Welcome back, FAITHFUL READER. Justice Is Coming will be a little more disjointed than usual. As many of you already know, Sammy and I have been trying to raise our 2-week old son, Aaron, while still giving the proper love and attention to our 4-year old, Sarah. Thanks for all those congratulations about the newborn. I am finding it a lot like trying to get reception on an old television with the rabbit ear antennas. When you finally get the picture right, you realize that you the only way to keep it that way is to stand in front of the set with your hands on it. That's what it's like at night with a baby. I guess it was the same way the first time around, but I can't remember. He's awesome, but I am happy that this is the last time we'll be doing this.
No wonder Marcia got hit in the nose. Nice to see Mike Brady has the Rivers jersey framed and the Gates picture in the foyer. However, I was a little sad to see Brenda, Kelly and Donna supporting the LA Raiders.
Will, I know just how you feel today. When the Giants won, it stung like hell. At least the Packers aren't quarterbacked by Eli Manning, who hasn't won a playoff game before or since that postseason. Matt Wilhelm has a Super Bowl ring, but at least he never played a snap at linebacker. He was on special teams on that last kickoff where Pittsburgh got penalized. Maybe we could have used him for that. Anyway, thanks to everyone who sent in congratulations over the past few days. At least my son knows someone else with his first name--a World Champion. As my wife pointed out, his birthday will now coincide with the Super Bowl. If anyone saw the NickToons movie I mentioned last week, Ishmael seems like a pretty big Charger fan. His mom knew not to mention Super Bowl XXIX.
I'll be in touch next week and we can start worrying about how AJ will pass on the next Polamalu or Matthews.
When I ask if it fits, I meant figuratively. I mean, he already cries a lot. Do I want to bring him into all this?
Off to the hospital,
Aaron Benjamin Warner
8 pounds, 4 ounces.
More details to follow.
What the fuck is this space-age mess, you ask? I don't know. I just save every picture I see that even remotely connects to the Chargers. This is what's coming to the Nassau Coliseum in 2011. I know, it will be hard to stay away. Well, FAITHFUL READER, I was beginning to wonder if it was possible that the Chargers' season could actually get worse after it officially ended earlier this month. It certainly felt like it. I am sure you could read between the lines of my cryptic scribblings here within the Halls Of Justice and figure out that it was tough to see LT march through the playoffs. Now that the most nauseating of all non-Bolt involved images has been prevented (at least for now), I guess it's time I come to grips with what was driving me so crazy in the first place. All year long, this sub-drama has been building. As Tom Twomey so aptly pointed out in the comments section of my last post, the main drama was whether the Bolts could actually hold up under the glare of do-or-die football. As it turned out, they answered that question back in September. You could even argue that the answer was given to us at this time last year.
As I am sure you have figured out by now, I am more than a little obsessive. I am also more than a little narcissistic. So I sometimes find myself quoting my own words. At this point, I am more concerned with my possibile devestation over LT getting a ring than it actually happening. I went back into the Halls Of Justice to find something I wrote in March of last year:
Of course, the New York Jets are not our problem. When asked which team I hate the most right now, I always answer the San Diego Chargers. Of course, if the Jets take our broken parts and win with them, it is even more salt in our already painful wounds. One of my friends asked me about LT and I compared it to Cal Ripken if he had never won a ring in Baltimore. Then imagine he had been signed by the Red Sox, before they had ever won anything. Right now, the Jets look pretty good. They are certainly acting like they bulletproof by inviting the HBO cameras into their training camp. Even though their coach is only talking about his own team and not directly about the opposition, they've made themselves a big target. But if they can get the most out of their guys (and our old guys), they deserve that much more credit. Sadly, our problems are not with the Jets, Colts, Steelers or Patriots. I don't need to tell you that, FAITHFUL READER.
I have to stick with that attitude right now. I won't be watching the AFC Championship game because I can't handle getting that upset with a game that we aren't even playing in. I am expecting the Jets to win and more concerned with minimizing the already large amount of anger and frustration I feel regarding professional football. The fact that the Chargers are nowhere near the Super Bowl is where all my anger needs to be.
