During the gloaming of a fall evening in San Diego, Nick Canepa pushed the "submit" button at the offices of the UT.
"I felt like destroying something beautiful." ~Nobody who ever decided to critique a Nick Canepa column.
Edward Norton walked away from a makeshift boxing ring and wearily uttered this epic line after he bludgeoned Jared Leto's character (Angel Face) with his fists in the 1999 epic, Fight Club.
What does this have to do with Nick Canepa, you ask? Not a lot. But I will say this: Jared Leto was in that one show on MTV with Claire Danes and Claire Danes is about the only thing that gets me through a Chargers loss each Sunday afternoon. Because she's in Homeland. And it airs Sunday evening on Showtime.
Having said that, let's put Nick Canepa's shite on a skewer and devour it like we were in a Brazilian Steakhouse*.
Unless providence intervenes and the Chargers make the playoffs _ something the Mayans would have to put on their calendar to get us to even discuss something so preposterous _ the franchise is going to be looking for a new head coach come January.
I'm pretty sure providence should be capitalized because it's referring to God. I can accePT this mistake though. I too am drinking. I'm also pretty sure He would be pissed at the idea of mentioning the Mayans in the same sentence. Damn savages! PreposTERous! I'm moderately drunk right now - and guess what? No underscores, just hyphens - and I'm moderately drunk while typing this.
But what of the general manager? That question's a bit more difficult to answer. Club President Dean Spanos likes stability. Canning both men may be too much for the franchise to successfully support.
Dean Spanos is afraid
It should be noted this is not all coach Norv Turner's fault. Hardly, although the angry villagers (how many of them are they, exactly?) certainly are carrying a torch for his ouster and next season will have another coach to despise.
Chargers fans will despise the next coach who arrives in San Diego with a career winning percentage of less than .500. And I think that's fair. I love this condescending line - the use of the "angry villagers' epithet as if the disappointment in San Diego is unwarranted. And it should be noted that I blame the Mayans. And Kelly Kapowski. And the Coronado Brewing Company.
Is Norv really a bad coach? A few weeks back ESPN's Ron Jaworski was discussing the Atlanta Falcon's winning streak and noted how so many people outside of football don't realize how difficult it is to win eight-straight NFL games. I always go back to 2009, when the Chargers won 11 straight under Norv.
The Baltimore Ravens have won eight of their last nine games. And they stink. I know this because the Chargers had them on the ropes. But maybe Nick has a point. I think Norv should be extended. I'm drinking a Coronado Brewing Company Blue Bridge Coffee Stout. I don't know how I'm mostly spellling this correctly.
I just don't believe a bad coach can win 11-straight NFL games. He had to do something right and he did _ with better players than he has now. But it doesn't matter. Unless he gets a visit from St. Nicholas, he won't be back.
The Mayans are pissed at this Santa Clause reference. Wait a minute. I don't understand this reference. I spilled my beer.
Now General Manager A.J. Smith, who built the team out of the muck but has supervised its recent slide, also finds his neck on the stump. These are, after all, his players who are 4-7, every last one of them. But a whole lot of people around here should be careful what they wish for.
YES! These players are AJ's! What's the title of his article? Who is Nick Canepa trying to get rid of here?
If I were forced to guess, I'd say Spanos will make it a package firing and shove both Norv and A.J. into a U-Haul. It's Dean's team, his dime. He can do whatever he pleases and he's done a great job of not really giving a damn what the fans think about his coach and GM.
I'll give credit to Dean Spanos on this front - he doesn't care what the fans think at all. I don't know if that's the goal though, since the idea is to have people excited about your product. If I were forced to guess, I'd say Spanos will keep A.J. Smith. It's too Spanosian not to keep him on for another year.
Although I'd like to defend Norv, and I could, it really wouldn't do much good now. He's gone.
Although I'd like to defend pantyhose, and I could, it really wouldn't do much good.
Although I'd like to defend craw-dads over shrimp, and I could, it really wouldn't do much good.
Although I'd like to defend Bashar al-Assad, and I could, it really wouldn't do much good.
