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Monday, April 18, 2011

Letter sent to Chargers Owner, Dean Spanos

Mr. Dean Spanos
President – CEO
San Diego Chargers
Chargers Park
4020 Murphy Canyon Road
San Diego, CA 92160-9609

Dear Mr. Spanos,

Thank you for your form letter of March 31, 2011. As a former season ticket holder, it is nice to hear directly from you, the owner, regarding your point of view on the current team situation.

I attended many San Diego Chargers games at Balboa Stadium in 1961 while in the U.S. Navy. Although I moved frequently while in the Navy, I always attended Chargers games while in San Diego and have been a season ticket holder many times over the years as my duty assignment would allow. I retired from the Navy after 27 years.

I was sitting in the end zone and watched the ball bouncing toward me and into the end zone during the Holy Roller. I broke down and cried in front of my TV when the Chargers beat the Steelers to go to the Super Bowl. I was at The Murph when the team arrived back in town that night and to this day, that was one of the most electrifying moments of my life.

I was an inaugural season ticket holder in the Gold Club and maintained those seats for six years until we moved to Texas. While living in Texas, we attended the Chargers vs. Cowboys game in Jerry’s World.

I lovingly operate a Chargers Fan website ( www.chargertom.com ) and have done so since 1988. I have been interviewed by both local and national TV and newspaper journalists. If you type “Raider Hater” in Google or any other Search Engine, my Raider Hater page will come up first.

We moved back to San Diego last year and immediately purchased season tickets again.

I have been a loyal fan and an active ambassador for the team since 1961. I have lived through the ups and the downs, the good times and the bad, the exhilaration and the heart break. Unfortunately, I can no longer support the San Diego Chargers organization financially.

I am on a fixed income and my discretionary spending is limited. Accordingly, I have made the difficult choice to use those discretionary funds in other areas and not renew my season tickets.

I think it is important for you to know that the reason for this decision is not because I can’t afford it, but because I feel discounted as a “fan.”

Watching A.J. Smith create his annual soap opera with Pro Bowl caliber players and draft so-so players while the team and the fans twist in the wind is no longer acceptable. His outright disdain for the media, the city, the fans, and the players is a sad (and embarrassing) thing to observe. I watched Bobby Beathard do some of the same destructive things because he was also given total autonomy and unlimited “power” and was blindly “backed” by ownership.

The team must now be classified as “middle of the road” at best and TV blackouts are further proof. The Chargers are most assuredly preparing to move to Los Angeles for a new stadium and now the saga of the “Billionaires vs. Millionaires” squabble once again discounts the fans.

The NFL as an organization and the owners as business men (which I understand) have moved the business model to the point where it no longer needs to actually care about or “need” the average fan in the stands. The revenue generating approach is now geared to constantly expanding and “growing” the game/brand. The revenue is generated, not from “Joe Fan” in the nose bleed section, but rather by catering to the corporate market. Television revenue (with business benefits from a government antitrust exemption for television negotiations), stadium naming rights, PSL’s, suites, Gold Club type sections, advertising, trade marking and licensing of anything NFL football related, and building bigger and more extravagant stadiums with taxpayer subsidies has taken the place of a need for “fans.” Soon stadiums will actually be redesigned smaller, for more intimate seating that only the wealthy can afford.

And now there is a costly legal fight on how to divide up nine billion dollars?!?! And while there is a “lock-out” and no end in sight, the average “fan” (like ME) is supposed to trust you and renew our season tickets. If there is no season, you will give us our money back. How much interest will be earned before that happens?

I love the game of American professional football. I love the San Diego Chargers. I love being a fan. But I can no longer be treated as if I am an afterthought and be expected to swallow the propaganda fed to us by the NFL, the NFLPA, and you.

I will go to my grave loving and supporting the San Diego Chargers but I can no longer contribute my pittance to the 9 billion dollar pie, and I know you will not miss it. The word “fan” was not used one time in your form letter. Best of luck to the Chargers this year and hopefully I can watch some non-blacked out games on TV.

If the Chargers haven’t moved to L.A. within a couple of years, and ticket prices are not astronomical by then, I will buy season tickets again.

Respectfully,
Tommie Vaughn

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A little bit of this, and a little bit of that

Well I am sorry (and sad) to say, I did not renew my Chargers season tickets for the 2011 season. If the owner's and player's are not putting anything in the pot at this time, then I'm not either.

