For the past five years, we've seen the San Diego Chargers choke like hell under pressure after performing relatively well.
And because I'm obsessed with cars (NOTE: Not really), I've decided to compare the years from 2006 to 2010 to an automobile: A Nissan Titan.
Ah, yes. The very sexy, very sleek Nissan Titan. The kind of care that suburban families want, just because it looks so damn cool. It's hard not to be physically attracted to the Titan, and that's the way the Chargers were.
They were the fan-favorite (even if certain fans hated them) because of their success and style of play -- they showed up to the party late, always slowing start and picking things up in the end, only to massively (again) screw up when it mattered most.
That's the Nissan Titan, which is one of the least reliable trucks you can find. Sure, you can show up to the party late and be cool as hell throughout it, but when it's time to haul a real load, the damn thing crumbles and breaks down. There's a bed in the back for a reason; it makes no sense for you not to tax it as much as you'd like.
That bed is the Chargers' talent. Though they've crumbled under pressure, there's no doubt that the Chargers have consistently had one of the most talented teams in the NFL; but what was the point of that talent if they hadn't used it?
This year, though? Things are different.
That's because this team has the truck bed and the capacity to load her with a metric crap-load of anything that gets piled on them. Through everything, the Chargers are now tough. They've built themselves around their talent, and now they can finally use that truck bed.
This is a stupid analogy, I know -- it's hard to imagine a team as an automobile, unless we're talking about the Cleveland Browns in reference to your beat-up 1999 Ford Taurus.
But this is the best way to look at the Chargers' 2011 season. They've been through enough to know how to use their truck bed to keep on trucking. Symbolically, the load in the bed is the adversity and obstacles they're going to have to go through.
When they were just a little Nissan Titan, they couldn't handle the load.
Now, since they're a Silverado, they're built.
Hopefully, I'm right.