sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Monday, September 26, 2005

....More football

Chargers rip the Giants, hopefully inspired by this snide N.Y. Times article. When I was reading it in yesterday's print edition, I had to flip back to the front page to make sure I wasn't reading an opinion piece.

The implication, of course, is the Chargers screwed up by dealing away Eli Manning. But what gets me is the fact that Lee Kenkins comes down hard on the players (Philip Rivers, Nate Kaeding, Luis Castillo and Shawne Merriman) involved in the deal, not the organization that made the deal:

"They have spent much of their time trying to explain themselves. Rivers is stuck behind the Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees. Kaeding was kicking on a slick field in that fateful playoff game against the Jets..... Castillo has tested positive for steroids. Merriman has become the rare rookie to stage a holdout during minicamp."

OK, the criticism of of Merriman and Castillo is justified. But Kaeding should never have been in the position to win or lose the playoff game against Jets because his team executed the fundamentals so poorly. The blame for the Chargers' loss, in my opinion, rests squarely on the shoulders of Marty Schottenheimer, a solid NFL coach who's never been able to get it done in the playoffs.

As for Rivers, he was simply beaten out for the starting job. Did Manning not start last season on the bench behind the more-seasoned Kurt Warner? Had Warner come out firing, is it not possible Manning would find himself holding a clipboard this season?

I just hope Rivers gets his shot as a starting quarterback in the future.


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