After losing their fifth game out of the last six tries, the season has now become an exercise in “where to go from here?”, for the Chargers’ organization and its fans.
Not only has this team let down the organization and the fans, it has let down themselves. Although much of the blame can be placed on the coaching staff, upper management, and ownership, the onus has gone straight to the players, and the players alone, to find a way to sneak into the playoffs with a wildcard berth.
To hold out hope for an AFC West division title is less than futile. The deficit that the team faces to catch Denver is far too steep. Quite honestly, our chances of crawling in as a wild card team are looking bleak as well. Although we have yet to be mathematically eliminated from the playoff race, it’s safe to say that we might have been eradicated emotionally.
I can’t speak on behalf of the players, but I can say that the fanbase is extremely distraught, disappointed, and downright pissed off. Despite the outcry to fire both Norv Turner and AJ Smith right this very second, my guess is that Dean stays the path and waits until the end of the season to replace one or both of them.
That being said, as a fanbase, if we all know that Dean, AJ, and Norv are going to finish off this season, where do we look for a bit of redemption? Well, I guess I just made it obvious where I’m going with this article.
Please don’t confuse this for being a shot at the players. That is not my intention and not what I’m attempting to do. What I would say is now is the time for the players to put the entire weight of this season on their shoulders.
Don’t play these games for the organization. Don’t work your asses off for the coaching staff. Don’t go out there to impress and wow the fans. Do it for you. Do it for the guys that step foot on that field next to you. Do it for the guys that put it all out their on the line.
If I could say anything to the players, I would say please take a long, hard look in the mirror. What do you want this season to remembered as by you? What do you not want to look back on and say what could I have done differently? Focus on both your strengths and weaknesses as a man and a football player. When a person looks in the mirror there is no hiding from themself. There is nothing but pure, utter reality. Sure, some can lie to their own face, but the bottom line is they know exactly who they are and what they are capable of doing.
I ask the Chargers to take a moment and reassess what it is that they want out of the 2012 season. They could just hang there heads and mope around. They could continue to give a half-ass effort in parts of games. Or they could hold their heads high and fight with everything they’ve got, every single play of every single game.
I hate the phrase “playing the role of a spoiler.” All that says is that you’ve already lost. I look at it as more of a pride thing. What kind of pride have you got left as a man? Take a long, hard look in that mirror guys. Figure out what you can and can’t do and find a way to use both ends of the spectrum to your advantage.
This isn’t about how loud I cheer as a “homer” fan. This isn’t about the bandwagon fans that trade in their crutches for pom-poms on any given Sunday. This isn’t about the organization or the coaching staff. This is about you as individuals and you as men.
Please take a second and honestly evaluate yourselves and make this thing interesting down to the very last second. Football is as much mental as it is physical. Get your minds right.
It isn’t about what I see when I watch you on the football field. It’s about what you see when you look in the mirror and truly get to know who you are as both a man and a player.
Bolt up or shut up.