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I will ask the same question everyone has been asking each other…What’s wrong with the Chargers?

Created: 02 November, 2012
Updated: 13 September, 2023
3 min read
Burt Grossman

This being a Thursday night game and this article having a Wednesday night deadline, for a Friday post game printing, makes this a difficult write. Regardless of what happens against a 1-6 Kansas City team, I think everyone has made up their mind about this team. You can always gage support by going on Craigslist and comparing the “Chargers tickets for sale” ads versus “Charger tickets wanted” ads. Combine that with the constant threats of TV blackouts and you can see San Diego fans have spoken… it’s time for change. Now back to my dilemma – if the Chargers lose to the Chiefs Thursday night, I would imagine by the time this article hits the streets on Friday, Norv Turner will have already been fired.

So how did all this go so bad so quickly? Well for starters, it hasn’t been that quick. I’ve watched for the last few years as the Chargers lose impact player after impact player to free agency or A.J Smith’s ego. In return, we usually end up on the losing end of swaps like Robert Meachem for Vincent Jackson. Yet I still watch in awe as well as disgust at this team. The parity in NFL talent levels makes witnessing a team blow out New Orleans and Denver one half, and then seemingly go to the locker room, do shots of tequila and come out and be blown out the next half, a rarity – like seeing bigfoot dance at a wedding with chupacabra. Yet, I keep seeing it. I am not sure I have ever witnessed any NFL team, or any professional team for that matter, that does this quite as often and naturally as the Chargers.

I don’t remember the Chargers ever being Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde under Marty Schottenheimer or Bobby Ross, and to be fair, even under Mike Riley and Kevin Gilbride. They were still true to themselves -bad teams with no flashes of promise. So what is Norv’s excuse? He has the talent because we see it, never in all four quarters like the elite teams, but we see it. I can assure you Bobby or Marty would not have missed the playoffs two years in a row with this roster. But here we are again talking about what went wrong for the third –thirteenth –thirtieth year in a row.

What I will remember is the look of panic on Norv’s face every time the camera pans over to the sidelines at the beginning of the end, which usually coincides with the beginning of the fourth quarter. I never see that look on Jim Harbaugh’s face, or Bill Belichick’s face, or for that matter, any NFL head coach’s face but ours.

I am going to go out on a limb and predict the Chargers beat the Chiefs, and this can be just a nice editorial about the Chargers during a week when the game falls before the article is due – but hits the stands after it’s over. Next week hopefully we can talk about the game against Tampa Bay. Regardless, being in second place in football’s worst division is no longer good enough for Dean Spanos, you can see it in his face. The Chargers schedule only gets tougher after this week; let’s hope the Chargers do too.

Grossman is a former No. 1 draft pick of the Chargers in 1989, playing five seasons with the team.

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