Sunday against the Colts. Personally, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say the Colts have come back down to Earth quite a bit this season. Most years they haven't lost a game yet, but this year they've already dropped 4. To call their defense suspect would be to compliment them and they are actually more riddled with injury than we are. However, as my cohort CJ pointed out to me, their quarterback is still Peyton Manning and this is still the regular season where he rules.

As for us, we get back Vincent Jackson, and hopefully Antonio Gates. My theory about the running game working better with either Ryan Mathews or Mike Tolbert on the bench appears to have been strengthened in validity last night. I still believe our defense is playing over it's head, but the results are the results and I have to go ahead and assume they can continue to do so until it's been proven otherwise.

Unless you count the Chiefs and the Raiders (and I suppose you sort of have to because they beat us this season, but I'm just not going to acknowledge it),the Colts are the last true contender I can find on the schedule. Frisco and Cincy might put up a fight, but they aren't any kind of indicators as to the kind of foes we'd meet in January. Only the Colts fit that bill, so while the horse stomping in Denver last night more or less legitimized us as a probable qualifier, only a win in Indy will make me believe we can truly be contenders for the whole shootin' match.

All that being said, that was the best game I've seen us play in quite a while. Go Bolts!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Are You Ready for This Toaster?!

So, I didn't post m,y picks for Sunday this last week, because after Thursday's stinker I was already eliminated from my pool. One and done. Just another reason to hate Thursday Night Football and the whole NFL in general.

I do, however, feel I should weigh in on tonight's game. I'm drinking the Kool-aid for now. I think we've got this game handled. I think it will be a pretty high scoring affair, and that Kyle Orton will probably put up a nifty stat line, but I think Philip Rivers & Co. end up getting the best of the Donks. And here's a couple of reasons why.

1) Some guys are getting healthy. Floyd and Naanee are back, and while Tutu and his pals from the practice squad did a fine job stepping in, this is an upgrade. Gates is questionable, but I think he plays in an important division game like this.

2) Ryan Mathews is out. Now, this is not a rip on Ryan Mathews. I think Mathews is going to be a star, but Norvelle and the Bolts have fallen into the trap of buying a little too into the running back by committee thing. And when you've got two guys carrying the load, nobody really ever gets into a rythm. You overthink things. Look at teams like Dallas and Baltimore. I've seen their goal line specialists get stuffed time after time after time, but they keep going to that well rather than just hand the ball to the best back on their team. They are now crippled with an inability to adjust their gameplan, and if they can't make adjustments, what makes anyone think Norvelle can? Ultimately, Mathews needs to be given the ball and allowed to become the player I believe he can be. Until then, however, the offense will benefit when either he or Tolbert is out.

Of course, we could lose this game if it's too wet. Or if any other unforeseen variable presents itself and shreds our mental toughness. Sorry, did that sound like I was being negative? I'm not. Honest, I'm back on the wagon full time. I may even buy this toaster. Go Bolts!!!

Broncos 28, Bolts 31

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tonight's Game That I Can't Watch...

...because I don't have the NFL Network and it is not compelling enough to get me out of the house and into a bar. Seriously, I don't even have any fantasy guys in this game. But hey, if you want to go ahead and get up big early and forego gambling for the weekend, here's how the game will shake out.

I like the pesky Dolphins to take this game and start to make the AFC East interesting. I'm not saying this only because I refuse to ever give Jay Cutler and the city of Chicago any kind of credit for anything. I mean, that's certainly a big part of it, but it's not the entire reason.

Reason 1 would be my inverse Ronnie Brown Career Season Trajectory Theory. Anyone who has owned Ronnie Brown in fantasy football over the last few years knows that he typically owns the league for 6 or 7 weeks and then succumbs to a season ending injury. So frustrating. This year he has been pretty much invisible in Miami. This leaves only the last 7 weeks to assert his annual dominance. Or to suffer a season ending injury. But screw that, I'm going with dominance!

Reason 2 would be that Tyler "Yancey" Thigpen should be the starting quarterback for the Chiefs right now. Look, I saw Thigpen play for KC. He put up good numbers. A solid contributor that didn't cost enough money for them to justify letting him actually compete for the job. Miami has no choice but to play the guy, and I think they will be pleased with his performance. At least until they do something ridiculous like bring in Jamarcus Russell or Matt Leinart. Is Matt Leinart playing for anyone right now?

Mostly, though, I think Chicago loses because Chicago deserves to lose. You know what you did, Chicago. And Jay Cutler sucks. Bears 17, Dolphins 24

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Chargers are for Sale!!!

