I Would Ask The Same Of You, But Failing Will Not Die

Might as well end this thing the way it began.  I'll post some photos from my trip to the game last week in the coming weeks.  It's a fucking travesty that a home game against the Traitors on December 30 is meaningless.  But that's what this era of Charger football has done.  I was certainly happier to walk out of the stadium with a win last week than have to listen to what few Jet fans remained grouse about beating us.  But the fact that finally beat them only when it was meaningless was also sadly appropriate.  I'm sure you saw the U-T piece by Acee where Philip finally discussed moving on without Norv.  A greater sense of urgency?  Give me a fucking break.  It was nice that Rivers had the sticker on his truck with  "17-14," the score of the last playoff loss.  But what has he done since then?  I know we don't see eye to eye on the 2010 season.  Rivers' performance was admirable, but he didn't lead us back in any of the games that would have ultimately made the difference.  Sadly, that trend still continues to this day.

This is the third straight season that we've been forced to deal with a meaningless season finale.  In 2010, I planned on not watching at all.  However, I got sucked in and saw Ryan Mathews pile up the yards but fumble the ball.  Last year, I caught the end of the game that Deano used as justification for keeping Norv.  This year, I am going to get an early start on my New Year's, but will surely keep tabs on the score.  I assure you that I will take a look at the taped broadcast before I sit down to write next week.  But I won't let this team suck any more time out of my Sundays until Norval is gone.  But watching Rivers complete fifty percent of his passes, which was less that the Jets' first time starter, wasn't very encouraging.  I thought I had seen everything out of Rivers, but even I wasn't expecting the "self-sack" I saw last Sunday.

I was listening to Adam Schein and Rich Gannon on Sirius' Blitz show and they were ripping the Jets.  Gannon and Marv Albert worked the game for CBS.  Gannon commented that many of the 11 sacks were the result of McElroy simply tucking the ball down after being confused.  He went on to say that the Chargers don't exactly have a fearsome front four.  That was the only part I took issue with.  Liuget, Reyes and Co are still young, but really look to be on the rise.  Reyes' family was actually sitting in my section.  Even if some of those sacks were the result of an inexperienced quarterback, he still had a sick game.  He could have been called for a penalty on that last sack, however.  Even from my perch in the 300s, I could see that he had his hands on the QB's neck.  The defense played a solid game after looking like shit on those first two drives.  I didn't realize at first that Kerley threw that long pass, so I guess I could excuse the confusion on an underthrown ball.  However, that penalty in the end zone was far too typical.  But according to today's paper, I won't have Quentin Jammer to kick around much longer.  Does that mean when the secondary lacks leadership next season, Kevin can point to the new GM letting such a respected veteran go?

I was talking to a couple of fans in my section during the game.  You can't look back and wonder why we didn't keep Michael Turner over LT in 2008.  If you think the Chargers get shit for discarding talent and class, can you imagine what would have happened if Tomlinson had been let go.  Also, Turner isn't perfect.  He's had some dry spells in Atlanta.  But my point is that AJ should be faulted for picking Davis and English.  Cason sucks and Mathews may never get any better.  Would keeping Darren Sproles and Vincent Jackson have been financially feasible?  The same reporters who decry the decision now said it wasn't possible to retain them at the time.  But the biggest issue is that we didn't get the job done when we had these guys on the roster. 

Eric Weddle shouldn't be surprised he didn't make the Pro Bowl.  Before the season, AJ said that the Chargers no longer got the respect that they had when they were "elite."  Right now, things are a million times worse.  Last night, while watching "A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson" on the NFL Network, I kept seeing the commericals for NFL AM on Monday mornings.  They already promised to have the latest on all "the coaching changes."  Of course, the shot of Norv with his head down was the first image they showed.  Of course, they followed it with Rex Ryan and Mike Munchak.  I don't think Ryan is getting fired, although the rumor that he wants out is going around.  In the aforementioned Johnson special, they showed clips of him on his "Three Rings" boat with Belichick and Aikman.  Jimmy bragged that he was having Sean Payton and Norv down in the coming weeks.  I turned to my wife and wondered aloud," What the fuck do those two talk about?"  Obviously, they have history.  But Norv will be a coach thrice fired very shortly.  His track record is far from what Jimmy Johnson's was, to say the least.

Remember when there were murmurs that Spanos would go after Johnson?  I believe they have some sort of relationship.  Needless to say, I don't give a shit WHEN Norv is fired.  But I could totally see Spanos waiting to do the inevitable.  There would be no reason for it, but it would be yet another example of not giving the fans what they want.

It was sad to see Brandon Taylor get carted off last week and yet Antoine Cason continues to be healthy.  Sadly, Taylor didn't look like he was doing that much before his injury.  Like Jonas Mouton, you have to wonder if he really needed to be picked that high or at all.  When I was looking up the 2010 draft where we took Mathews, it was amazing the guys that went after him.  CJ Spiller really seems to have come into his own, but he wasn't available when we picked.

The greatest moment in Charger history and this guy is literally eclipsing it.  As I said on Twitter, wasn't this to be the season we honored Junior Seau's memory?  I know we beat Tennessee in the white pants and all, but otherwise we've shat all over his legacy.  Didn't Dean also allude to retiring LaDainian's number?  I guess that will a also have to wait for another year.

That's all for this season, I suppose.  The Warners will be away for a few days, so I won't be wiritng, commenting or Tweeting once Norv gets the ax.  Yes, I have finally accepted that it will happen.  I am convinced that AJ will be gone too.  However, the Chargers have found a way to drain away any reason to be optimistic about these moves.  I just can't get over the fact that it's December 30 and we're playing Oakland at home.  Yet, it doesn't mean a thing.  But since the last two seasons have ended in much the same fashion, I shouldn't be too surprised, huh?  Once Deano decided to go with "continuity" for another season, there was really no other way this could have ended.

As for the playoffs, I don't really care who wins.  Obviously, I would like Denver not to win it all.  But eventually you have to stop worrying about the other teams and realize that it wouldn't matter if your team didn't suck.

Happy New Year,


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.