Chargers Drama: The Truth About Marty Schottenheimer and A.J. Smith

Ian PhilipAnalyst IIIJanuary 3, 2008

No disrespect, but I just read an article about how A.J. Smith fired Marty Schottenheimer for “personal reasons” a writer who obviously doesn’t know what he's talking about.

The truth?

Smith did not fire Marty.

Then again, he wasn't exactly complaining when it happened. 

Marty orchestrated his own firing when he tried to hire his brother Kurt as the Chargers’ defensive coordinator—even though he knew it went against team CEO Dean Spanos’ philosophy.

Spanos, not Smith, gave Marty the boot.

Marty forced Spanos’ hand, then took his $4 million and ran off to North Carolina to play golf. Smith’s recommendation to Spanos, as hard as it was for him to swallow, was to bring Marty back for the final year of his contract.

Yes, A.J. probably jumped for joy when Mary was fired—but he didn’t actually pull the trigger.

Marty essentially quit, and I don’t blame him one bit. Who wants to work with a guy who doesn't like you or your philosophy? Who wants to be around a guy who takes pot shots at you in the press, then won't talk to you to work things out?

It was an untenable situation, and Marty cut his losses and went on an all-expenses paid vacation with Alex Spanos’ money.

If you believe in astrology like I do (stupid, I know), and if you happen to be a Pisces like me, then you’d be able to guess that A.J. Smith is also a Pisces. When I dislike someone, I won't talk to him. I just want him gone. The person may not even know what he did—but I don’t care.

It's easy to see that Smith and I were born under the same sign. Believe me when I tell you that A.J. Smith felt so vindicated by Marty's firing that he probably broke out into song and dance—like I did when my ex-girlfriend moved out.

Charger fanss who don’t love Smith are rare. He deserved the shiny new deal he received. 

How can you love guys like Antonio Gates, Shawne Merriman, Kris Dielman, Antonio Cromartie, Philip Rivers, and Luis Castillo...and not love A.J. Smith? He only does what makes sense for this team.

Smith may have disliked Marty, but did he not build the team that Marty wanted? Last season’s Chargers were the ideal team for Marty Schottenheimer...and Marty’s Bolts didn’t get it done.

Instead, Smith watched helplessly from the booth as Marty and Cam Cameron made foolish mistakes to cost the Chargers a playoff win.

No, A.J. Smith didn’t fire Marty Schottenheimer—but that didn’t keep Smith from unleashing a swift kick to Marty’s behind when he was on his way out the door.