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Hotel California: The San Diego Chargers Playoff Nightmare Continues

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 17:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers yells at a referee after an interception by the New York Jets during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Qualcomm Stadium on January 17, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
John SzurlejAnalyst IJanuary 17, 2010

Another year, another playoff disaster.  The Eagles once wrote a line that seems to fit the Chargers all to well.  "You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave.  Welcome to the Hotel California."

I don't know much about the literal translation, however it seems that the San Diego Chargers have become stuck in a paradox where there is no escape.

It seems regardless who the coach, offensive coordinator, quarterback, or personnel are, the fact is that the San Diego chargers are the perennial playoff choke artists.

What will it take for this team to shake the jinx that hangs over there heads?

Certainly one would agree that the decline in LaDainian Tomlinson's game is a major factor, yet the running game isn't just the only problem.

This team has the people, it has the play-making personnel; yet every year this team seems to be playing an opponent and also against themselves.

For instance, in the latest playoff debacle, the Chargers allowed a New York Jets team to take the game away from them.

This was a game that the Chargers had plenty of opportunity to make that one drive that would have taken away the hope for New York.

Instead, in the fourth quarter, the Jets decided to make their own destiny happen.

This is the spirit the Chargers lack.  The fight and drive to make it happen, to choose their own destiny.

The front office has tried to make coaching changes, they have tried to bring people in to rework the program.  They have tried to draft specific personnel to build on the current team.

The bottom line is it isn't what you add or take away, it's what is done on the field.

In San Diego fans must be asking themselves why.  They must be fed up with the constant teasing that this team does on one's emotion.

Winning in the ways the Chargers had done to turn a season around and make the playoffs was phenomenal, but I odn't blame anyone for saying they would have rather missed the playoffs than watch another collapse.

Where do we go from here?  The only ones who can answer that have already played the game, and cleaned out their lockers.

They must find the answers as they watch their peers battle for a Superbowl bid.

Maybe next spring they'll have found them.  If not, it will be more of the same, and their fans deserve better than that.

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