Some people are fans of the San Diego Chargers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the San Diego Chargers. This 2013 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the 2013 NFL previews so far right here.
Your team: San Diego Chargers
Your 2012 record: 7-9, which is actually kind of better than I remember them being. I totally thought they had gone 4-12. Either way, if you have to go 0-16 in order to purge your franchise of AJ Smith and Norv Turner for good, you do what you have to do. AJ Smith was the absolute worst.
Your coach: Mike McCoy, who could go 2-14 and blow up a church this season and still be liked by Chargers fans simply for not being Norv Turner. It's like the grace period after winning a Super Bowl. No team that fires Norv Turner has ever come to regret it. Norv was the coach of this team for six seasons, but six seasons under Norv feels like 38. You poor, poor bastards.
Anyway, McCoy comes to the Chargers after a stint in Denver in which he milked all of the Magic Jesus Powers out of Tim Tebow. He'll need to pull that trick off one more time, because his new quarterback is...
Your quarterback: Neo-Promise Keeper Philip Rivers, aka Marmalard, aka King Laserface. I watched the Chargers game last night and within three seconds of tuning in, Marmalard had already thrown a pick and was in the ref's grill with his arms outstretched in his best THE FUCK, BRO?! stance. I'd give anything for someone to post a Vine of Rivers getting redassed at his local Walmart clerk. It would be a thing of majesty. His temper is like clockwork. I want him to retire, join the Monday Night Football booth, and spend the entire broadcast yelling, "Well, that is just shit, right there. THAT IS A SHIT PLAY."
Rivers is now 31 years old. He has 26 children and no functional knees or shoulders. He is done. So very done. Every game this season will feature him turning the ball over three times in the first 57 minutes of play, then furiously racking up 200 yards in the final three minutes of a blowout to help get his fantasy score out of negative integers. His receiving options include a healthy stable of #4 wideouts and Antonio Gates' two club feet.
Your one fantasy player everyone will hate: Ryan Mathews, who has been thoroughly hateable every year of his professional career. He is the perpetual motion drinking bird of shitty fantasy players.
Why your team sucks: Keep in mind that this is an organization that was fully prepared to continue employing Medieval Barber David Chao as team doctor before his transgressions were made public early this year. In the face of evidence that Chao wrote illegal prescriptions, botched numerous surgeries, got arrested for DUI (twice!) and generally acted like a real life Dr. Giggles, the Chargers let him stick around until the end of JUNE, which is completely insane, legal wrangling or not. Three players on this team have already suffered season-ending injuries in camp, which suggests that the Chargers have replaced Chao with Dr. Charo, his non-union Mexican equivalent.
Despite the fact that the Chargers have finally hired a new head coach and GM, the team's deepest problems remain exactly the same. They play in a shit stadium. They are constantly on the verge of skipping town. They have a rapidly-aging QB who is one season away from the Carson Palmer tier of washed-up journeymen. And they have one of the NFL's many, many Tommy Boys for an owner. Dean Spanos, still operating in the shadow of his not-dead-yet father, acts with all the urgency of a temp nurse at an assisted living complex. He let Smith drive virtually everyone talented out of town, and now McCoy is left with one of the absolute worst rosters in the NFL.
Remember those early Norv years when people would stupidly pick the Chargers to make the Super Bowl because they were just so gosh darn talented on paper? No one's doing that this year. The offensive line is a train wreck. The best skill position player on the roster could very well be fucking Danny Woodhead. OMG FACKIN' WOODHEAD HE'S GAWT A MOTAH! The secondary is a disaster. The special teams remain historically atrocious. The two most notable names on defense are Dwight Freeney—here to cash in his golden parachute—and a slow, undersized linebacker who got busted for having a fake dead girlfriend. Having a fake dead girlfriend is a poor fit for this organization, because it generally trades in real dead players. Signing with the Chargers instantly downgrades your lifespan by a solid 10 years.
By the way, San Diego has the nicest weather on Earth, and yet no one lives there. And this is because it sucks. It's the Tampa of California. Half of its population consists of Navy plebes who will accuse you of being gay within seven seconds of you walking into a local tavern. The rest of the city is populated by bodybuilders and dental hygienists. You have to work hard to make a town this lovely this uninhabitable.
Why your team doesn't suck: What if McCoy just took the Tebow offense and ran it with Woodhead as the quarterback? I would have to duct tape the windows of my home just to keep from the resulting Peter King seminal tidal wave from rushing in. FACT: "I think I love Danny Woodhead" is a real sentence you will find in SI's fantasy preview.
The nine worst Chargers ever:
1.) Ryan Leaf
2.) Terrence Kiel. O HE GON DRANK
3.) Bryan Still
4.) Mikhael Ricks. Drafted the same year as Ryan Leaf (AND Bobby Beathard traded a first rounder to get him), which could make the 1998 Chargers draft class the worst in history.
