Friday, August 31, 2012

Your San Diego Chargers

Holy buckets, that was terrible. I think my favorite part was Philip Rivers intentionally grounding the ball with his left hand. I have no idea why he had to do that since all the local press is telling me that pass protection was very good last night, but he did. Of course, Rivers tried his damnedest to erase the memory of that foible by blasting yet another hideous INT into quadruple coverage on the ensuing 3rd and goal from the 21. Sorry Philip, you're going to have to do better than that because I am still laughing. But at least Rivers isn't afraid to take a chance in the "meaningless" preseason, unlike Norv, who punted the ball after a Harbaugh spot challenge put the Chargers at 4th and about a foot in the 4th quarter down by 1,000 points or so. It's the preseason, Norv, are you practicing giving up in the 4th quarter? I can only assume that after the game Harbaugh went to Norv's house and gave him a swirly in the toilet while Norv's wife made him a sandwich. God, if that wasn't a tale of two coaches! One squad looked like seasoned professionals with a brutal and unflinching gameplan and 16 starters on the bench (17, really, since Alex Smith handed the ball off 5 times and then took a nap). The other team was the Chargers. Mistake after mistake. Pure panic after dropping behind. Complete quit when the game got out of hand.

The local media is taking two angles on this. The first is the sad silver lining angle of, "Well, no one got hurt in the game." Inspiring. The second, emminently more laughable one, is that they at least got this out of their system in the preseason. Whew! They got rid of that finite amount of suck they were holding onto just in time! Everybody's going to play the preseason angle for the next ten days. They're going to tell you not to panic on account of this game because the preseason is a joke. But here's the thing. The preseason is not a joke all the time. Yes, the preseason is a joke when you win. Most teams are playing a dumbed down offense and defense, just trying to get their players into game shape and round out the rosters. Most teams don't expect to put together stellar performance after stellar performance in the preseason, but they expect to see where there strengths and weaknesses lay. When you're team is incapable of looking consistently good in any facet of the game throughout the preseason. When you sit your starters because you're afraid the other team might hurt them. When your QB continues to exhibit exactly the type of poor decision making that cost your team any hope of getting to the playoffs last year. When your brittle RB breaks his clavicle on his first carry. When the guy you paid to take over the most important spot on the Offensive Line refuses to take the field. When the guys you picked up to take the place of your most effective WR, who skipped town because he couldn't get along with your megalomaniacal GM, cannot get into the endzone. When all of those things are going on in the preseason, it is not a joke.

I think after last night a lot of people's eyes were opened to what's really going on here. It's only going to get worse, because after this the games matter. And that's when teams actually come to play. But not Norv's teams.

P.S. Billy Ray Smith is the absolute worst. Actually made me look forward to Berman.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Red Pill

So, tonight ends the preseason for our beloved Chargers with a final scrimmage against the San Francisco 49ers. This is an interesting game if only for the fact that the Chargers have said Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates will see time. Last week, Norv decided to sit his two most important offensive players, in a game every other team views as a dress rehearsal for starters, rather than to subject them to Jared Allen and the vaunted Minnesota Vikings defense. Seriously, how did Allen get 22 sacks last year? Do opposing teams refuse to watch tape on the Vikings? Baffling. Dude was one Brett Favre gimme sack away from the record! Anyway, the Chargers sat Rivers, and it was a good move as sexy back-up Charlie Whitehurst was harrassed for the entirety of his time on the field. And tonight Rivers and Gates will be up against the best defense from last year's NFL. Of course, most of those starters will be on the bench. In street clothes. Or in a bar. Or wherever starters for other teams go for the fourth preseason game. I guess the thinking is that if Rivers and Co. beat up on the 49ers back-ups, the fans will get excited and buy tickets so that I can watch home games on TV. I like it. But seriously, does that inspire real confidence in you Chargers faithful?

