It's just the same old movie
Been playing here for years
I could use a change of scenery
But when I get there I'm still here
Yes, I'm actually quoting Bob Weir's "Bombs Away." That's also where I got the title of this week's post. It's cheesy, but not all that bad. The same could be said for the "Bombs Away" Nike poster I had in my room during my childhood. I put up a video clip of a '78 solo performance with Lazy Lightning->Supplication preceding it and you can download the whole show here.
Anyway, it's Rosh Hashanah and I'm here thinking and writing about the Chargers. The basic manuscript for Drunk On Sunday is finished, although I'm sure it will need revising. The summer is officially over and the season begins tonight. Obviously, I wish nothing but bad things for Denver but they have Shaun Phillips so maybe that will take care of itself. Over the past two months, I've bumped to a few people who saw a sticker, hat or shirt that identified me as a Charger fan and tried to strike up a conversation. My wife makes fun of me because every time I meet someone who claims to have an interest in the Bolts, I am immediately suspicious. "Why wouldn't you be happy that someone shares you weird interest," she asks? That's because most of the time they aren't really Charger fans. They go on about Air Coryell and then tell me that they went on to be Steelers fans or go back to rooting for the Jets or Giants. At the Black Crowes show last month, a guy spotted me in a Jerry shirt and Charger hat and exclaimed "You like the Bolts AND the Dead?" It was in the middle of an awesome jam, so I just mentioned this site. Yes, there are more of us, I added. But I am yet to hear from this guy. Honestly, those that are truly among The Legion Of The Lightning Bolt are usually known to the Justice Leaguers already.
But every now and then, new believers unearth themselves. I'm sure old names will pop up in the comments section on Monday and some new ones will join in the conversation throughout the year. I still can't believe that we're only 4 1/2 point underdogs. I know it would be at least a touchdown if the game was on Planet Houston (Superman II). But the way people are talking (or not talking) about the Chargers, you'd think we were the worst team in the NFL. I haven't looked at the last preseason game yet, but I'm not sure that it will really tell us much. I know that everyone is talking about our lack of depth. From '06-'08, we were not only considered the most talented (because we never did anything in January) team, but one of the deepest squads. AJ Smith was always big on adding guys to the second and thirs teams. It doesn't justify the money he paid Jyles Tucker based on the regular season finale in Oakland in 2007, however. But as the starters he signed got injured or cut, the guys behind them got worse. Then Kevin Acee could tell us how Travis LaBoy "was never meant to be a starter anyway." Yet Acee keeps trying to act like the fans are impulsive idiots who needlessly hate on Quentin Jammer or Bee Sting Head Clary.
Obviously, Denver will be good but the love for Peyton Manning is reaching pre-dick text Brett Favre levels at this point. I didn’t watch any of the game, but followed it on Twitter. I started watching LaDainian’s “Football Life” documentary on NFL Network, but it got a little tough. Seeing Brees up there talking about how the two of them dreamed about bringing a title to San Diego just made me feel shitty. I will eventually watch the rest of it, although I don’t think I will view the Jet years. As I wrote extensively after his retirement in “Why I Couldn’t Shut The Door On LaDainian,” he was one of the few players who made me believe in greatness. I was so proud to have him on our team that I could never accept him leaving, especially for the team in my own backyard. Although I was happy to read that he picked Ryan Mathews for his fantasy team.
You know I’ve got football on the brain when I can’t even see a cameo from JJ Watt on “The League” without getting pissed. Then again, I’m sure no one reading this would react any differently. I hope I’m not deluding myself, but I still hold out hope that we can make the playoffs this season. My biggest fear right now is that Rivers won’t be to blame this time and the line and lack of weapons will fully doom us. Thus far, I’ve been pretty public that he deserves a good chunk of the blame. I’ve also been pretty outspoken that 2010 wasn’t as stellar a season as people claim. Of course, it’s the last season Rivers put halfway decent numbers and with the explosion of fantasy football, stats are a bigger deal now than ever. Like the Chargers themselves, each year we slip lower and the past (where we couldn’t actually get over the hump) looks better.
Of course, I’m worried about the pass protection. I really like what I’ve seen from DJ Fluker. I like his enthusiasm and ability to move people off the line on running plays. All the knocks on him coming out of college seemed to center around his pass blocking. “He’s huge, his footwork needs improvement, etc.” I only know of King Dunlap what Eagles fans have said about him and it’s not good. I would liken him to Clary, but it sounds like Dunlap wasn’t always seen as giving his all in Philly. The scary thing is that Ol’ Bee Sting Head Clary is clearly getting the most out of his ability. The problem is that there isn’t that much of it.
