Amani Toomer’s Favorite Quarterback Comes To Town

Sam and I are taking the kids to Martha’s Vineyard for the week tomorrow.  This means seven days of Jaws references, cigars and tequila with my dad and one big trip to Costco beforehand.  So as I approached the wholesale club yesterday here on Long Island, I was surprised to get an eyeful of the most offensive football logo imaginable.  You can see my instant reaction posted to your right.  No matter where I am or what I am doing, that’s the most natural reflex I possess.  It’s been over a week since the preseason opener and unless Ryan Mathews really can diagnose himself, we’ll probably be without him Monday Night in Oakland.  I care less about whether he plays in that game than whether he plays the majority of the games this season.  More than anything, I’m concerned that his durability will soon make Malcom Floyd look like Cal Ripken.  Even more concerning than Mathews is Jared Gaither.  I don’t doubt AJ for one second for letting McNeill go.  His recently announced retirement confirmed the intelligence of that decision.  Actually, McNeill’s performance last Halloween in Kansas City did that for me. 

Beyond his “Big Lazy” reputation, Gaither has a history of injuries.  I’m not suggesting that we will have another Bob Sanders on our hands, but I get a little more nervous each day with Gaither.  That independent specialist visit was a little too reminiscent of Shawne Merriman circa 2008.  Of course, Merriman never got surgery after the 2007 season.  He can’t blame the Titans for that.  Mike Thomas’ rise from undrafted rookie to Philip Rivers’ blind side makes for nice copy, but I don’t feel great about that arrangement come Septemeber.


Ah, December 2009.  Things seemed to really be coming together back then, didn’t they?  With the Colts as the only higher seed in the AFC (the one team we could apparently beat), LT might get that Super Bowl ring after all.  It’s sadly appropriate that the two times the Chargers beat Indy in the playoffs, they were knocked out the very next games.  Yet the two seasons that they could have played the Colts in the AFC Championship, they shat themselves before they could get a chance.

It’s like the “battle” between our two placekickers, which clearly will leave us with Tweety for the year.  Novak means we probably won’t get to the postseason at all.  Kaeding means we’ll never get out of tight playoff game.  Choose your poison.  I find them equally disappointing.

Melvin Ingram was pretty amazing against Green Bay.  I don’t know why Norv kept him out there so long, but I don’t know why he does half the shit he does.  The U-T posted a piece about what a strong camp Liuget has had, but I didn’t find him as “disruptive” as Norval did on Thursday.  It was sadly fitting that Larry English’s sack was erased with a penalty.  Did you catch AJ giving an expletive-laced congratulations before the penalty was called.  It was like watching him and Dean in the owner’s box in Jersey before Rivers tried to force that ball into Jackson last October.

But this year I won’t need to see that since I just bought my tickets for December 23.  The last time I attended a Chargers-Jets game was 1994.  With just a few hours of sleep and a nasty hangover, I got to witness the Bolts’ division clinching win.  For some insane reason, I also plan on making a return trip to Cleveland this year.  It was there that I also got to see the Chargers win the division in a December road contest.  Maybe some weird mojo will result.  I sold my tickets to the first Kaeding meltdown against the Jets due to financial constraints.  Clearly, my absence didn’t help matters.

I will definitely watch at least the first half tonight in real time.  I may need to finish the game via DVR when I return.  I don’t think I need to apologize for that.  Fuck, I used to go satellite bars to watch preseason games for years.  Now I think “What in the name of Latorio Rachal was I thinking?”  Incidentally, I can’t remember who posted the Norv cartoon .  Otherwise, I would give them full credit.  I collect all sorts of Charger-related jpegs, as you can imagine. 


What should we hope for tonight?  No injuries, for one.  I don’t need Philip Rivers to have the game of his life, but the red zone interceptions have to stop.  I don’t know whether Norv threw Meachem under the bus for the one against Green Bay because he was correct or just trying to protect Rivers.  Those type of plays were far too frequent even before Meachem arrived in San Diego.  It was a cute story that Gruden told about Norv watching Meachem’s receptions on his iPad and all, but I can’t imagine him even knowing how to operate the fucking thing.

I think I feel the need to curse and ramble now more than ever with some of my time spent at Bleacher Report.  I feel like Frank Ricard experimenting with the “earmuff immunity.”  I’ve gotta celebrate it.  But, with the risk of making another cliched reference, I think the B/R deal won’t necessarily keep the Empire out of here forever, but will benefit both parties.  JIC will always be here, FAITHFUL READER.  If I’m not giving it the attention and nurturing it deserves, I fully expect The Legion of The Lighting Bolt to hold me accountable.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my five-year old daughter wants to know how much underwear is too much for a week’s vacation.




About Ross Warner

ROSS WARNER is a forty-five year old freelancer whose credits include Sports Illustrated OnLine and Blitz as well as numerous articles on his favorite band, the Grateful Dead. Blah, Blah, Blah. Yeah, I was on WNEW FM the morning after the Chargers made the Super Bowl. Having returned from Pittsburgh only hours before, there I was at half-court at Madison Square Garden in my #12 jersey and wiping my sweat with a "Terrible Towel." When asked about the future for the newly-crowned AFC Champs, I simply uttered "justice is coming." Like so many others, I first took notice of the Chargers during the "Air Coryell" period of the late 1970s. But as Dan Fouts gave way to Ed Luther, Mark Hermann, Babe Laufenberg, Jim McMahon, David Archer, Mark Vlasic, Billy Joe Tolliver and John Freisz my fanaticism turned to obsession. When Stan Humphries resurrected the franchise in 1992, I began calling the Chargers organization to share my plan to get the team into the Super Bowl. This began the stormy rapport with the Chargers' Public Relations staff which reached a boiling point at a 1996 "team spirit" luncheon when I demanded that guard Eric Moten explain his propensity for holding penalties. It was then I realized I needed my own forum. Founded in 1995, Justice Is Coming is precisely that. To decide whether this site is for you, ask yourself these questions: Do you think of Johnny Unitas as an ex-Charger? Are your three children named JJ, Kellen and Wes, with one of them being a girl? Do you think that Rolf Benirschke got a raw deal on the daytime "Wheel of Fortune?" Can you remember where you were on December 3, 1984 when Bobby Duckworth fumbled the ball attempting to spike it on "Monday Night Football?" Does Al Davis, a dark alley and a lead pipe mean anything to you? If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, then you, too, believe that Justice Is Coming. This is a weekly look at the San Diego Chargers through the eyes of someone who spends most of his time thinking about the Bolts so you don't have to. But being a Chargers fan is not an obligation, although it sometimes feels like it. So I offer you this "alternative perspective." All the football, film and music collides in the centrifuge that is my brain and this newsletter is the result.