Sunday, October 25, 2009

Notes on the Enemy: Week Six, Chargers @ Chiefs

Back in the good ol' days, when the AFC West was about Chiefs, Broncos, and little more, I kind of felt sorry for the San Diego Chargers. They managed to put together a couple of good teams and make a couple of runs at a title, but they never really seemed to have an intense fan base. Now, in these dark ages where scrupulous Denver clubs are undefeated and Chiefs teams try to set records for consecutive losses, and everyone wants to uncork the Super-Charger champagne before the season even starts, I cannot, for the life of me, get a Chargers fan to commit to a Sleeping with the Enemy interview. In three years, I've had one person agree and actually show up for the gig. It makes no sense to suppose anything other than the fact that their fan base still is, in fact, pretty darn lame. But that's okay. Instead, I was able to talk -- as Joe Posnanski might say -- brilliant reader DKC into coughing up a few moments of his day.

Bankmeister: For starters, allow me to take a moment and say congratulations on the newest addition (Editor's Note: baby Kelly arrived 12 days ago.) to your family. Moving onto football: Give me the first three things that pop into your head when you hear the words "San Diego Chargers."

DKC: Actually, the things that pop in my head are images associated with the team. The first image is one from the good old days. It is the image of a bow-legged, hobbily(from what I remember) Dan Fouts. Ugly yellow pants wearing guy chucking the ball all over the place. Imagine him as a fantasy QB. Another is the late-nineties nightmare draft of Ryan Leaf. Am I right, could they have picked Peyton? I remember locker-room footage of silly-little men with microphones chasing him around in his underwear trying to ask him why he sucks so bad. My last image is one a little paranormal in nature, in this halloween season. It is an apparition of a man roaming the sidelines, microphone on head, clipboard in hand and stupified look on his face. Yes, it is the Schottenarition. Arms crossed and big-ole-glasses wearing Marty S. His creepy sweater-wearin' spirit still flows through the league. More on MS in a moment.

B: Interesting. Not at all what I'd imagined you'd say. My colleague Old No. 7 has said that, without a doubt, " Norv Turner has killed any chance this team had at success." Is this a fair assessment? Explain.

DKC: I agree with 7 about Norv and must add that I've found myself agreeing with your colleague a lot lately. I must be turning into a crazy old man....Oh well.
Norval's hire didn't really "kill" this team's chance of winning, but it does put it in a bit of a vegetative state. If you look at Norv and Marty's Wikis (Yes, I Wiki), you can certainly notice that although he doesn't have the time spent and attempts of Marty, he does posess the young Marty-like resume. Never the bride and always the know...that kind of stuff. You also can't help but notice that the same 15 guys, taught by the same three guys, have coached the league since I have been able to turn on the TV.

B: Okay. Well, we know what many bloggers think, but what, do you imagine, is the general-football-viewing opinion of Philip Rivers?

DKC: Well, I'll put it like this... from my seat he appears to be a graceless winner and loser. He became grossly overpaid with his last contract. I also have friends who spent some time chatting with him within the last year (alcohol was involved). His sideline charm runs sidecar with his barside demeanor. I'm sure his momma may like him, though.

B: Talk about the oft-assumed decline of a late 20s-something running back. Is this the case for LaDainian Tomlinson? Is he, as they say, done? Will Darren Sproles ever be considered an elite back in this league?

DKC: Since LT is approaching NFL running back social security age (30) during the era of the internet-fantasy, where production is center-stage, he is, in fact done. He is done as the LT of the early and mid 'oughts. That doesn't mean he can't be a serviceable player in the league though. The emphasis of the owners/coaches, you can't help but notice, in the last couple of years is to shy away from sending your top dollar RB into the belly of the beast 30 times a game. They have created kind of hybrid positions, I guess they called them slots before. Reggie Bush is one. Sproles is sort of another. I say sort of because Sproles appears that he can/could do both. He is fast, agile and he also looks like a mini-hulk running between tackles when asked. So to answer, he may be an elite back someday.

B: What about tight ends? Who would you say are the best active three? Two-three years ago, many voices in football were certain that Antonio Gates was bar none the best. Will he ever statistically pass Shannon Sharpe? Tony Gonzalez?

DKC: It's hard to measure a TE's worth cause they do things away from the TV's eye(read: blocking). I'll throw these three TE's, in no order, assuming that they are all capable part-time offensive linemen. Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez and Dallas Clark. Witten is a bit off this year offensively, TG is having a quiet, good year and Dallas is reaping the benefits of "showtime" in Indy. Gates is next. He is great now. He is no less great than he was three years ago, when they made him his own video game. People on the TV are in such a hurry to lionize someone. They love to do it and have everyone pat them on the back and whisper in their ear: "Way to Go. Smart Guy." These are the same people who said that Drew Brees couldn't play in the NFL. Oh Yeah, If old Marmalard can't get the rock to Gates a little better, he will not break TG and Sharpe's records.

B: How does the AFC West shape up this year? What, do you imagine is the immediate (next two-three seasons) for Denver, Kansas City, Oakland, and San Diego?

DKC: 2009 AFC West:

Kansas City 9-7
Denver 9-7
San Diego 7-9
Oakland 5-11

Yes, you read that right. KC: 9-7. It starts today with San Diego. Kansas City playoff bound due to their season sweep of Denver.

The future, you ask? For Denver I see losses, many losses. I see plagues and pestillence on the front range. Liver disease, that's what I see at Invesco Field.
For the rest, I see puppy dogs, lilly fields and free candy.

B: Give us a score prediction for this contest.

DKC: Today's game: KC 28, SD 21. All TDs today, with KC on top, at home. Why all TDs you ask? DKC picked up Succop for FF. DKC need FGs. DKC = bad FF player. I must share this final experience on the ways of Martyball. Back in early '96 when I was living, and was new to, Chicago, I met a nice young lady in an establishment. This was post-Lin Elliot loss, pre-Broncos/Elway loss. Things were proceeding nicely and plans were being made for her to accompany me somewhere in the future, unbeknownst to her. She was from Clevleand and football was the discussion. Somewhere the mini-courtship went awry. I swear to this day, it was when I told her I was from KC and Marty was my coach. She said things like, "he'll never get it done" and "he'll screw your team in the post-season". What little did she know...

B: Interesting tale. Thanks so much, DKC. Looking forward to getting on the 9-7 train. I like lilly fields and candy, too, it turns out.