But at least Richard Goodman got the ax. Rivers needs all the help he can get so starting at the 15-yard line didn’t seem like such a good idea each series. Spurlock took back two kicks for scores last year in such a short time, while Goodman was still living off that one kick in a meaningless game at Oakland. Of course, it wasn’t so meaningless to Dean Spanos since he made us all live through another Norv/AJ year because of it.
I’m assuming at this point that Te’o isn’t playing Monday and I can’t say I’m all that torn up about it. All we’ve heard thus far is about his amazing summer, but it’s still just hearsay. At this point, his walking boot is as played out a story as his fake girlfriend. Of course, when I see headlines like Will Larry English’s Health Pay Off? (Union-Tribune), I’m not exactly brimming with optimism either. I don’t give a shit how many sacks Shaun Phillips gets for Denver. He’s a selfish douche and we’re better off without him.
I know I’ve always said that I would rather Spanos rebuild the team than continue to make the same mistakes with the same guys. Everyone says that a “rebuild” like ours will take a couple of years to bear fruit. But I wasn’t happy when we were 4-12 in 2003 and I won’t be happy with another season that ends before the playoffs. However, deep down I do understand the concept of taking a step back before you can go forward. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the last time this team took a step forward.
Floyd, Royal, Brown and Tutu are not the worst group of receivers to go into a season with. I can’t say I blame Telesco for cutting Meachem loose regardless of what he does back in New Orleans. It wasn’t as if he was banished to the bench simply for dropping that pass in Clevleand. I’m sure he was given every opportunity in practice to beat out the scrubs. Even if his body isn’t “broken down,” as Know It All Acee suggests, I have to trust our talent evaluators. If they were that far off on this assessment then we’ve got bigger problems than Robert Meachem.
I’m less worried about our offensive on Monday Night than our defense. Then again, that could be because I’m used to worrying about the defense. Butler, Liuget and Reyes could be AJ Smith’s final strokes of drafting genius. But I see Houston’s running game and Andre Johnson and I get concerned. Cox and Wright have to be an upgrade from Jammer and Cason. If our cornerbacks are going to get burned, then at least they’ll be different cornerbacks.
I see today that Rivers has restructured his contract, allegedly to free up more money to sign Donald Butler long term. Of course, Boltheads have been wondering for years why Rivers wasn't asked to restructure his deal since every other highly-paid signalcaller already did. The truth is that he was never asked to. Acee suggested this summer that the Chargers never did because it would require them to add more years to Rivers' deal. This, of course, led to the "make or break" theory making the rounds.
You might have noticed on Twitter (even though I can't get the module to your right to show my Tweets any more) that I finally sent Acee a message that I'm tired of him treating the fans like knee-jerk simpletons. While he responded at first with the same type of quip I was describing, he did eventually suggest that he wasn't intending to alienate his readership. This was after I said that I writer needed to hear from his audience. I ended by mentioning his professed love of Kelly Taylor in 90201 which I remembered from one of the U-T roundtables. I'll post a screenshot next week if you can't see it on Twitter.
My wife asked me last week when we went out to dinner for our 10-year anniversary if I was psyched for the opener. I, of course, went on for about ten minutes and said a lot of the same things that I’ve written here. By the time I was finished, she looked like she wanted to off herself as if she was sitting next Ted Striker on a plane to Chicago or a lunar shuttle. That’s when I knew I needed to get back here inside the Halls Of Justice. I really think we can win Monday, but I wouldn’t be able to tune in without that belief. But as the once-wise Robert Hall Weir sung,
I need more than a trade in
Guess I'll have to change the world
That's all until Monday. Bolt Up, Protect The Dream, One Charge, and whatever the hell else you want to throw in there.
And it's still the same old movie
And I've seen it all before
Guess one more run through won't undo me
Hell, I'll just watch the show some more
I know a lot of folks junk on PR especially in the 4th qtr (like Acee did today). But he is the man IMO. We live or die by him. I remember people used to pick on Fouts when he couldn't single-handedly carry the team but now he is like a martyr. I think PR is the same. I can't criticize him. Part of the problem he has might have to do with trying to hard and caring too much. He's never been a fuckwad like Rapelisberger. He is a Charger through-and-through. I will go down with him.
If the Chargers feel they need to make a switch, cut him in the offseason and draft a rookie in the 1st round. BUt it's hard to believe PR has been around 10 years. Where has my life gone??!
Antonio, thanks for coming over from B.R. I guess I was right to worry about the defense. The U-T chat I mentioned in the comments contains a complaint about them not having fire. They are yet to show that they can step up when things get heavy, that's for sure. I had to go to work as well on 2 hours of sleep. It's crazy that other teams can throw delayed screens over the head of our rushers but we can't figure it out.