I endured the labor unrest of 1982 and the player's strike of 1987. I hated it but not a single player or owner asked me how I felt. Some player's crossed the picket lines and scab players were rounded up and the games were played. TV acted like the players on the field were the superstars from before the strike. I think it lasted a month or two and then back to football.

I don't remember any player or owner calling me to apologize for the money I spent on the Chargers with the inferior product on the field.

I sorta' got the feeling that the "fans" are not really an important part of the game. And you know why? Because we love football, and we love our teams, and we love our favorite players and we are fans. And the NFL knows if we are fans, we will ALWAYS give them our money, we will always support them with our presence, and we will always forgive them no matter what.

Sounds like "fans" are "Christians," uh?!?!

The only thing I remember good coming out of the 1987 strike was a scab player named Blaze Winters who was a beast and I loved to watch him play. After the strike, the Chargers kept him on the 53 man roster. Wonder where he ever went?

So this year, no season tickets, Chargers' games frequently blacked out, and a bitter taste in my mouth for billionaires and millionaires. Sad state of affairs this NFL. Can't figure out how to divide up 9 BILLION dollars!?!? I just may have to watch a lot more College Football ....

Go TCU Horned Frogs.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Renew my season tickets?????

I am sitting here with only 15 days until I have to decide to renew my season tickets or not?!?! I am really torn ....

Die-hard fan since 1961. Season ticket holder for many years interrupted only by transfers out of area while in the Navy. Was season ticket holder for 6 years when Gold Club was first introduced. Moved to Texas and just returned this past season and bought season tickets again. Now I have to decide do I renew or let it go?!?!

A.J. Smith is killing this team and Dean Spanos isn't invested enough in winning to even care. Norv is a great Offensive Coordinator but is a management "yes man" and NOT a Head Coach. He lacks fire and a killer instinct.

The City of San Diego is run by total idiots who have all but bankrupted the city. There is no way the Chargers will ever get a new stadium in San Diego. LA will get a new stadium, and soon, and Spanos is just waiting for a smooth transition so he doesn't lose any money or have to deal with irate fans in the interim.

Three games blacked-out?!?! Are you kidding me?!?! No evidence of any activity in the organization as everything is put on hold for the CBA fiasco. "We will play in San Diego in the 2011 season," veiled threat to leave after that. Sacramento pulling all Redevelopment money from the city. No playoffs. Beat twice by THE RAIDERS???? A.J.'s arrogance removed two Pro Bowl starters from the roster when needed. Good Defensive Coordinator lost as he gets a Head Coaching job. And on and on and on ....

And you know what? The fans have no say in the matter, and the fans simply do not matter in the NFL - TV contracts matter.

Fifteen days until I have to renew my season tickets .... for the first time, I am feeling like I need to "let go." Ahhhhhhh the pain.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another season of "wait'll next year"

It seems at this time every year I am numb and confused. Starting a season the way they did (2-5) and playing up and down just baffles me.

I don't understand how the rhetoric coming from the Chargers organization, from the Owner, to the GM, to the Coach, to the appointed PR players can be absolutely irrelevant to reality and we are just supposed to believe them and ignore the truth.

Every year we have a soap opera started by A.J. Smith and his super-ego. The man is so self-absorbed that he even lies to himself and believes his own lies. His ego costs the Chargers Pro-Bowl players every year and his Draft choices are NOT super-stars.

I have said many times that he blew into town on the back of John Butler and when John passed-away, he inherited the team, the money, and the POWER. He is in over his head and the only way he can survive is through being bull-headed and arrogant -- which the Spanos' can relate to, so ....

Dean Spanos and "the family" are just as self-absorbed but it is all about money. They deflect any "blame" for the Chargers' problems through hired mouth-pieces, acting as if they don't have anything to say about the running of "their" team. BULL!!!!

I don't know of many millionaires who turn their company over to a General Manager without having the right and the RESPONSIBILITY to yank his chain when he screws up the potential success of the company.

Coach Turner is a heck-of-a good man, but he is NOT a Head Coach anymore than Wade Philips was. They are cut from the same cloth. Norv was hired because he would be a Yes Man to A.J. and, maybe, win some playoff games. How's that workin' out for ya' A.J.?

Do you think I am frustrated? Yea I think so. I just moved back to San Diego from Texas and am once again a season ticket holder. I have sat in that stadium and watched the bungling stupidity of A.J. and Norv's "best team ever" and it is pathetic.