Psych! I bet the locals are going crazy with the idea that Spanos might actually be considering selling the team to someone who likes football and enjoys winning, but if Alex Spanos sold all his stake, the family would still probably own the majority. The truth is that Alex Spanos is looking to sell a minority stake in the Chargers to some random wealthy Los Angelino or other. What does it mean? Nothing really, as far as I can tell. I mean, the doom and gloomers will say that this is proof that the Spanos family is looking to move the team and they are now securing a financial partnership in the city. I say that this means nothing because, as I've said before, I have never doubted their intent to leave.

Also, in the above link, it is mentioned that the City of San Diego eliminated some development cap which opens up the possibility of the city funding an East Village stadium project or something. This really means nothing, because look around. This town is bankrupt financially and morally. The only way the Chargers get a new stadium is if they win the Superbowl this year. And even then it's a one in a million shot. And no, I'm not saying there's a chance.

Update: Now go read Tim Sullivan's article from today's UT on how the NFL is treating Atlanta in their bid for a Superbowl and then ask yourself if there isn't a small part of you that wouldn't mind seeing the Chargers and the NFL in general become someone else's problem.

Mike Vick

I have to talk about Mike Vick and what he did last night. Now, there are a lot of people who will always hate Vick and feel he should not even be allowed to play in the NFL. Personally, I feel like he paid his debt and deserves the chance he's received to move on. And damn if he hasn't made the most of it. That was a performance for the ages last night. And I'm not just saying that because he bailed out a woeful performance from the rest of my fantasy football team. I don't know if Vick spent his entire two years in the hoosegow throwing a football through a tire or if he just thought football 24/7, but what I do know is that this Vick is at least 5 times the player he was before all that nasty business. I don't condone what he did back then, but I can't deny that I find myself rooting for Mike Vick the football player now.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Take That. You Filthy Bye Week!

Now go back to bye-ville where you bye-long! You just got served! Do people still say that? The "You got served" thing? Whatever. Served, bitches! Don't look now, but the Chargers haven't lost in three weeks, and with Denver murdelating the Chiefs, the mighty Bolts are practically back in the driver's seat in the AFC West. Yeah, baby! Nothing's going to bring this Chargers Nation down! Oh, I mean, unless you caught this little blurb in Peter King's column today:

"This is the best chance Los Angeles has to get a team in a long time.

Nothing's going to happen until after the owners and players get a new collective bargaining agreement, but once that happens, I expect, as I said on NBC last night, the league to get cracking on bringing one of the 32 teams to a new stadium adjacent to the Staples Center and LA Live complex in downtown Los Angeles.

All along, what's held the NFL back is either that the league didn't really want to be at the Coliseum -- and USC wasn't crazy about having the NFL there -- or the league didn't want to be in the endless 'burbs of southern California. But the backers of the new stadium, Casey Wasserman and Tim Leiweke, are well-connected guys who want to build the kind of retractable-roof events center that could be used to attract the 2022 World Cup final (or some future World Cup) and Final Fours, as well as an NFL team. Influential owners in the league are excited about the Los Angeles prospect ending a generation-long drought in the city, and these are owners who -- I can tell you with certainty -- have not been nearly as excited about any of the previous L.A. ventures.

As for the team to play there, the obvious candidates are San Diego (likely the favorite, unless a stadium gets built there, which appears increasingly unlikely) or Oakland. I'd say San Diego's more likely, but this thing has a couple of years to play out."

Okay, personally, I came to grips with the fact that the Chargers were not long for this town shortly after the loophole in the Qualcomm Stadium contract came to light nearly 10 years ago. I've spent a decade with the knowledge that this team was living on borrowed time, so items like this don't bother me. But I do love sharing them with everybody else. With the likelihood of a lock-out next year, it's starting to look like the San Diego Chargers have but a season or two to get their championship for this hometown. That's pretty good, considering they'd probably be gone already if the economy hadn't gone Chernobyl a couple of years back. So, let's get our cheering caps on full force, because this may very well be our last year. And after yesterday's utter dismantling of that pesky bye week, I suddenly like our chances. Go Bolts!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And Now It's Time...

For the easiest part of every NFL blogger's job. The picks.

Baltimore @ Atlanta
I think Atlanta is going to go heavy in the air against the Ravens and Michael Turner's only going to get me 4 points. Lame, but I actually did pick this game right. Honest. i have documentation, just not on me. Ravens 21, Falcons 26 (Uncanny, isn't it?)

