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The San Diego Chargers, who haven’t been to the playoffs since 2009, will be featured on Monday Night Football twice this upcoming season. ESPN looks smart for making that decision right about now.
The Bolts just got a lot more intriguing.
Telesco traded the Chargers second- and fourth-round picks to the Cardinals for Arizona’s second-rounder in order to get Te’o. The swap allowed San Diego to move up just six spots, demonstrating a strong desire to land the highly-decorated but subsequently character-questioned middle linebacker from Notre Dame.
Te’o was arguably the biggest story of the 2012 college football season. He absolutely became the biggest story in the sports world in January, when online sports outlet Deadspin published a stunning exposé that revealed the oft-repeated tearjerker of a tragically passed-away girlfriend to be an elaborate hoax. The story introduced the term “Catfishing” to the world, threw Te’o’s life into turmoil and sent his draft stock plummeting.
As a football player, immediate parallels were drawn between the Hawaiian native Te’o and the late Junior Seau. Both had Pacific Islander heritage, played middle linebacker for traditional powerhouse universities and were expected to make an immediate impact on the football field upon arrival.
His selection does seem like a good fit in that sense. Instead of going to the pressurized environment of a city like New York or Chicago, he can find his way as an NFL player among the placid media and ideal climate of San Diego.
The Chargers are also receiving praise for their third-round selection of Cal wide receiver Keenan Allen. Injury questions saw Allen slide to San Diego with the 76th pick, but he’s being called a steal by analysts who had him rated as one of the top receivers in the draft.
The proof of all the attention given to the Chargers draftees will be in their on-field play. At the very least, the new front office has taken some bold steps to put the team back in the limelight.
Locals Headed to the NFL
A few players with San Diego ties got the call on Friday. San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar was selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the 45th overall pick in the second round, while the Cleveland Browns snapped up Aztecs cornerback Leon McFadden in the 3rd round.
The Chargers appear to have eschewed announcement or fanfare in a quiet update to their uniform. On Monday the sartorially-focused website Uni Watch leaked a photo of jerseys with no “neck roll” and two-color lettering on the back. On Thursday, the changes were confirmed when D.J. Fluker held up a jersey with the same design.
They should still bring back the powder blues full-time, but it’s an improvement.