I know, and YOU know, they are moving this team to Los Angeles. They can't let the word get out because no one would go to the games anymore, but they ARE going.

Until the moving vans pull out of the Fortress, I will continue to give my season ticket money to the Spanos family and let A.J. continue to give me the finger.

I am a Chargers' fan, and fan is short for fanatic, and fanatic is just another word for idiot, so I guess it is no wonder I keep coming back for more.

GO CHARGERS. I BLEED BLUE AND GOLD. Wait'll next year ....

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

TCU in the BCS stirs up a hornet's nest

College football is as much "Big Business" as the NFL.

Here are some "outstanding" editorials/letters to the editor" regarding the sad state of affairs of the College BcS cartel. TCU and Boise State upset their little elitist BcS Fake National Championship plans this year.

Read what others have to say and then chime in with your take on the BcS through adding your feedback to this post.

"TCU needs a bowl of its very own
Jennifer Floyd-Engel, Sports Writer, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

What the heck is wrong with everybody? Are we really that naïve?

Of course, having TCU and Boise State play in the Fiesta Bowl is a conspiracy to keep them from being able to embarrass the power conferences yet again at their exclusionary game. Anybody who pretends anything else is:

a) Smoking crack.

b) Fibbing.

c) Has a vested interest in protecting this sham of a BcS system.

And c) obviously applies to Fiesta Bowl president John Junker, thus b) does, too, in regards to his laying kisses on TCU and unleashing his "biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard in my life" as a defense.

Where is Rep. Joe Wilson and his "you lie" shtick when really needed?

The Fiesta Bowl took one for the "team," probably in exchange for future considerations. The Fake National Championship (FNC) is in Glendale in 2011 and do not be surprised if this little sacrifice guarantees a prettier pre-Fiesta Fiesta Bowl.

Spin that Fiesta honchos chose TCU because, gosh-darn-it, it was more deserving is giggle-worthy. Name the last time a big-time bowl did the right, altruistic thing?

Bowls do the money thing and the money thing was to invite Iowa and all of those oft-mentioned 50,000 Hawkeyes who would pay anything and go anywhere just to get out of Iowa in January.

So why would the Fiesta pass up on that payday?

Hmmmmmm, what possibly could it be? Could it be that if TCU, ranked No. 4 in BcS standings, played and beat Cincy or Florida, the Frogs would have a legit claim to the national championship right along with whoever wins Texas-Alabama?

And since everybody knows the Frogs have zero chance at this FNC, this only hastens calls for a playoff, and a playoff threatens to decimate their little bowl cartel.

Yes, the single worst thing to happen to the BcS was what Kyle Whittingham and his fine Utah Utes team did to Alabama a year ago in the Sugar Bowl.

Say this for the BcS, it learns. No more inviting Boise to play Oklahoma and Utah to play Alabama because, instead of putting non-AQ schools in their place and shutting them up as planned, it only gave them evidence of what a sham the whole thing really is.

No way are they allowing that to happen again. So TCU plays Boise, and one ends up with a loss and the other is dismissed as still not having beaten anybody. Brilliant, as the Guinness Stout boys would say.

This is standard BcS operating procedure where C stands for conspiracy, and all that leaves is B and S.

Always a doer and a carer, though, I have a solution.

Actually, I have to give credit to my wonderful motley crew of faithful readers for sparking this idea. Red Raider Joe suggested taking their ball and going home, and I thought, "There has to be a sponsor for that."

So may I humbly offer:

The 2010 non-BcS National Championship Game presented by JerryWorld.

This is exactly the kind of rebellious, rogue, crazy idea Owner Jones has turned into billions of dollars in his Cowboy lifetime. And he has an ability to turn this into a wildly popular and profitable venture as well.

Start by having TCU and Boise tell The Fiesta to beat it.

"We are excited to be in the Fiesta Bowl," Horned Frogs PR man Mark Cohen said when I reached him in New York on Tuesday about this very possibility. So Owner Jones obviously needs to place a call.

Next have Owner Jones use his connections to wrangle up a TV partner, and really Football Night in America and NBC need to jump at this chance.

Find a few big-time sponsors, like my good friends at BNSF Railway (and I spoke there once so that makes us friends, right?) and the Dallas Mavs (this seems right up Mark Cuban’s alley) to help defray Jerry’s costs.

Finally, we market this as The National Championship. All we need for legitimacy is a trophy, a logo and a Twitter/FBook account as our good friends at The BcS have proven.

