Fuck Norv, AJ and Dean

Yeah, that’s me at age 10.  My parents had gotten me some stuff when they went through San Diego.  It was 1981, the season of the “Missing Rings” Chargers but I have the look of a much more experienced Bolthead.  I’m sure you read this column by Kevin Acee today since a few of you have commented on it.  I was so irate after reading it that I reached out to my grade school chum Eric Stangel of Late Show fame.  Eric and I watched the 1980 AFC Championship game together and cried when we lost to Oakland.  Of course, we had also seen a high school production of Joseph And The Technicolor Dream Coat that day, so we were already sad.  Justin is now co-writers with Eric on the Letterman show.

Ross- I tried sending this to you last night. It wouldn’t go thru. I took that as a sign that even the universe was rejecting that article as an idea. Bottom line- good teams don’t lose winnable games. Norv Turner loses winnable games. How much of Norv turner’s tenure has been spent playing “catch up football?” If the team is as talented as everyone says they are, then the fault goes to the coach.


My response:

You know I think their “talent” is mentioned because they haven’t won with it.  AJ deserves to go too. If Dean Spanos can’t make a “tough” business decision, he should sell the team  or get someone else to make it.  Norv is a career coordinator like Phillips, LeBeau or Capers.  There is no shame in it.  However, he is not effective as a head guy.  Some people think he gets blame for things he shouldn’t.  OK, but when do you hold the coach accountable for the team’s results, especially when they lose BIG games due to their own mistakes.  I think Marty was a choker as well.  People think you can only be pro Marty or pro Norv.  That’s on the Spanoses for hiring 2 guys no one else wanted as their HC.  This is not Communist Russia where you only have 2 choices


Eric said “you should be a columnist for the Union-Tribune representing “the fan.” You would be able to say things the reporters for the team can’t or won’t.

Sadly, the U-T appears to be the only outlet that the Spanoses speak with.  That’s why people vent so often to Kevin Acee.  They have no other outlet.  In the words of Daniel Chang

I have three words for Acee: FUCK YOU ACEE.  If mediocrity is good enough for the Chargers, then Spanos should keep Turner and Smith on.

Harsh? Hardly. This was in Acee’s “Male Sack” today. “They make the playoffs, he’s back. Put that in ink, laminate it and send it to your mama.”

Not being satisfied, I reached out to XX1090’s Marty Caswell.  She added

I told Acee he was going to get crushed as a Norv apologist when he wrote that piece, and for the record, he told us weeks ago on the air that he thought team should make a change with Norv…the way things were going. He does like Norv, he thinks Norv is the right guy, but felt sometimes you need to make a change just for the sake of making a change.

There’s just been a weird shift around that place, and I’m nearly positive Norv will return. A couple weeks ago, players in that locker room were speculating on who the next HC would be….even the ones that liked Norv. Now, most of em think he’ll be back.

As far as good teams not losing winnable games, Eric, you’re totally right, but they stunk early on. Acee gave Norv a lot of credit in this article for what he’s done with all the injuries, but the one think he didn’t bring up again is how Norv’s time clock mgmt is the main reason Dean has had second thoughts- such as what happened in the Jets and Denver game.

Something to think about- if the Chargers hadn’t waited so long to hire Marty S, their first replacement was Wade Phillips…who of course was gone by that time.

But Ross- I honestly can’t compare the 07 team to what they have now. I know that a LOT of guys on that team did not buy into Norv whatsoever in his first year- same goes for the next. But believe it or not, guys on this team feel passionate about him ( I know it sounds nuts) and I think Norv has really grown into his role. You may not see the passion that people want to see from the Cowher types, but he rips into guys as good as anybody- it’s just not visible to most of us.

He has absolutely made some mistakes- but this year, I don’t know that it’s the play-calling that has cost this team. Against the Jets? Yes. But what he’s been able to do with a makeshift OLine has been nothing short of incredible.

I know- I sound like Acee. But i think the failure on this team is more about personnel than it is about Norv. A shame it took Ryan until the end of the year to look like a #1 pick…but boy, crazy that he’s the only 1st round draft pick they’re getting anything else from.

Marty Caswell

I then turned to the U-T boards and found this nugget from “Thread Killer.”

If we can exploit a defense with the deep ball and get up by 3 scores, then everything is hunky dory with this team. That’s basically what has happened the last 3 games. The other team has to abandon the run, our confidence builds and we get on a roll that is difficult to stop.

But if the deep ball ISN’T there and the game stays close, the other team can exploit our lack of physicality by running the ball, our problems scoring TD’s in the red zone resurface…

….and Norvitis inevitably kicks in, we make mistakes at critical times, the opposition shows more poise and composure than we do in crunch time, and we lose the game.

THAT is why I am done with Norval. Because this formula for winning is impossible to sustain, especially in the playoffs. The criticisms from other teams are totally true; this a great front-running team, but if the game is close we find a way to choke. Punch us in the mouth and we don’t punch back.

Well put.  Even HACKsaw Hamilton called Norv a career coordinator in this piece, which is surprisingly coherent for him.. 

I then visited NBC San Diego, “But fans don’t hate Turner and Smith. With drying patience, they hate what has become associated with them, and that is zero Super Bowl rings in San Diego.”

I think it’s more than AJ and Norv being associated withdeanorvajip0 no championships.  I think people believe, as do I, that these guys are the reason for it.  The credit for the pic to your left belongs to the guys who were photoshopping on this thread back in 2007.  People have forgotten how badly this team looked when they were 4-1.  This piece after the first loss of the season made some good points. 

I promise I’ll be back on Friday and focus only on Saturday’s game.  The Lions are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999.  That was also the last time (I think) that the Chargers played there.  I went to that game and it was a satisfying win. 

I’ll share more anecdotes in the next post.  Talk to you then.

We should NEVER feel like a win would damage our chances to finally win a Super Bowl.  I don’t blame Kevin Acee, but Dean Spanos for making us feel this way.


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.