Monday, January 21, 2013

Free Association - Doofus Style

OK, so I've been really, really slacking in the blogging department the past six months or so.  Well, there are some very valid reasons for this, namely:

  1. I started a new job/career, which has kept me very busy...and keeps me on a computer most of the time.  
  2. We moved (new job related), and putting things away, getting organized, and household stuff took over.
  3. For the first time in two years, I'm coaching BB again, and this has deeply cut into any free time I've had.
Once in a while, I'd have a good idea or two, but then I wouldn't have time, and I'd lose momentum, and then the urge to blog would go away.

So today, I thought I'd just throw down some thoughts and observations about pretty much anything that comes to mind.  

Greetings to my Russian friends!

I went to the "stats" page of my blog, and after Americans...the number of Page views by country...Russia comes in 2nd with 154 page views... (Over 50 ahead of 3rd place, the United Kingdom).  I wonder why Russian people are "stumbling" across my blog.  Or maybe they are American people in Russia... or, whatever, Welcome Comrades!


I painted my son's room today, and while I was working I listened to a couple of different podcasts.  Adam Carolla and Jay Mohr were the two I listened to (they are probably my favorites, along with the BS Report).  The Adam Carolla show is probably the best show in the genre, and honestly there are so many good podcasts out there any more... it's actually quite incredible.  I'd be lying if I didn't mention that I've often thought about doing a podcast myself at some point.  But here's the big catch... I'm boring.  What the hell would I talk about that people would want to listen to?  And who would I talk to?  I don't know many interesting people.  So although it might be something fun to try, it would pretty much only be for me.

Manti Te'o

So the Notre Dame star linebacker was taken in by a "Catfish" scheme, and fell in love with a girl who didn't exist...who then died of cancer.  OK.  Isn't he supposed to be like a very good student, at a very prestigious university?  So far, we've learned that Manti was fooled enough to tell the world that this person he'd never met was in fact, his girlfriend, and that she died the same day as his Grandmother.  I really don't care anymore, at first the story was so incredible I got swept up in it like everyone else.  Although I would like to make special mention of the excellent reporting of  They broke the story, and have also done a great job with updates like this.

Rock and Roll T-shirts

Remember that time you got a new job, and weren't allowed to wear PE clothes to work anymore?  And you decided that to "keep it real" you should get some Rock and Roll T-shirts to wear under your sweaters? Oh, that was just me?  OK.  Anyway, waited until I got some Christmas Cash, and ordered 5 classic rock t-shirts.  Looking forward to wearing them. Don't make fun of me.  
Yes, that's a Journey shirt among the Beatles, Zeppelin, and Pink with it.

Brookings Half Marathon

I've decided to run the Brookings Half Marathon again this year.   I believe this is the 5th time.  Also participated in the Marathon Relay a few times, as well.  Anyways, it's very difficult to find time to get the training in.  If you are looking to run a Marathon, Half Marathon, or participate in a Marathon Relay...I'd give Brookings some serious consideration, it's a great race.

Lance Armstrong

So Lance finally confessed to Oprah.  And people are surprised he came off as arrogant?  Really?  The guy is a giant prick.  I remember first hearing the rumors of doping, and thought "no way".  And every time Lance would come out with a new accusation, and lawsuit, and I'd be all like "you get 'em Lance".  But eventually, too many people kept coming forward, too many teammates turned on him.  And people don't like this guy....the guy who lied to everyone for years and years...and sued people that he knew were telling the truth.  Yes, he's a jerk, he's arrogant, what else did you expect?  The guy only came forward because he had no choice.

Scrubs is fun to watch

Bought the complete collection of all the Scrubs seasons for Christmas, and we've slowly been making our way through them.  I know I've blogged about this before, but it's been really fun to watch, and we've been laughing our butts off around the house.

Twitter is addicting as you've heard

I held out for a long time.  I wouldn't get a twitter account.  Who wanted to hear from me (Judging by my 67 followers...compared to 735 Tweets...not many)?  However, I got tired of reading twitter updates from my favorite sportswriters.. by having to look them up individually, and I broke down and started an account before the NFL draft last spring.  Along the way, I discovered a number of things that are really fun to do while on twitter:  watching the presidential debate, watching the "big game", watching awards shows.  I highly recommend getting one, if you haven't yet.

The Chargers "Start Over"

The Norv Turner/AJ Smith era is over.  After an extensive search, the team ended up hiring Tom Telesco as the General Manager, and Mike McCoy as the newest Head Coach.  I'll reserve judgement until they have had a few seasons to do their job... but the first impressions are really good.  The Press Conference with Coach McCoy was very impressive.  Best wishes to the new guys in charge, and hope they can turn things around.
Hope these guys can lead the Chargers back to respectability.