The Star-Telegram graphics department was a little busy Tuesday. So, if any of you graphically inclined Horned Frog fans could whip me up a logo to present to Jerry next time I see him, I’d sure appreciate it. And I’d doubly appreciate any sketches for a possible Ice The Cupcake logo as well.

We could recycle the Fort Worth Bowl runner-up trophy from 2003, and all we lack is an official Tweeter of this non-BcS. And I nominate The Great Joe Barton (R-Arlington).

Quick aside: How soul-sucking must it be to defend this indefensible BcS system in 140 characters or less?

Of course, if this fails, go to the Fiesta Bowl folks.

Good bowl. Good city. And you know the BcS will be taking attendance and looking for a way to justify conspiring against you next time around.

Remember the C is for conspiracy, and all that is left is B and S.”

"Not cheering Fiesta

Congratulations to the TCU football players for an outstanding season. However, I am very disappointed in the TCU and Mountain West Conference administrations and coach Gary Patterson. TCU should be in the Sugar Bowl playing Florida.

Playing and beating Florida would do far more to enhance the school’s reputation than playing and beating Boise State. When the BCS came with the Fiesta Bowl offer, both administrations and Patterson should have told the BCS to take a hike and demand a Sugar Bowl appearance.

I believe the BCS and the NCAA are scared to death of an antitrust lawsuit by a school like TCU. Giving automatic BCS bowl bids to only select conferences and not to others and the fact that all these schools accept federal money makes them a prime target for antitrust action.

These significant bowl opportunities do not come that often, and the TCU players deserved better this year. They were ill-served by their administration and coach for not standing up to the BCS and getting the bowl matchup the players earned.

I hope the local TCU alumni come down hard on this administration for its failure to support its players and stand tall against the very unfair BCS.

— James Sumpter, Mansfield"

"Biggest Concession Stand?

An objective person might think that if you work hard on the practice field and in the classroom, put the team above yourself, devise a good game plan, stay focused at every position for every minute of the game you would be considered the best team.

Not so fast, it has nothing to do with any of that, it’s how many hot dogs you sold.

BCS really means who has the Biggest Concession Stand.

Perry Cozzen, Fort Worth"

"Love from Boise

I wanted to congratulate the TCU football program and say I do feel you should be playing Alabama for the national title instead of Texas (whom I think you could have beaten). I live in Boise and am a Boise State University fan, and it is an honor to be able to play the team that should be playing for the national championship. We respect your team and in some ways fear the quality of players you have on it, and it will truly be an all-out effort on our part to win. I (and many in Boise) pulled for Nebraska to beat Texas (even if it was not going to be good for BSU), because that might have allowed TCU to play in the big game against Alabama. So, congratulations and see you in Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl.

— Steve Hasse, Boise, Idaho"

"12 reasons the Fiesta Bowl is a good thing for TCU
By David Thomas, Sports Writer, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Imagine you move into a much nicer, higher-dollar neighborhood.

You walk outside your first morning in your new home and bend over to pick up the newspaper. (The Star-Telegram, of course. Double-wrapped, because we care.)

But as you stand back up, you notice a U-Haul truck across the street. Out your old neighbor from your old neighborhood. ... of the cab jumps

Now here is a scene we do not have to imagine.

TCU works its way into a much nicer, higher-paying, BCS bowl game. When the other opponent is revealed, it’s Boise State the Horned Frogs defeated last season in the — take a deep breath — San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.

TCU and Boise State both went undefeated and earned a chance to beat up one of college football’s bullies. They will see each other in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl instead.

That is no knock on the Fiesta Bowl, and definitely no knock on the projected $17.5 million payout to the participating conferences.

But with third-ranked TCU and sixth-ranked Boise State being matched against one another, there certainly is the feel — which I have heard on at least two occasions — that the adults have sent SuperFrog and Buster Bronco off to the kids’ table for the family holiday meal.

The consensus of local purple-wearers is that TCU deserved better. A better opponent ("better" as in status, not ability) and a better bowl (as in the big enchilada.)

I am not going to join in the launching of a TV show called BCSI to investigate whether it was indeed only one person who amended the Big 12 replay rules at the last second, leaned the goal post to the side on Texas’ game-winning kick and dictated the BCS bowl matchups.