Detroit @ Buffalo
This is a stupid pick, but if Buffalo's going to win one, it has to be this one, right? And they have to win one. Right? Ugh, come on you fucking Buffalos! Lions 27, Buffalo 28

Minnesota @ Chicago
Say it with me, Chicago is awful. Felt good didn't it. Minnesota seems poised to pull their heads out of their asses and cause soime sort of weird coach/quarterback controversy thing. You realize that if this team bounces back and goes deep again, Favre will rule the offseason yet again, right? Vikings 23, Bears 13

NY Jets @ Cleveland
Everybody loves the Browns here, and after taking down two very hyped teams you can't really blame them. However, New Orleans hasn't looked right all year and New England highlighted the blunder of letting Randy Moss go last week. The Jets are legit. Except when they're not. But this week they are. Jets 30, Browns 17

Cincy @ Indy
Cincy is desperate and Manning's Colts look like they are falling to Earth like a rain of bullets in Chula Juana during a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Still, Cincy is desperate because they are bad. And Indy has a long fall too before they get to merely bad. Bengals 24, Colts 31

Houston @ Jacksonville
I cannot for the life of me remember who I picked in my pool for this game. A month ago it was a no-brainer. Jax? Awful. Texans? Ready to take the league by storm and be the team that everybody wants them to be. Now I think they both just kinda suck. Sort of. Bad year to live in Texas, though. Both the football clubs blow and the baseball team got whacked in the Series by the fucking Gayville VaGiants. I'm taking the home squad here. Texans 20, Jags 34

Tennessee @ Miami
Two more teams that are just kind of good sometimes except when they're not. Maybe Randy Moss brings some excitement to this game, but I doubt it. Snoozefest. Titans 17, Fins 20

Carolina @ Tampa Bay
Tampa is surprisingly likeable this year and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the organization after they obliterated the Raiders in the Superbowl some years ago. Oh, and Carolina sucks and they are riddled with injuries. And they sucked when the whole team was healthy. Panthers 14, Bucs 28

KC @ Denver
KC is better this year but they are due some plummetin'. Josh McDaniels may already be playing for his job at this point after making about a thousand bad personnel decisions since landing in Denver. The super desperate team makes the AFC West scary mediocre on Sunday. Chiefs 24, Broncos 27

Seattle @ Arizona
Is Kurt Warner back yet? No. Don't care then. Seahawks 13, Cards 20

Dallas @ NY VaGiants
Dallas, you are terrible. VaGiants, you are for real. Like, Superbowl for real, maybe. It's going to be fun watching NY run up the score. You might see a forfeit. Cowboys 6, VaGiants 42

St. Louis @ San Francisco
The Rams are the feel okay story of the year! And Frisco is gay. Electric car gay. Rams 24, 49ers 16

New England @ Pitt
Well, New England, you nearly got Randy Moss back. But you didn't. Pittsburgh is going to eat your quarterback. Pats 9, Steelers 20

Philadelphia @ Washington
Unless Washington's game plan is to put the ole Malachi Crunch on Mike Vick again, I don't think they have a chance. However, that may very well be their game plan. Iggles 35, Skins 24

There you have it. What else do you wan?, We're done here. Go look at some porn or something.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Already?

I could do with three or four more work days! Just kidding, one more work day and I'd be begging you to put me out of my misery with a volley of flaming hot AIDS nails. Too insensitive? Too bad.

First off, I want to thank my cohort for sacrificing his brain to that AJ Smith interview the other day. That must have been terrible. I mean, how much smug is too much? I guess they could have threeway called in Acee to really ratchet it up. Anyway, I couldn't have taken it, so way to go, CJ.

I don't have much to talk about, but there are two things I'd like to weigh in on:

1) Shawne Merriman strained his leg in his very first practice with the Bills. Local San Diego fans are saying he's done. Because they are all doctors. Look, Merriman may very well be the malcontent the local media makes him out to be. He may have fake injuried his way out of San Diego. Hell, he may be trying to fake injury his way out of Buffalo (Wouldn't you? Seriously, an 0-7 team putting in a waiver claim? Was Buddy Nix paying a debt on that one?). Or he may just be injury prone. Whatever the case, the guy is still relatively young, and a minor leg strain is not likely to be the straw that breaks his career. San Diego fans pretty firmly either love AJ Smith's no nonsense bullshit or they hate it. This sounds like the former group trying desperately to grasp at any straw that makes AJ look like a genius.

