The Chargers and Norv Turner vs. the Patriots and Bill Belichick Sunday for the AFC Championship, winner advances to the Super Bowl.

Chargers/Turner-Patriots/Bilichick is a great matchup for football fans and bitter pill to swallow for armchair quarterbacks.

San Diego set up the showdown when they dethroned the defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts 28-24 in Indy a day after the Patriots beat the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The public scorn heaped upon the Chargers and Turner when he was hired — and fueled by a starts of 1-3 and 5-5 before winning the AFC West title with a six-game winning streak that has stretched to eight with two playoff wins — isn’t worth repeating here

But look back to the rap against Belichick when he was hired by the Patriots in 2000. He was considered a loser as a head coach with a dull personality.

He had been fired his only time as a head coach with a 36-44 in five seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He had one wining season, 11-5 in 1994, when the Browns won a first-round playoff game before they were eliminated.

Sound familiar?

Turner’s personality isn’t coarse like Belichick’s (and he hasn’t been fined by the NFL for videotaping teams’ signals), but he had been fired from jobs with the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders.

His career record was 58-82-1 before the Chargers hired him. He had one winning season, 10-6 in 1999, when the Redskins won a playoff game before losing in the next round.

Since then, we all know Belichick has done more than can be expected with three Super Bowl titles.

Now Turner has done what the Chargers couldn’t do in 2004 and 2006 – win playoff games and position themselves one win away from advancing to the Super Bowl.

Can we all just watch football for pure joy of sports and competition without questioning the competence of the head coach and the men that hired them? It makes the games a lot more fun.

There are too many armchair quarterbacks that need to relax during the regular season’s ups and downs.


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