Crap. I can't defend Assad.
This Canepa line reminds me of something that Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott once said: "Everybody knows he was good at the beginning but he just went too far."
Marge, well, she was talking about Adolf Hitler. I'm not saying that Norv Turner is a 5' 8' fascist anti-Semite with a bad mustache. I'm only suggesting that Marge Schott was an idiot. And I'll let you make inferences from there . . .
But Smith is another matter and Spanos will have to think long and hard about ripping things up and starting from scratch. The process won't be short _ Dean also could make a mistake with his hire _ and it could set the franchise back years.
God forbid! A mistake? No! Don't do it! Hire Andy Reid. Fans know his name. These underscores are mind-f*cking me.
Before Spanos could even think of a coach, he'd have to hire a GM. GM's prefer to hire their own coaches. It's a comfort-level thing. So that's going to take time and many top coaching prospects could be gone by then.
Maybe Dean could fire his GM now and start the search before Santa Clause sh*ts on the Mayan prophecies?
Plus, Smith and his football people have been scouting colleges and potential free agents for months now. Maybe not all the personnel folks would be let go, but there's no certainty the players they've been scouting will fit in with the plans of a new GM and coach.
Valid point. The Chargers don't need to miss out on the next linebacker out of Northern Illinois.
A.J. has ticked off a lot of people by letting go good players, but some of those situations couldn't be helped. As an example, could he afford to pay Michael Turner $30 million when he'd already made LaDainian Tomlinson the highest paid back in The League?
I'm going to be honest with you right now. If you can tell me LaDainian Tomlinson's middle name I'll take this empty bottle of Coronado Brewing Company Blue Bridge Coffee Stout and break it over John Gennaro's head while he's eating the hat that he has yet to eat from last year!
HA! You have no idea! I win! And so does John. John Gennaro's the real winner here.
Two years ago A.J. screwed up and didn't have the right people to play special teams, and it resulted in a fiasco that cost the team the playoffs. He corrected that. After bad defensive play last year, Smith set out to make that side of the ball better. And, while not great, it has become plenty good enough to win. There is some young talent on that side of the ball.
So AJ blew it in 2010. And then he blew it in 2011. I thought Nick Canepa was making an argument for keeping A.J. Smith?
Now the offense has gone south. After receiver Vincent Jackson defected to Tampa Bay, Smith brought in Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem. Royal basically has been hurt since day one and Meachem has been a bust, sent to the bench after A.J. acquired talented Danario Alexander.
Defect is a funny word. I don't usually associate it with free-agency in football. I think of Daryl in 1984's Red Dawn. Seriously. That guy was a pinko-commie b*stard. I mean, Vincent Jackson is a tool, but he's no Daryl.
Smith, who due to injury lost left tackle Marcus McNeill and guard Kris Dielman, both Pro Bowlers, for good, thought he had addressed some of it when he brought back mammoth left tackle Jared Gaither, who was by far the most attractive free agent lineman during the offseason. Gaither, now on IR, has had a nightmare season of muscle problems and the line has suffered greatly. But Smith did what he should have done. Nobody complained when he re-signed Gaither.
What I wouldn't give to be a 6'9" multimillionaire with BBQ sauce coursing through my veins while I lay on the couch watching season 4 of True Blood. Sookie's beauty is both unconventional and undeniable.
Smith has faults and has made mistakes. But he's very comfortable in his own skin, knows every nook and cranny of this organization, and as we've seen from his past few drafts, still can find talent.
I think a prerequisite for employment should be a thorough knowledge of the nooks and crannies of an establishment. And by establishment I mean Dean Spanos' [redacted]**.
I believe he should stay.
AvengingJM believes he should go. If A.J. Smith stays there will be trouble. But if he goes, I get the sense that Dean Spanos thinks it would be double. Because he's a [redacted].
*If you don't properly prepare yourself for a trip to a Brazilian steakhouse you will destroy your gastrointestinal tract. True story. Believe me now. Thank me later - with beer. I'm out. Of beer. God. I feel like Nick Canepa getting ready to click submit.
** I loathe self-censorship.