September 21, 2003

By Michael Strickland

San Diego Chokers

It lacked the high drama of last week's game, but the San Diego Chargers managed to pull off another stunning defeat today. Facing the Baltimore Ravens on their home turf in Qualcomm Stadium, the Chargers gave up opportunity after opportunity in what is quickly becoming their signature style. Cementing their place near the bottom of the league, the team increased their losing record to 0-3.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the season so far (besides the team's overall performance) has been David Boston, the high-profile wide receiver acquired during the off-season. Like most of the big acquisitions the team has made in recent years, he has performed far below expectations. In the first game, he made virtually no plays. He sat out the second game with a sore foot. Today, he only made one mildly impressive play, and that was as a running back. If the organization's going to see much return on their $27 million investment, Boston better get busy.

Last year, the big newsmaker was cornerback Quentin Jammer, who generated as many headlines for missing training camp as he did for his supposed talent. With a season plus three games as a Charger, he's been as lackluster a player as most of his teammates. And before Jammer, the big-name-turned-bad-player was Ryan Leaf. Who can forget the disappointment of a quarterback who spelled "team" with an "I"?

The chronic failure of the San Diego Chargers—they've lost 10 of their last 12 regular season games—leaves more than enough blame to spread around. But, as with virtually any organization, one must look first to the top. A sports team, a corporation, a platoon is only as good as its leadership. With the massive number of personnel changes—at all levels of the organization—that the team has undergone in the last few years, one has to question the wisdom of the leaders making so many bad calls. The Chargers may have needed new blood, but they didn't need bloodletting.

Like the thousands of fellow Chargers fans in this city, I'm used to a team that "chokes" more often than it "charges" (though each defeat stings anew). But a sports fan can only take so much. Perhaps it's fortuitous for the team that they're on the road until October 27. Another defeat or two, and the fans will be ready for revolt. The Chargers had better win a game or two before they come back to town, or the streets will run with the new blood the organization has worked so hard to infuse.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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September Columns:

9/29: Open Season
9/28: Runaway Train
9/27: The Seven
9/25: Dreamscape
9/24: Survivor: Sacramento
9/23: What Am I Doing at Work?
9/21: San Diego Chokers
9/20: Farewell, Galileo
9/17: Anything Can Happen
9/16: Midnight Writing
9/15: Decline and Fall
9/14: Loyalty By Default
9/13: Debt Snowball
9/12: My Cup Runneth Over
9/11: Unforgettable Day
9/10: Fall Approaches
9/9: Total Recall
9/8: Legal Illegals
9/7: 116 More Days
Previous months in The Archive

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