Some people are fans of the San Diego Chargers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the San Diego Chargers. This 2012 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read the other Why Your Team Sucks 2012 previews here.
1. NORV. He's still there! How is that possible? Listen to Dean Spanos tie himself in knots trying to sidestep admitting that he was too cheap and too lazy to fire Norv and hire an actual coach:
"A lot of the fans never gave him a chance when he came here," Spanos said. "I think it's unfair. When you look at his record... albeit, we've fallen off and we're in the middle right now, and it's not where we want to be...
Just look at Norv's record, okay? Oh, wait. Don't look at the last part of it. That part is kinda underwhelming.
...but we are not the dregs of the league.
We don't suck! We just underachieve horribly year after year. Can't argue with that kind of result.
This is going to be Norv Turner's final season as the head coach of an NFL team. After this season, he'll finally get the gate and no team—not even the Jaguars—will be stupid enough to give him a fourth head coaching gig. So savor Norv while you can. Take in every run-up-the-gut he calls from the 40 with :50 left on the clock. Stare wistfully at the Martian landscape covering his face. Watch in rapture as he stammers his way through a press conference after somehow losing at home to Oakland 9-3. Load up on all the Norv you can before it all ends this January.
2. And A.J. Smith too! Here's an asshole who was nearly (and so, so justifiably) fired at season's end, and then he turned around and started talking shit about Peyton Manning, right before Manning decided to sign with the Broncos. Manning will now throw for a combined 1,200 yards against the Chargers this upcoming season, all because A.J. Smith is a wrinkly old penis. And for all the shit-talking he does, he's not even a decent GM. His 2011 draft netted one starter, who isn't that good (Corey Liuget). He also paved the way for Vincent Jackson to leave town thanks to their pointless contract dispute from 2010. One day, AJ Smith will be relieved of his duties, and then he will go on to fulfilling his destiny as Mike & Mike's 5th-string NFL expert. He's the fucking worst. I can't stand him, and I'm not even a Chargers fan. I resent his continued employment.
3. Marmalard is suddenly terrible. The folks at Walter Football believe that a Week 2 injury destroyed Philip Rivers' 2011 season, and that may be true. But take it from someone who has owned Laserface in his keeper league for the past four years: He's not that great. Philip Rivers is the kind of quarterback who throws for 80 yards in the first three quarters and then triples that output in the waning moments of a 20-point blowout. And no quarterback in football is happier to float the ball forty yards downfield to an empty stretch of Fieldturf. Frankly, he's more charming when he's yelling at children in the stands.
4. Oh, look! The roster is dogshit! Look around the rest of the AFC West and you'll see changes everywhere. The Raiders have a new coach and an actual, functioning GM. The Chiefs have Romeo Crennel, and man is THAT exciting. And the Broncos signed Peyton Manning. Everyone else in the West made a genuine effort to improve this offseason, whether or not those efforts were hilariously misguided or not. And then there are the Chargers, who are content to remain the most poorly run 8-8 team on the face of the fucking Earth. They still have Norv and AJ around, and the roster has gotten worse. Jackson is gone, replaced by the duo of Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem (who is immediately worthless without Drew Brees throwing him the ball). Half the o-line is gone. This is a pale imitation of the Marmalard/Tomlinson/Merriman Chargers of a few years ago, and those teams were always horribly overrated. Back then, you could always find some sucker to pick those Chargers to make the Super Bowl, despite the glaring hindrance of having Norv on the sideline. That's not gonna happen with this Chargers outfit. No one expects anything of them because no one should.
5. Hear it from a Chargers fan. Best-selling author Justin Halpern is a lifelong Chargers fan. I asked him to assess the team for 2012:
"Be sure to mention how we've pinned ALL of our pass rush hopes on Melvin Ingram, who has arms like Tyrion Lannister. Rivers sucked last year because we had a dogshit offensive line, so we signed Jared Gaither, who was released by the Kansas City Chiefs, which is like being thrown out of Cracker Barrel for being too white trash. Now we're depending on him to keep laserface upright. AND LASTLY NORV FUCKING TURNER IS OUR COACH. He strikes fear in the heart of Accutane salesman, but no one else."
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