August 9th: This is of course the anniversary of Jerry Garcia's passing. I know this information doesn't interest everyone, but I find each year that more and more Justice Leaguers have a fine appreciation for his music. How am I spending this day? Writing about the Chargers, obviously. I do have to take Sarah to a birthday party at some kiddie farm before I settle in for the beginning of preseason. It's been a very pleasant summer, but I am sure within fifteen minutes of tonight's kickoff, that will fade. Jared Gaither won't start to protect Philip Rivers' blindside. But that's not nearly as much of a concern as the uncertainty as to when he will play. We're all so fed up that we're just expecting AJ's commitment to Gaither to backfire, aren't we?
It was the right move, since the Halloween meltdown told me all I needed to know about Marcus McNeill. However, Gaither's back does worry every Charger fan. I want to postpone as long as possible that first Rivers pass under pressure that results in an interception. That Green Bay game from last year was the one that made me write that Rivers should sit. I still stand by that. I didn't think it would do anything to him mentally, good or bad. But his playing was that detrimental to the team. I see that in the training camp report from the new Sports Illustrated that Vincent Jackson is showing great leadership in Tampa. Just wait until things get tough, Buc fans. Until the Chargers finish the job, I will always be keeping an eye on the guys we've let go. Once we do something ourselves, that might stop or at least diminish. Incidentally, the Bolts apparently have inspirational saying painted in the hallways leading to the locker room. This year's is "nunc coepi," which is Latin for "Now I begin." Considering the fact that almost every Charger hat of mine has some weird-ass mantra that I thought would help (half of them say "Justice is Coming" in some form) scribbled on it, I don't feel so bad knowing that The Organization has resorted to similar tactics. I still like "protect the dream," which was a sign they had up reminding players to hold onto the ball. I think it's a metaphor for the mission that the Chargers, or least the fans, find themselves on. "Don't shit on the dream" would also have been acceptable.If you're interested, I've posted a link to my very first Grateful Dead concert. That's where the version of "Shakedown Street" that I posted above comes from. You can download it here. The password to unwrap the file is bootlegtunzworld, which is also the name of the excellent blog that originally posted it. There is also a very good Youtube video you can find of it as well. I posted a clip of the insane guitar summit I attended last weekend. On the trip, I bought myself a set of Old El Paso Taco Holders. I have a pretty decent understanding of Spanish, so I have to wonder if "Supports de Tacos" is even the correct translation. It sounds like one of the flashing signs from Airplane! (or was it Airplane II: The Sequel?"). Nonetheless, I will break them out (and in) for tonight's game. With the exception of Gaither's injury and Mathews' car accident, there appears to be a lot to be optimistic about. Even Jim Trotter seemed pretty upbeat. Then again, he picked them to win the AFC last season.
Speaking of sportswriters, I am sure many of you read Kevin Acee's "column" where he claims he finally understands our fanaticism. Yes, I found it to be fucking pathetic as well. At least I didn't need to pay to read it. Since the U-T is charging (no pun intended) for content (another dubious word choice), I don't know how often I'll get to read these pearls of wisdom. At least now that Acee is off the beat, he can aspire to be a windbag like Canepa rather than pretend to be objective. I, on the other hand, have never presented myself as anything other than what I am--a fan who's frustrated as all fucking hell. I saw that Bleacher Report was bought by Turner this week, so I guess I should keep contributing over there.
AJ's interview on XX1090 was interesting. I wonder how long this humble persona will last. If the Chargers start to win, he get all smug again. I guess that would be a good position to be in, although it's dealing with partial success that this team has never done well with. The good folks at PredictionMachine.com sent me their 2012 analysis for the coming year. They have the Chargers winning the division, getting past the Ravens in the first round, and losing in Foxboro. Would that constitute a successful season? It would compared to what they've done over the last two seasons, but I don't think it would be good enough.
That version of The Wheel is from last week's "Move Me Brightly" concert for what would have been Jerry's 70th, by the way. I just bought my ticket for the December 23 game in New Jersey and realized that I haven't been to a Chargers/Jets game since the '94 division clincher. Does that mean that I feel confident about this year's team? I don't know, but it seems like the right thing to do. I'm still planning on going to the game in Cleveland the week after my daughter's birthday. The bye week actually falls on her 6th. I told her that I would have taped the game otherwise. She asked if I would still be thinking about it. I pleaded the Fifth on that one.
I just listened to Acce's interview on the Darren Smith show from this week. It was interesting to hear Jarret Johnson's surprise that Norv actually has rules and yells. Of course, if the team doesn't win as a result of them he can't really be viewed as a successful coach. Once again, I am more concerned by the lack of accountability that retaining Norv and AJ represents then their actual effect (or lack thereof) on the team. Sometimes when I write outsidede the Halls Of Justice, that gets lost. I'm hoping that my attempts to spread whatever it is I do will pay off this season. I'll be back with a full review of the Preseason Opener next week. Feel free to comment via LiveFyre or on Twitter and Facebook.
If the thunder don't get ya...
Mathews, or those in charge of him, need to recognize the impact that area gets on nearly every running play & bring him back when both the bone & muscle are back to strength. Otherwise it's going to be a short-lived return.
Great minds think alike as I thought of China Doll when Mathews got hurt. I know Warren is not a fan of sports since I saw him in 2001 outside Boston's Orpheum. He was partying on the Mule bus as we bought our tickets that afternoon. I was in town for the Chargers Pats game which ended with us losing to a then unknown Tom Brady. I hope Mathews doesn't rush back only to have the Traitors try to fucking kill him.
Hey Ross - just got back from the first ABB PeachFest in PA. Some great music - Warren Haynes solo acoustic on Sunday, played "Patchwork Quilt" & "China Doll" back to back. At the time I thought both were in Jerry's memory - maybe China Doll was for Mathews? I kid .... seriously doubt that Warren is a Chargers' fan.
Ingram & Reyes looked good, Vincent Brown is gonna beast this year. Meachem & PR need to get on the same page - STAT!! Our OL continues to worry me & third down D is still an issue.
It's more how doomed it makes me feel that bothers me than Mathews no being on the field. He's not been on the field a lot over two seasons. But this season is supposed to be different in so many ways. For him to literally run one time and be out 4-6 weeks is eerily pathetic.
@Lucab12 Ross, it's conspiracy theory time. I say that Mathews was hurt BEFORE that play, that he actually got the injury in the accident and they're trying to to cover it up. Think about it, that tackle didn't look particularly violent, and after it happened we didn't hear about it until after the game. The ESPN guys never mentioned Mathews after that, he was never shown on the sideline, and no one wondered about his absence from the game. It's such an easy out for them, to say it's a legitimate football injury, when in fact they're trying to cover up the fact that this guy is an idiot who doesn't take his job seriously. Oh well, they weren't going to be successful with him healthy anyway. They can suck just as well without him as with him.
@sdjeff I hope you're wrong for all our sakes. I know someone Tweeted that to Marty Caswell and she maintained that he practiced after the accident. It was weird that it wasn't mentioned when he went out. The Bolts announced it the second the game was over and they clearly were covering it up. He may still need to grow up otherwise he'll never get it. Then we're really fucked.
A broken clavicle. This guy is turning into the Andrew Bynum of the NFL, without the ring. Peanut Brittle