5.) Motorola Razr
6.) Billie Joe Tolliver
7.) Craig Whelihan
8.) Mossy Cade. Again, raped his aunt. Never forget.
9.) David Boston
Emails from Chargers fans:
Everyone in San Diego is pretty excited about the fact that Norv Turner is gone, but what they're all conveniently forgetting, is that ALL OF OUR FUCKING TALENT IS GONE TOO. We wasted basically six years where we could have competed for a championship because our head coach was the before picture in an Accutane ad. We currently have almost no good players, so it doesn't matter how fucking good our new head coach or GM are, because they have dog shit to work with.
Meanwhile, we have the least mobile quarterback in the NFL, so naturally we let go of every single offensive lineman that was worth two shits. Now every fucking time Philip gets the ball he looks like a french fry being tossed in to a pit of seagulls. And let's not forget that he's the face of our franchise and he decided to use that capital to support "not fucking"(insert youtube clip of his abstinence video) and Rick Santorum. SOLID ONE-TWO TO THROW YOUR WEIGHT BEHIND, DICKHEAD. Also, fuck Ryan Matthews and fuck our dumb local announcers who keep referring to him as "The Ryan Matthews experiment." He's a shitty running back we drafted in the first round, not the Large Hadron Collider.
The Spanos family are the cheapest and dumbest motherfuckers on the planet.
Brees to Rivers.
VJax to Floyd.
LT to Ryan "Balsa Wood" Mathews.
Darren Sproles to Ronnie Brown.
Mike Tolbert to Danny Welkerhead.
Shaun Phillips to Manti Te'o.
Antonio Cromartie to his undrafted rookie cousin, Marcus Cromartie.
Antonio Gates '06 - Antonio Gates '13.
It's great to have a team willing to embrace the spirit of trading and free agency.
This team wasn't bad enough last year to get one of the three good left tackles in the first round, so they draft DJ Fluker, who looks like a 60-year-old man. Imagine if Greg Oden gained 200 pounds. That's DJ Fluker. And he's been so awful at camp he probably can't even play right tackle in the NFL. When the biggest story out of camp is Manti T'eo teaching Fluker how to swim, you know your team sucks.
You couldn't count on Mathews to fake an injury, because he'd probably get hurt in the
process. Any GM or Coach willing to rest 20 carries on the back of Mathews is a lunatic. Mathews is that HB that will get injured, but not injured early enough to be put on the PUP list and free up a roster spot. Making fun of your injury-dominated past doesn't make the memory go away, nor will it prevent you from managing to fracture both collarbones when Von Miller looks your way. Not to mention, when healthy, he's a turnover waiting to happen.
We've just spent the last three years making a formerly elite quarterback look terrible with an o-line so bad you could have ten of them and he'd still get sacked every other play, not to mention play-calling resembling a five-year-old's Madden strategy.
The San Diego Chargers have had 14 head coaches in their history, and Norv Turner is easily in the top half of that group. That's how awful the average Chargers coach has been. Compared to most of them, Norv is the better choice. This isn't opinion, its mathematical fact. Consider this: had Norv been fired prior to last season, he would have left with the highest winning percentage of any coach in team history. Not Sid Gilman, or Don Coryell, or Bobby Ross or even Marty. NORV! And the only reason he still doesn't hold that record is that the team went 7-9 instead of 8-8 last year. Otherwise he would have probably held the top spot in our record book for the rest of time.
Also, 4th and 29. 4th and fucking 29. They had the eventual Super Bowl champs down for the count, and then they give up 4th and fucking 29 on a goddamn screen pass.
We've stumbled ass backwards into 2 World Series and 1 Super Bowl, and each time we were completely outmatched and summarily slaughtered. And we don't have any college sports to fall back on. But nobody cares, because our teams suck in nice weather.
San Diegians would gladly pay for a new stadium, but just not for those evil Spanos thugs, who exude the all the warmth of a Mexican drug cartel.
Ryan Leaf over Peyton Manning.
Ryan Leaf over Peyton Manning.
Ryan Leaf over Peyton Manning.
Not only did we draft Ryan Leaf over Peyton Manning, we traded picks to get him.
There is literally no draft pick in the history of the NFL that compares to this pick. It has become the draft pick that all bad draft picks are measured against. When someone makes a horrible draft pick, for the rest of history the question is "was that pick as bad as the Ryan Leaf draft?"
And every time Peyton lifted a trophy with his horse-faced grin, it was basically just a middle finger to San Diego. Papa Manning even rubbed it in by having the Billy Baldwin of the NFL, young Eli, refuse to play in San Diego when we drafted him.
Also, our O-Line is complete garbage every season and our QB can't scramble to save his life so he throws up picks and gets sacked on almost every down.
Philip Rivers endorsed Rick Santorum and he plays like santorum.
Eli Manning made a great choice. Fuck A.J. Smith.
