Liike so many of you, I've been at a loss since Monday. I wrote a short post, but have received no comments on it. This leads me to believe that you are just as tired of seeing and saying the same things.
Then I received an email from Eric Stangel with a link to the "Take A Chill Pill" post by Chargers Director of Public Relations Bill Johnston. What was my reaction, Eric asked? This is the worst fucking thing I have ever read. That was my response and I stand by it. Since the "column" has now been spread and mocked by every available media outlet, I am sure Bill regrets writing it. I sent him an e-mail this morning saying as much:
I certainly hope that I don't fall into the category of people who are afraid to say face to face how they feel. I called Eli Manning and spoke to him the night before the draft in 2004 to defend this team.
However, the fans have the right to feel progress isn't made. 11 wins consecutively led to another playoff pratfall and 2.5 yrs of mediocrity.
Be happy that local fans are so passionate, let alone one 3,000 miles away.
To his credit, he responded immediately.
Thank you for taking the time to write. Like you, I've been a fan for a long time (since the 70s) and I'm passionate about the team. I wrote that from the heart in hopes of reminding all of us that we're 3-3 with 10 to go and right in the middle of the division race. Also want people to know how much their support means to the players. I see how hard everyone is working and how much it means to them. I did not mean to criticize anyone that is upset about the recent losses. Again, my goal was to remind us that anything can happen, and I'm looking forward to good things ahead.
It means a lot that you took the time to write. Thank you.
BILL JOHNSTON | Director of Public Relations
San Diego Chargers
I don't think any NFL club has ever had to ask their PR Director to spin his careless comments before, but I can see it happening here. I pointed out to Bill that you stop being "just a fan" once you work for the team, let alone in his capacity. He was kind enough to ask that I stop by the team hotel in Cleveland, which I am sure is another calculated move in the name of damage control. Or it's a trap, I'm not sure.
I leave you with an excerpt from 1994's "Cooking With The Chargers."
STAN AND CONNIE HUMPHRIES' "SAUSAGE BALLS"
3 cups bisquick
1 lb. grated cheddar cheese
1 lb. sausage ground
1. Mix all ingredients well and form into small balls.
2. Bake at 350 degrees until light brown (30-40 minutes).
These are Stan's favorite--morning, noon or night! - Connie Humphries
PS: These are my actual comments on the Bolts' official site:
When it was all on the line, they fell apart. That's the issue.
If the team could defend itself with its play, the director of Public Reltations wouldn't have to write this. What's next, is Shaun Phillips going to call me a "fake a** fan" on Twitter like he did to a fellow Bolthead last year? This was after he got mad that the aforementioned sports radio hosts asked him why he head butted a player in January as Drayton Florence once did.
Fans are not knee jerk. Here in NY, the media can be crazy, alarmist, negative, sensationalist, but it's clear from owners that winning it all is what really matters (unless you're james dolan or Fred Wilpon).
Yours in justice,
Bill's article is the perfect of example of why this team is losing. They're totally okay with it. Two losses in a row where we made ZERO adjustments at halftime is not in any way indicative of a bigger problem with this team. A loss to a division rival, the same one who took the division last year with a hapless QB, is NO BIG DEAL. So what if it happened in our house? Hey, let's not panic. If you do panic over 3-3 this early in the season, you're an idiot. Because not panicking worked so well for us last season, right? The whole 'there's still a ton of football left to be played so don't let the divison rival spanking get you down and ignore the fact that this team no longer can finish games' is LOSER talk. You don't hear winning teams saying that CRAP. They've become complacent. Too many years of skating into the playoffs because of a weak division. We have had competition for the division now and we still can't seem to step up to the plate despite having Manning slaughter us. But hey, no reason to panic if you're a true fan. True fans always believe despite this being the same old Chargers we've witnessed over and over and over. I just want Norv AND AJ gone. AJ started this. He needs to be out of here. All because he wanted a new friend instead of a real head coach. Who cares if we lose as long as he can have coffee everyday, right? I want to see them try to move this shitty team to L.A. It will be laughable - and Spanos will lose a fortune. This is Raider country and you can't pack stands anywhere if you're continually losing and saying the same crap after losses.
