Is There Anything To Be Excited About At This Point?

This was the 1998 game at Philly.  I went to the 1995 one, but couldn't find any photos from it.  That was when the Eagles had Ray Rhodes as coach and I remember listening to the radio on the way home as the postgame announcers blasted him.  They were saying "he talks all tough, but the team plays soft, etc.  I can't remember, but I think it might have been the game where he likened losing (they went to 1-3 that day) to having your family raped.

I know, it's a great way to start off this week's post.  But what did you expect?  Somehow, the Chargers found a way to elevate and deflate expecations all in one game.  I immediately thought of the Futurama clip I posted below.  Before Monday's game, I heard prognosticators saying that they didn't know what to make of the Bolts and Trent Dilfer, who said a lot of things I didn't agree with during the broadcast, did keep making mention of gut-check type plays the Chargers needed to make.  But, of course, they did no such thing at the end of the game.

It really reminded me far too much of the game at New Orleans last year.  We looked good and were actually using Mathews.  Then we became one-dimensional and the other team caught up.  Rivers had a shot at the end and came up short.  Ryan Mathews must be abysmal in pass protection to get subbed out for Ronnie Brown when all we needed was to pick up a few first downs.  Again, Mathews is flawed.  But I thought back to something that Ladainian Tomlinson said before his MVP season.  A running back needs to get enough carries to get into a flow.  Incidentally, I did finally watch LT's NFL Network special.  What I found most interesting was Lorenzo Neal saying that we should have run Tomlinson 50 times on 1/14/07 and the still of Ellis Hobbes doing the Merriman dance at midfield after the game.  They also included a clip of LT on the sideline before the AFC title game saying that the Pats thought they were God's gift to football.  There was also a clip of Roethlisberger during our 2009 loss at Pitt saying how tragic it was that Ladainian wasn't the same player after injury.  "What'd he have that one year, like fifty touchdowns?"


Our 2006 game on Sunday Night against the Steelers was the first time that Rivers showed he could win a game for us.  It seems like a lifetime ago.  I know we are always saying that we are in "wait and see" mode with this team, which is just another way of saying "show me something."  But I have no reason to think that the Chargers will win tomorrow.  I don't care how undermanned they are, they had to finish that game on Monday.  They didn't so now we are left thinking that they lack poise AND talent.  That's not a recipe for a victory on the road.


Yes, Bront Bird stopped Forster on 4th down but no he shouldn't be starting.  The fact that we traded up for a guy who played a couple of series in the preseason isn't making me think that Telesco has the magic touch just yet.  What I don't understand is why McCoy didn't at least give Fozzy a few carries.  I still can't believe that the team I first became a fan of based on their passing is now one I wish would run more.  But you can't let teams know what's coming and expect it to work.  At least you can't when you're overmatched so often.  I know everyone is killing Pagano for playing soft with a lead, but what if these guys just aren't winning their individual battles?  Reyes had all those sacks in the one game I attended last year, but that was on Greg McElroy.  Liuget, who is now probable, didn't really wreak havoc in the pocket either.

On offense, I wonder if we'll see Allen at all.  Royal's drop was huge, but the guy did score twice after being in an ambulance last month.  The lasting image I have is Philip Rivers bouncing that pass to Vincent Brown.  Monday Night was the best I had felt about this team in a while and then it was the worst.  Especially on a night where I was just hours before having to get up for work it was great to feel like I wasn't the only one giving a shit.  I guess that's a combination of tequila, Twitter, and an iPhone.  But we're still a laughingstock and that sucks.

{audio}http://justiceiscoming.com/blog/audio/04 Grateful Dead – Bird Song.mp3{/audio}

I agree with some of the analysis that the Chargers need to have some sustained drives to keep Philly off the field.  Again, I think back to the end of the first half in New Orleans last year where Rivers led them on a late drive.  Like Monday, they were good until they weren't.  I like what I've seen from Green and I wonder if we might see any more of him tomorrow.  Kerry Williams looked like he was everywhere against Washington.  His sideline pick of Griffin was like the Cushing play before it even happened.  Seriously, as bad as the Eagles defense was under Juan Castillo I wonder if they're licking their chops while waiting for the next Rivers mistake.

God, I hate hearing myself say shit like that, but I hate even more feeling it.  I hate even more than that fearing that it's true.  What else could we think about this team right now?  You may have noticed that I've returned to the practice of posting new tunes here within the Halls Of Justice.  This week's selections all come from the most recent archival release from the Justice Is Coming House Band.  I know I didn't list it on my favorite shows that you can find here on the site.  Veneta 1972 was always a show I thought might be overhyped.  But after seeing the restored movie in theateres and hearing the remastered audio, I think it might be the best show ever.  I mean, the Dark Star from 2/13/70 is still the greatest and the Estimated Prophet->Eyes Of The World from 9/3/77 is unparalleled.  But the Field Trip doesn't have an ounce of fat on it.  You can hear the older versions of the show here, but if you want the new release just shoot me an email.  Honestly, you really need to hear the new release.  I've included three of the best tracks here.

I also posted the gatefold from ZZ Top's Tres Hombres.  I think this photo shows why they kick ass.  I'm actually seeing them again in November.  But enough about music.  The Chargers need to play like their season is riding on tomorrow's game.  I know that U-T chat I posted in the comments suggested that they could take a step forward and still have a worse record than last year.  But I'm not putting three hours on Sunday and God knows how many during the week for the future.  I went to the last Chargers game in Philly and watched us score a lucky touchdown on a deflected pass from Flutie.  Then I had to watch rookie Ladainian Tomlinson get stripped and run the length of the field to unsuccessfully try to prevent a touchdown return.  I won't be there tomorrow, but I did buy my tickets for DC.  Let's fuck up someone else's Sunday for a change.



{audio}http://justiceiscoming.com/blog/audio/05 Grateful Dead – Greatest Story Ever Told.mp3{/audio}

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.