I have shouted from the mountaintops my very generous prediction for this season of a 6-10 record. Honestly, though, I think we should all prepare for 12 losses. Let me tell you about a conversation I recently had with a couple of other Chargers fans I know. Whilst tipping back a few refreshing beverages with these friends of mine the conversation turned, as it is wont to do, to the upcoming football season, and more specifically to how our dear Chargers would fair. 10-6 type predictions were thrown about with no regard for the actual physical existence of the team and coach on the field. One gent went so far as to say 12 wins wouldn't be overly surprising, tempting me to inform the bartender that his innebriation had hit the tipping point, so to speak. Let me pause briefly to tell you a little something about yourselves, Chargers faithful (you fellow fairweathers like myself may cover your ears if you like). You want to believe the Bolts are that team that whooped on the Ravens last year and not the actual team we have been fielding for at least the last three years. You want to take one game against a team with road issues all last year and rewrite history with it. But the dirtiest part of your little secret is that deep down inside you know it isn't true. You know what team you have. You know who your coach is. Your GM. Your owner. Because...after all of this Chargers braying I offered my two dear friends each a wager of $50-an entirely unoffensive amount, really!-that the Chargers would not put together more than a mere 6 wins on the coming season. 6! Needless to say of myself and my friends, none of us will be any the more richer or any the more poorer for that bet at the end of the season, because alas there were no takers. Sad story. True story.

 And do you know what AJ will say when we lose 12 games? He will say it's your fault. He will say the fans pushed for more free agency signings and more transparency. He will say that if he and Norv had been allowed to operate the way they wanted to operate, that they would've righted the ship rather than run it aground and straight into a dynamite factory.

Let us list some of our woes for giggles and shits, what say you?

Ryan Mathews: Oh brother is this guy an injury problem. My God, doesn't it start to feel like he's trying to get hurt? He seems optimistic for his chances of a swift return to action, but doesn't this just feel like the kind of thing that is going to cast a long shadow over our season, because...

The other RBs: Suck. Ronnie Brown is more injury prone than Mathews and this is the guy Norv likes. Brinkley. This is probably the guy fans want because they've seen him before. For like, one game. McClain, Battle? Oh my, this unit needs to get it together, because...

Philip Rivers: Has looked really pretty shitty so far this season. I don't think he should be allowed to throw the ball to Robert Meachem anymore since nothing good ever seems to come of that, but if you've ever seen Norv's playbook it says right there on the front page "First and foremost Troy Aikman QB#1 must force the ball downfield to Michael Irvin WR#1 at all times. But if he doesn't throw to Meachem, who can he throw to, because...

Receivers: Malcolm Floyd is one overextension away from missing 3 games (this guy makes Mathews and Brown look like a couple of regular Cal Ripkins) and Eddie Royal ain't no juggernaut either. That guy was one of our most vaunted offseason signings and has yet to get on the field. I guess a proven guy like that doesn't need any tune-up play, sort of like...

Offensive Line: Jared Gaither. This guy has been out for a month with back spasms. Back spasms?! What the Hell are back spasms and how do they keep you from playing football?! Back spasms are a sort of Hallmark for lazy guys who hate to practice and think they can show up week one and play themselves into shape right away. Those guys are alwalys wrong. Always. And don't look now, but Hardwick and Tyronne Greene are hurt too. And do you realize how bad your line has to be for you to be that upset Tyronne Greene isn't in it? Antonio Gates is going to have to line up standing next to Rivers if Rivers is going to have any chance of finding the time to throw him the ball. It's called a hand off.

And now for the defense, who I actually believe will me our strength this year, at least by comparison to the offense. These poor saps got raked across the coals last year while the offense went around happily coughing up the ball one way or another for the entire season. Look closer and there were some things to like about this unit. Eric Weddle, even though he has a real problem with haircuts and not sounding like an a-hole, really acquitted himself on the field last year and I have to give him credit for that. Antwan Barnes had 11 sacks in limited play last year and didn't bother to shout it at the local media every chance he got. Just quietly did an exceptional job. Donald Butler has all the makings of a solid playmaker. Quentin Jammer continued to be a solid presence in the secondary, despite the fact that fans crucified him for getting beat up by Megatron. Who doesn't?! Some fans. But Jammer has to be good, because...

The other DBs: Antoine Cason is so bad. Just so not very good at all. Painful to watch at times. And Gilchrist? Well Gilchrist only did an adequate job of standing in for Cason at times. Thankfully, they've got...

Safety: A rookie safety to lean on back there with Weddle. Oh, I think they signed Atari Bigby too and he's got a sweet throwback name so what's not to love? Well, all these guys need to get it together, because they're going to see a lot of action while...

Defensive Line:  We put the weight of our defensive season on the shoulders of a rookie. No way that can backfire.

