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I suppose Sunday’s loss to the Titans is what happens when the San Diego Chargers, and their fans, get a little too full of themselves. Everyone was convinced that San Diego could travel to a different time zone, and play at 10 a.m. Pacific, two weeks in a row without missing a beat. Instead, the team struggled to recover from injuries sustained in their win over the Philadelphia Eagles the previous week, and the haunting lack of depth on the roster was revealed as a weak point for Titans QB Jake Locker to attack.
Three weeks in, there’s no better phrase to describe the 2013 Chargers than “roller coaster.” They were great in the first half against the Houston Texans, then gave away the game. They played a solid game against the Eagles, giving fans hope that they were on their way toward consistent success, before wiping out another halftime lead against the Titans with a poor second-half showing. Now we’re left wondering which Chargers will show up against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Will it be the pass-heavy, high-scoring offense that dominates time of possession, or will the defense once again struggle to get off the field? That could very well be determined by the performance of San Diego’s young defensive line.
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Another strange death for an ex-Chargers player
Veteran Chargers players were shocked to hear the news of former safety Paul Oliver’s suicide this week. Maybe this is because I focus more on the Chargers than any other team, but they seem to have an unusually high amount of deaths to former players that are not caused by “natural causes.” This is the second suicide in the last two years, after Junior Seau, and players from the 1994 AFC Championship team have died in a variety of odd ways (including being struck by lightning).
When the Chargers picked up Oliver in the supplemental draft, most experts thought he was a steal. Most teams didn’t even realize Oliver was available in the supplemental draft (a draft of amateur players that occurs a few months after the NFL draft, specifically for players who have changed their mind about leaving college early).
Padres wind down a long season
• New Padres President Mike Dee picked up where former Padres President Tom Garfinkel (who took Dee’s old job with the Miami Dolphins) left off, meeting with various Padres bloggers and making them feel special.
• When new Padres catcher Chris Robinson hit a home run Wednesday night, he joined an odd statistical group. Since 2011, the Padres have had four catchers hit a home run for their first major league hit. To do that, you need to have a lot of turnover (or injuries) at the catcher position, a lot of catchers who can actually hit and an awful lot of luck.
• Alexi Amarista hit a walk-off single in the 11th inning to help the Padres win their final home game of the 2013 season. Might it be Bud Black’s last home game as the Padres’ manager, or does he deserve a pass?
Stories You May Have Missed
• Joe Maddon, the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays and one of the most likable guys in all of baseball, used to be a scout for the California Angels. As such, he once scouted future Hall of Famer and Padres legend Trevor Hoffman, who was a third baseman at the time. With those ratings, it’s no wonder Hoffman was eventually turned into a pitcher.
• Meredith Fitzmaurice meant to run a half-marathon on Sunday, but after she accidentally missed her turn, she ended up running the full marathon instead. It was the first marathon she had ever run in, and she won. Some people are mentally strong to a point that I just don’t understand, and she appears to be one of them.
• A new radio advertisement is running in California to build support for those who want the Washington Redskins to change their racist team name. It appears that Amy Trask, former CEO of the Raiders and a woman who broke down many barriers in the NFL, is the one pushing this ad and this message along. I, for one, wouldn’t doubt her ability to affect change on the Redskins ownership.
• GIF of the Week: I don’t know of any player’s retirement that has been handled as gracefully as Mariano Rivera’s with the New York Yankees. We still have a few games left, but Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte (Rivera’s best friends, all of them coming up together with the Yankees in 1995) coming out to get the ball from Mo in his last game at Yankees Stadium was an incredibly special moment. Your GIF of the week happened after that, though, when Mariano took some dirt from the pitching mound with him.
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