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Advent Calendar - Dec. 18: Never fear a slow start

This is a great time of year to be thankful for what we have, where we have been, and what the future holds. Although the Chargers have lost their way a bit in recent years, the month of December still holds such incredible promise! This advent calendar is an attempt to hearken back to these days of December joy. Each day will bring a new advent from the Bolts’ history that makes it wonderful to be a Chargers fan.

Dec. 18: Never Fear a Slow Start

The Chargers hold many records with the NFL, and some of those are greater than others. They also hold some impressive feats throughout their 50+ year history. One of the most surprising feats was that a 1992 scrappy Chargers team managed to reach the playoffs.

While, yes, the 1992 team did exit immediately once they made said playoffs, that is beside the point. They gifted future Chargers, and the NFL as a whole, the indecent hope that an 0-4 start is surmountable. October is an interesting month in the NFL because most teams can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, even if their team has been largely terrible to start. Because of the 1992 Chargers, even teams that got hit in the gonads in September can still have genuine hope for a turnaround.

2017 was both cruel and wonderful for fans of the Chargers. In a sane world, there shouldn’t have been a reason to watch after October, but they put the pedal to the metal.
Jason Michaels

That is a gift that should not be dismissed. The NFL season is one of the shortest in professional sports, but its long and arduous offseason always brings the brightest of hope for fans. Every season is a fresh slate. To have all of that hope dashed before even a quarter of the season is over is a tough pill to swallow.

Today we thank the 1992 Chargers for the gift of hope. As things would have it, that fools’ hope kept the flame alive through much of a difficult 2017 season. The turnaround in November was largely due to the men on the field not giving up.

There is only so much joy that can be siphoned out from the schadenfreude of a fumbling team. The sheer audacity of hope of a turnaround from game 5— that is a gift, and it is one that the 2017 crew made the most of. It is the exact same hope that the 2017 Giants were ready to believe in, against all odds, when they were forced to meet on the field against the Chargers on October 8, 2017. Both teams were 0-4, and only one of them could possibly have the chance of teasing a postseason run with a win that evening. As things would have it, it was a very entertaining (and messy) game, ending 27-22 in favor of the Chargers (and MGIII’s 2 TDs helped kick-start the optimism of 2017).

That win, and moreover, the sheer amount of grit shown in the second half of 2017, can be largely attributable to the possibility of a postseason berth. While it wasn’t to be last year, it was something to hang our hats on again this year when the Chargers fell out of the gate to the Chiefs. We knew, even if our kicking situation was as bad as before (it was), there was still hope for the rest of the season. Luckily this year’s team didn’t leave the door open for silly mistakes and kicking woes. But in a future season, even a poor September can tease good results.

So thank you, Chargers, for the gift that even the “hilarity” of a slapstick September can still tease a legitimate chance of late-season success.

-Jason “Man Gets Hit in Crotch by Football” Michaels