I do, however, want to at least try to make things better in our beloved city by offering 12 reasons TCU’s bowl and opponent are a great thing:

1. Tostitos rock.

2. If you have last year’s Poinsettia Bowl on DVR and have not gotten around to watching it yet, you won’t need to now.

3. The Horned Frogs have a chance to beat Boise State in the same bowl in which the Broncos beat Oklahoma three seasons ago. That would be an indirect bowl victory against a top-10 BCS team.

4. Playing on a green field gives TCU a decided statistical edge. Boise State has six victories on green fields. TCU has 11.

5. Would you rather have a fiesta or an orange?

6. Of the BCS bowl sites, only New Orleans is closer to Fort Worth than Glendale, Ariz. Playing in the Fiesta Bowl will save some mileage when hauling Frog Horn to the game.

7. "BCS buster, Broncos buster" sounds good.

8. Having undefeated teams meet in a non-championship game for the first time in BCS history has to move us that much closer to the act of Congress apparently needed to create a playoff.

9. Glendale is on the way to Pasadena, Calif. That gives Texas fans the opportunity to stop en route to the championship game and show their support for TCU. You know, bring some much-needed college football unity back to our state.

10. This will be the highest-combined ranking of teams for a TCU bowl game since No. 1 TCU defeated No. 5 Carnegie Tech 15-7 in the 1939 Sugar Bowl. Carnegie Tech football will appreciate the attention.

11. The 2011 BCS National Championship Game will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium. Consider this game the Frogs’ dress rehearsal.

12. Still working on a 12th reason. I’ll get back to you."

"Barton: Playoff system would end BCS cartel
Congressman Joe Barton, of
Arlington represents U.S. House District 6

'My bill does not seek a federal government takeover of college football. In fact, it is just the opposite. It simply puts the onus on the BCS to come up with a playoff system. Every other sport in intercollegiate athletics at every level has some sort of playoff or merit-based national meet or tournament. Why not the top tier of Division I football?

Obviously, this isn’t the most important issue in Washington. I’m actively engaged in the healthcare debate, and I’m leading the effort to defeat the economy-killing “cap and tax” climate-change policy.

Having said that, college football is a multibillion-dollar-a-year operation, and it is interstate commerce. That makes it a legitimate candidate for congressional oversight. After all, we are talking about schools that receive public funding.

The Forth Worth Star-Telegram Dec. 2 editorial said that the BCS “is a lucrative operation” for “a few lucky conferences.” The conferences involved aren’t lucky. They deliberately set up a system that maximizes revenue for their members. It isn’t about student-athletes or determining a “champion.”

The BCS is a cartel in the truest sense of the word. If Exxon Mobil and Chevron did in the oil industry what the BCS has done in college football, they would be prosecuted for violating antitrust laws.

Need proof of the cartel? Well, look at TCU (non-BCS conference) vs. Baylor (BCS conference). Here’s the tale of the tape from 2005 to 2008:

■ Season record: TCU 37-10, Baylor 16-31

■ Bowl record: TCU 4-0, Baylor 0-0

■ Bowl receipts: TCU $2.01 million, Baylor $6.2 million

Baylor is earning more than $1.5 million a year from bowls it never plays in, while TCU — which during this time period beat teams such as Oklahoma, Texas Tech and even Baylor, twice — received just a third of that.

Since the BCS began in 1998, guess how many teams have played in the “championship” game. Only 11.

This means that each year, more than 6,000 student-athletes are left out and learn firsthand how a cartel really works.

This is a perversion of what college football is all about, and that’s why I introduced this bill.

Players and their millions of fans deserve a fair playoff system. It’s time for the backroom bullies of the BCS to replace the current system with a playoff that’s fair and open to all teams.

Let’s determine the college football champion on the field of play, four downs at a time.'"

"House panel passes college football playoff bill
By Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press Writer

A House subcommittee approved legislation Wednesday aimed at forcing college football to switch to a playoff system to determine its national champion, over the objections of some lawmakers who said Congress has meatier targets to tackle.

The bill, which faces steep odds, would ban the promotion of a postseason NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision game as a national championship unless it results from a playoff. The measure passed by voice vote in a House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee, with one audible "no," from Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga.

"With all due respect, I really think we have more important things to spend our time on," Barrow said before the vote, although he stressed he didn't like the current Bowl Championship Series, either.

The BCS selections announced last weekend pit two unbeaten teams, No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Texas, in the Jan. 7 national title game. Three other undefeated teams - TCU, Cincinnati and Boise State - will play in a BCS bowl game, but not for the championship.