What sucks the most is that Charger fans deserve better. We were all so psyched in the first half because it seemed like a fresh start. But the second half erased it. Rivers' fourth quarter stats are abysmal. The year Tebow took an 8-8 team to the playoffs, the only time he completed passes was in the first half. That was more helpful than what Rivers has been doing.
I fear Sunday will be like our 2011 game at Chicago. We will look better than we expect, then make a big mistake and Philly will roll from there. I would love to be wrong, but we've seen nothing to make me think otherwise.
I became a Chargers fan when I first visited the US and stopped accidentally (yep...) in the city o San Diego which we absolutely loved that me and my wife decided to extend our stay in there. The year? 2006. Guess what I did? We went to Q, saw that team in September.
Since that time the Chargers became an obsession to me. I went to Chicago in 2011, lived there, studied there and so on. But I always followed the Chargers. And then we went back to Brazil. In FB we have a group of SD Chargers Brazil fans. There are more or less 07 hardcore fans there who watch every single game, no matter of what happens (myself included) and the rest are band wagoners.
Monday game started almost midnight for us. I had a law and economics work to do for Tuesday... guess what happened? I decided to stick with the game. Thankfully I was fortunate to "sleep" for 2 hours before get back to work. Today one of my friends of that FB group who happened to be in the exactly same situation as mine (and made the same stupid decision to watch the game...) said to me "we deserved it; how could we be so naive? It's the same old team goddamned!"
He's right. Teams'blew out another lead without fight. What we saw Monday was total absence of secondary and pass rush on D: please hire Lovie Smith now!
As for offense that was a joke. No quality at all in team's receiving corps, a banged offensive line, an a doubtful running in the second half that makes me wondering on whether the run blockers were exhausted or Wade Phillips made the right adjustments to stop the running game.
Fact is: you can teach players your playbook, but you can't teach'em heart. And this Chargers team doesn't have it at all.
This is mccoys first game and first season. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Royals drop was a major pisser. Fucking idiot.
Referees miss should be expected if you're a chargers fan or coach.
If they have any balls, they'll play like men again philly -- regardless of the outcome.
So the Ump blew the call against Thomas on Houstons field goal. Surprise, surprise. Anybody who's head doesn't live in his ass knew that was a bad call. I'm just worried about the 53 plays Philly ran on offense the first half of their game. That's more than we ran the whole game! Can our offense keep their offense off the field? That is the question.
Ross, I just wanted to say thanks for all you do for us fans. I've been a Chargers fan for nearly 40 years, but after all the heartbreaks of seasons past...last night was the final straw for me. I almost feel sorry for McCoy and his staff, as the realization creeps over them of just exactly what they've gotten themselves into. Poor bastards. Me, I'm done being tortured by this team. Peace and thanks again. Can't wait to go antiquing with the wife on Sundays (DirecTV commercial reference).
Well here comes my therapy after this irrelevant bunch of non achievers laid down and choked on their own inabilities. Venting is good for the soul. God knows this team is a bad addiction.
Fresh and new OC Ken Whisenhunt called the first half of the game. It was a good first half not a great first half. The Eagles had a great first half and yeah we play them next week in their house. Then what happened in the second half can only be explained as the spirit of Norv Turner entering the Whisers body in the locker room at halftime. This resulted in Mathews mysteriously disappearing, bizarre but true penalties being called at critical moments, Rivers insisting on throwing another pick six and 24 unanswered points.
I hate to say it so early in the season but we have all seen this too often. This year is going to hurt like hell again. We have no stars on this team, we have no depth on this team, there is no hope for this team. I'm not trying to be over dramatic here but last night was an introduction to a new team that gave me no reason for optimism. That was not a good effort from a professional football team in their home opener.
I can only explain what the second half felt like to me through this video of the greatest show on TV.
Like I said, therapy.
That defense got shredded time again again. It may as well have been Bret Favre back there taking dick picts to send to Pagano and McCoy -- they had so much god damn time to throw. Canepa could have finished off another box of donuts.
Eddie Royal should be cut. It's a joke they're starting Bront Bird.
Jeromey Clary still drawing NFL paychecks wtf.
Come on CHARGERS. That was stupid.
How incredibly fucked do we feel after that performance?
This team just finds new ways to fuck up our minds! First they tease you with a fantastic first half (actually the first possession of the second half was a good one too) and then they come up with a typical rest of the game shitshow!
I have been defending PR for the last two years like crazy, even though the stats won´t show it, that was again a terrible performance at a time when we needed him to pull through. Yes, the calls by Whisenhunt were terrible and they abandoned the run (and Mathews) when they should´ve just run the clock down as much as possible. But really all the Chargers needed to get the W was a couple of first downs on either of their last 3 possessions, they did not, hence we lie here, slaughtered once again by our team.
