I’m sure statistics would prove that there are more tortured fan bases in professional sports, but no other team in the NFL has ever been more of a tease than the San Diego Chargers. The 2013/2014 season alone has illustrated that perfectly, which subsequently has made this recent run of success (and luck) that much more delightful. The last few seasons have observed squads riding that “nobody believes in us” bandwagon all the way to the Super Bowl, and I never would have thought that baton would have been passed to my Chargers. We (I’m going to say ‘we’ from now on) could very well lose to the Broncos and subsequently end our bid for the championship, but it’s finally FINALLY our turn to have the football gods on our side.
I still haven’t been able to figure out if we’re a good team that occasionally just plays badly, or a bad team that sometimes makes good. Who loses in one season to — regular season records in parentheses — Houston (2-14), Washington (3-13), Oakland (4-12), and Tennessee (7-9) — three of whom fired their coaches because they sucked that much — but then beats playoff contenders Philadelphia (10-6) and Indianapolis (11-5), Kansas City (11-5), and Denver (13-3). Maybe that goofy bolo tie quarterback Philip Rivers in wearing had some magic charm cast on it, because for a historically unlucky team something between 3 and 574 independent scenarios all have fallen the way of the Chargers. Rivers apparently got his son blessed by the Pope last summer, so this just may be divine intervention at work.
Just how unlucky have the Chargers been in recent history? Anyone who experienced this past Norv Turner head coaching era can tell you how one of the most talented rosters in football disintegrated into giving up 4th & 29’s and having what Football Outsiders calculated to be the worst Special Teams in NFL history during the 2010 season.
Or how about in 2004 in the final seconds of a playoff game against the New York Jets when we wasted 3 downs just so we could blow a ‘gimme’ field goal and with it the game? Then there’s the next year when we went 14-2 in the regular season and were seconds away from shutting out the New England Patriots. Ex-Charger Marlon McCree recovers a fumble where if he would have played dead and fallen on it, we would have won the game. Instead he tries to return the ball for a touchdown only to re-fumble it back over to the Patriots which set them up to win the mother fucking football game. I’ll also just try to entirely forget how Drew Brees sucked for most of the time he played in SD then went on to win the SUPER BOWL with New Orleans.
I could go on, but that would only strike the nerves of the aforementioned other tortured franchise fans. I’m sure other fans of traditional NFL powerhouses feel like seeing their team in the playoffs again is more or less business as usual, but I’m loving all this media hype for a relatively overlooked team. You could knock our playoff win due to another cringe-worthy performance from Andy Dalton and the road might just end in Mile High Denver, but at least we were the team of destiny, even if destiny was only for a few brief, shining minutes in football time.