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Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs

After a stammering loss in November of ‘01, then Colts head coach Jim Mora gave an epic speech, hammering himself and his reeling team. One intrepid reporter then asked Mora about his 4-6 team making the playoffs, to which the coach miserably exclaimed: “Playoffs? Don’t talk about — playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game!”  

Mora is my hero for giving such a legendary quote to the masses.  I have a MP3 of it saved on my cell phone. If I’m ever in a bad mood I just play the clip and I can’t help but turn that proverbial frown upside down. Rainy day? Play the Mora clip. Lose $20? Play the Mora clip. Get cut off on the freeway? Use appropriate hand gesture then play the Mora clip

The way Jim Mora looked as he spat the word ‘playoffs’ from his mouth is the perfect way to articulate how important the playoffs truly are.

All of those off-season acquisitions, the draft day strategy, pre-season looks and regular season triumphs amount to a steaming pile of zip if you’re not playing in January.

Once your playoff ticket has been punched and the season expires, the room for error is naught. It’s win or see you next year. That notion has to be especially rough for the San Diego Chargers who have spent over a decade probing for a playoff win amidst seldom opportunities.

Last time the Chargers felt the manic rush of a playoff victory and sported those very timely and quite nifty postgame victory t-shirts and hats was the 1994 AFC Championship Game. They would go on to get summarily ass-handed by the San Francisco 49’ers in Super Bowl XXIX, and not get another victory t-shirt or hat since.

Let’s take a look back…

1995 brought a first round exit thanks to the Colts.

Eight seasons later the Chargers wouldn’t finish better than 3rd in the division.

Finally in 2004 the Bolts made it back to the dance only to see a NY Jets field goal attempt in overtime sail through the uprights and sink their season.

Last year, well, that wound is still itchy for many a Charger fan. Let me sum up: Chargers. Patriots. Scoring. Interception. Going for it? Miss. Where’s LaDainian? Interception! Fumble? Kick is good. Upset.

History tells us that the coming weeks don’t bode well for the Chargers.

However, it only takes one win to change history. That’s how important the playoffs are.

And on a side note, Dennis Green’s “they are who we thought they were” quip was pretty great, too.

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Tags: Jim Mora Playoffs

  • Chris in Burbank

    We’ll see if it really was Marti or if there is a structual issue with the team and the playoffs.  If LDT doesn’t play better than he did last year, they’re sunk again.  No reason why a team with this much talent struggles so much in the playoffs.  Of course, it doesn’t help being in the conference with the Pats and Colts and now Jags… Blogger?  I guess you are who we thought you were!  Good to see you writing!

  • David

    How many games do the chargers have to win to go to the Superbowl ?

  • Kris Lawless

    SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!  Now lets see what happens this next weekend, in the final game of the regular season.  We’re playing the Raiders in Oakland.  Then, we will go into the playoffs, as a wild card.  We lose a game, that’s it.

  • Johnny Heck

    David- once the Chargers make the playoffs, there is the Wild Card round, Divisional round, Championship Game then Super Bowl. It’s a tough road indeed.

  • Johnny Heck

    Hey Chris- the Bolts have to make a solid run this time. 3rd seed means the divisional game would be in Indy, not that it’s any better.

  • Justin329

    The Chargers are going one and done again.  Maybe then Phillip Rivers will get taught some class.