Ross knows this… I´ve been through a bunch of shit with this team and honestly I do not know If I can take it anymore. It just takes too much out of me!
It's funny that I asked why we don't run when it was working and people say match ups blah blah. They ignore Mathews but when they put him on he doesn't produce and the cycle starts again
Same old Chargers. Get out to a fast start. Have a bunch of weird calls go against you. Have no running game. Have no secondary. Can't get off the field on 3rd down. Can't protect Rivers for more than 2 seconds. Rivers throws a pick for a TD. Defense can't stop anybody. Chargers loose with no time left. Did I leave anything out. Oh yeah! Mathews is a bust. Long season = High draft pick. And from what I saw tonight, we need a lot of high draft picks because this team sucks.
still here and still following Ross-had the same poster on my wall as a kid-all my friends here in PA thought i was crazy as they all rooted for the steelers or eagles and yes even some jets,giants and bills lol. Seems actually nice to enter a season with little or no expectations this year i might be able to enjoy football and take some satisfaction out of winning some games that we arent supposed to
Hey Ross, how about this as an illustration of moving in the right direction.
Let the resurrection of the Chargers begin. Just trying isn't good enough anymore. This team needs to show signs of life and with those signs of life we need proof of talent.
Telesco has had a good off season. Now let's see if his choice for head coach can make this team relevant.
@Osaka17 Fouts had a sub par playoff record, but Rivers has not led a comeback since 2009 against Cincy. I love him but they can't suck again on Sunday. I worry that they will play better but still be winless
I guess what I'm saying is that PR17 is not the problem on this team. If he struggles, it's a sign this team sucks elsewhere. Start by looking in Clary and Birds direction.
@Osaka17I still enjoy Rivers passing game, specially when he is adequately protected. As for now, considering he has being submerse into Turner system for years and now is learning a new playbook, I rather prefer to wait. Still, considering his OL is weak and the receivers corp are not that talented I really miss something he can't deliver: mobility.
@Osaka17 It was McCoy's 1st game but not Pagano's. Another one like that against the Eagles and direct, intense heat should be applied to his ass. He's a holdover from the last regime, not necessarily McCoy's choice. It looked exactly the same as previous years. Dwight Freeney did not just forget how to get to the QB. Learn how to use your players correctly Pagano or get the fuck outta here. 3 TD lead in the 3rd - game should have been over.
@WW I don't know if I'm doing anything for fans right now since we are all getting shit on by this team. Me, I don't know how to get out of this thing. What sucks is that I am less surprised each time this happens. It's like the unscathed doe eyed fan in me is gone. It makes it easier to accept failure, but it's a lot less fun. That's what this team has done to us.
@WW Yep, 3 or 4 years from now TT and MM will be shown the door along with Rivers (maybe sooner for him) and they'll be starting over again, maybe from LA. The whole thing is so utterly hopeless and depressing that I wish I had never started following this team. I'd like to just go cold turkey on them but that would be very difficult. Anyway, 0-2 coming up followed by 0-?.
@boltrunner It just seemed like they could not run the ball for shit in the second half. Rivers was forced to throw the ball in every meaningful situation.
The Chargers were facing Wade Phillips, who's still a defensive genius.
Let's see what happens next week.
@Carlito Brigante Here's hoping.
@Osaka17 I saw Jets x Pats game yesterday. Even with that perfect OL protection around Tom Brady, those Patriots receivers sucked all the way! I'd be curious to see what TB12 would do behind a guy like Clary or Harris... (and please: I'm not comparing him to PR17, so don't get me wrong).
@Osaka17@boltrunnerIt's interesting to see a non Acee take from the U-T here http://www.lockerpulse.com/News/Chargers-chat-Ds-fade-play-calls-Mathews-spark-questions-S8002228/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
During the first half, you can see my Tweets asking why we were throwing three times on the five? People responded matchups, Rivers was hot, blah, blah. I do remember McCoy talking about committing to the run.
First half, Rivers seemed to make quick decisive throws and Mathews was trusted on 4th and was gaining positive yards on every play. It was like the NO game. Then he gets pulled for pass protection or screen game issues and when he comes in at the end he can't get it going. Is it him or an inability to get in rhythm?
They went long to Floyd and it worked and then to Gates and it didn't. Royal's drop was huge but Rivers' bounce pass to Brown was also. On the pick six, you can apparently see a possibly late hit at 0:47 of the video
Imagine if it had been negated like the aforementioned NO game. I can't imagine recovering before Sun. I doubt the team can. Rivers is the worst 4th qtr qb in terms of rating over the last two seasons. In the fourth last night, he had a zero point zero.
Ronnie Brown actually looked ok, but when I wondered where Woodhead was I guess Houston did too since Rivers was looking for him on the int.
Whit, you might like this as a Breaking Bad fan