Fuck Marlon McCree. Cocksmith.
I seriously hope a cheerleader makes a sex tape or does some crazy shit like drive across town wearing a diaper while carrying Goodell's love spawn. I need some excitement.
Our song is outdated and the worst. I want to punch every fan who ironically likes it in the goddamn testicles every time they sing along to it.
Even when the team is good, there are more opposing fans at home games than Chargers fans. This team averages like ten blackouts a year.
The average Chargers fan can be summed up by this story, which took place at the Chiefs game a few years back. We had seats on the 50, about twelve rows up. Halfway through the second quarter, a 40ish divorcee and her decades younger boyfriend come stumbling into our aisle searching for their seats. The done-up harpy began screaming at me that I was in their seats, a notion that did not dissipate even when I showed her my tickets. They finally figured out that they were actually in the seats next to us, at which point she left to get more beer. The guy was wearing flip-flops, a monster fitted cap (with the sticker still on, so you know its officially licensed) and no shirt, then gives my wife the ol' fuck-eyes and starts rubbing his nipples.
Finally, they both leave before the fourth quarter. Fuck our fans.
Our owners are literally the only people in the world who would voluntarily decide to live in Stockton over San Diego.
Also, Ryan Mathews has the musculature of a body builder with the bone strength of a malnourished child.
The last Chargers game I attended before going away to college was the Chargers home playoff loss to Mark Sanchez(!) and the Jets. As the clock winded down on another Chargers postseason collapse, some drunk threw a beer bottle down to the bottom of the top deck and it hit a kid in the fucking head.
The defense has more holes than an underground orgy.
No one gives a shit about the Chargers. Their games are often blacked out because they don't sell enough tickets. It's embarrassing. Ask someone from Southern CA who their favorite football team is, and if they aren't an abiding Ram or Raider fan, they likely chose their favorite team out of a hat, or they just don't have one, because, and I can't stress this enough, no one here gives a shit about football. The main reason people go to Charger games is because A) The Chargers happen to be playing their arbitrary favorite team that Sunday, or B) It's nice outside.
I had a really long screed of Chargers hate, but this bit told me pretty much everything you need to know about the team and its "ownership."...
"The same edition of San Diego Social Diary features a photo of A.G. Spanos and Kamri Collins, also headed to the altar. Kamri is a Chargers cheerleader. A.G. is the grandson of Chargers majority owner A.G. (Alex) Spanos, and son of Chargers head Dean Spanos.
"A.G. was named executive vice president of the Chargers in July of 2011. According to the wedding website, they met when A.G. was on the judges panel for the 2006-2007 Charger Girl auditions. The site says she didn't do well in the interview but 'A.G. insisted she make the team.'
"At the time, both were in 'different relationships', says the wedding information."
They've given up the idea of winning championships, and "games," but maybe they can give the younger members of the family a chance to get laid.
When Ray Rice converted that 4th and ages last year, I knew he was going to do it because the Chargers fucking suck, but I was elated because it was just one step closer to getting AJ and Norv fired. But they still aren't any better. Fuck the Chargers.
Without a doubt the only good thing that will come from this season for Charger fans like me is the shots of the sideline not being plastered with the botched vaginoplasty known as Norv Turner's hideous neck.
Dean Spanos is the most stubborn asshole in the NFL. 14-2 wasn't good enough for Dean to keep around Marty Schottenheimer, so instead he found a dumpster fire replacement in Norv Turner. Norv has NEVER won as a head coach. And yet, here we sat, for six years, while Norv and AJ Smith burned Rome to the ground. TheChargers went from a 14-2 powerhouse to a 7-9 middle-of-the-road pile of shit under those two jack-offs and have left our new GM and head coach with a bombed out and depleted roster.
Then there's AJ Smith. Fuck AJ Smith. The 'Lord of No Rings' nickname is just as shitty as he is. Under AJ's watch, the Chargers let (among others) Drew Brees, Darren Sproles, and Vincent Jackson leave town without getting ANYTHING in return for them. What the hell, man. And that's on top of telling the two most popular Chargers ever (LaDainian Tomlinson and Junior Seau) to hit the bricks. Now all we're left with is the tail end of Marmalard's quarterback life and a running back who has half his bones break just at the thought of having to carry the ball 15 times a game.
But arguably the worst part about the Chargers is, for the third or fourth year in a row, they're just good enough to not get a high pick for an impact player in the draft and just bad enough to make you want to punt a child for ten weeks out of the season. Oh, and then there's the constant threat of the team moving up the 5 freeway to Los Angeles. The Chargers are in NFL purgatory and it is the worst.
On the plus side, our mayor is great!
Wanna be part of the Deadspin NFL previews? It's simple. Just email me and give me ample evidence of why your team sucks: personal anecdotes, encounters with fans, etc. I'll throw any good material into the post and give you proper credit. Next team up: Oakland Raiders.