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Wednesday, March 09, 2005 | The Chargers’ poor treatment of Drew Brees

The Chargers have a total of 17 players to classify, satisfy or vilify this offseason. With all do respect to Antonio Gates, the biggest fish in the pond is man who led them to the postseason for the first time since 1995. While these moves are not measured in wins and losses, it’s already clear the 2005 games are underway.

Tag, you’re it!

Earlier this month, Chargers quarterback Drew Brees won the quarterback accuracy contest at the 2005 Pro Bowl Skills Challenge, outperformed marquee names like Culpepper, Manning and Vick. Just another postseason accolade for Brees, who has been named the Chargers Most Valuable and Most Inspirational Player, NFL Comeback Player of the Year and Second-Team All-Pro.

In the shadow of such praise most budding stars-especially QBs-are quickly inked to long-term lucrative deals. Not in this town. The Chargers continue to see the future through the eyes of Phillip Rivers. San Diego hung the “franchise player” tag on their Pro Bowl signal caller and recently signed him to a one-year deal worth approximately $8 million in 2005, which is the average of the NFL’s top-five salaried quarterbacks.

Brees was able to negotiate with other teams this offseason. The Chargers could have matched contract offers from other suitors or taken two first-round draft picks as compensation if he signed elsewhere.

“I would say franchising him is a no-brainer, because if we didn’t, we wouldn’t get any compensation,” General Manager A.J. Smith revealed. “He wouldn’t be here. He’d be going to the airport. We want him to be our quarterback.”

Talk about an inspiration and motivational speech.

“I’m very excited to be staying with the Chargers,” Brees ‘enthusiastically’ stated in a brief news release. “We’ve built a solid foundation and I feel we can really make a run. I’m excited about being a part of that.”

Can you feel the elation?

And now for Barry Bonds

There is an old philosophy saying sport is merely a form of entertainment (albeit the best). Based on this concept Bonds’ performance at his first “Spring Training Press Conference of 2005” was edge of your seat stuff.

“You guys are like re-running stories,” Bonds said. “This is old stuff. It’s like watching ‘Sanford and Son.’ It’s almost comical, basically.”

The countless media knats swarming Scottsdale validated several of Bonds’ controversial statements about the media. In fact, defending the fatheaded slugger’s material seems more appealing than joining the angry mob.

He swatted away steroid inquiries as if they were fastballs. If you’re seeking revelations or insight on this topic, Bonds is not the one ask. That’s pretty clear at this point. Perhaps referring to the media as “liars” was not a wise decision for someone desperate to turn the page.

Maybe its time to go back to the days when sports could challenge the entertainment notion because the storylines were written between the lines not in an tireless effort to fill pages full with regurgitated insight. The concept of numerous ‘Spring Training Press Conferences’ is nauseating. I cannot wait for the glorious proclamation…PLAY BALL!

However, one quote from Bonds should enrage Padres fans. “Dodger Stadium is the best show I ever go to in all of my baseball,” Bonds proclaimed. “They say, ‘Barry sucks’ louder than anybody out there.”

San Diegians never take kindly to playing second-fiddle to L.A. are up to the challenge. Mark your calendars, Barry and Co. come to town on April 18.

Bonds brilliantly completed this sound bite by saying, “You’ve got to have some serious talent to have 53,000 people saying you suck. And I’m proud of that.” Heck, if 50 people e-mailed any sentiment after reading this column my head would grow too.

Kevin Aron is a freelance writer in San Diego and outright sports junky. As luck would have it, he turned a childhood obsession into a professional career. Kevin has worked in college sports information, sports agent offices and, most recently, as managing editor of DIRECTVSPORTS.com for nearly five years.

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