I saw a couple of other interesting points on various forums a I was searching for some solace on Monday:
"Watching the teams in the playoffs and the level the winners are playing at I realize we may just be a flawed franchise. Im going to stop being bitter and cheering against our old players."
"The entire Jets team played solid, rose to the occasion, did not crumble under pressure but thrived off it, no turnovers, no dumb penalties, played focused and determined to win. So, pretty much everything the Chargers never do once the playoffs start. They definitely earned it."
The best expression I read regarding our constant shitting of the bed in the postseason was "tripping over our own dicks." Damian Brennan of Ireland summed up the problem with the Chargers right now. The Steelers, Ravens and Jets can all beat us up. The Pats cannot, but we are unable to beat them up. These are all teams that we have been unable to beat in January. We haven't played Baltimore, but I don't think anyone here thinks we would have beaten them anytime when it mattered. LT beating these teams now isn't tthe issue. The issue is that we can't do it. Everything else is just salt in the wound.
I saw this in Kevin Acee's "Male Sack" today. I was surprised it didn't have to do with the Chargers moving to LA:
Kevin, Another example of how a fiery/disciplined coach can get the most out of his team. A second year head coach and quarterback just took down arguably the best prepared team in football. I would argue the Charger's talent level is at or better than the Jets, yet here we are out of the palyoffs. Why is Dean Spanos satisfied with his coach when year after year they do not show up for the big games? Is it him or the talent AJ has acquired? Keeping Norv because he gets along with AJ is not a the way to build a championship team. If AJ can't get along with someone who may challenge him then maybe the problem is him. Just venting.
A: Fair enough, considering the Chargers interviewed Rex Ryan and the Chargers aren't in the playoffs and the Chargers lost in the AFC Championship game at New England ... But the argument is tired. You're hitting your head against a wall for at least another year. Either enjoy your team, root for a lockout, root for them to go 4-12, whatever. But I have no answer that will make you happy at this moment ... I could tell you the same things I've been saying for months, but that is not what you want to hear.
Basically, we're fucked. The issue is that the only consistent message the Bolts have sent is that AJ makes the decisions. For Spanos to use 3 missed field goals as an excuse for last year, but for his annointed GM to choose to keep that very kicker illustrates that. I know Brain Schottenheimer said last year that he wanted to give a Super Bowl ring to his dad. Does that mean that Marty should have stayed? Hell, no. He said all the iright things, but players weren't listening. That's half the coach's job right there. AJ claims not to watch the playoffs if we are not in it, but he better be watching now. Clearly, the teams that remain display all the qualities that we currently do not have. I am also not saying that Rex Ryan would have made the Chargers into what the Jets currently are. But teams hire, fire, trade and cut guys based on their performance in the biggest spots. The Chargers appear not to. This is why people worry that they only care about turning a profit. The speculation over a possible move to LA doesn't help that perception.
There are 10 teams that have been to the Super Bowl (in years shown) and lost each time:
- Minnesota Vikings (0-4) 1970, 1974, 1975, 1977
- Buffalo Bills (0-4) consecutively 1991-1994
- Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) 1982, 1989
- Philadelphia Eagles (0-2) 1981, 2005
- San Diego Chargers (0-1) 1995
- Atlanta Falcons (0-1) 1999
- Tennessee Titans (0-1) 2000
- Carolina Panthers (0-1) 2004
- Seattle Seahawks (0-1) 2006
- Arizona Cardinals (0-1) 2009
There are 4 Teams that have never played in a Super Bowl :
- Cleveland Browns
- Detroit Lions
- Houston Texans
- Jacksonville Jaguars
Except for the Falcons, none of the Super Bowl losers got blown out---besides us. People say they always root for the underdog in the Super Bowl. Having been in Miami on 1/29/95, I can tell you that we were not the people's favorite. I guess everyone wanted Steve Young to get the "monkey off his back.
