Some people are fans of the San Diego Chargers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the San Diego Chargers. This 2016 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here. And buy Drew’s new book here.

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Your team: Los Angele… NO WAIT! San Diego! Yep, still the San Diego Chargers. Pretty awkward.

Your 2015 record: 4-12, the highlight of which was a 30-14 blowout of the Dolphins that would have made for a heartwarming final game in San Diego… if it had actually BEEN the final game in San Diego. Now we have to do it all over again, with San Diego forced to choose between tentatively saying goodbye to the Chargers one more time or chipping in over a BILLION dollars for a new stadium. I’m all for loyalty, but if I were a Chargers fan, I’d want to push this organization into a tectonic rift.

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Lost in all the relocation drama is the fact that the Chargers and their fans were truly dreadful last season. Not only did they let a bunch of fatty Steelers fans take over their home stadium, they also kicked out other fans for wearing turbans (Marmalard approves of this policy) and started a completely unnecessary feud with safety Eric Weddle, booting him from the team plane for the last game (they told him the plane was too small to accommodate him) and fining him for watching his daughter perform at a halftime show. Weddle is a Raven now, which means he’ll intercept 50 passes this season while the Chargers play sub-Pac-12 level defense. Pretty exciting shit!

Your coach: Mike McCoy. You’re gonna struggle to remember that Mike McCoy once coached this team. It’ll be a black hole in your sports memory. Five years from now, you’re gonna be like, “Well they had Marty, and then Norv, and then I think after they moved is when they hired Jim Mora Jr. I think that’s how it went. Wait, am I missing someone?” You are! There was that one other guy! He was there for a bit! You know you’re a forgettable coach when even Norv has more moments than you do. McCoy will join the likes of Mike Nolan, Chris Palmer, and Scott Linehan in the hall of totally anonymous head coaches. Watching him coach is like suffering through depression… it’s just a great white fog.

But it gets even worse! In order to save his ass, McCoy fired six assistants this offseason, including offensive coordinator Frank Reich. That means your new offensive coordinator is Ken Whisenhunt. Oh yes. That’s right, gang. I hope you enjoy the sight of Philip Rivers dropping back 11 steps behind a nonexistent line and getting his chin caved in by oncoming defenders. I know I do.

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Your quarterback: MARMALARD! Punch your gloves in the name of Jesus!!!

You almost lost Philip Rivers, San Diego. Think how empty your local playgrounds would have been had he and his seven thousand children left town. Thankfully, the Chargers extended him and paid $65 million in guarantees for four more years of him suffering an undisclosed injury in Week 3 and then losing any semblance of mobility and/or ball security as a result. In an alternate dimension, Rivers is never traded to San Diego, wins a couple titles in New York, and tithes his Super Bowl bonus to the Ted Cruz campaign. But in THIS life, he’s a Quiverfull doofus with twice as many children as playoff wins. Make that three times as many a year from now.

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What’s new that sucks: Travis Benjamin! Once again, the Chargers have bolstered their arsenal of wideouts who catch five long balls per year and do literally nothing else. I don’t even disagree with that strategy, by the way. It’s just that it only works if A) You don’t have the world’s worst line, and B) Your star running back isn’t a hilarious bust who failed to score a touchdown ALL last season. Jesus Christ, Melvin Gordon. Even Trent Richardson occasionally managed to hit paydirt in between sandwich orgies.

What has always sucked: Frankly, it doesn’t matter where the Chargers go, because Dean Spanos will always be in charge of this shitpile. No NFL owner in history has played himself as badly as this man has. This is the guy who schemed to build a new stadium with the Raiders, hired the top asshole at Disney to make the enterprise sound respectable, assumed that NFL owners would approve of his plan just because they liked him (They’re such nice guys! Really!), and then had his fancy new lackey give a relocation proposal that was only one step removed from a third grader’s country report:

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On behalf of Carson, Iger went next. He tried to “break the ice,” he says now, with a joke about how in his 42 years at ABC and Disney, he had paid more money to the NFL than anyone else. The quip was met with blank stares. For about 20 minutes, Iger spoke with a slideshow behind him, then ended with another prepared line, a spin-off of the famous commercial of the Super Bowl MVP shouting, “I’m going to Disney World! I hope I’m going to the NFL!” Iger said. Again, silence.

