Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Oh and One

By Nick McCann

Essentially, reality does in fact bite. Usually when we describe reality, or something that reality has been revealed to, it means the negative has popped its head out to be realized. With reality comes pain. With reality, delusion and unabashed reckless hope for the future is forced to disappear. When something is real, it doesn’t lie-even when sadly we wish it could.

The build up to the Charger 2008 campaign got out of hand. The NFL media machine (that gives someone as useless as Keyshawn Johnson a job) started shortly after the 2007 season anointing the Chargers as being in the same class as the Colts and Patriots. The general opinion of the bolts was that they had Superbowl talent, but they needed to put it all together and get passed New England. However, apparently, nobody allowed the Carolina Panthers to watch cable television or read anything regarding football this summer, because they beat the 619ers (or the 858 Boys) like they were a team still trying to develop Ryan Leaf.

It is sad to think that the best thing that happened to San Diego on Sunday was that a player across the country tore his ACL. Hating Tom Brady is easy. His reality is that he is a person who-until Sunday-doesn’t have very many problems. His season is over, but Giselle Bunchen will be there to kiss it and she will make it better. Tom will be depressed at first, but then one day she will come home from her fall Victoria Secret shoot “tired” to see her man struggling with his own existence. She will ask, “How is my baby? And Tom will say, “I’m okay. I just miss the guys.” Then she will make him cookies good enough to end all war while wearing only an apron that is worth more than my car. Tom’s reality is that he has been reminded that he is not invincible. However, this season when he is rehabbing his knee, his reality will be better than my life will ever be. Tom wins, but he can not stop my team this year. That is why watching his injury initially didn’t seem real. Jake Delhomme and the Panthers’ performance showed us that it was, but that other forces could get in the way.

O-1 is not an ideal start to a “magical season”, but it doesn’t mean the Chargers won’t win the Superbowl. If they do win a title this year people like Keyshawn Johnson will probably look back at week one and label the loss as a good loss for the team. He will probably make this point by saying, “I’m just keeping IT real.” This debate happens every year about losing: does an embarrassing loss help an overly confident team come back to a healthy level of realistic self awareness? Well, maybe, but maybe not. The Panthers beat the Chargers in a very real way on Sunday and they did it in a fashion that suggested they were not intimidated at all. Tom Brady can’t make things worse, but in reality, who really cares?

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