NFL Week 13: There’s no time like the present.

Dear Spanos family,

Just get it over with and fire Turner and Smith. Let the rest of us and most importantly, your players, move on with their lives. In a season when the Chargers were televised in my location more times than they have won this year, it’s been an exercise in slow, painful torture watching the team crumble like grandma’s apple pie topping.

Not only has Smith shown himself unable to hold on to the talent he finds, turning the Chargers into a development team for the rest of the league, but Turner’s play calling in recent games has gotten so conservative as to be stupid. You’d think he was worried about his job. Yes, it’s obvious he is.

So dump both of these guys posthaste so the pressure is off and a new coach can get in the door, start assessing, and start changing players attitudes before we lose any more of that talent. This is my sad Chargers fan wish for the holidays.

This letter is being sent to Santa next. A new coach in powder blues is high on my Xmas list, right under World Peace.

Disgruntled Charger Girl

s-NICK-NOVAK-PEEING-large300I was shocked to see that someone doesn’t blame Norv Turner for the slow steady decline of this team since 14-2. In the spirit of fairness, and hey, to have a hearty laugh, read this dissenting opinion from a Turner apologist. This guy barely discussing the history of the team as a problem.



The Picks

Seahawks over Eagles WIN

Ravens over Browns

Steelers over Bengals

Bucs over Panthers

Bears over Chiefs

Jets over Redskins

Texans over Falcons

Raiders over Dolphins

Saints over Lions

Bills over Titans

Broncos over Vikings

49ers over Rams

Cowboys over Cardinals

Packers over Giants

Patriots over Colts

Monday Nite

Chargers over Jags (But on the other hand, this game should be a dead giveaway except for Turner-Smith).

Fantasy Island

Can I say that Thursday Night games really screw with Fantasy picks in a way I didn’t expect. You have a high caliber player who’s coming off injury but you often won’t know until Sunday morning if he’ll play. Thursday night games, even if you don’t have a single player, kills your ability to make those adjustments.

Learned a lot this season. Suffering a lot from my Chargers. But there’s always a chance.

NFL Week 2: Apparently Not-So-Ready

So yeah, last week, not so good. But hey, I’ve got company. The 49ers, the Bengals, the Cowboys, hey even Manning and the Colts! But the worst? A Chargers team that can’t play in a lightning storm.

Really? Seriously? Welcome to the NFL, punk! Now hand the damn ball to the ref if you want the credit for your touchdown.

Now to complete your football action, hand the ball to the nearest ref with a smile and a Thank You!

Given that, I’ll save the colorful commentary for addressing Norv Turner’s theory of play calling offline and just post my picks.

 Truth on last week’s picking debacle: 6-9. Thanks, Norv and the Chicago-Detroit  referees!

 * Pool pick of the Week.

Pittsburgh at Tennessee LP Field Tenn
Miami at Minnesota Metrodome Minn
Arizona at Atlanta Georgia Dome ATL
Baltimore at Cincinnati Paul Brown Stadium BALT
Kansas City at Cleveland Cleveland Browns Stadium KC*
Chicago at Dallas Cowboys Stadium Dallas
Philadelphia at Detroit Ford Field DET
Buffalo at Green Bay Lambeau Field GB
Tampa Bay at Carolina Bank of America Stadium CAR
Seattle at Denver Invesco Field at Mile High SEA
St. Louis at Oakland Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum STL
Houston at Washington FedEx Field WAS
New England at NY Jets New Meadowlands Stadium NE
Jacksonville at San Diego Qualcomm Stadium SD
NY Giants at Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium INDY
New Orleans at San Francisco Candlestick Park NO

NFL Playoffs: Oh it’s on!

How do you know when a season of football has been successful?  When you fret over picks.  And there be lots of fretting over three of the games this coming weekend.  Yeah, just three. 

Saturday Night Fever

Two teams in the AFC flirted with perfection this year.  One team chose to sit history out and held the door open for a team who’d given up on post-season play.  They other wanted it bad for their team, their coach, and their community but had injuries and inconsistencies that added up.  Both teams have had some weeks to think about what perfection means and to come to terms with the here and now of what they need to do.

