As a fan of the San Diego Chargers, yesterday was difficult, to say the least. Then I read Nick Canepa's column . . . and discovered that he and I share the same brain.
Shall we start at the beginning?
On a dreary Sunday afternoon beside the stormy shores of Lake Erie, Norv Turner activated three lines - offensive, defensive and unemployment.
Did he? The Chargers looked woefully unprepared and yet I still think Norv Turner is incapable of being fired. Lake Erie looked pleasant though.
The Chargers' bedeviled head coach now operates the worst professional football team in the United States - oh, right, and England.
An opportune time for a Winston Churchill reference? Maybe how the Chargers should, "Never, never, never, never, give up!" Except they did. See! Gotta listen to Churchill.
That's correct. If you didn't hear me, turn up the volume. The Chargers are the worst team in the NFL. Over the past four weeks - including the bye - they've given me no reason to think otherwise. They stink. And if Norv or anybody else in that organization doesn't think so, well, they have nasal problems.
I agree with Nick. The problems are nasal . . . and gastric.
I said they were done after the Denver debacle and I won't take it back. They're finito. And you know why? Because they're not good enough. They don't have enough people who can make plays. I really don't know where light can be seen. What could it be, daredevil Norv running hopeless reverses in the slop when his team is driving?
I agree with Nick. They're not good enough. And they aren't getting better. Coaches teach. But coaches don't catch the ball. That's Robert Meachem's job . . .
Their grit, fortitude, character and backbone should be in question. They were out-toughed Sunday 7-6 by Cleveland, up to kickoff The League's tasty brownies. The hosts had won one game. They have a 29-year-old rookie quarterback. Their front office has been turned inside-out. Their coach, Pat Shurmur, is another firing waiting to happen. They were without their two starting defensive tackles. They're so young they take a school bus to practice.
I agree with Nick. Browns: Bad! Brownies: Good!
And yet Norv's offense could do absolutely nothing against these people. Couldn't score a touchdown, which means this offense, which was supposed to be so prolific, hasn't touched an end zone in its last five-plus quarters.
Norv's offense. Needs more Jackie Battle. And seven step drops.
Maybe you get it now. This is not good. Now we again wait and see if Norv, who has weathered more storms than Columbus, can overcome this one. My guess is he will, but club President Dean Spanos has to be beyond aware that his team is on the verge of losing this town. Count the number of empty seats in Qualcomm Stadium on Thursday night.
Serious question: Are the Chargers on the verge of losing this town or have they already lost it?
I'm not gonna jump ship but I would like to, for once, not be so pissed that I invest my time in a team that plays this kind of football. My time has value. I could be taking a walk around the neighborhood. Beefing up my vascular system.
And now we get another national embarrassment on Thursday night: a blackout.
Might be better than watching. I don't remember a night game in San Diego being blacked out. Maybe my memory fades. Embarrassing.
I agree with Nick. F*ck!
As for Sunday's mess in Cleveland, let's not discuss the weather. Both teams played in it. The notion NFL clubs from bad weather cities practice in bad weather and thus get used to it is absurd. They do not. The Chargers have many players on their roster who come from places far from Ocean Beach. They've had rain on their jerseys and wind in their faces.
I agree with Nick. A**C*ckSh*tF*CK!!!
"That locker room is committed to do the best they can," Turner would say.
Committed to doing the best they can or committed to
excellence winning ball games that should be won?
Maybe the locker room is. What about the players?
The locker room . . . shhhh . . . it IS A person. Halloween is this week. I too am going as a locker room.
You can't indict everyone in that locker room. But I'm tired of hearing the great character angle Norv throws out every chance he gets. Character players are good. Football players are better. The Chargers do not have enough of them to make big plays and succeed over 60 minutes of football.
I agree with Nick. I'm tired of
hearing the great character angle Norv . . .
"We just can't make the play to get us over the hump," Norv would correctly say.
You know what gets me over the hump? Thursdays. You know, because it's one day after Wednesday, which is the hump day. But on Thursday the Chargers play the Chiefs. And it will be blacked out. How will I be over the hump? Good lord, I'm just rambling now.
Mike Scifres is a terrific punter, but when the punter has been your best player as you approach the season's halfway point, there's a problem.
I agree with Nick. Son of a . . .
Look, I've said it before and I'll say it again: Buy a Mike Scifres jersey! He's good and he'll be around until 2023.
Sunday, most of the problem(s) came from the offense. Quarterback Philip Rivers, who these days only gets into a pitching rhythm when he's running the two-minute offense - why Norv doesn't speed things up totally escapes me - had another poor day on the mound.
I disagree with Nick. Phewwww!
The two minute offense in the 2nd quarter yielded a field goal. The two minute offense in the 4th quarter yielded the laughter of a country. Haha. Look at San Diego. They don't have hurricanes. They have Norv Turner!
Note: I think this is the most Nick Canepa has written about baseball during the month of October. Since the Chargers were in Cleveland and San Diegans live in constant fear of the team bolting to L.A., this column could have really used a Major League reference. Maybe Roger Dorn? Vagesil? Crisco? Snot? Whatever veg-head.
It's impossible to say what the deal is, but his wide receivers are having trouble getting open - they're near the bottom of The League in receiving yards - and when they do, there are drops. Playmakers are lacking.
What about Robert Meachem?
Wide open receiver Robert Meachem's drop of a perfectly thrown long pass by Rivers in the third quarter that looked like a 51-yard touchdown likely cost his team the game. Don't blame the wet ball. Meachem failed to keep his eyes on it. Rookie mistake by a veteran.
No, it was the offense. Norv said he would simplify it during the bye week, and he did. Nine of the Chargers' first 10 plays were runs, and they were doing fine on their initial drive until backup tailback Jackie Battle couldn't convert on a fourth-and-one at the Browns' 30.
MOAR Jackie Battle!
No touchdowns. Against Cleveland. There is no excusable defense for this offense. It is Norv Turner's offense. It is Norv Turner's team. This one was something your neighbor's dog left on your lawn. Inexcusable.
Poop. Not manure. Manure fertilizes your land. It provides growth. A steaming dog pile, on the other hand, vandalizes your land. It degrades. Norv Turner and his dog . . . they're both sh*tting on your lawn. But not mine as I do not have one. My first win of the new week!
As Jim Mora put it: "Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs. Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game."
This is what we thought last year after the Chargers losing streak. We wondered if the Chargers could even win a game. What did they do? They signed Jared Gaither, strung together a few, missed the playoffs, but secured the jobs of Norv and AJ. This is all Jared Gaither's fault!
For the record I do think the Chargers will win again. Looking at their schedule I would say that Cleveland looks like an easy win. Aw, crap . . .
The Chargers stink and Nick Canepa and I now share the same brain. Yeah. I don't feel any better. You?