Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
Do you know what is significant about April 22nd, 2003? Anybody? BoogaP probably knows.
That’s the day A.J. Smith took over the reigns of the Chargers GM after his close friend and long time associate, John Butler passed away.I have to admit, I was one that wanted Smith’s head on a platter after last season, but really, one has to think about it for a moment.
Since Smith took over, the Chargers have won 91 games and 5 AFC West Championships.The Chargers made five playoff appearances from 2004-09. In the Spanos family’s nearly three decades of ownership, the Chargers have been to the postseason just three other times. From 1996-2003, the Chargers were only one game better than the Cincinnati Bengals.
Remember how pathetic they were?
Smith is 3rd in winning percentage in the league among GMs (.611) behind Kevin Colbert of Pittsburgh and Bill Belichick of New England. Before Smith was named general manager, the Chargers had not been to the playoffs or had a winning record for seven consecutive seasons.
After a lot of thought, I had to ask myself, why is Smith so despised? Is it because he doesn’t take crap from players agents? I kind of like that trait about him. No, I think it’s because we tend to view him as kind of an ass. A no nonsense kind of guy. Isn’t that kind of what you would want in a GM? Especially when, in this day and age, some of these players and their agents (I said some) are prima-donnas and ask for the moon when all they deserve is fair market value.
Yeah, this team had a rough couple of years. Who doesn’t? So we lost a couple of good players. Who doesn’t? Time to get over it and move on.
After last season, A.J. and Norv got sent to the principal’s office. Whether Dean Spanos gave them a good paddling or not I don’t know. Whatever happened, it seemed to have worked. At least for Smith. With Norv it’s a wait-and-see.
A.J. Smith is the second winningest GM in Chargers history second only to Sid Gilman.As much as some might hate to acknowledge, Smith DID in bring this team out of the depths of hell and turned it into a winning franchise.
How soon we forget.
I pose to you these questions:
What if the Chargers go 9-7 and barely make the playoffs?
What if the Chargers go 10-6 but miss the playoffs?
What if the Chargers make the playoffs and go one and done?
Should someone still get fired? Smith? Turner? Both?
Or do they both get another chance?
What If Smith does get fired? Do you really think we could find a better GM?
Be careful what you wish for.
I’m kind of siding with logic here.
A.J. Smith should stay.