Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I'm in a no-win situation in the AFC Championship. While it works out better for me to have the Chargers win (Super Bowl matchups-wise, since the only Super Bowl they've been in was against the 49ers, so we'd get a new one no matter who won the NFC), I don't think I like the Chargers at all.

First of all, it seems like every time the cameras cut away to the Chargers' bench, it looks like Philip Rivers and LaDainian Tomlinson are fighting. I don't really care if those guys don't like each other (and maybe they do, I just don't know), but at least pretend like you do in public.

Then there's Rivers specifically. Doesn't he just look like a punk? I don't know if it was just looking at him mouthing off to the fans in Indianapolis, and maybe they were giving him a hard time and making his life miserable, but he looked like a punk.

And I still hold a grudge against the Chargers for the way they nearly made my heart stop when the Jets faced them in the playoffs a few years back. Remember, the Eric Barton roughing the passer, and the Nate Kaeding missed field goal? (I still hold a special place in my heart for Kaeding...but the man can't go much longer with a job in the NFL performing the way he has been in the playoffs.) It may not be right, but it's the way I feel.

I hinted at the fact a week or so ago that I find this Patriots team particularly hard to root for. I mentioned that at least their first few teams had players you could single out and recognize as good character guys. Now, there's Junior (Me) Seau, and Randy (Me) Moss, and especially Rodney (Me) Harrison. Harrison is the main culprit, but the Patriots keep taking cheap shots - they're almost becoming a dirty team. It's hard to watch them do well when those things are happening. (And I don't know that there's another place for this, so I'll throw it in parenthetically - I know the Jaguars played him hard, but Randy Moss had a nothing game last week. He's had nothing post-seasons for good teams before - see the 1998 Vikings and the 2000 Vikings. Is it possible he could have another great regular season with a disappointing playoff finish this year?)

So I don't want to root for the Patriots, but I don't want to root for the Chargers either. The Chargers are also sore losers, reacting the way they did after the Patriots beat them in San Diego last year. Ultimately, though, that one big chip on their shoulder (losing to New England at home in the post-season last year), which has probably been motivating them all year, is probably the one thing they have going for them entering this year's playoffs. Good for them...but I don't think it's enough.

And I don't think I'm happy about it...because I think the Chargers are the lesser of two evils.

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