After taking a long break from these interviews, I’m back with another edition of Fan Perspective. The other night I had the privilege of interviewing Vinnie Lopez in San Diego. He and I did this as a phone interview.
Vinnie is a 3rd generation diehard and bleeds Charger colors. The first Charger game he attended was against the hated Raiders during 1968.
Now that’s what I call perspective.
Let’s get this thing rolling. Feel free to leave questions and/or comments at the bottom of the article.
BoogaP: Give the fans a little personal bio.
Vinnie: Born and raised in San Diego. Born at Grossmount Hospital. Spent a couple years in Houston but have spent all of the rest of my life in San Diego.
BoogaP: Who is your favorite Charger player of all time?
Vinnie: I’d definitely have to say Kellen Winslow. It’s because of the way he played the game. He always left it all on the field. He acted as if every play was the last play of his career. When he was called on to block, it was like he was a third offensive tackle in the game.
BoogaP: Who is your least favorite Charger player of all time?
Vinnie: That would have to be John Jefferson. Mostly because of the fact that he left to chase the money. He was kind of a diva receiver. Not to the extreme of a Randy Moss-type but you know what I mean.
BoogaP: What is your most memorable moment as a Charger Fan?
Vinnie: The last play of the AFC Championship when Dennis Gibson knocked down that Neil O’Donnell pass. I will never forget that play.
BoogaP: What moment stands out, in your mind, as a truly bad moment?
Vinnie: The “breakup” between Marty Schottenheimer and the Chargers. I hated the way that it was handled. Lots of personal feelings got in the way of a business deal.
BoogaP: Initially, what was your impression of the free agent class brought in during the 2012 offseason?
Vinnie: I was really high on the Robert Meachem signing. Not so fond of the signing of LeRon McClain. Overall, I’d have to give this free agent class a D grade.
BoogaP: How do you feel about the drafting of Melvin Ingram now that that season is almost over?
Vinnie: Ingram has great upside. Good athlete but it seems that the “game speed” in the NFL took him off guard. He’s always a step behind. I wish that they would move him inside next to Butler.
BoogaP: Do you agree that both Norv Turner and A.J. Smith should be fired? If you could only choose one to fire, which one do you think deserves it more?
Vinnie: It’s a foregone conclusion that they will both be fired. Turner shows absolutely no fire as a head coach. You have to show to everyone that you are in it to win it. A.J. has made some hits but has missed enough times to be shown the door. He’s let a lot of quality players walk without the team receiving sufficient compensation. Usually no compensation.
If I had to only choose one, I’d pick A.J. Smith.
BoogaP: Due to their lack of production, would you cut Robert Meachem or Eddie Royal right now?
Vinnie: No, I wouldn’t. They are both owed too much money. I really hope that Meachem steps it up in the last couple games and, of course, next season.
BoogaP: Do you agree with all of the criticism that Philip Rivers receives from both the fans and the media?
Vinnie: NO! I think that it is just stupid. The people that are saying that don’t know anything about NFL football. I know he’s made some bad decisions but he’s constantly running for his life and we know he isn’t mobile. Get him an O-line.
BoogaP: Do you think that Ryan Mathews has been given the appropriate chance to show what he can do at this level?
Vinnie: He’s been given a chance. He puts the ball on the turf too often. His injuries are an obvious concern. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was relegated to a third down back in the future. If he can learn to pick up the blitz, that is.
BoogaP: Do you think that Antonio Gates is done?
Vinnie: Done? No. Is he slow now? Yes. Gates used to be the first option on most pass plays. Not so much now. I love the leadership intangible that he brings. But, yes, he has definitely lost a step.
BoogaP: What is your impression of Danario Alexander?
Vinnie: I like him a lot. He has made some great plays. What he brings to the run game as a blocker is an added bonus.
BoogaP: And lastly, my favorite question, how often do you visit BoltBeat.com?
Vinnie: I check out BoltBeat everyday! I tweet out the articles as I see them on Twitter too.
My thanks go out to Vinnie for taking the time to do this interview. It was great to talk to him on the phone and I really like following him on Twitter. He’s a funny guy and a diehard Charger fan.
If you are on Twitter, make sure to follow @BigVin, Vinnie Lopez.
Now that the Chargers’ season is coming to a close, expect to see Fan Perspective articles return to the site much more frequently.
Fan Perspective is a chance for you the fan to have your opinions on the Chargers printed in an article here on BoltBeat.com.
Thanks a lot for reading.