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Jerry Week Ends And Preseason Begins

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August 9th: This is of course the anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s passing.  I know this information doesn’t interest everyone, but I find each year that more and more Justice Leaguers have a fine appreciation for his music.  How am I spending this day?  Writing about the Chargers, obviously.  I do have to take Sarah to a birthday party at some kiddie farm before I settle in for the beginning of preseason.  It’s been a very pleasant summer, but I am sure within fifteen minutes of tonight’s kickoff, that will fade.  Jared Gaither won’t start to protect Philip Rivers’ blindside.  But that’s not nearly as much of a concern as the uncertainty as to when he will play.  We’re all so fed up that we’re just expecting AJ’s commitment to Gaither to backfire, aren’t we? 

It was the right move, since the Halloween meltdown told me all I needed to know about Marcus McNeill.  However, Gaither’s back does worry every Charger fan.  I want to postpone as long as possible that first Rivers pass under pressure that results in an interception.  That Green Bay game from last year was the one that made me write that Rivers should sit.  I still stand by that.  I didn’t think it would do anything to him mentally, good or bad.  But his playing was that detrimental to the team.  I see that in the training camp report from the new Sports Illustrated that Vincent Jackson is showing great leadership in Tampa.  Just wait until things get tough, Buc fans.  Until the Chargers finish the job, I will always be keeping an eye on the guys we’ve let go.  Once we do something ourselves, that might stop or at least diminish.  Incidentally, the Bolts apparently have inspirational saying painted in the hallways leading to the locker room.  This year’s is “nunc coepi,” which is Latin for “Now I begin.”  Considering the fact that almost every Charger hat of mine has some weird-ass mantra that I thought would help (half of them say “Justice is Coming” in some form) scribbled on it, I don’t feel so bad knowing that The Organization has resorted to similar tactics.  I still like “protect the dream,” which was a sign they had up reminding players to hold onto the ball.  I think it’s a metaphor for the mission that the Chargers, or least the fans, find themselves on.  “Don’t shit on the dream” would also have been acceptable. 

If you’re interested, I’ve posted a link to my very first Grateful Dead concert.  That’s where the version of “Shakedown Street” that I posted above comes from.  You can download it here.  The password to unwrap the file is bootlegtunzworld, which is also the name of the excellent blog that originally posted it.  There is also a very good Youtube video you can find of it as well.  I posted a clip of the insane guitar summit I attended last weekend.  On the trip, I bought myself a set of Old El Paso Taco Holders.  I have a pretty decent understanding of Spanish, so I have to wonder if “Supports de Tacos” is even the correct translation.  It sounds like one of the flashing signs from Airplane! (or was it Airplane II: The Sequel?”).  Nonetheless, I will break them out (and in) for tonight’s game.  With the exception of Gaither’s injury and Mathews’ car accident, there appears to be a lot to be optimistic about.  Even Jim Trotter seemed pretty upbeat.  Then again, he picked them to win the AFC last season.

Speaking of sportswriters, I am sure many of you read Kevin Acee’s “column” where he claims he finally understands our fanaticism.  Yes, I found it to be fucking pathetic as well.  At least I didn’t need to pay to read it.  Since the U-T is charging (no pun intended) for content (another dubious word choice), I don’t know how often I’ll get to read these pearls of wisdom.  At least now that Acee is off the beat, he can aspire to be a windbag like Canepa rather than pretend to be objective.  I, on the other hand, have never presented myself as anything other than what I am–a fan who’s frustrated as all fucking hell.  I saw that Bleacher Report was bought by Turner this week, so I guess I should keep contributing over there. 

AJ’s interview on XX1090 was interesting.  I wonder how long this humble persona will last.  If the Chargers start to win, he get all smug again.  I guess that would be a good position to be in, although it’s dealing with partial success that this team has never done well with.  The good folks at PredictionMachine.com sent me their 2012 analysis for the coming year.  They have the Chargers winning the division, getting past the Ravens in the first round, and losing in Foxboro.  Would that constitute a successful season?  It would compared to what they’ve done over the last two seasons, but I don’t think it would be good enough. 

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That version of The Wheel is from last week’s “Move Me Brightly” concert for what would have been Jerry’s 70th, by the way.  I just bought my ticket for the December 23 game in New Jersey and realized that I haven’t been to a Chargers/Jets game since the ’94 division clincher.  Does that mean that I feel confident about this year’s team?  I don’t know, but it seems like the right thing to do.  I’m still planning on going to the game in Cleveland the week after my daughter’s birthday.  The bye week actually falls on her 6th.  I told her that I would have taped the game otherwise.  She asked if I would still be thinking about it.  I pleaded the Fifth on that one.

I just listened to Acce’s interview on the Darren Smith show from this week.  It was interesting to hear Jarret Johnson’s surprise that Norv actually has rules and yells.  Of course, if the team doesn’t win as a result of them he can’t really be viewed as a successful coach.  Once again, I am more concerned by the lack of accountability that retaining Norv and AJ represents then their actual effect (or lack thereof) on the team.  Sometimes when I write outsidede the Halls Of Justice, that gets lost.  I’m hoping that my attempts to spread whatever it is I do will pay off this season.  I’ll be back with a full review of the Preseason Opener next week.  Feel free to comment via LiveFyre or on Twitter and Facebook.

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If the thunder don’t get ya…

RLW

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About Ross Warner

ROSS WARNER is a forty-three 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.

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