"What can we say - it's December and the BCS is in chaos again," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He said the BCS system is unfair and won't change unless prompted by Congress.

The legislation, which goes to the full committee, would make it illegal to promote a national championship game "or make a similar representation," unless it results from a playoff.

There is no Senate version, although Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has pressed for a Justice Department antitrust investigation into the BCS.

Shortly after his election last year, Barack Obama said there should be a playoff system.

In a statement before the vote, BCS executive director Bill Hancock said, "With all the serious matters facing our country, surely Congress has more important issues than spending taxpayer money to dictate how college football is played."

The subcommittee chairman, Rep. Bobby Rush, an Illinois Democrat who co-sponsored the bill, said, "We can walk and chew gum at the same time."

Yet Barrow wasn't alone in criticizing his colleagues' priorities; Reps. Zach Space, D-Ohio, and Bart Stupak, D-Mich., made similar arguments. Space said that with people facing tough times, the decision to focus on college football sends the "wrong message."

The bill has a tough road ahead, given the wide geographic representation and political clout of schools in the six conferences - the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-10 and SEC - that get automatic BCS bowl bids

The current college bowl system features a championship game between the two top teams in the BCS standings, based on two polls and six computer rankings. Eight other schools play in the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta and Rose bowls.

Under the BCS, the champions of those six big conference get automatic bids, while other conferences don't. Those six conferences also receive far more money than the other conferences."

"Class act, Frog fans

I attended the recent TCU-Utah game with my twin 8-year-old birthday boys. As this was their first college football game, they were crushed to find that virtually every person in the stadium was not rooting for "our" Utes.

With his feelings hurt, one son buried his tearful head in my lap. A few students sitting behind us perceived what was happening and proceeded to start cheering for both teams just to make him feel better. Class act, Frogs, class act.

-- Steven Lund, Lewisville"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2008 - The Season of Mediocrity and Exhilaration

Change has come.

FINALLY - the citizens of this country did the right thing. They elected the right man for the Presidency and they elected the right political party to dig this country out of the worst mess in recent history.

For those who are sheep of the "other" party, I remind you, "change has come." PLEASE take a open and honest look at the past eight years and acknowledge the FACTS. You are then invited and welcome to support the new administration and provide a positive service to your country. You will feel pride and be a part of the solution. But remember, the days of "fear and smear" are over so stop the bashing and join the march to recovery.

God Bless President Barack Obama.

OK, now for some football.

Well here I am again a month after the season ended wondering what went right and what went wrong?!?!

A lot of wrong and little right .... BUT .... we play in the currently pathetic AFC West so lo-and-behold, an 8-8 team (The Chargers) were the Division Champions.

If you think the teams in the AFC West are potential winners just remember: Denver fired Mike Shanahan and the Chiefs fired Herm Edwards and the Faiders, well they are still coachless and hopeless, and I think the Chargers need a serious reevaluation of their talent level.

The fans were suffering through 4-8 after twelve games and the chants for "someones" head were starting. Then the Chargers got a second wind, or, got their heads on straight, or, got lucky, or, or .... Anyway they finished at 8-8 and by virtue of beating the Doncos, won the Division.

Then on to the playoffs and they won the wild card game but then lost to the "Stealers" in the Divison game and then home for the holidays.

Ahh, now things are back to normal. Wait a minute!!! "Wait 'til next year." Okay, now things are back to normal.

More will come shortly to talk about LT and his future with the Chargers and about A.J. Smith who still reminds me of the ex-President; "I'm the Decider." Come back to visit and offer your comments too. Talk soon ....

Get some really kewl and original Chargers gear at either of my two shopping locations:

http://www.chargertom.com/Memorabilia.html

and/or

http://cafepress.com/ctenterprises

Submit your Chargers Fanatic picture for the new Super Fans Pics page on my web site at http://www.chargertom.com

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Season, the Playoffs, and LT

The last time I wrote in this Blog was about this time last year. Its ironic but I was lamenting the loss to the Patriots at that time and lo and behold ....

One of my goals for this year is to write short blogs about timely events more frequently. I always start out with good intentions but quickly remember that I procrastinate too. I'll try the new goals and see how it works out.

The Season.

The season started on a losing note and I was quick to join the bandwagon of "The Sky is Falling." My frustration had be screaming at Dean Spanos, A.J. Smith, Norv Turner, and the San Diego City Council, among others.

