I’ll make this very clear: I can’t believe I’m about to go down this road again. After apologizing to San Diego Chargers fans last week, I wouldn’t have imagined in a million years I would again write something critical of the Chargers like I had in the past.
But I like to think of myself as fair, and that I possess the ability to admit when I make mistakes, so here goes.
After learning that Philip Rivers played the entire AFC Championship with a torn ACL, which was scoped earlier in the week, and kept as quiet as a mouse about it, I was utterly shocked.
Rivers played through an injury that puts most NFL players on the shelf for weeks. He put it on the line in the biggest stage in more ways than one, and that’s commendable.
I have done a complete 180 on the outspoken signal caller. Now, I have ripped Rivers whenever possible in the past several weeks, and at the time felt justified in doing so.
But I’ll state here and now that I will never say a negative word about the man again. His performance Sunday against the Patriots deserved all the respect in the world.
He proved that he is a warrior.
Having said that, this column would not be complete without addressing a certain commentary in this past Friday’s Mustang Daily calling me out.
The writer referred to me being a 49ers fan, which is true, and how he didn’t want to kick Niners fans when they’re down. He also wrote that my assertion of the Chargers beating a mediocre Tennessee Titans team is ludicrous, how I have never watched the NFL Network and how I’m bitter the 49ers lost their offensive coordinator.
His column really made me ponder, and forced me to do some serious research.
During my time of reflection I came up with a number: five, also known as the number of Super Bowl rings the 49ers own. Better yet, there’s another couple numbers of importance: 49-26, the score of Super Bowl XXIX.
In San Diego’s lone trip in franchise history to the Super Bowl, it ended up on the wrong end of the scoreboard by the way of the San Francisco 49ers.
In a league that is predicated on one thing, and one thing only – championships – we all know which team reigns supreme on this one.
Unlike baseball, where individual numbers mean so much, it’s all about Super Bowl trophies in the National Football League.
Regular-season records are great, and having the best record in the league is impressive, but the Lombardi trophy signifies what’s important in the NFL world.
Forty-niners fans may have become accustomed to beating John Elway, Dan Marino, Brett Favre and Troy Aikman in their primes. Beating someone like Stan Humphries is just another day at the office.
At the Chargers’ current pace, they’ll make the Super Bowl every 29 years, which could warrant taking some pride in beating up a banged-up Vince Young. (Of course, he did throw for nine touchdowns – all season.)
But the most ludicrous statement of the entire piece was to say I don’t watch the NFL Network. I’ve had DirecTV since it was invented.
As for being bitter about losing Norv Turner, I have two words for you: Mike Martz.
But in all seriousness, at what point did the Chargers earn this right to feel so disrespected? When have they truly earned that respect?
They were supposed to be a Super Bowl team this year! They went 14-2 and were a disappointment last year.
Chargers fans are typical, delusional, unrealistic West Coast fans – and that’s coming from a West Coast fan.
If the Chargers want to gain some respect, they should win the game that matters – the Super Bowl. It sure seemed to work up in San Francisco.
John Middlekauff is an agribusiness senior and a Mustang Daily sports columnist.