The first thing you should probably know about me is that I don't believe in jinxes. So before you write a comment telling me I've jinxed the upcoming season, stop and remember the millions of ridiculous Patriots fans who predict a championshup every single year. Tom Brady and Bill Belichek made them right, not jinxes against the Rams, Panthers or Eagles.
Now, a quick question.....if the San Diego Chargers won the AFC Championship in 2009, would you go to the Super Bowl? What would prevent you from trying?
Some people would argue that this questioned cannot be answered before the season. That you need to get a feel for the team's personality each season and generate your own feelings and dedication to them afterwards. I say bollocks. I say that your team is your team, and unless you've seen them at win a championship in person in the last 10 years already you HAVE to be there.
I've never seen any of my favorite teams win a championship, unless you count that time during my childhood where I decided to be a Cowboys fan to anger my friends who were all Eagles fans. I didn't really have a favorite team then. I hardly cared about football then. I care now and I think I would pay a lot of money to be in the same stadium as them as they claimed their first championship. I was at the 1998 World Series to watch the Padres get absolutely crushed by the best baseball team I've ever seen and while it crushed me, I'd do it again. If there's a chance you could be there for a game that big, to catch something the cameras don't catch or even just to stay way after the broadcast has turned off, you have to do it. Right?
The last time the Chargers were in a Super Bowl I was 11 years old. I didn't know anyone really, I just knew that San Francisco was supposed to be much better. So while everyone in my family rooted for the underdog Chargers, I rooted for the 49ers. And I gloated. I guess I wasn't a very nice kid. Either way, the Super Bowl is back in Miami this year and I've decided that if the Chargers are there, I will be too. Granted, it's about half the distance for me than it is for most Chargers fans and I happen to be a huge fan of the city of Miami.
My other answer to the complaint that you have to watch the team before answering a question like that is that every team that makes it to the Super Bowl has personality. To make it to the Super Bowl you have to get some silly bounces, have some unexpected players come up huge, overcome injuries and do the things that generally make a fanbase fall rabidly in love. Well, unless you're the 2007 Patriots who just destroyed everybody until losing to the nobody-believed-in-us Giants.
I can't predict what will happen this year. I know that I didn't feel that same connection with the 2008 Chargers until the Tampa Bay game. That's when their heart showed up. That's when they finally decided that they were the best team in the AFC West. The Indy game helped too, but it always does. My point is that with no other real strong force in the AFC West the Chargers have a good chance to do some damage. With some strong non-division opponents throughout the year the team is going to have some close finishes and will need to show some heart to get anywhere. If they win the AFC Championships, this team will be loved as much as the 1994 Chargers team. Not just because they will have both gotten that far, but because each team has it's flaws. If they're going to win, they're going to have to win with heart.
Do you have any thoughts about Bolts From The Blue? Any tips you want to send our way? Whenever you have something to say, don't hesitate to e-mail me directly.