It started a couple of weeks ago, when I interviewed Zach over Gchat to find out a little bit more about him as a person. This was done in response to lots of readers, and other BFTB writers, asking me questions about certain members of our staff that I just didn't have answers to. "Is Richard a robot?" I don't know. "Was Sam sent to live in New York as punishment?" I don't know, but probably.
Anyways, that (and the lack of offseason news) led to this series of interviews with each BFTB staff member. If you'd rather now know more about us, feel free to skip over these. The interviews will always be posted after the jump and can be easily avoided. For those that are desperate to know more about your favorite BFTB writers, this should be fun.
While I've been slow (lazy) in interviewing BFTB writers thusfar, I promise I'll eventually get through all of them and ask the pressing questions you guys want answers to (send me your questions if you want me to ask something specific). One person who is not lazy and was very excited about this idea was my wife, who wanted to interview me before I attempted to interview myself (which undoubtedly would've gone horribly).
Obviouswife: First question, why the Chargers?
John: they're the first football team I ever loved. When I was young, and lived in the Philadelphia area, football seemed too complicated for me to understand so I didn't bother to follow it.
Similar to how I developed my love for the Padres, my dad bought tickets to the games after we moved to San Diego. I think he was worried about me not making friends after the move.
So even though the team (1998) was terrible, I fell in love with the game of football that year because I started to understand it finally. Since the chargers were on TV every week and in the paper every day, they became my team of choice (since I didn't really have one before)
Obviouswife: Since I'm not the football historian you are, when DID the Chargers start getting good after that?
John: ummm....(checking stats)
They finally got good in 2002, when Marty was hired.
Obviouswife: That's cheating
John: so my first 4 years as a football fan were painful as hell, but it was fun to watch the team get better
I could've said "the first year Marty was hired", but I didn't know exactly what year that was. It’s only half-cheating
Obviouswife: Do you have any theories as to why guys are so much better at memorizing sports stats?
I think I get sports pretty well but I can barely remember who plays what position
Whereas you, who forgets everything, can name practically every person whose every played
John: I think it's just a matter of how much time/energy you spend on it, even involuntarily. I have dreams about football on an almost nightly basis. When I can't sleep, instead of counting sheep I see if I can name all 53 players on the Chargers roster (I can), etc. etc.
I think it has a lot to do with how much time you spend thinking about it and discussing it during the week.
I’ve had the same conversations with charger fans so many times that I finally memorized some of the stats.
But besides me, you don’t really have any friends that would talk football/chargers with you
Obviouswife: no sir, even I overshadow most of them
John: of course you do. But the problem with rocking so hard is that you need to find somebody that rocks harder than you so that you have a reason to step up your game.
We need to find you friends that are charger fans
Obviouswife: well that's what you're there for at least
I just keep you around so you can tell me Philip Rivers’s stats :)
John: I’m glad to hear I’m less useful than your cell phone or computer.
Obviouswife: I’m just kidding
John: :-) I know you are
Obviouswife: For the sake of at least keeping up the appearance of impartiality I won't ask who your favorite current player is but what about your favorite Chargers player of all time?
John: I don’t think I need to be impartial
I’d love to say my favorite player is somebody that's been great in the past.....like Kellen Winslow of Lance Alworth
Since I've only seen 4 bad years of football followed by 7 good years (of roughly the same team)....my favorite player is definitely on the current roster.
In terms of having fun watching them play, my favorite player is definitely Philip Rivers. It sounds bad....actually, it sounds homoerotic.....but ever since his 2008 season I'm more calm being a Chargers fan just because he's the QB.
I’m always confident that he's going to bring the Chargers back, no matter how bad the situation is.
And the fact that he's a family man makes liking him that much easier.
My favorite player, in terms of personality, that I actually talked to is Luis Castillo. He just seemed like the nicest, most normal guy ever.
Obviouswife: If I were to ask who your favorite player was on any team would that change?
John: possibly. Watching Peyton Manning has occasionally made me question whether this is a dream or real-life. So he's probably tied with Rivers.
Obviouswife: So is it safe to assume you'll be rooting for the Colts this Sunday?
John: kind of. I always love watching historically good players in any sport (like Michael Jordan) and Peyton is on pace to be the best QB in the history of the NFL. The only thing that could hold him back is a lack of multiple championships.
So I'm rooting for the Colts because I'd love to be able to tell our kids one day what it was like to watch the (unquestionably) greatest QB ever.
But it's not like the Chargers. I’m not emotionally invested at all. If the Saints win I'll be just as happy.
Obviouswife: it's kind of nice to not half a 50% chance of having your heartbroken no?
John: oh yeah.
What’s funny is that leading into this season I was so worried about the losses.
I remembered what it felt like for the Chargers to lose, and how angry I’d get....and I didn't want to go through that
Then, kind of like in 2007, the team went on a winning streak so long that I forgot what losing felt like.