Zero Dark Thirty

Actually took the wife on a date a few weeks ago, and we attended this film.  I came away very impressed with the doesn't really take a stance one way or another about the war, the use of terror, or any of those subjects.... it allows you to form your own opinion.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year...New long, Norv

Yesterday the San Diego Chargers made official what nearly all Chargers fans had known was coming for the past month or so.  They fired Norv Turner as the Head Coach, ending a six year run.

Norv needs some Advil.
So as Team President Dean Spanos and other executives begin the search for his replacement (And the replacement for GM AJ Smith, as well), a quick recap of the Norv Turner era.

He was not an inspired choice.

In fact, if you go back six years, to when the Chargers fired Marty Schottenheimer...they interviewed the following candidates:  Ron Rivera, Rex Ryan, Mike Singletary, and Norv Turner.  I said at the time (and I meant it)  "anyone but Norv".  Most of the members of my favorite Chargers Message Board felt the same way.  In fact one guy started a thread titled, "I'll Punch myself in the Nuts if it's Norv".

So he wasn't exactly a celebrated hire.

Norv was a known quantity.  He was a great Offensive Coordinator, but a poor head coach.  He'd failed in that capacity twice before:  first with the Redskins, and then with the Raiders.  His record as a Head Coach was a woeful 58 wins and 82 losses.

A familiar site for Charger fans the past 6 years.
Norv was a punchline.  The poster boy for the "good coordinator, but can't handle the head job", was handed the keys to a 14-2 team.

Over the past six years there were many highs (Making the AFC Championship game in his first year, beating the Colts twice) and many, many lows (missing the playoffs the past 3 years, and a .500 record in that time).

He ended his run as a Head Coach winning 3 of his last 4 games, to finish his final season with a 7-9 record (his only losing season in SD).  This was not surprising, as Norv's teams in San Diego had a history of "finishing" strong.  In Norv's second season, the team was sitting at 4-8, and dead in the water...and promptly won the last four games....won the division at 8-8, and then won a home playoff game.

That kind of sums up the Norv Turner era.  He wasn't a bad coach.  Not terrible.  Only 1 losing season in 6 years (and that one being 7-9) is not the mark of a poor coach.  However, he wasn't a great coach either.  They lost games they shouldn't have, on multiple which point you'd count them out, and then they'd go on a run.

I'm not a gambling man, but I would think placing wagers on the Chargers in the Norv Turner era would have been an exercise in insanity.

And it wasn't always that they lost games...but the way they lost them.

You had the 2010 season in which the Chargers had four blocked punts (and one that was "deflected"), and 3 kickoff returns for touchdowns, and a punt return for a touchdown.  These breakdowns were directly responsible for 3 losses, for a team that finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs.  They could have been 12-4.

You had the 2011 season in which the Chargers, driving for the win late in the game in Kansas City, Phillip Rivers fumbled the snap on a "kneel down" play (the Chargers were just trying to run the clock down before the final snap), the Chiefs recovered, and went on to win in Overtime.  The Chargers finished that season 8-8 and missed the playoffs (9-7 would have won the division).

Norv Turner seemed somewhat like a tortured genius   Somewhat like the "absent minded professor", there were moments of brilliance, but often moments of befuddlement.  It seemed like he was almost too smart for his own good.  That he was so far in the future, setting up plays for the 4th quarter or something, that he forgot where he was...what he was doing.

Throughout 6 seasons of (mostly) ridicule, derision, and (mostly) failed expectations, Norv Turner was able to hold on to the locker room.  I've seen teams quit on coaches before (see last year's Chiefs team, or the Vikings quitting on Chilly in 2010).  In fact, it's fairly common once it's understood in the locker room that the coach won't be back.  It would have been easy for the Chargers to "mail it in" these past two weeks, after losing to the Panthers in week 15.  They didn't.

So an era has ended, and a new one will begin.  Who will they hire?

  • A previous NFL HC like Jon Gruden?
  • A college HC like Chip Kelly?
  • A NFL Coordinator like Mike Zimmer (Defense) or Pete Carmichael (Offense)?
Will Bengals DC Mike Zimmer get a shot in San Diego?
Regardless of who the Chargers hire, Norv Turner will land on his feet.  I expect him to be calling plays on an NFL sideline next season (there are 6 other staffs that will be looking for coaches), and Charger fans will no longer be calling for his head.