Idiot. Anyway, you probably know the rest of the story: a bunch of NFL owners with actual influence flushed the Chargers/Raiders bid in the toilet and handed L.A. to Stan Kroenke and the Rams, thus forcing Spanos to choose between being Kroenke’s tenant—the Jets to his Giants, essentially—or stick around San Diego in a last-ditch attempt to swindle the city out of billions of dollars. Spanos chose the latter option and has commenced with the standard, ridiculous “This city needs to step up!” rhetoric that comes with any stadium drive. Step up for who, you spoiled twat? You? Fuck you. Eat shit. Jerry Jones has more influence over this team than the guy who owns it. Think about that.

Despite all this, I fully expect a handful of San Diego mouthbreathers to give in and attempt to give Spanos everything he wants, all so they can prove their diehard fan status. This is not a city known for its collective brainpower. These people are easy marks. We’re talking about a city that has all the grace and charm of a Margaritaville chain restaurant on its best day. They took literal paradise and turned it into a paved-over Navy base, filled with aggressive douchebros in pooka shell necklaces grabbing asses outside a bunch of overpriced Gaslamp Quarter fusion restaurants. This place is Colorado Springs on the Pacific. It’s frat finishing school. God dammit, now I’m mad. Think of all the good tacos wasted on these imbeciles.

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What might not suck: Joey Bosa! You Chargers fans should send flowers to the Rams and Eagles for being so hard-up for shitty quarterbacks. You got the best player in the draft and you didn’t even have to do anything. Maybe you should try signing him.

Let’s remember some Chargers:

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  • Lewis Bush
  • Rod Bernstine
  • Darrien Gordon
  • Mikhael Ricks
  • Ben Leber

Hear it from Chargers fans!

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Gabriel:

They suck because they’re still here.

Halpern:

I was so ready to be done with this fucking team and they couldn’t even fuck over their own fans competently. Of course Spanos doesn’t realize that he doesn’t have the votes to move the team and of course he has to go back to San Diego. It’s like a guy who thought the stripper he always gets a dance from was going to marry him, so he leaves his wife and goes back to the club and the stripper doesn’t even remember his name.

The highlight of the Chargers entire year for me was imagining Spanos’s old, withered, Game-of-Thrones-guy-who-fucks-all-of-his-daughters-out-north-of-the-wall looking face when he realized he wasn’t going to get the votes to move to his own stadium in L.A. And if you have any faith that this entitled, sun-dried sack of wispy-haired whale shit is going to work hard to get a stadium deal done so the team can stay in San Diego, you are wrong. If it happens it will happen in spite of him.

The team itself has not had an offensive line stay healthy in four years. I’m guessing that has something to do with the fact that they run roughly 700 delayed handoffs every single game which mean the lineman have to pretend they’re pass blocking, then start run blocking, but by that time the line of scrimmage is a goddamn war zone and Von Miller has spun into nineteen different sets of knees.

Also, let me just end with this: Fuck Brandon Flowers with a huge Voltron dick made of Philip Rivers’ eight kids. Jason Verrett turned into a fucking lockdown corner by halfway through the season and no one even through to his side, Flowers KNEW the ball was coming his way and he was torched on every play all year long. He runs around in the secondary like he’s being chased by a ghost no one else can see.

Sean:

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GOD JUST FUCKIN’ END IT ALREADY. PLEASE KILL THIS TEAM AND LET ME MOVE ON WITH MY LIFE.