So there you have it. Enjoy the season. Look, I hate to be so negative here, but I watch my friends spend their hard earned money on tickets and official merchandise and I read what the local media writes and listen to AJ on the radio and I feel like the only person in the whole world who knows that we're in the Matrix. Come back to reality, it's so cold and refreshingly desolate. Go Bolts!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lazy Theory Has No Legs; Sits Down, Takes a Load Off

Jared Gaither has missed 14 straight practices due to "back spasms." Now, our friends at the UT cannot mention these "back spasms" without comparing them to earthquakes, because have you heard Gaither is a big man? He is. It's all they talk about over there. He's huge. He takes up three spots on the bench, the man is so big.

Jared Gaither has been referred to as "The Big Lazy" in some circles and I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Hey MC, that's the problem right there! This guy isn't suffering from debilitating "back spasms," he's just lazy! Why hasn't anybody pointed this out?!" Well, I'll tell you why. Because it's wrong. Prepare to be scienced.

Gaither was released by two teams last year and has been quietly referred to as "The Big Lazy" by industry insiders. That alone puts his lazy rating at a whopping +6! Add the fact that he's 6'9" and very big boned and that rating skyrockets to a mindboggling +9. Ryan Leaf barely tipped the scale with a lazy rating of +4.5. So far, the lazy theory is a strong one. But the Chargers were aware of this fact, and were far too savvy to take a chance on someone with a lazy rating that high. The first thing the Chargers did was to remove any kind of competition for the LT position. This fosters a confidence in the lazy player that experts will tell you can knock 2-3 points off a players lazy score. Minimum! Then, and this is crucial, the Chargers paid Gaither not to be lazy. Reports have Gaither's contract as having around $7 million in guaranteed money, with easily hittable escalators-even for the laziest of the lazy-that would bring that figure up to $12 million. Each million knocks one whole point of a players lazy rating. So, even on the low end, with no escalators and minor non-competition factors Gaithers score should dip all the way down to +/-0. So there you have it. Gaither is not at all lazy. In fact, his possible -6 lazy rating means it's likely that he is very highly dedicated to the game of football and that nothing short of true incapacitation would keep him off the field.

Damn back spasms.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

If Acee Could Only Clone His Heart So He Could Love Weddle Twice As Much

Today Kevin Acee contributed yet another in a long series of fluff pieces about Eric Weddle to the UT. Of, course, Weddle went a long way towards proving the doubting Thomases out there wrong last season-myself included-but dammit, Acee's going to beat the stragglers into submission with more effusive praise than any ordinary man can take. Although it starts out a little rough:

“It’s kind of been like that my whole life,” he has said (these exact words) to me more than once. “I never get the respect I think I deserve. It’s fine. It’s gotten me where I’m at.”

First off Acee, quotation marks already mean "these exact words" unless otherwise noted. If you need to up that word count, just go with what students have been doing since the dawn of essays and say that everything is very very whatever. Anyway, as far as player quotes go, this is kind of bitchy. I'm going to go ahead and assume he was asked a leading sort of question, but this answer-while pretty standard on the surface-does nothing for my impression of Eric Weddle. Too bitter. But wait!

This is not to portray Weddle as bitter.

Well, never mind then. Weddle love-in? Back on!

If I were forced to pick just one Chargers player to clone, it would be Weddle. It would be a tough call, since I’d take Rivers as my quarterback 20 times out of 19. But not only have I seen Rivers run, I’ve seen Weddle play quarterback. He did at times in college. Also punted and held on placements. Played a little running back, too.

Please, all of you criminal masterminds out there, never force Acee to clone just one Chargers player! See, this is the problem. This is the kind of paragraph right here that destroys any last vestige of credibility Acee could even pretend to have. I'm not talking about yet another obnoxious round of verbal fellatio directed at Weddle. No, I'm talking about choosing Rivers as your QB "20 times out of 19." If that is the case, then you sir, are stupid as charged. Rivers has put up fine numbers over the years. But what has Rivers accomplished, really? Sure, you could try to blame Norv, but Rivers loves Norv. So clearly Rivers doesn't think that's the problem. And Rivers was pretty bad when it counted last year. So, you'd take Rivers right now over anybody else? Also, the verbal fellatio directed at Weddle is pretty terrible. Although Nick Canepa agrees with Acee.

Even when I referred to Weddle as Dough Boy a few years ago, it was out of a sort of marveling appreciation. He was so instinctual, so driven, so knowledgeable that he could overcome looking like a dude who wrote about sports rather than a guy I predicted back then would one day become a Pro Bowler.

Holy crap!

Not that I was at all concerned this man of mettle would lack motivation for ’12 anyway — he is, above all, interested in a legacy that includes being a Super Bowl winner — but motivation certainly was provided last month when the NFL Network finished its “Top 100” series without a mention of Weddle.