For the Colts, they need to put their money where their competitive spirit hasn’t been…on the field.  I’ve never played football, only played and watched sports all my life.  When I was on the team, I wanted to do everything I could to help my team win.  But in this regard, I listen to those who have played.  Though I disagree with most everything else that comes out of his mouth, Trent Dilfer put it most elegantly while guesting on The Herd on ESPN.  To paraphrase, he said you can’t turn that competitive spirit on and off.  Great players want to play and win.  For my part, I believe in momentum, in the theory that in sport, as in everything else, there is inertia.  It’s science, baby.  And even if it wasn’t, it’s human nature to believe in it.  We all want the winning streak.

For the Saints, they would desperately love to be walking into the playoffs with it.  They need to toss human nature aside and figure out what made them the scariest team in the NFL back in Week 12 when they dismantled what we now know to be a struggling Patriots team.  The rest will have helped them greatly.  Time for reflection, healing because in the city of New Orleans, they know a lot about healing and reflection…and conquering the odds.  Overcoming diversity is something that the team that helped a community stand taller needs to know call on from that very community.

On the other side of the ball, a show in momentus interruptus restartus…two teams that have been consistently inconsistent.  Baltimore and Arizona are alike in only one thing: their ability to confound prognosticators this season.  Every time you thought it’d be an easy win, you got 16 – 0 Baltimore win versus Cleveland or a 24 – 9 Arizona loss to San Francisco.  It’s nothing against the opponents they played but when they were on, they were on. 

The Ravens are a team that needed to give themselves a bye week in the playoffs.  They are hurt but resurgent.  Their QB, already not a solid trusted performer, is gimpy at just the moment that their vaunted defense seems to have finally found its old footing.  Their running game is tough, period.  And they are playing without fear.  But they are playing a team with a player who is one of the best at putting a shield against doubt around his players in Manning.

The Cardinals have such a player in Kurt Warner.  You will struggle to find another better human being on the football field let alone leader let alone playoff quarterback.  While all the spectacle of the aged quarterback story has been played on under huge media scrutiny in Minnesota, at 38 years young, Kurt Warner takes a different tack.  He sits when he has a concussion and comes back the following game to kick arse.  As Boomer commented this morning on Countdown, it’s amazing that he had to search for a job.  Check his stats, people.  If you can protect him, he is the best in the post season.

So with all this spinning in my head, I fret.  Will the Colts come out ready to prove all us competitive critics wrong, that they knew what they were doing when they threw away history?  Will the Ravens just keep sticking like the neighbourhood stray until they can found the trick in through the doggie door?  Will the Saints look like the Saints of ole, ready to rip the paper bag off of history with a rested and ready attack?  Will Warner take his bevy of weapons and tricks out of his playoff bag and show that it’s not the years, it’s the experience?  Will I make a final decision?

Colts over Ravens, 27-10.  This game needs a QB to battle the points against Manning…and as much as I hate it, I think the Ravens will not have an answer to Manning.

Saints over Cardinals, 37-27.  Because a $20 bet early in the season says so.

Sunday Night Special

There’s only one game to pick on Sunday.  And according to co-workers and sports analysts alike, it’s thought to be the best game.  Minnesota versus Dallas.  Favre versus an exorcised Romo.  Well, folks, here’s something new.  It’s an easy pick for me.  Dallas.  Done.  I’ll continue to be a Favre hater this year because there is a better way of showing how an aged quarterback can lead a team into the playoffs….his name is Kurt Warner.  He’s all about team.  Favre, regardless of his talents, still feels like the Devil and Daniel Webster came to roost in Minnesota.  Fans are chomping at the bit for it.  But Romo knows all about how locker room dissonance can impact on the field.  And that locker room seems angelic and tranquil by comparison.

Dallas over Minnesota, 33-24.  Because a dysfunctional family is especially dysfunctional under duress.

And the final game of the weekend….oh boy, ready the Tums!  First off American Sportscasters, get OFF my team!  This isn’t going to be no cake walk!  You saw last week.  The Jets are here to play.  They are eating up the dis and ready to try the upset.  And the Chargers have been here before…

BUT!  No one is playing better heading into the playoffs and no team has more to prove for their coach than these Chargers.  And I will say it.  IF these Chargers make it through the Jets and IF they manage to work that magic they do against Peyton Manning….I will personally draft an apologetic email to Norv Turner for dissing him since he arrived in San Diego.  It’s a lot of If’s but you know I’ll be watching and hoping and praying.  Chargers CHARGE!

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