Jack:

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The last time I went to see the Chargers play in San Diego was 1999. This was the stacked team of Tomlinson, Gates, Jackson, and Rivers that Craggle Rock inherited from Marty, to say nothing of the defense of Weddle, Merriman, Phillips, etc. It was my first Monday Night Football game and they were hosting the Broncos (who would eventually go 8-8). The Chargers lost (as they have every single fucking time I’ve seen them), having led for a grand total of about ten minutes of the game. The stands were about 50/50 Chargers/Broncos supporters.

The Chargers went on to reel off eleven straight wins to finish second in the AFC and host the 9-7 Jets, who made the game by beating the Bengals. I decided to take another shot at getting a win out of them - my opportunity to attend my first Chargers playoff game, and at home! Of course the parking lot and stands and shitters were crammed with Jets fans. The worst part is they weren’t talking smack, they were just calmly assuming the game was theirs.

In the end, the Chargers lost to a Sanchez-led, Ryan-coached Jets team. After the game I got to walk through crowds of boisterous Jets fans and see several fights in the parking lot - every one of them between rival bands of Chargers fans. That was the final season we had any hope of translating one of the most talented teams in the decade into a successful playoff team. After that, Tomlinson would bolt for the team that beat us although Turner would fiddle-fuck around for three more years.

Jeffrey:

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We don’t have any serious pass rush, running defense, or stud defenders.

Rags:

> Our top draft pick, Joey Bosa is still unsigned, as I am typing this.

> We are still going with the same O-line as last year, since that has worked so well for us for the last few years.

> We let our top defensive player, Eric Weddle, leave for the Ravens

> We let our promising tight end, Ladarius Green, go to the Steelers, for the corpse of Antonio Gates, who is at this point poaching all the TDs away from our Wide Receivers

> We signed Keenan Allen to a long term deal the year after he had a season long injury, because he is the only young guy left on our offense other than;

> Melvin Gordon, who will eventually lose his job to some guy off the street.

Dave:

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Somehow, some way, the best city in America is stuck with this shitshow of a franchise. Want to live in a beautiful climate? Move to San Diego. Want to see beautiful women everywhere? Check out San Diego. Want a laid back, casual, recreation-filled lifestyle? San Diego is for you. Want to watch quality professional football? Aaahhahahahaaa fuck you!

Philip Rivers has started the last 160 regular season games for the Chargers. For the last TEN YEARS, every week, I’ve had go against my basic instincts and pull for Marmalard. If Rivers were a pro wrestler, he’d be that guy who was a perpetual heel, never once turned babyface because it’s impossible to root for him. Yet heaven forbid that he goes down, or else we have to turn to Kellen Clemens and Zach Mettenberger. I’d rather suffer through Rivers throwing slow-motion deathballs to Keenan Allen (a human porcelain doll) and hanging what’s left of Antonio Gates out for decapitation than suffer through those cast-offs.

The last six years, our leading rushers have been Mike Tolbert, Ryan Mathews, Branden Oliver and the spectacularly overrated Melvin Gordon. Yea, The Football Gods verily enact their revenge for all that was glorious about the Tomlinson years.

The “Q” is a festering pile of dung, albeit with some of the best parking lot brawls going.

Connor:

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The injuries on the o-line were so bad we had a guy who had a torn PCL come back into the last game.

Rich:

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This is a team that spent all of the 2015 season shitting on the city of San Diego and its fan base for not building them a new stadium. Dean Spanos got in bed with the Raiders (THE GODDAMN RAIDERS) to potentially get a stadium deal done in Carson. It didn’t happen because Carson is a tire fire of a city, and now here we are as the losers on the race to LA.

Now they’re back pretending none of the vile shit they did to the city last year actually happened while simultaneously pleading to the city and its voters to help them build a stadium. Fuuuuuuuuuck Youuuuuuuuuu.

Then there’s the way they ran Eric Weddle out of town. The best defensive player this team has had in the last decade, and the Chargers straight up told him to get bent. Now he’s in Baltimore where I’m sure he’ll rattle off a few more Pro Bowl seasons because Eric Weddle is an outstanding player. Antonio Gates is also outstanding, and he uses his body like a post player in basketball to shield defenders because he played basketball in college. Did you know this? People forget this.

