Anger Will Turn To Apathy Which Will Eventually Turn Back To Anger

bd130be896dfa2ce58fb2dbba0b61e6cWelcome to all those who heard about JIC on the Darren Smith show Wednesday night.  If you missed Eric Stangel’s interview, you can hear it here.

When you’ve lived in New York your entire life, you get asked many times “How you got into the Chargers.”  It’s like asking people how they became a fan of a certain band or what got them hooked on a particular drug.  Using the latter analogy, I tell people that Wes Chandler was my “gateway Bolt.”  In his interview, Eric did a nice job of summing up how and why we became Charger fans.  He was responsible for distributing the original issues in 1995.  Yes, it was actually copied and sent in the mail.  Check out this blast from the past.

When you look at those old issues, it’s amazing how much piss and vinegar I’ve got.  I just wrote for hours.  Not surprisingly, I was single and had taken a hiatus from drinking at the time.  I discover in that old issue/post, the closest thing I’ve ever written to a Justice Is Coming mission statement:

ALL fans have a right to be heard–even fans who may not put ticket money in Alex Spanos' pocket, but who spend hundreds of dollars on merchandise, satellite bars and, of course, AOL.

You could also point to part of my letter to Chargers Football Weekly Editor Doug Seamans as part of reason this site still exists.

I figured that if you can't join 'em, beat 'em. Rather than to continue having my criticism fall on deaf ears, I have putting out an OnLine publication that will hopefully satisfy not only my need to read some quality writing on the Chargers, but CFW subscribers who share my concerns. It's not personal, Doug, only business.
At least Doug got in touch with me years later to tell me that everything I criticized his publication for was right.  I don’t expect to get a similar admission from Dean Spanos.  Of course, when I read myself ranting about the Bolts abandoning the run and needing a pass rush and felt like that piece wasn’t all that dated.  However, the fact that I wrote “going OnLine” and referenced my AOL bill is very 1996.

I was driving home on Tuesday when I got the news.  I firmly believe that January 3, 2012 is now the date that will live in infamy for me as a Charger fan.  It stings worse than the previous three home playoff implosions of 1/8/05, 1/14/07 and 1/17/10.  Part of growing up and becoming an adult is finding out that the owners of your favorite team actually care far more than you do about the outcome of a given game or season.  You can treat your fanaticism as a hobby because it’s their livelihood.  But with the Chargers, you actually care more about winning than Dean Spanos does.  The players and coaches might desire to one day win a championship, but in our case I don’t think they have an idea how that’s done.  I found out that both Norv and AJ were sticking around

Adam Schein, who hosts the “Blitz” show on Sirius with Rich Gannon.  Schein, who also works for SNY (Mets Channel) here in NY filmed this bit for FOX:

His schtick can get a little stale, but I can’t disagree with anything he said.  He said the same thing on Tuesday, while Rich Gannon defended what will forever go down in Charger history as “The Indecision.”  I turned my dial to hear Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, who also gets real old real quick, with similar criticism as my own.  Don Banks, Jay Paris and Jim Trotter were also right on the money.  Nick Canepa no longer has any credibility with me after his column endorsing Spanos.  I sent him a message on Twitter that my disappointment was probably what the fellow patients felt when they saw McMurtry with that lobotomy scar in Cuckoo's Nest. 

As for me, I would assume I'm part of the 99% that NBC San Diego was referring to in this video.

Originally Posted by Tony55

I think Turner is like the Cubs, in that his teams play very well when the pressure is off.

With how things look now – Turner may be the HC here until his life ends. He could live to be 100.

Let's start sending him gift cards for cheeseburgers.

I love that Jammer said on 1090 he sees safety as inevitable but of course Norv in his infinite genius does not.

Weddles agent David Canter also ripped Norv on Twitter.

Jay Paris said it best, when your best is needed, this team comes up short constantly under Norval.