"It's like someone is forcing me to eat shit."--Tom Twomey's "ventext" to me today.
Look, living in NY all my life, I've been pretty public on how I would feel about the Jets finally winning a SECOND Super Bowl. I have also been pretty forthright on my feelings about LT doing it with them. But at this point, I can't stress it anymore. What little I saw, it looked like the Jets D and Sanchez deserved it. I won't ever root for LT to get his ring and it will make me sick if it happens. However, I can't let it get beyond that initial disgust.
As my daughter said when she saw another game on today: "My daddy watches the Chargers. They lose and he gets mad. I don't watch football. I only watch the Chargers."
Is Sarah saying that the Chargers aren't football? Not right now they aren't. The playoffs are the great equalizer or revealer of what was always there. We have been frauds for so long. This puts salt in the wound, but the truth was already there. I am sure Pats fans are devestated, especially after being upset against the Giants. But the sad truth is that the four teams that are playing right now have ALL won the Super Bowl. Is justice ever coming? I don't know, but I wish I could find out now so I could make my plans accordingly.
All this week, I have been getting texts from longtime Legionnaire of the Lightning Bolt (and resident of Edgewater, NJ) Tom Twomey. They usually come at night, as my pregnant wife is lying in bed. Sam always jokes "Oh, Tom. You're the only one who understands my Charger obsession." Then I remind her that the other option is for her to listen to my constant complaining. She usually stops making fun of me after that. Tom's "ventexts," as he so accurately calls them, are often in the form of hypothetical questions. They remind me of the late Dennis Hopper (who had that great Nike ad with Junior Seau as well) in Speed, No, Tom does not refer to me as "hot shot." But he asks things like "Would it work if Norv got demoted to OC with Rivera as head coach?" I think he had Wade Phillips (who was hired by Houston today) penciled in as defensive coordinator in that scenario. I told him that I know Kevin Acee gets asked that one a lot in his "Male Sack" over at the U-T. Obviously, the ego of our GM would never allow that arrangement to work since he would have to admit that "Coach Turner" is not the answer to our problems. I don't think Norval himself would be too pleased with being a coordinator for the team he coached, either. Of course, you see guys all the time who are better served as coordinators (LeBeau, Greg Williams, Phillips). But The Organization won't do a fucking thing right now. Oakland fired Curly Joe (thanks, Whit) after their best season in years. I guess the team that beat us twice is more accountable to its fan base than ours. All those Charger fans who have Jim Harbaugh (not as a Bolt in 1999) as an avatar on the message boards will see another opportunity lost since it appears he will replace Mike Singeltary in San Francisco.
I don't like having pics like this on my computer, but collecting them is a way to focus my rage. This one was on the U-T Chargers Facebook page, so I guess I am not the only one who uses images like this as a way to vent. I also saw someone on Twitter with their unused playoff tickets from this year and last year posted. They asked which one represented the bigger disappointment. I suppose that is the question we are all wondering right now. I just see this entire season as one slow bloodletting since the playoff loss. In the past week, I have acquired quite a few Twitter followers. I don't know if that's necessarily a good thing. When I see a girl mention that Hawaiian music is so relaxing and quoting Bob Marley as an example, I have to wonder what I've gotten myself into. But I digress.
I saw our old friend (former COO and VP) Jim Steeg post "Learn from mistakes...similarities to '05 from suspension of gates (mcneill/Jackson) to awful game in week 16 after big game in week 15." This is the same point Tom made about a loss after each big win against Indy. Jim, of course, is referring to the 2005 loss at KC which ended with a Drew Brees pass that went off LaDanian Tomlinson's fingertips and into the hands of a Queef lineman. After reading Jim's earlier Tweet after our first win of the season, which was a reaction to AJ Smith's alleged gloating to the reporters, I have a feeling that he is not too fond of our current GM. I did ask him if he had an explanation on our current state, he responded that he had no comment but an opinion. We may talk next week, but I asked him not to tell me anything that would confirm the futility I fear is inevitable in being a Charger fan.