Follow me down the powder blue and yellow brick road… Bolts fan are looking for answers. Another under achieving season filled with a plethora of unthinkable ways to lose games has fans in an outrage. Many people are wondering if this is ‘rock-bottom,’ and how did we get to this point. Not long ago this team was a powerhouse and in contention for an AFC title year after year, having won the AFC West four seasons in a row. How did we get here? How could this Franchise have been carried away in a vicious tornado that has swept them away to a foreign land of underachieving and mediocrity? Charger fans need answers. Allow me to help.
Down the powder blue and yellow brick road we go…
Phillip Rivers a.k.a. ‘The Scarecrow’ – At first glance, the scarecrow is a threatening sight for opposing prey and is continuously protecting his crop. But as the time goes on and pieces of straw start to wither away from hit after hit and sack after sack due to a porous offensive line, the scarecrow becomes less and less effective. There is only so many times that Phillip can pick himself up and stuff his ‘straw’ back into himself before there is no stuffing left. The mighty scarecrow who once was dependable and counted upon to protect his crop, is failing. Some would say the scarecrow lacks brains, and with the ridiculous decision making that this quarterback has shown in the past season and a half, there is definitely some relevance to that accusation. However, there is only so much picking and beating a scarecrow can take from opposing prey, before he is no longer effective…
Jared Gaither a.k.a. ‘The Tin Man’ – Dubbed the “9 Million Dollar Ghost” by Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune, The Tin Man’s true flaw is lack of a heart. Besides all the rusted joints and ‘ailments’ plaguing the 6’9’’ offensive lineman who was paid highly after a 5 game sample size, the more glaring issue with the Tin Man is his lack of heart. Football players are warriors and often times are criticized for playing through pain and injuries (justified by the NFL’s recent campaign on concussion testing and prevention), but yet no one knows the true extend of the Tin Man’s injuries. The Charger’s medical staff has yet to find that can of magic oil to fix all those rusty joints on the Tin Man, and at this point, their efforts have become a waste. There is no medical fix for a man with no heart.
Norv Turner a.k.a. ‘The Cowardly Lion’ – A lion is the most feared predator of the animal world, yet in the vast NFL hunting grounds, Turner is not feared by anyone. The Cowardly Lion is cursed with an enormous deficiency, a lack of courage. This team goes out every week and underachieves on a consistent basis, only this time this is the kind of consistency that gets your coach fired. Why is it that week to week these players go out and make the same mistakes that cost them a game the week before? The answer, there is a lack of accountability in that locker room. If a player makes a mistake, there is no consequence. No one is benched, you never see Norv getting in a players face on the sidelines, and for the most part, you mostly see his ‘prized’ QB jawing with him and even giving him the ‘talk to the hand’ treatment. Everyone says the NFL is a business, and it most certainly is, but what business in their right mind does not hold their employees accountable for mistakes and lack of effort? Yes, the players play and the coaches coach, but the Cowardly Lion has yet to strike fear in the hearts of anyone in this organization, let alone the opponents they face every week.
A.J. Smith a.k.a. ‘The Wicked Witch of the West Coast’ – Also known as the ‘Lord of no Rings,’ A.J. Smith is our evil villain in this story. Once deemed an excellent talent evaluator and an intelligent schemer in the draft, has since been shown for his true colors. Once Buddy Nix left the Chargers organization to become the Buffalo Bills GM, it left A.J. to be the only one calling shots on which players to draft, and sadly, which ones not to draft (passing on Clay Mathews to draft Larry English). This has left the Wicked Witch of the West Coast to fly around Charger’s Park on his broom and an ever consistent Hawaiian shirt to wreak havoc on this organization. A.J.’s ego has cost this team on multiple accounts. Vincent Jackson, Larry English, Ryan Mathews, Robert Meachem, Eddie Royal, and the lack of not having drafted one offensive lineman higher than the 4th round since Marcus McNeil to name a few. Some columnists in this town have made a case the A.J. should stay at the end of this season, and personally I think he will as well, but that ultimately would be a mistake. Somehow the Charger’s organization needs to find a cold bucket of water to throw on the Wicked Witch of the West Coast, so years of bad decisions and terrible acquisitions can ‘melt’ away. And at the end of the powder blue and yellow brick road, we find the great and powerful wizard,
Dean Spanos a.k.a. ‘The Wizard of Dean.’ – The Wizard has been exposed for what he is, the man behind the curtain, and sadly, a fraud. Dean has failed this community on so many levels. Understandably, there are several aspects of Dean’s day to day operation that have truly benefited this community, however for a true Charger fan there has been plenty left on the table. The lack of an effort to find a suitable stadium proposal is eventually going to land this team in L.A. It is not a matter of ‘if,’ it is a matter of ‘when.’ The organization has wasted millions on a concentrated “effort” to find a new location for development, but those have all been smoke screens. Dean’s true intent is to lead this organization into a new opportunity in Los Angeles, and is using his Wizardly power of Finance to make that happen.
Alas, Charger fans need not look behind the curtain, as they will sadly see the demise of this organization. It is definitely safe to say when it comes to the Chargers…we are not in Kansas anymore.