The brand is stained. Hamilton rumor, just that. 56 of 58, Norv and AJ.

Justin Halperin, whose "Shit My Dad Says" site went on to become a TV show, is also a Charger fan.  I Tweeted him my belief that Dean Spanos' biggest sin is making me think that beating Oakland and keeping them out of the playoffs is a bad thing.  He must have liked it, since he made it one of his "favorites."  Here are some of his past musings:

Clearly the Chargers are going as a giant pile of shit for Halloween.

Being a chargers fan is like being in a bad relationship that you stay in because you keep thinking they'll change.

Brutal Chargers loss. We made the Jets offense look good. That's a tall order.

"Los Angeles is like San Diego's older, uglier sister that has herpes

It's as if they cancelled my Sundays.

Last Charger related tweet for me regarding Norv and A.J. not being fired: Fuck you, Dean Spanos.

I think it's going to take a molestation scandal to get Norv Turner fired.

These are all things many of us have said independently, but we don't get rich off our wit.  When Eric was on the radio, it occured to me that he's actually famous and is a Charger fan while I am famous for being a Charger fan.  He also sent me the link to Rivers' "miked up" clips from Sunday.  The best lines were "Will you get out of here, Tolbert?" and "Get set, Jeremy!"  It's bittersweet to see Rivers telling the D he talks all day and insulting the blitz when you think about his play for much of the season.  Even HACKsaw Hamilton was dead on with this column. 

You know who doesn't say "get out of here Tolbert?" Norv on the 10-yard line.  No wonder Tolbert claimed to be so happy that Turner got a free pass.   I also saw Acee in his "Male Sack" say Mathews needs to grow up. I am assuming the injuries and fumbles are more due to immaturity/lack of focus than anything.  Th guy lived in a car idolizing LT and that apparently goes for character in AJs book.

Unfortunately, Philip Rivers compounded his horrid play for much of the season with his unwavering support of Norv.  Students and employees love the teachers and supervisors they are most comfortable with.  This doesn't mean that these are the people that push them to achieve the best results.  I am not on the team, so is it presumptous to suggest that I know what effect Norv has on the players?  I think the results speak for themselves.  This quote from Rivers is identical to what he said at the end of last season:

"When you force yourself to go on a big run at the end, you tend to run out of gas," Rivers said. "You don't have any margin for error to deal with a game like Detroit. Elite teams do that, because they have room to absorb a bad game. We didn't do ourselves any favors in that regard."

When scientists are looking to prove or disprove the relationship between two things, they identify the constant.  Norv is the constant.  They've removed two defensive coordinators and one special teams coach.  AJ is blamed, by Norv of all people, for lack of depth but recieves no consequences for his mistakes.  Dean allegedly thinks Norv has erred in matters of clock management, but keeps his job.  This is the year he has to make it happen, we are supposed to believe.  I am yet to hear it out of Dean Spanos' mouth and even if I did I wouldn't believe it.

In his interview with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Dean actually mentioned Marion Babrer staying in bounds as the biggest reason we missed the postseason.  He apparently was joking, but Scott Kaplan rightly mentioned the Detroit game as the biggest reason.  Talk about not taking responsibility of forcing others to. 

Even Rolling Stone knows Norv sucks.  Matt Tiabbi, hardly a football expert, wrote this week:

San Diego's Norv Turner, surely the most clueless and uninspiring figure ever to be given three head coaching jobs, a man who stands on the sidelines every Sunday wearing the hopelessly defeated expression of a husband being shown videos of his wife walking into a motel with her personal trainer.

Jenn, the lone female who chimes in here in the Halls of Justce these days, had this to say a while back:

I think a good, solid leader can take a team with mediocre talent a long way, but a bad coach can kill a team with talent.  I feel like Mike Tomlin or Rex Ryan would have gotten more out of this team.  Hell, I wouldn't mind seeing ROB Ryan in here as our head coach.  I just want a change.  The fact that coaches can walk in and take their talented teams to the playoffs their first season despite changing the offense or defense shows that we don't have to stick with Norv.  We can cut him loose and still win that following season.

