It’s apparently come down to this—it’s the fans' fault.
The substandard play of the San Diego Chargers has been laid at the feet of the 60,000 or so paying customers, who show up on game day.
Called out, too, are the million or so folks who live in the greater San Diego area and pull up a collective chair with friends in front of their TVs after dropping a few ducats at the local convenience store.
It’s your fault.
No matter that not one of you has missed a tackle or dropped a pass or called for the wrong play on fourth-and-one.
It’s your fault.
You’re not mad enough. You’re not demanding enough. You don’t hold your team to a high enough standard. You’re not East Coast so you don’t get it.
What a load of dung.
But if you listen to national radio types or read misguided columnists or endure the annual slamming of the soft and sunny West, you’d think you’re to blame.
Think of that the next time you see Malcom Floyd boot a ball on a possible game-winning drive.
Point the finger at yourself the next time Ray Lewis blows through the line to put the final touches on a loss.
Apologize to anyone within earshot the next time the sad state or the San Diego Chargers takes the field and puts forth a half-assed effort.
It could be Sunday in Kansas City, so be prepared.
Be ready to raise your hand like they used to do on a basketball court when the referee whistled a foul. Remember that? When people actually took responsibility for their own actions?
Now, the finger more often gets pointed outward and apparently it is being directed at you.
Don’t buy it: not for a minute.
As San Diego fans, you’ve been hearing it for years.
The weather is too nice. There are too many distractions. You’re too laid back.
So the word has gone out to get mad and not take it anymore.
But here is the most salient fact: The team has failed you and not the other way around.
Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union Tribune unearthed these positively nauseating facts.
The team is 11-12 since losing the AFC title game to the Patriots in 2007. The Chargers are 19th out of 32 teams in regular season games over the last 18 months. They’re not any better than the 49ers.
But it’s the last item that should make anyone associated with the Chargers to cough up a bolt. They’re only three games better than the Raiders over that span.
That’s right, the Raiders.
This is the same team that has been an absolute mess since a loss in the 2002 Super Bowl. The team that has run coach after coach out of town while calling one a liar. The team whose current head coach beats up his assistants.
The Chargers are barely better than the Raiders and given the results from Week One to now, they actually might be worse.
No, the fault of this spiral has not been the fans, but a franchise that has been solely focused on whether or not they can settle their butt into a nicer leather chair than the nice leather chair into which they currently settle their butt at the Q.
Sure, a new stadium would be nice, but so would a new downtown library or a rail system that actually served a city that is the nation’s ninth largest.
The fans have been fine; a group that has proven it will show when there is a product worth seeing. The city went nuts when the team made the Super Bowl. They’ve rocked the Q during Chargers playoff runs since and baseball never had louder crowds than those that supported the Padres in 1998.
But you get slammed because there are other things to do. The weather is nearly perfect so you go outside. There are a number of fine breaks so you’re in the water and waiting for a swell.
Perfect. Keep it up.
It’s the Chargers’ problem to fix, not yours.
It’s Norv’s job to shake himself from his misguided notion of a running game and turn the offense completely over to Philip Rivers and the pass.
It’s Ron Rivera’s job to figure out a way to get more out of his defense.
It’s AJ Smith’s job to make personnel adjustments and it’s the Spanos’ job to insist their employees put a winning product on the field.
As for the fans, it’s your job to get excited about a winning team. If not, there’s something better to do. Remember, it’s San Diego.
But the current sad state that is the Chargers is clearly not your fault.