Lauren Rabaino

The sports world is full of clichés, especially when it comes to football. Sayings like, “this game is going to be won in the trenches,” or “it’s a game of field position,” can be beaten to death while watching a football game.

Over the past month, which has included countless bowl and NFL games, announcers such as Joe Buck and Keith Jackson wear you out with these clichés. But while I watched San Diego play on Sunday, I could only think about one cliché that went unsaid:

“Act like you’ve been there before.”

Now I made a pact with myself coming into my final two quarters of writing for this paper that I was only going to write positive articles. I wasn’t going to degrade or rip into people.

Life is too short to waste my time bringing people down – I might as well try to uplift and promote the good people. But after Sunday, I realized that pact was going to have to be broken, so my positive campaign will have to wait a week, mainly because watching the San Diego Chargers is starting to make me sick.

While I watched the Chargers barely squeak by the mediocre-at-best Tennessee Titans, you would have thought they just won the Super Bowl. Let me restate that – how about the past five Super Bowls. In all my years of watching sports, especially the NFL, I have never seen a team show up its opponent more.

Defensively they dance and jump around after every routine tackle. It’s starting to get really old, really quick. Here’s my advice to the defensive: win a game that matters.

Their quarterback, Philip Rivers, reminds me of the little kid who never stops running his mouth. Finally, when someone snaps and attacks the kid, he gets his two big, tough older brothers.

For Rivers, they are Antonio Gates and LaDainian Tomlinson. Rivers is an average quarterback at best, but hides behind the talents of his great supporting cast. My advice to Rivers: shut your mouth and just play.

We’ll find out how tough you are when one of your brothers can’t make the fight this weekend, and you have to fight for yourself.

Their coach, Norv Turner, looks like a deer in the headlights.

Don’t get me wrong – there probably isn’t a better offensive mind in the game. He may be one of the greatest offensive coordinators this game has ever seen, but being the lead man is a different story.

He looks lost, and still has a look in his eye like he could be fired at any minute. My advice: Bring Marty back.

The reality is that San Diego won its first playoff game in more than a decade, played in arguably the worst division in all of football, the AFC West, and fired its previous coach because he couldn’t win in the postseason – for a coach who can’t win in the regular season.

Now don’t get me wrong, the Chargers are an immensely talented football team.

On an individual-talent basis, besides New England, San Diego may be the most talented team in the entire league.

But for all that being said, they go about everything the wrong way. Talent alone doesn’t win you a Super Bowl ring.

Trust me, this will be very obvious when you watch the game this weekend.

Tony Dungy and the Indianapolis Colts are considered one of the classiest teams in the entire NFL, completely opposite of the Chargers.

When you watch this game on Sunday, it will be evident from the start.

Peyton Manning won’t run his mouth.

Bob Sanders won’t go crazy after every tackle, and Dungy won’t look rattled.

They’ll simply do exactly what they get paid to do: win football games.

I challenge the Chargers to take notes this weekend, because they are young and their future could be potentially bright.

If they don’t change their ways quickly, they’ll be one-and-done in the playoffs for the next five years.

So while the Colts outplay, outthink, and most of all, outclass the Chargers, remember that cliché, “act like you’ve been there before,” because it will be obvious from the outset which team has.

Because right now, the Chargers are summed up best by a line from the Robert De Niro movie “A Bronx Tale,” which preaches “the saddest thing in life is wasted talent.”

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