Marty took this team from the bottom to the top.  He took a bunch of losers and taught them how to win.  Norv stepped in and elevated Philip's game.  Philip is so much better because of him.  Now, we need that coach that can take what the first two did and EXPAND on it.  Before we forget how to win again.  Before we forget the positive things that Marty instilled in this team.  We don't need Marty.  That didn't work.  We don't need Norv because he isn't working either.  If we ever want to be lifting that trophy, we have to make the change.

I won't be spending a dime on any anti-Norv gear, since it apparently won't do anything.  However, the Adios Norv Turner shirt looks like a winner.

After I joked to the moderator of the Chargers Message Board that the only bigger insult than getting an infraction after calling Dean Spanos stupid and spineless would be getting an offer to purchase Chargers Legacy wine.  Sure enough, I received an email informing me that it will no longer be sold after February and that I should act now.  Ironically, the "vintage" advertised is from 2008, the year of our last playoff win.  Maybe they shouldn't be so quick to sell of whatever's in that bottle.

I forget which one of the xx1090 interviews it was from, but one of the reporters pointed out that if the six-game losing streak had ended the season Norv would have been fired.  So why does it matter WHEN the losing streak occured?  the streak, King said, now we know about Norv?

As the title of this post suggests, the outrage will be replaced by acceptane on my part.  However, the anger will return once the Chargers do something else stupid.  I downloaded the last game against Oakland since it was apparently so important to Dean Spanos.  My thoughts?  Cason still sucks and I was amused that Oakland fans were cheering when he went down.  Curtis Brinkley, who looked so good in KC before Rivers fumbled the snap, should have gotten more touches this season.  He would have been especially valuable in that second Denver game where Norv had no idea Mathews was out and decided to run Tolbert into the line.  Antonio Garay, good but ot good enough.  Why was Clarence Shelmon out on the field helping tend to an injured Raider?  Marcus Gilrchrist looks even more lost than Cason.  This was all from watching only the first half.

That's all for now.  Sorry that I included so many links and quotes if you found it distracting.  This shot of Rivers' pick in Foxboro reminds me of why Vincent Jackson hasn't gotten paid like a franchise receiver yet.  I am sure another coach and GM could get him to play like a superstar, but he hasn't done it in San Diego.  Lastly, I don't really care that much about Tim Teblow winning on Sunday.  Pittsburgh was far more banged up than anyone predicted, but I'll give Denver credit for taking advantage and finding openings in the middle of the field.  I saw a post on the U-T forums (or Chargers Message Board–I can't remember which) where someone called Polamalu a choker based on the game in Denver and last year's Super Bowl.  I wish we had that kind of choker.  I think it's more likely, as has been suggested, that he was forced to play out of position due to the guys that were out of the lineup.  No, I didn't really watch the game.  However, I don't think we should have been hosting Pittsburgh.  Can you imagine our corners turned around and not looking for the ball?  I can just see Steve "I Think I Deserve To Be Paid Like A Starter" Gregory now trying to deliver a hit after a big catch was made. 

I didn't realize that Bloguin's weekly roundup page posted an excerpt of JIC:

Ross Warner at Justice Is Coming points out, rather than root for another miracle push for the postseason, like the one just a few years ago, Chargers fans should be rooting for a season of wholesale change

It’s no secret that the most recent playoff loss changed something in me.  Sure, I’m older and now have 2 kids.  But it was also the result of the sad knowledge that the Chargers hadn’t learned their lesson.  They weren’t going to even give themselves the chance to get to the Super Bowl.

Sounds like me.  "Ownership" and "organization" are two nouns associated with Dean Spanos but hardly words I would use to describe him.  I believe those words are called adjectives.

Talk to you soon,


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.