Chargers News: A Team Going Nowhere vs. One Going North(?)

Mandatory Credit: AP Photo
Mandatory Credit: AP Photo

August is a weird time of year for sports fans.

Unless you’re a St. Louis Cardinals fan, it’s too soon to start planning road trips to playoff games. And preseason football is more about assessing what kind of depth your team has than about projecting its chances of seeing postseason action.

But this is an August unlike any other in history for San Diego Padres and San Diego Chargers fans.

Baseball-wise, those of us (myself in particular) who bought into “Rockstar” A.J. Preller’s offseason moves and the promises they held are now kicking ourselves for believing in a team that’s limping towards September with a 54-61 record – 7 games below .500.

To put that in perspective, the Pads’ record on this date a year ago was 57-62. And no, that’s not a typo. THREE WINS BETTER. With a fraction of the payroll, mind you, and a much superior team ERA. But whatever. That’s A.J. & Co’s mess to clean up.

Meanwhile, there’s football to watch this week, right?! Time to dive right into Bolts mode. Danny Woodhead, Donald Butler and Jason Verrett are all healthy. Keenan Allen’s gonna rebound. Eric Weddle’s playing angry. Melvin Ingram’s drawing raves. And Philip Rivers is destined for a career year. What’s not to love?!

Oh yeah………The stadium thing.

The thing that’s stolen headlines, killed alliances, burned politicians, spawned paranoia and infuriated an entire fan base that still – for the time being anyway – loves the team, but hates its owners.

Mandatory Credit: UT San Diego
Mandatory Credit: UT San Diego

My head hurts from trying to keep all the storylines straight here, by the way, including (but not limited to): A) Will Jerry Jones’ support of Inglewood really help keep the Chargers in San Diego? B) Can the initial public/private split of costs for Mission Valley be revised enough to be acceptable to the parties involved? C) Will Mark Fabiani finally get caught in his twisted web of lies, distortions and half-truths? D) Would the Chargers really put the franchise tag on Philip Rivers twice to keep him from leaving?

Those are the questions that are resonating in the brain cells of Charger fans right now. Which is a total shame, because there’s a kickass team about to take the field this month with a ton of interesting storylines in their own right:

Like how Season Three of the Mike McCoy era will play out from in terms of some bolder, more confident play-calling on 3rd-and-long, for instance. How effective – and healthy – a Brandon Flowers/Jason Verrett combo can be. And if 2015 turns out to be the long-promised “breakout year” for Ladarius Green now that Antonio Gates is out for four games.

All these questions, and countless more, will be answered in the weeks and months to come. And they’ll provide a merciful break from wondering if/when A.J. will finally pick up the phone to free up some payroll and restock the farm system that he stripped bare earlier this year.

But in the back of our minds, like a hangover we can’t quite shake, that other question (Carson? Inglewood? Mission Valley?) will continue to linger on. Taking the luster off impending Charger wins, highlight plays, and fantasy stats. And leaving us to wonder who – if anyone – we’ll be rooting for at this time next year.

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Neal Hughlett
Digital Creative Director/Copywriter at @mmbideas. Wannabe sports journalist, flamed-out athlete, and diehard baseball junkie despite all of its strikes, lockouts, steroid scandals and Scott Boras. Ex-Californian proudly repping the Padres & Chargers deep in the heart of Red Sox & Patriots Nation.

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