[Ten Awesome Gatefolds] #02   Tres Hombres Inner

How Long Must We Sing This Song?

I'm not really a U2 fan, but the title seemed appropriate.  However, I do love ZZ Top and think that the gatefold from the Tres Hombres album which you see to your left sums up their musical style to a "t."  I'm not that into the Eliminator stuff, but they play the hell out of it live.  I'm actually going to see them tonight and thanks to the  flexing of the KC/Denver game will have a later kickoff on Sunday.  However, the Chargers are still reeling from that Washington loss.  If they're not, then I surely am.  Even though it was to an extremely talented team that handed us our second defeat in a row for the first time all year, we still haven't won since the DC meltdown.

Shaun Phillips is such a massive pussy.  Did you see him shoving Mathews on that one play?  It wasn't even a play where Phillips did anything.  If I'm not mistaken, it was one of those runs where the offensive line collapsed entirely.  Kevin Acee was of course reminding us of Phillips' value, but I'm happy he;s gone.  I've heard from people who would know that he's just as selfish as I have always assumed he was.  The fact that he had Knighton doing his stupid fucking sack dance was even more sickening.  I saw that Denver wanted to try to start Jammer against us.  You're only hurting yourself with that.  It's like Washtngton giving AJ Smith the game ball because we were too stupid to run at the end in or Rex Ryan starting LT in 2011 because of who his opponent was.  Not every team change needs to be met with a symbolic gesture.  Jammer still sucks, anyway.  It was nice to see one more old PI from him for old times sake.  Do you really think that keeping him, Phillips, or Vasquez  would fix our team right now?

I saw someone on Twitter suggesting that Cason should never have been let go.  Sadly, he may be better than Cox, but that doesn't mean that we should have kept him.  It's a crap shoot sometimes.  King Dunlap has been better than I ever would have thought, but he's suffered three concussions.  But when I see Hacksaw Hamilton Tweeting that Telesco is at fault for not keeping these former players, I have to laugh.  The Chargers have problems, but not holding onto these guys isn't one of them.  What is valid is the criticism of Mike McCoy and the suggestion that he needs to be coach more desperately.  The Bolts don't seem to have a sense of urgency and I'm not just talking about McCoy letting the two-minute warning come against Denver without calling a timeout.  He told the local media that they would have blasted him if he'd gone for it on fourth down in the first half last week.  He also revealed that his staff discusses and decides whether to go on 4th down during the week.  I know he’s a rookie coach, but I truly hope they don’t make such decisions beforehand.  There is no question that McCoy’s in-game decisions have been sketchy.  Nick Novak’s miss seemed appropriate because field goals weren’t winning us that game anyway.  It was only two seasons ago that Norval played for a tie, Junior Seau made his final appearance before Charger fans, Novak pissed in a jug, and we lost to Denver.  I've written at great length this season that I don't care what the coach or players say, but how they act when it counts.  Rivers defended his sliding, which was fine, but to do so before the first down marker was a huge mistake.  Last week was the type of game where those mistakes come back to haunt you.  Vincent Brown didn't hold onto a touchdown pass and that also turned out to hurt.  McCoy took a timeout on the goal line and finally brought in Mathews.  But his scoring just made the decision not to run him in DC that much stupider.  Thus far, this team has been too often about "not quite enough" or "too late to matter."  I could say that Mathews wasn't used enough for the second straight week, but then I hear he has a hamstring pull.  That's been one of the many problems with him.  He either turns it over or gets hurt every time it seems like it's the team's fault.

Cox got benched, but then had to come in when Wright got hurt.  Yet again, it was another scenario that left the Chargers as losers.  The aforementioned Antoine Cason got benched when Plaxico Burress scored three touchdowns against him, but Marcus Gilchrist proved no better.  I still remember the Chargers driving in that 2011 game and seeing the CBS shot of Dean Spanos and AJ standing in the owners box.  The Chargers were driving for what seemed like it would at least be a field goal, but Rivers threw a pick to Revis and everything came apart.  Was that the aggressiveness we are looking for right now?  Fuck no, that was just a forced pass to Vincent Jackson.

I also have a hard time saying that the defense had a strong finish on Sunday.  Besides the long touchdown, which I was spared seeing when the Cincy/Baltimore game went into OT, they couldn't make the one stop that would have made all the difference.  The same could be said for the offense.  They scored until they were one away from tyiing it up.  That's when they failed.  That's a microcosm of what I fear will happen with this team once again.  In 2010 and 2011, they blew so many games early and yet had a chance in November to make the playoffs.  It would take a miracle, seemingly, but even when the one team lost that the Chargers needed to get in, the Bolts lost their own game.  I know a lot of people still say that the talent level and inexperience of the coaching staff should temper my expectations.  But this team has let at least two games slip through their fingers.  They have the hardest schedule in the NFL from here on in.  They need to make these games matter.

Miami couldn't be a team in more trouble.  Yet, they started 3-0.  I was at the last Chargers game down there.  If I hadn't gone to DC, I might have considered booking a trip ahead of time.  But it's too early for me to have that feeling that I should already be thinking about the next season.  Talk to you tomorrow.



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.