So when it finally happened I was just more surprised than anything.
But if they had made it to the super bowl and lost that way, I’d be a miserable bastard all offseason.
Obviouswife: I’m sure it probably helped that you were just a TAD intoxicated during that last game.
John: just a tad
It also helped that we were in San Diego where it was warm and sunny. Half of my brain was still thinking about how nice it was to not be in 15 degree weather.
Obviouswife: Okay so on to the good stuff
What has been your favorite part of taking over BFTB?
John: god, there's so much.
My favorite part is just the writing. I feel really good after I write something that I’m proud of and other people enjoy reading. Before BFTB I didn't write anything for a few years and I forgot how it made me feel.
Having something that forces me to write every so often is really good for me.
A close second is getting to meet/talk to the players.
Obviouswife: What has been the scariest part?
John: obviously, the scariest day of doing it was when I went to training camp. That was also the most rewarding, but I think the idea of making an ass out of myself on the first day that I was meeting all of the players terrified me.
But, on a day-to-day basis, the scariest part has been trying to live up to my own expectations. Although I get compliments on the site, I’m always thinking that it's going to get taken away from me or something.
Obviouswife: What are you most proud of?
John: I have no idea. I don't even know if there's something there to be proud of yet. I guess I’m proud that we seem to have the most intelligent commenter’s amongst all the Chargers blogs/forums. And outside of the Union Tribune and Chargers.com, I think we're the #1 Chargers site. So that's good too. I'll be proud when we get to a level where we can actually compete with the Union-Tribune or the ESPN bloggers.
Obviouswife: I think you have plenty to be proud of
John: well, thank you
Obviouswife: What's the hardest part of running the blog?
John: two part answer
1) Finding the time. Between work, and trying to spend time with you, and everything else.....sometimes I just don't feel like I have 5 minutes to put towards the blog. But I have to. It’s my responsibility.
2) The offseason. The offseason blows because there's nothing new to talk about and, as of yet, we haven't gotten to spend an offseason celebrating a Super Bowl win.
The offseason can be good because you can delve really deep into some subjects, but there are so many people that come in and want to boil the entire previous season down to one game......it can get frustrating.
Obviouswife: How many jobs do you have now?
Looking for a 4th
To fill those extra seconds in the day
(That’s a joke)
But those 3 jobs all have generally the same hours and just require me to be in front of a computer, so it's not like I should be pitied
Obviouswife: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
John: up until the age of 13, I wanted to be a professional basketball player.
From 14 and up I wanted to be a writer.....because I couldn't be a basketball player
Obviouswife: never a football player?
John: no, not really
When I was a kid I’d play with my brother and his friends in the neighborhood games
And then heading into high school I had dreams about playing on the freshman team, but I wasn't allowed because I was on academic probation.
Then after that I was too far behind
NOW I dream about being a football player, but I’m not stupid enough to think that I could ever come near an NFL field with my size and athleticism
Obviouswife: well at least you’re kind of living the dream in one of your jobs
John: yeah exactly. Although I still consider it a little more hobby than job. Working on that though.
Obviouswife: I have two final questions
John: :-) let's hear 'em
Obviouswife: If you had to pick a second favorite team, who would it be?
John: probably the Eagles
Obviouswife: because we live in Philly?
John: yeah. Because I’ve come to know the team so well by listening to Philly sports radio. Although....you know what....I’m gonna change my answer. Because in reality, I love watching the eagles lose because I really love listening to their fans freak out
I’d say the 49ers. I’ve always had a thing for the 49ers.
Obviouswife: You know Hunter Thompson was a 49ers fan
John: I did not know that. Makes sense though. Glad to hear he wasn't a broncos fan.
Obviouswife: so I lied I actually now have two final questions
John: hehe, that’s alright
Obviouswife: First, will the chargers get a new stadium, if so when and where do you want it to be?
John: I think they have to. This isn't Boston or Chicago where you have to stay in a stadium due to tradition.
The Q is a boring old stadium that needs to be replaced.
So yes, I think they'll eventually get a new stadium. I think they'll know where it is going by 2011 and they'll be playing in it by 2013.
I would love, love, love for it to go where they're proposing it to go downtown, but there's so many roadblocks there. If I’m saying anywhere, I’m betting on it going somewhere in North County.
Obviouswife: Last question, what are you most excited for (BFTB/Chargers related) in the upcoming year/season
John: ummm....I don't know that I’m excited for anything in particular
I’m excited because I think it's a good team and all the coaches are back
I’m excited to see who the Chargers get in the draft, because an exciting playmaker rookie is always a ton of fun to watch
Really, once the season rolls around, I’ll just be excited to have meaningful football back
Obviouswife: well thanks for sitting down with me :)
John: :-) thanks for being so pretty