I'm back from vacation and chomping at the bit for some football. You know it's been too long when you start having dreams about drawing up plays with Norv Turner (that really happened). Anyways, the story of my week off and how this blog managed to run itself without me (it's all grown up!) lies after the jump. Also....is there a new BFTB writer? You're going to have to click to find out.
Alright, my story first. I'll start by saying that I'm quite displeased with AT&T....or whomever built the beach house I was staying in. I'm still not sure who was the culprit, but for an entire week I had internet only sporadically. Every time I managed to get to the BFTB home page, I couldn't click through to see the whole post or the comments. It was rough.
It was nerve-racking because I had no idea who was doing what and when. Since we're getting to around Training Camp time, and I know this is a daily stop for a lot of Chargers fans, I wanted to make sure we had something up every day of the week. Well, with some creative planning (that I was not a part of) and some excellent writers, the whole thing came off better than I could've hoped. Let's go day by day and I'll put in my two cents...
Monday: We started the week off strong, with Brian (DaBolts) coming back and showing that he hasn't lost a step. His Philip Rivers Throwing Heat post reminded me of exactly why this blog became my favorite even before I started commenting or writing here. I know Brian's one of the Chargers' most passionate fans and I have no doubt that he'll be gracing us with a handful of great posts like this throughout the season.
PoliteChaos came through with a strong first post, outlining the possible locations for the future Chargers stadium. It's funny, I can remember just a few weeks ago caring immensely about this stadium issue. Now, with rookies reporting to Training Camp in a week, all I care about are position battles, player health, and Week 1. However, while lying on the beach this week I came up with another "Never Gonna Happen" idea. You build the stadium in Coronado, right on the water. Then you offer ferry services from all along the bay (including right next to Petco, so people could come from downtown and use the same parking). It would be a gimmick for the stadium, similar to the Green Monster and the Ivy Wall in baseball. Plus, how great would those ferry rides be after victories?
Tuesday: I gotta tell you, I'm shocked by the lack of response to my one post of the week. It was BFTB's first interview! I know MJD isn't exactly A.J. Smith, but I laughed my way through the interview with him. If you haven't read it yet, I suggest you do. MJD has a talent for mixing intelligence and humor into everything he does at Shutdown Corner and that comes through in his answers to these Chargers-related questions.
TJBOLT wrote a FanPost predicting what will happen in the AFC West in 2009 based off of what happened last season and what changes have taken place. You know you've done a great job when Raiders and Broncos fans are commenting just to compliment you.
For the third post of the day on Tuesday, Buck Melanoma came out of nowhere to deliver one of my favorite posts of the offseason. I couldn't have asked for a better predictions post than what Buck came out with. Because of that, Buck is going to remain as the newest BFTB writer. This means whenever he wants, he can put together a post like this and it goes right to the front page. Congrats Buck, I hope we get a lot more stuff like this from you in the future.
Are you starting to see the madness here? I'm lucky if I can get up 5 posts in 4 days, and we have 5 in the first 2 days of guest writers. Can you feel the excitement as Chargers Training Camp gets closer?
Wednesday: Here's where I started getting nervous. We had run the gauntlet of guest writers in the first two days. I had posted the MJD interview a day too early because I was so excited to get it up. Who would write on Wednesday?
In comes Stephen (shaynes41) to save the day. In something I definitely would've missed, the NFL's Supplemental Draft happened! Stephen let less-informed readers in on what the Supplemental Draft was and what it's repercussions were in the standard Draft. He also explained why players in the Supplemental Draft were usually riskier bets, and let everyone know that big Jamal Williams was a Supplemental Draft pick (which I certainly didn't know). Great research and great work as usual. The next day only one player was picked in the Supplemental Draft, DE Jeremy Jarmon was picked by the Washington Redskins with a third round pick.
Thursday: I'll admit, I know how to vacation. I disconnect from everything. I won't even watch the news or ESPN. If the TV must be on, it'll be trashy tv. My brain needs the time off. So just like I was surprised to hear the Supplemental Draft was going on, Steve (Grey Suit) shocked me on Thursday with his post about Darren Sproles. Apparently, the Chargers were not able to agree on a long-term contract with Darren before a certain deadline. This means two things: 1) The team is now locked into paying him Top 5 RB money in 2009 even though he's a backup RB at best and 2) He will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2009 season. Considering the other unrestricted free agents the team could be dealing with (Rivers, Merriman, McNeil), Sproles could easily get pushed out of San Diego. To me, the team not coming to terms with Sproles for the long-term deal means one of several things. It could either be that Sproles is over-valuing himself, or that the GM simply things he's replaceable. What's more likely though, is that AJ Smith is not going to spend unnecessary money. If a new CBA is not agreed upon by time free agency rolls around next year, I believe Sproles, Merriman and Marcus McNeil are restricted free agents and can be retained fairly easily and cheaply.
Friday: Mr. Double-Duty, Stephen (shaynes41) came through with another good article on Friday to close out the week. He lined out all of the "stars" on the Chargers that have expiring contracts in the next two years and asked you to vote on which two are the most important to keep. Not surprisingly, the duo in the lead is the player that makes the offense go (Rivers) and the one that makes the defense fearsome (Merriman). Signing both of those players to long-term deals is my vote as well, because I think they can make up for any shortcomings in the players around them. They're the type of players you build your team around.
So there you have it. I just wanted a chance to respond to all of these articles and thank everyone who wrote them for doing a great job. Because of the high quality of work I'm considering opening up a weekly spot for a guest writer, like on Saturdays it would be a different person each week (most likely one of the commenters trying their hand at it). What do you guys think? Would you want that opportunity?