I decided to wait a few days before posting my thoughts on the latest Chargers debacle. This is not a Chargers blog, but the situation is just too ridiculous to not post my two cents. I actually attended this game(the first Chargers game I went to since 2005) and I can compare my journey to the experiences of a heroin addict.
Naturally, I was stoked before the game. I got up, ate some breakfast, did the 3 S's(shit, shower, shave), threw on my Philip Rivers and I was ready to go. I hooked up with my best friend and his uncle(both Broncos fans) and did all the things that you do when you prepare to attend an NFL game.
Inside, the game was electric. As much as people believe that San Diego has an apathetic fanbase, Qualcomm was mighty loud, despite the overpopulation of Donkey fans. The crowd was loud and enthusiastic. The Chargers were gifted 10 points early on, and built a 24-0 lead at halftime.
Personally, I don't believe the Chargers played well in the 1st half. They could not capitalize on a number of Denver's mistakes, and the running game never evolved. Perhaps Jared Gaither is just that good, or undrafted rookie free agent Mike Harris is just that bad.
Naturally, Charger fans were feeling pretty good. As was I -- however, I am not one to run my mouth. Nothing worse than celebrating prematurely. I will keep my smart-ass comments to myself, until the game commences. Plus, any team that has Peyton Manning is never really out of the game.
I felt myself poo a little when the Broncos marched right down the field for an easy touchdown. My initial fear was exacerbated when Philip Rivers had a fumble returned for a touchdown, and Denver pulled within 10. It was a pattern that I had seen too many times.
This Charger team cannot finish games. They could be 5-1, and the class of the AFC if they could hold a lead. They blew a 24-point lead at HOME. In fact, Elias tells us the Chargers are the first team to lead by 24 or more points, only to lose by double digits.
The team has no leaders, no identities. I love Philip Rivers, and this is the first time I have ever questioned his ability to lead a team. I know that the offensive line us beat up, but no elite quarterback turns the ball over five times in a half. The defense played gutless, uninspired football. I am no expert, but teams with great character do not allow the opposition to score 35 unanswered.
San Diego needs a leadership change. The team whacked Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season, because "he took them as far as they could go." Insert Norv Turner, who failed in two previous coaching destinations. The team has gone backwards, and frankly Norv needs to go.
After the game, I felt like I had been kicked in the crotch. It is an empty feeling when you witness one of the greatest collapses in NFL history. Denver fans pointed and laughed. What I could I say in retaliation? We had your number in the first half! Hey, at least my head coach looks like Al Gore banged Freddy Krueger! Nope, I had to take my medicine.
My Denver friends and I hit up a little 24-hour diner for a late-night meal. I hoped some chicken-fried steak, or a greasy burger would soothe my battered soul. As we walked in, the restaurant was populated with two tables full of Denver fans. They laughed at me, and slapped high-fives with my chums. Bastards. Some 10-year old kid took solace on my pathetic soul, and gave me a high-five. Thanks, kid. At the table, two hotties came over to the table and laughed at me for wearing a Rivers jersey. You would think that I would be used to having girls laugh in my face, but it did sting a little.
The Chargers are a laughingstock, and it hurts like hell. I love this team, and I just want to see them be successful. It seems that the ship has sailed. Time to clean house.