In my family, there are few things that are universally agreed on. We disagree on politics, religion, philosophy, and economics and those are just the things we disagree on before breakfast. But the one thing we all agree on is that the San Diego Chargers are the most exciting football team to ever grace god’s green Earth.
While my family has followed the Chargers since 1970, it wasn’t until around 1977 that we became fanatical about our belief.
See, in my family, Sunday was a day of worship and Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral and the San Diego Chargers often battled over our souls. When I was younger and forced to attend Church during an away game, I often spent a good portion of the service praying that Fouts, Joiner, Jefferson, and Winslow would find a way to win. For years my prayers went unanswered, but eventually, God himself started to believe in the passing game perfected by Don Coryell.
Of course, the late 70s brought touchdowns galore and a few trips to the playoffs, but the one thing that eluded the super Chargers was a ticket to the big dance.
It wasn’t until the early 90s that whatever forces that control the 300 feet between goal posts decided that enough was enough. Head coach Bobby Ross and pudgy, but crafty veteran quarterback Stan Humphries answered the prayers that had up until then been widely ignored.
Throughout 1994, the Chargers finally found a way to win when they weren’t supposed to. That had been one of the biggest knocks on them as a team. They beat Miami, then Pittsburgh to get an invitation to the Superbowl for the first time in franchise history. Unfortunately, the god of football still didn’t think they were worthy enough to win it all and they were soundly defeated by the San Francisco Forty-Niners in January of 1995.
While the Chargers made a few more trips to the playoffs in the 90s, they went quite some time before they won another playoff game. In fact, it wasn’t until this season that they finally shook whatever bad luck prevented them from putting it all together enough to get back to the playoffs. The 2007 Chargers won a close game against Tennessee, then came back the next week and upset the Indianapolis Colts to get an invitation to the AFC Championship game for the first time since 1994. Almost no one believed they could do it.
They started slow, and most people discounted them when they began the season 1-3. Most experts picked them to lose as many as 10 games. All season long they defied expectations and won while the experts didn’t believe they had what it took to win the tough games. And here they are…
Despite their various shortcomings, they found a way to win games they had no right winning. If there is any real justice in this world, this weekend the Chargers will continue to defy expectations and beat what many people believe is the greatest team ever assembled. The Chargers are 14 point underdogs and most experts believe there is no way in hell that San Diego can cowboy up and beat the New England Patriots on Sunday. Of course, no one thought San Diego would be in a position to be in the AFC championship game, much less win any playoff game so perhaps the experts don’t know everything. I know that San Diego is ready to win the big one… I just hope the god of football finally agrees with me.