This was the scene right before kickoff last Sunday. Remember after "The Indecision," how all the Norv apologists (I'm looking at you, Nick Canepa) said that if the team started winning in the fall that all would be forgiven? Well, once the Chargers shat the bed in New Orleans there was no chance of that. When CBS threw that stat on the screen that we hadn't had a rushing touchdown since Week 5, all I could think is "THAT'S ANOTHER THING THAT'S NORV'S FAULT." I know that the line sucks, that's on AJ. But Norv hasn't tried to establish run much at all. If you're pass protection sucks, you roll the quarterback out. Of course, that would never work for us since Rivers is as mobile as an anvil. If you can't open up any holes, you at least try to get your back the ball in space. I don't know why we even bother with the play action since no one in their right mind respects our running game.
When you have had as many bad second halves as this team, you have to look at the lack of adjustments Norval makes. When Acee was on 1090 on Monday, he was saying that he often vaclillates between blaming Norv and not. Even if you thought Norv was really a genius (and not a guy whose calls can be predicted by any Charger fan), you would have to support a change just based on the fact that it will be three seasons without reaching the postseason. Also, the last three seasons have seen the AFC as the far weaker conference. The AFC West was the worst division in that conference each year. We couldn't even get in under those circumstances.
AJ shouldn't get to pick the next coach. He forced Norv on us and I'm sure pushed for him to get that extension after the '09 regular season. I still remember listening to the Darren Smith show and hearing Darren and Acee wonder aloud what Spanos would do if by some miraculous chance the Chargers imploded again? They did and they still haven't recovered. Yet, Norv is still here.
I can't believe that I still have to remind people of how bad Marty was, either. I never liked Norv, but he won three more playoff games than Schottenheimer. End of discussion.
When I went on the XX1090 site to grab the link of Acee's interview, I saw that this week's poll asked fans whether they even want the Chargers to make the playoffs this season. If you answered no, you push the button next to "Change is needed." If you answered yes, you move your cursor to where it says "I'm a fan no matter what."
What about if you answer to both descriptions? The Legion Of The Lightning Bolt want change because THEY ARE DIEHARD FANS. Justice Leaguers know the only way to improve is ax Norval. AJ shouldn't be allowed to pick another coach at this point. Acee suggested that we fans don't really give Deano enough credit for having balls or caring about winning. However, he also admits that there is some creedence to the perception that he is constantly looking for any justification for NOT making a change. Wow, Kevin, you sound about as definitive as Dean himself.
Remember after Norv and AJ were retained, we were told that AJ was going to be more accessible? Have you seen that side of him? Norv's in-game decisions were going to be more carefully scrutinized. Have you noticed any of that. There was also speculation that our training and conditioning staff were going to under close watch since we seem to have more injuries than most teams. How's that working out, Dean?
Just because we're die hard fans doesn't mean that we want to die with this team. Some might argue that the Chargers will actually be cause of some of their fans' deaths. When my friends and I decided to cancel our trip to the Cleveland game due to the oncoming hurricane, my buddy Jeff mentioned that he didn't want his last moments on earth to be spent saying "I can't believe Ross made me die for the fuckin' Chargers."
He's a Giants fan, but a good enough friend to know how much suffering the Bolts have caused. It was unavoidable for me to have trouble sleeping last Sunday night after yet another loss. I knew that the Bolts would be forever stigmatized by the 4th and 29. But then I remembered that they also blew a 24-0 lead this season and have deserved all the criticism. Ray Rice can utter whatever stupid fucking rhymes he wants, but he couldn't have gained 30 yards against anyone but the Chargers.
Did he make it? Rivers seems to be sure he didn't. But Philip also loves to tell us how Norv hasn't lost the locker room. I feel the same way about both things. I don't give a shit.
I will watch tomorrow's game, but know that a loss will officially put the playoffs out of reach. I will root for a win, but still know that our owner will look at the possibility of 9-7 as a reason to retain Norv. That's the problem and also the reason I wish that Spanos would just sell the team. Fans that I talk to want a Super Bowl. This team has shot itself in the foot every time its had a squad that looked talented enough to make a run. We've gone from a team that used to be unstoppable in December to one that's on life support.
That's a fucking shame and our very own three stooges, Norvy, Dean and AJ are to blame. But we were in the same place last year, as this old rant of mine confirms.
In closing, I'd like to dedicate this installment to my beautiful wife of almost ten years who will turn 38 on Monday. Sammy, you're still the best part of my life and the one that never lets me down. Don't compare youself to the Chargers in that respect. It doesn't do you justice.