They can’t sign our first round pick (Joey Bosa) in a system that literally slots you money for the draft pick because they’re the Chargers and they’ll take just about any opportunity to fuck something up. (They didn’t fuck up Antonio Gates though, who played basketball in college.)

They’ve wasted all of Philip Rivers prime. They repeatedly trade up in drafts to take running backs when the track record of the NFL dictates that only goddamn morons do that. Kids build sand castle walls at Mission Beach that have a stronger ability to block than their offensive line. Mike McCoy has about as much enthusiasm and energy as a wet pair of jeans. McCoy’s end of half/game clock management is the football equivalent of just beating yourself over the head with a frying pan for three hours. Antonio Gates played basketball in college.

Just move already and grant us sweet release.

Gabriel:

...Because they’re so arrogant that they thought building on a toxic waste dump in Carson would excite the oligarchs of the NFL.

...And they’re still that arrogant in thinking that building on a fault line on a Superfund site in San Diego will entice 2/3rds of San Diego voters to give taxpayer money to them for a “convadium”... which is not a word used until the last six months and there’s not a resident that could tell you what that is except that perhaps it was the name of an old wooden ship used in the Civil War (you know, with Captain America).

...Further, we’ve got our hack of a City Attorney who has decided to stake his legal reputation on taking the 2/3rds requirement to the State Supreme Court for the Spanos clan’s temple to themselves.

...Because in the end, all they want is the LA Market... which they haven’t figured out doesn’t give a fetid shit about them.

Marc:

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I live in Virginia. A couple of years ago, I donned by San Diego Chargers jersey and headed out to a local sports bar-which advertised that they broadcast all of the NFL games-for watch my first game of the season. When I arrived, I asked to be seated in order to see the Chargers game. Looking at my jersey, the hostesses apologized and said that it was football season and they were not showing any hockey games on Sunday. They thought I was wearing a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey.

Damon:

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Rivers is a veritable God in San Diego, but everywhere else he’s viewed as a trash-talking hillbilly not-quite-as-good as Eli and Big Ben because he never won a Super Bowl. And here us San Diego fans still weep dejectedly. “But...but...the stats show..”

Alex:

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As the rare LA-based Chargers fan, the news of their potential move to my fair city was about as welcome as the news of Fukushima fallout creeping towards the west coast.

This is a team that has twice made Chase Daniel look like Tom Brady in crucial late season games, fumbled away a game securing interception in the year that Rex Grossman represented the NFC in the Super Bowl, recently lost to the Cleveland Browns by a score of 7-6, and even fucking choked with following through on its moving to LA threat.

Ryan:

This is a franchise defined by gut-wrenching losses, so it was glorious to see Spanos take the biggest L of all with the entire league watching. Fuck Roger Goodell. Fuck Spanos. And most of all, fuck Boltman. I look forward to another year of a grown ass man dressed as a lightning bolt appearing at city council events to vouch for a new stadium in San Diego. Because his C- in high school Economics gives him the nuance to discuss city finances.

Sachin:

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Boltman seems like the kind of guy at the party whose conversation is perpetually in orbit of a racist anecdotes but he never directly lands on it; choosing instead to let his flight path let everyone else around him know exactly what he’s about. “And I’m sure we would all feel REALLY comfortable on a plane next to the guy in a TURBAN…”

Tim:

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LaDainian Tomlinson has the single greatest scoring season in the NFL, and the Chargers manage to lose in the Playoffs to the Patriots because Marlon Mcree wouldn’t take a knee after making what should have been a game-clinching interception against Tom Brady, in a situation that Marty Schottenheimer specifically coached him up for during pregame warm-ups.

Mike McCoy is a lamer version of Norv Turner.

It’ll frankly be a relief when they move to LA, so I can stop paying attention altogether, rather than trying to keep up with the incredibly intricate scenarios necessary for a 9-7 or 8-8 Chargers team to make the playoffs. If the team stays in San Diego, we’re a body of water catching on actual fire away from being the Browns.