2) Speaking of genius moves by AJ, people can't shut up about Seyi Ajiratoutou(Fucking really?) around here. I imagine people are jazzed to give credit to AJ for finding the rookie phenom. But is he a phenom? Or is he Jyles Tucker in Wide Receivers clothing? Remember when Jyles Tucker got a big, fat contract after lighting it up against a woeful Raiders Offense? Well, don't look now, but Tutu lit up the 5th worst passing D in NFL history with arguably the best QB in the NFL right now throwing him the ball. Now everybody is freaking out about what to do with him. If we put him back on the practice squad, anybody can pick him up. Well, I'm sorry but I'd like to see more of the kid before I go pushing Patrick Crayton or anybody else out the door. Frankly, I think they should deactivate VJ and let him move on. How much is the guy going to give for this team over the last six games when everybody knows his future fortune lies elsewhere? But if you want to know what I think will happen, don't be surprised to see Malcolm Floyd or Legedu Naanee put on IR pretty soon. Just seems like the knee jerk kind of thing we'd pull right when things are starting to turn around.

Anyway, I got the Bolts to mess up the bye this week and I'll try to get my picks out here sometime today or tomorrow, if you care. Happy football, everybody!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The A.J. Interview Take II...

I gave this a day to simmer to see what would come of it from the local media. As expected, total media blackout. Canepa, silent. Acee, silent. NOTHING. Some excerpts from the interview can be found at this fansite which is always an "interesting" read in and of itself.

I had a few thoughts on this interview as I was so unlucky as to hear it live. I have now set a permanent reminder on my phone daily so that I never forget my ipod ever, ever, evereverever again. Sports radio is a bigger debacle than most other media outlets. Good god damn I'd rather go to jail for raping children with lawn rakes than to subject myself to that audio equivalent of waterboarding.

The one and only thing I can really say about this, aside from the fact that it was an unplanned act initiated by the Godfather in order to extend himself to the media, while keeping them completely unprepared to pepper him with the questions we all want answered. He says the Marti in the P.R. department called and made him do it. Marti was a neighbor of mine for a time. She's a tiny five foot nothing woman. She can make him go on the radio with a mere phone call? Perhaps she can influence him to sign and fire the proper people. She ought to accost him with a mirror with the word "FIRED" painted across the bottom of it. Maybe that would work.

Many have gotten on Darren Smith's case for not putting Lord Corleone on blast, however, make no mistake about it he was ambushed. He did his best ad lib and did what he could to extract some explanations from the G.M. and the G.M. did his best bob and weave to avoid admitting any responsibility for the current incarnation of the Chargers. He was also very clear about it being on the players, not the coaches. His coach was quoted in the UT today by Tim Sullivan as saying, "A week ago, New England was playing the best,” Turner said. “A month ago, Atlanta was playing the best and they got beat bad by New Orleans. So I’m not sure there’s a pure dominant team right now." Yeah, Atlanta won that game. Won. Not beat bad. Won. Glad you're the captain of the Valdez to Los Angeles fine sir.

There was the one contradiction in the dialogue that stuck with me. A.J. continued to insist that everyone was aware that with the current labor unrest, no Charger would be getting long term deals until such time that the union and the league reached some predictable stage of a settlement. He repeatedly reiterated that sentiment to the radio audience, and out of his own mouth, to the agents of the three disgruntled Chargers you may have heard mentioned here at this site and elsewhere. No Charger would receive long term contracts. None. Except Philip Rivers. Just him. No other Charger. Except Antonio Gates. But no one else. Nobody. Sign your more than fair, generous tenders and come to work. That is the message. And that message is crystal clear. The players, by turning down those initial tenders and threatening to hold out, essentially spit in the face of the Godfather, and in doing so, completely shut down the negotiations as he, "had to take them at their word." He called that the end of the negotiation process. He, "Could have given all three what they wanted and they'd have been there the first day of camp." But that's not his philosophy or the way things "get done." It "doesn't hit him real well." It's entirely possible that you could have found a middle ground for everyone involved, and everyone could have been happy. But that wouldn't have made A.J. happy. End of story.

Now, needless to say that all three of these players situations could have been handled individually. Merriman certainly had to prove he was at least a shadow of his former beastly self, and assuredly, Vinny Jackdaniels needed to prove that there was in fact a breathalyzer that he couldn't set afire with his wind. Listen to how proud he is that Merriman is in Buffalo. Deserved or undeserved listen to the satisfaction in his voice. But lumping Marcus into that duo was silly, petty and spiteful. Ego aside, he could have negotiated with each player on the merits of their play and off field presence and pay them market value for a year based on their individual situations. He chose not to. He also chose to suspend them. Another ego play that did not need to occur. This was never a negotiation, it was A.J. demonstrating his power and prematurely attempting to cement a legacy, a legacy that to date has been plagued with inefficiency, incompetence, irresponsibility and quite frankly failure at every level. Players, coaching and managing. All earn F grades. F. To quote Animal House and Canepa, "Zero. Zero points. Zero." Listen to the interview. I beg of you. The last five or so minutes are just nothing short of incredible.

It is truly all ego. Through to the bone. All ego.