The fucking nerve! Now I'm glad that Time Warner told the NFL fuck off. Clearly, the NFL Network has its head up its ass. Like a mile!

Anyway, this article was just a little over the top for my taste-oh my God, there's a second page of this shit!

“It was a slap in the face,” he said when we talked the day after the final episode aired. “I mean, you always go out there wanting to get the respect of your opponent. It’s like, ‘Dang, I’m not even in the top 100.’ ”

Okay, that's Weddle talking. I want to believe he said all of this with a smile on his face, but man does that sound bitter. I mean, settle down zippy, it's not like Jacob Hester cracked the top 100 ahead of you or anything and you are basically the same guy as far as I can tell. And maybe the NFL overlooked you because your team choked on dick last year and didn't even bother to make the playoffs in a division where 8-8 was the bar.

Whatever, the only other members of the 2011 All-Pro team to not be voted into the top 100 were kicker David Akers and punter Andy Lee.

And do you hear them crying about it?

Please, please understand this column is my creation. Oh, it’s all true. This is who Weddle is. But his words are simply responses to my questions. If you walk away perceiving Weddle as selfish, you’ve missed the point.

Leave it to Acee to go out calling the readers idiots for not getting it. That's how you know the column is "AJ approved." No, no, no. That isn't how it works. You don't get to just say I missed the point. In fact, it is you who did not prove your point. You painted Weddle as selfish and bitchy with your presentation of his words. And you set the stage for criticism by offering no criticism of your own. It's funny, you became a columnist and said that now you can really tell the truth and get out there and write the stories you want to write. Yet here you are, writing the same crap you always wrote before.

This final quote by Weddle is actually very good, and it makes me believe that my earliest inclinations-that Acee was leading Weddle into looking like a self-serving crybaby by injecting his own arrogance into the tone of the article-were true:

“It’s nice to get recognized and have it be appreciated how far you’ve progressed and how you are as a football player,” Weddle said. “To win is always the No. 1 goal, but if you’re not striving to be the best, what are you playing for?”

Because then here's Acee:

With Weddle, it’s a rhetorical question.

Ugh. Can we get some real writers in this town?

Packers-Bolts tonight in the first of four games that will remind you that football is not really back yet. Enjoy. Go Bolts!!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Women Be Reffin'

Okay, so if you haven't heard there will be a woman referee on the field for Thursday night's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. This has never happened before. Now, I'm tempted to say, "Well, at least there will finally be someone on the field less competent than Norv Turner!" But I'm not going to say that, because we live in a world where, as Randy McMichael-who's still on the team regardless of the three or four other TEs we picked up this season-says, "...A woman is just as capable as a man to do anything." Seriously,that's what he said. It's right there in the paper. And I couldn't agree more. So, rather than make some sort of crack about another dubious honor for San Diego sports, I'm going to just say congratulations to chicks and in the immortal words of my friend Virginia Slim, "You've come a long way, baby."

In a completely unrelated item, I have been working on an open letter to the NFL. Tell me what you think:

Dear NFL,
I hate you so fucking much.

Maximum Colossus

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Here We Go.

Alright, time to try and flex my football bitchery muscle for a second here and see if I can't jump start this blog back to life. We here at Super Chargers have a feeling that this could be a good year for Chargers blogging, and that's probably bad news for the Chargers. We are going to need this avenue for catharsis. A lot of fans still have hope, and I'm here to crush it. AJ still runs the company and Norvelle still mans the helm. I'm not ready to go big right now with some comprehensive this, that or the other about all of the things that have happened over the off-season, but I'm sure I will. For now, let's break in the new guy over at the UT, who I like to refer to as the Acee puppet, who is still the AJ puppet and that should provide an interesting visual. Actually, it's hard to indict the guy for this article, which is really more like one more brief on the pile of evidence that Norvelle may not actually be the genius he has been advertised as. If you don't want to read it, the general breakdown is that Norv is elusive when asked where Vincent Brown will fit into the offense this season. There is still a bunch of camp, preseason games blah blah blah I have no answer type of stuff. Lets' interpret.

What diehards will think: Norv has something up his sleeve. He's keeping things close to the vest and the opposition is in for a real surprise.

What Norv is really saying: I have no idea what to do with Vincent Brown. Hopefully AJ will tell me soon.

The reality: Vincent Brown will obviously play in Malcolm Floyd's spot once Floyd goes down.

Woo, that felt good. Let's do this thing. Go Bolts!!!