Also, Dean Spanos can eat a bag of dicks.

Adam:

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Before Cleveland won the NBA Championship, San Diego was just barely trailing in overall losingness. However, now San Diego has rocketed to the top of the Championship Loser Standings in every category… even stadium construction! The only reason the Chargers are even talking to the City of San Diego about building a stadium in San Diego still is because the Chargers lost out on their bid to relocate to LA.

The Chargers ownership SUCKS… and they’re cheap. The Chargers are such losers, they can’t even convince the city to raise the hotel tax rate to match that of Phoenix, where birds fly upside-down because there is nothing worth shitting on. With our luck, the Chargers will leave SD and we’ll build a stadium anyway to host 10 Super Bowls in the next 20 years… none of which the Chargers will play in.

Steven:

It’s great to see them waste yet another Hall of Fame QB’s career!

Michael:

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1. The owners. They go to great lengths to put a stadium proposal on the ballot only AFTER the other owners gave the Rams the LA market. This is after years of jerking San Diego around, and proposing a joint stadium in LA with their most bitter rivals. There is no chance the Chargers would ever be more than the forgotten second team in LA, yet they still shun their city. Their latest move is to insist that the stadium be built downtown instead of in Mission Valley, which probably will doom the ballot proposal and lead the Chargers to crawl to LA to be the Rams’ bitches.

2. The front office. They let Eric Weddle walk because reasons, and instead of replacing him with Jalen Ramsey, they decided to draft Joey Bosa at the third spot. Which, OK, fine if you think he’s the best player available. However, Bosa is one of only three first rounders still unsigned and the only one among the top 19 picks. And all because the Chargers are balking at paying him all his money in the event they cut him in the first four years. Repeat, the Chargers are trying to save money they would only have to eat if they fucked up the third overall pick so monumentally that they have to cut the guy before his rookie option comes up.

3. The coach. Mike McCoy is an alleged offensive genius, yet almost never passes up an opportunity to punt or kick a short field goal on 4th and 1. His clock management skills make Andy Reid look positively competent. They’ve gone from owning the division under Schottenheimer to winning two of their last 12 against AFC West opponents.

4. The fans. There is rarely a Chargers home game where the fans of the visiting team don’t make up 30% or more of the crowd. This is true even in the years where the Chargers are competitive.

The saddest part of all about being a Chargers fan is that they’re not even important or incompetent enough to receive sympathy or taunting from other fan bases the way that Browns and Lions fans do. They are aggressively mediocre, basically irrelevant and the only time they ever make real news is for cities (LA) or players (Eli Manning) saying that they want nothing to do with the Chargers. And they’re completely right to do so.

p.s. Fuck Marlon McCree.

Brett:

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Make no mistake about it, the closest thing I’ve ever had to watching San Diego win a Super Bowl was watching Roger Goodell walk Dean Spanos up to the front of a press conference like he had him on a leash and make him stand behind Stan Kroenke on national television in a capacity that only Chris Christie can truly empathize with.

I am too fucking emotionally drained on the inside from following Dean’s quest to replace a football stadium that the Native Americans constructed a few years after they crossed over the Beringia land bridge to even be concerned about Rivers… and his 7,000 injured offensive lineman, his wideouts with lacerated kidneys (for fuck’s sake, Keenan Allen...), and his sleepless nights from being the father of a small baby army that he will have to overcome to squeak out more than 3 wins this season. We are one bolo-tie related injury away from everyone realizing that our roster hasn’t actually deserved to win a game since 2009. And given it’s probably our last season in San Diego, I’m sure this will be the year that Marmalard is finally slaughtered, grilled, and eaten by the Broncos defensive line.

Oh, I almost forgot. Eat shit, Nate Kaeding.

Steve:

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Junior Seau is still their best linebacker right now.

Fuck Manti Te’o.

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