I couldn't believe a 14-2 team could be starting off so poorly and my primary focus was on A.J. for letting his personal dislike for Marty cause disruption to the needed continuity of the team. I STILL believe A.J.'s number one downfall, if there ever is one, will be because he takes a personal dislike to players and staff and acts to get rid of these people regardless of the impact on the team or organization.

I just have a personal problem with individuals like that. People who use their position of power to wield their personal arrogance in spite of what's best for the team. People who don't care, and state flatly that they don't care, what the majority of others think or feel. They are "the deciders" and we are the idiots who don't know what we are talking about.

I am still talking about football and A.J. Smith, right?!?! When I reread that paragraph, it sounded like it could have applied to another arrogant leader who doesn't care what the majority feels? Anyway ....

As the season progressed, the boys began to get it together. I think Norv slowly began to establish his role and his style with the team and they began to respond. Throughout the first half of the season I still got upset when Philip Rivers insisted on throwing a couple of picks and giving up a fumble every game. But I hung in there with them and saw the wins beginning to come and dared to allow a glimmer of hope.

Towards the end of the season it was obvious the Chargers would win the AFC West because the rest of the West teams were horrible. Can you believe how far Denver has fallen? The Chiefs have always been tough but this year they really struggled. And the Raiders (ha, ha, ha) continued (ha, ha, ha) to have their (ha, ha, ha) troubles; the pathetic bunch of losers, ha!!!

And so what started out as a losing season, finished as another very good record of 11-5. I will now take this opportunity to eat crow and apologize to Mr. Smith. He was right when he said if the team gets in the playoffs every year, the fans won't even remember what happened during the season and will be singing his praises. "Tra la la la, all football praises to AJ the Smith. You da' man, tra la la la."

The Playoffs.

Our seeded rank for the season meant we had to play a wild card team, but at least it was at home. Could we -- did we dare believe -- would we -- is it possible to win a playoff game after 13 long years?

WE DID IT. WE WON.

The problem with that was we now had to travel to Indy to take on the God Child Payton of the Clan Manning. He probably didn't even get the word the Bolts were coming because he was probably making another commercial.

So in to Indy they marched and a physical battle was fought. Players ran on to the field, and hobbled or were carried off the field. Injuries were plentiful but there would be no tomorrow if the Chargers lost so they gave it their all and ...

WE DID IT. WE WON.

Chargers fans around the Globe were cheering and dancing and boasting and yelling, "Bring on the Cheaters. Revenge will be sweet."

So in to Foxsborough they limped and a gutsy battle was fought. Players hobbled on to the field and poured out their hearts, their guts, and their courage. But they were too beat up. They were too many players short. They were exhausted and they came up just a tad short ...

WE LOST.

What a great playoffs run! As Maxwell Smart would say, "Missed it by this much." Wait 'til next year. The mantra of Chargers fans far and wide. We automatically begin to chant this refrain right after the season closes, "Wait 'til next year."

And we will. I'm already anxious for reports out of the Senior Bowl. I'm already reading all the 2008 Draft forums. I'm already checking to see who we might lose and who the Free Agents are out there. And I'm wondering who got on AJ's personal dislike list and is sure to be cut.

Ah, I can't wait 'til next year!!!

LaDainian Tomlinson - LT

Who would have ever guessed that this Chargers icon, this Chargers hero, this Chargers all-everything could close the season under attack from the media, other NFL players, and Chargers fans?

You didn't think it could possibly happen? Why not, that is how we closed the season last year, remember?

I am not going to share my feeling about LT's injury, his decision not to play in the Championship game, or his demeanor on the sideline during the game. Each of us has our own take on what was, what should have been, and what the consequences were or will be. You are entitled to your opinion and for you, it is valid. I respect your opinion.

The only thing I will offer is that the leaders and the stars will always have a camera on them. They will always have their critics and their jealous rivals and rival fans ready to criticize.

LT is a multi-million dollar man and the face of the San Diego Chargers, not to mention the NFL. he needs to get a good PR person who stands beside him at all times and guides him. I am not speaking bad of LT but I will tell you that perception in the world is reality and perception can be a killer.

Philip Rivers could use a good PR person too.

I'll be venting my feeling more frequently this year. Maybe that way I won't feel like I am going to explode when things don't go right with my beloved Chargers.

GO CHARGERS - SUPER BOWL, BABY!!!!

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