If they had been pissed and worried after the Saints game, I wouldn't have to be this pissed after the Broncos game. They shrugged off THAT embarrassing loss...and look where it got them. If you aren't holding this team to a higher standard and demanding accountability, you need to hit the highway - whether you're on the coaching staff, in the front office or on the f'ing field.
This is just another example of how out of touch this team is with it's fan base. Mr Johnston seems to have forgotten what transpired in the previous 2 years beginning with the loss to the Jets in the playoffs. I could go back decades to cover all the other disappointments this franchise has laid on it's fans but it would take too long. The affect is cumulative. This anger and frustration have been building for a long time. The players don't understand b/c their perspective is derived only from their time here. Bill should try working for a team in a market like New York or Philadelphia before he accuses the fans of over-reacting. Such bullshit. OK Bill, we'll take our chill pill but the effect it's going to have this time is flat out apathy. But at least it'll be quiet at the stadium.
And Bill should know better because he's gone through all of these ups and downs right along with us. I really am trying to believe that he was FORCED to write this article. I can't believe his memory is so vapid that he has forgotten over a decade of Chargers football. We fought so hard to get rid of that loser mentality and it has been allowed to seep right back in with this head coach. "Anything less than the SuperBowl is unacceptable" was the PERFECT mantra, but it left with Marty. Because AJ couldn't admit that he might have been wrong with his Norv hiring. Had we kept THAT mantra and held to that standard regardless of who the head coach was, we'd be a better team for it. This whole idea that we start slow, but finish strong or that it's okay to be a .500 team with the rest of our schedule being easy games is ridiculous.
We got beat by an 0-4 team. If that isn't enough to show them that the rest of our schedule is NOT a gimme...my God, this team is going to kill me.
@JenniferHayesBailey The BR crowd sucks mostly. I only write there because it allegedly gets to more people. I don't buy it, tho. There are some hard core fans but they seem not to "get" me.
@Lucab12 I really want to be where Colin is. They don't care, he's right. I just wish that I still didn't.
I have been reading your Bleacher Report articles. I refer to Acee articles as shit, but your stuff is spot on. Of course, I'm an actual fan and you aren't trying to kiss AJ's ring - oh, wait, he doesn't have one so what is Acee kissing?
I agree - it's a trap. Or maybe he's going to show you where Norval's coffee is so that you can slip it in? Except that his loser mentality has already sunken its teeth deep into the team (think Alien - when they latched onto the faces and laid their eggs...if we cut this team open, the belly would be full of them). I'm not sure keeping Norv on the toilet would help this team any on the field.
I can't say that I feel sorry for Philip. He's reaping what he has sown. He was the one who fought for Norv to stay. I got satisfaction out of his frustrated 'whatever' wave at Norv - now he gets to feel what we've been feeling with this man the past few years.
@JenniferHayesBailey @sdjeff JennVeg, your day IS my day. Bill Johnston actually asked that I I say hi when I am in CLEVELAND next week. When I told him that my "juice" with the team is pretty feeble he gave me the hotel that they are staying at. I think it's a trap, or should I sneak Turbo Lax into the coffee of one Norval Eugene Turner?
That would be me. I'm not sure it's wisdom. I think it's just the whining of an aging fan who is afraid she's never going to see a SuperBowl. When it comes to this team, I feel 40 going on 80. "In MY day, Fouts would yell at his tight end and tell him he's gone for not catching pass...In MY day, Natrone Means would berate his offensive line for not getting an inch and tell them we've got to lay it out..."
We can't make fan of the Raiders Commitment to Mediocrity anymore when our own management and players (for God's sake, even our 1-15 Chargers weren't this okay with losing) seem to think it's perfectly acceptable.