Being a fan of the Oakland Raiders, I have always embraced the attitude, the spirit, the mentality of this franchise and our fanbase. As members of the Raider Nation, we stand by our team through the tough losses and we will endure the mighty storms of crushing defeats and insults from the haters.
We are proud of our team, one of the richest and historical franchises in pro sports. Our three Lombardi Trophies sit in the Raiders' facility as proud reminders of our past and as signs of the many great accomplishments that are soon to come and the many more trophies that will soon be sitting in that trophy case.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for a certain NFL team that exists in Southern California. Yes, my friends, I speak of the San Diego Chargers, a team that instead of producing championships, produces excuses for why they can't win a championship.
Apart from our teams being rivals, us Raider fans despise the Chargers and their "fanbase" because they are the polar opposites of us. While we are able to look back on our past with pride and admire our accomplishments, the Chargers have nothing to look back on except for a crushing 49-28 defeat in their only Super Bowl appearance.
Yet, with the amount of trash talking that LT and Philip Rivers do, you'd think that they had at least one ring, right?
Whenever the Chargers win a division title, they immediately proclaim themselves the best team in the NFL. They walk around acting as if that game in which they clinched the division title was a Super Bowl win.
They act as if everyone else in the NFL is supposed to bow down to them simply because they’re the AFC West champions and because they have LT. The minute that they clinch a playoff birth, this overrated and bust of a franchise suddenly gains the nerve to badmouth some of the most historical and successful teams in the NFL such as the Raiders, Patriots, Steelers, Cowboys, etc.
For years, this team had been in the cellar of the NFL along with the Bengals, Saints, Lions, etc. Everyone was either laughing at them, or had just flat out forgotten about them. Now, after a few playoff births, they suddenly gain the idea that they can put themselves up there with some of the greatest teams in NFL history.
These few years of success have given them the false notion that 4 division titles, along with having Ladainian Tomlinson on your team, is equal to a Lombardi Trophy.
But then, when this team falters, after they fail to meet the high expectations that they had set for themselves, we see a totally new sort of behavior from the Chargers. Following their loss, LT and his followers will start with their attitudes of "It's everyone else's fault but ours."
They simply find themselves unable to accept the fact that they were manhandled in a big game. Ensuing their 2006 playoff loss to New England, Tomlinson stood on the podium of a press conference, criticizing the Patriots for "showing no class", and even accusing Bill Belichick of instilling that behavior in his players.
So this time, LT was unable to conjure up an excuse, so he made up for it by bashing the Patriots for their behavior, even though the Chargers and their fans were the ones showing off their pompous and arrogant behavior in the days leading up to the playoff game, bragging that entire week about their unstoppable team.
The 2007 AFC Championship loss was the most ludicrous of them all. The most unbelievable thing about that game was LT's behavior during the game. There are numerous pictures and camera shots of LT sitting on the sidelines with his helmet on, huddled under a blanket, trying to hide his face from the camera.
Though I never liked this man to begin with, I was still bewildered by what I saw on t.v. Here is Ladainian Tomlinson, the face of the Chargers' franchise, someone who is supposed to be a football god, a future Hall of Famer and the unquestionable leader of the team.
Here is this larger than life figure, yet he's curled up in a ball on the sidelines, cowardly hiding under a blanket, like a scared little girl who hides under her bedsheets during a thunderstorm. He was hiding himself away from the thunderstorm of his team's 20-12 loss to, yet again, New England.
Then afterwards, every Charger fan used the "If we had LT, we would have won" excuse. Really? So not having LT was the whole reason for their choking? What happened to the constant claims that they made about how they were not a one man offense and how they had more talent than anyone else in the league?
Another clear example of the Chargers' whining can be seen in their Week 2 loss to the Broncos in 2008. Yes, we all know Ed Hoculi made one of the worst mistakes in the history of the league. Yes, Charger fans, it should have been a fumble.
But despite the ref's blunder, the Broncos still had lost yardage when the ball rolled out of bounds. Theoretically, it was the same as if Cutler had been sacked for a 9 yard loss. San Diego still had control of the game and their fate. The Chargers still had two more chances to stop the Broncos on the touchdown pass and the two point conversion.
And what did they do? They finished the game the Charger way. Have a terrible mishap in the final minutes of the game, suffer a crushing defeat, and blame it on everyone else.
The one thing that I eagerly await to see is what they will come up with next year. When they miss the playoffs because they actually had to play good teams in the final few games of the season, who will they blame it on? If they miss the playoffs because they lost to my Raiders in Oakland, will they start to accuse the Raider Nation of "cheating" and using an unfair home field advantage?
If they miss the playoffs due to a poor rushing attack, will the offensive coordinator become the new scapegoat? If Philip Rivers doesn't produce next year, will it be his head that the Charger fans will be calling for?
My prediction is this: The Chargers will have a chance in the second to last game of the season to make the playoffs. They will lose it against the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers. All of a sudden, Mike Tomlin will become the new Bill Belichick in San Diego and the Steelers will become the most hated rival of the Chargers.
The Charger fans will start an official "The Steelers are meanies" fan group. Ralph Alvarez and that "Bolt Pride" group will start a petition to get the Steelers thrown out of football because they "show no class" and in addition, they will accuse Mike Tomlin of bribing the officiating crew in the critical game that they lost to Pittsburgh.
Why will they do all of that? Because that's the Charger way of doing things. This is unfortunately the childish ways in which the classy San Diego Chargers conduct their business.
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