Tag: Raiders

Which NFL Team Do I Root For Now? We Help!

Since the Chargers left San Diego, and ultimately left all of their fans feeling abandoned and lonely it only seems appropriate for you to leave the Chargers. But, which NFL team deserves you’re undying loyalty and fandom? Why should you root for that new team? Why should you avoid that new team at all costs? Well, you’re in luck cause I’ve done the research for you! Below I’ve presented all thirty-one teams as possible suitors for you – the fan! Pros, cons, and more! I started with the most recent Super Bowl teams, and then through the AFC and NFC. Enjoy!

(HOF = hall of fame)

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS:

Super Bowl wins: 5

Players in HOF: 7

The New England Patriots is the Walking Dead of NFL teams. Everyone loved them in the beginning of the Brady/Belichick era. Scrappy, young, talented team full of key players and no real superstars. Then they kept winning. They kept hanging around. You still really enjoy watching them play and marvel at how the nobodies became Hall of Famers, but now it’s just getting repetitive. If you weren’t in from the beginning it’s too late to catch up, and if you were in – you’re over it. Still a great franchise, probably the best in the league, and if you jump on the wagon, you’re in for a smooth ride for at least a few more years.

PROS: Championships and Giselle’s terrible air-fives.

CONS: #MAGA

ATLANTA FALCONS:

Super Bowl wins: 0

Players in HOF: 7

The Falcons seem to be everyone’s favorite team right now. In fact people I had no clue were Falcons fans came out of the dark this season, and started once again rooting for the South’s most beloved gridiron gods. To be fair, I don’t blame any Falcons fan for hiding their loyalty after the Michael Vick debacle of murdering dogs for sport. But, it seems the Falcons are back and might be for a few years to come. Perfect time to jump on board, unless you watched the Super Bowl and realized Matty Ice might be the new Jim Kelly.

PROS: One of the best owners in sports, get to watch Julio Jones.

CONS: Putting up with people calling it “Hotlanta”.

DENVER BRONCOS:

Super Bowl wins: 3

Players in HOF: 7

Rooting for Denver will probably feel strange for most ex-Chargers fans, but out of the old division rivals they’re kind of the easiest to align with. They’re a properly run organization, a lot of history and success, and they won a playoff game with Tim Tebow. God is on their side. You’re kind of in the same boat as you were before with a franchise in flux, but you get in on the ground floor before they become a powerhouse again – which they will.

PROS: You can finally admit you always liked John Elway, great excuse to wear orange.

CONS: Always feeling a little dead inside.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS:

Super Bowl wins: 1

Players in HOF: 11

Kansas City might be a little harder than Denver to switch over to only because their fans are kind of assholes. I don’t know why either. It’s not like they’ve ever been some sought after franchise, or legendary powerhouse. Sure, they’ve been around forever, but currently the best thing going for them is that the Jaguars, Cardinals, and Titans exist. However, from time to time they do put together a winner and play in a beautiful stadium. Being a Chiefs fan isn’t the worst thing to be, and that’s the best thing you can say about them.

PROS: Rooting for a franchise that Joe Montana once played for.

CONS: Watching Andy Reid and Alex Smith talk about plays.

OAKLAND RAIDERS:

Super Bowl wins: 3

Players in HOF: 16

Out of all the AFC West rivals Oakland might be the hardest to get used to. Their fans are insufferable, you may die at any game the team plays in, Al Davis ruined West Coast football, and you’ve spent most of your life using the F-word when it comes to watching the Raiders on TV. However, they have a ton of franchise success, Dean Spanos took over Al Davis’ crown as “most hated owner in California football”, John Madden was their most successful coach and the silver and black is a kick-ass color combo. Plus, they have one of the better 30 for 30’s in the entire series. PLUS, they may soon be the San Diego Raiders – so problem solved! At first glance you’re gonna hate this idea, but think about it – what better way to tell Dean to f-off? Lastly, they’re a young and talented team, and have a great coach that loves the Raiders. Great time to buy a Carr jersey.

PROS: You get to wear spikes.

CONS: Murder.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS:

Super Bowl wins: 0

Players in HOF: 0

I mean, sure. Why not?

PROS: You can literally be on the ground floor of a fanbase that’s been around for way too long to still have a ground floor.

CONS: Everything else.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS:

Super Bowl wins: 2

Players in HOF: 12

Having just gone through a sports break up, you might want to steer clear of the Colts. Sure, Indianapolis didn’t steal the Colts from Baltimore, but you’re basically going from one terrible owner to another and for little to no upside. They have some history of success, and some of the greatest players who’ve ever played once donned a Colts jersey, but with no clear road to success ahead you might have a hard time convincing yourself to root for Frank Gore. However, they are one of the teams who trolled the Chargers on their LA logo, and that has to count for something.

PROS: Andrew Luck?

CONS: Drunk Irsay.

TENNESSEE TITANS:

Super Bowl wins: 0

Players in HOF: 8 (as Oilers)

When I think of the Titans, I think of that one scene in Castaway, and it might be one of the saddest scenes in modern cinema. This is a great metaphor for the Titans franchise. Again you’re dealing with a transplant team, and that may not be something you’re okay with.

PROS: Their helmet has a blue flame on it. That’s funny.

CONS: The worst logo in professional sports – and yes, I’m counting the Marlins.

HOUSTON TEXANS:

Super Bowl wins: 0

Players in HOF: 0

This could be a good landing spot for Chargers fans. Sure, they have no quarterback, and I’m afraid their coach might die of an aneurysm at any moment, but they are young, have JJ Watt, and might be good for a few more years. They aren’t the flashiest team, and I literally stopped twice to look at YouTube chemtrail videos while trying to write about them, but I mean…sure.

PROS: Young defense, plenty of potential.

CONS: Chemtrails are real.

CLEVELAND BROWNS:

Super Bowl wins: 0

Players in HOF: 13

My best friend has been a lifelong Browns fan, and I respect that. I really do. And, let’s be honest if you’re Chargers fan you may like being tortured, so the Browns might be perfect for you! I’ve never seen a worse run franchise, except for the Chargers. I’ve never seen less enthusiasm for a team, except for the Chargers. And, I’ve never heard more groans when talking about a team, except for when I talk about the Chargers! Feels like home!

PROS: I don’t care what you say, the Browns unis are sweet.

CONS: Pick one. You could even make something up.

CINCINATTI BENGALS:

Super Bowl wins: 0

Players in HOF: 3

Full disclosure I’m a Bengals fan. I grew up a Bengals and Chargers fan. Back in 2015 when Dean tried to move the Chargers I officially denounced all love for the Bolts and became a full-time Bengals devotee. It’s been a rough ride, and I’m never quite sure when a Bengal will kill an opposing player on the field, but I take comfort in being mentally prepared for it.

PROS: Andy Dalton.

CONS: Andy Dalton.

BALTIMORE RAVENS:

Super Bowl wins: 2

Players in HOF: 1

I really want to like the Ravens. I really do. Perhaps it’s all the murdering that Ray Lewis did, or the purple color scheme, or the whole Ray Rice punching women thing. I mean, it just feels wrong to root for them. However, Joe Flacco seems nice.

PROS: You get the one Harbaugh that’s tolerable.

CONS: You remember when Ray Lewis got away with murder, and then became an analyst and started telling current NFL players to get their act together and stop being stupid off the field?

PITTSBURGH STEELERS:

Super Bowl wins: 6

Players in HOF: 20

There’s a lot to love if you’re a Steelers fan. Historically one of the best franchises in professional sports history with the most championships in NFL history. Great running back, great wide receivers, Tomlin is fun to watch, and they always seem to be in the conversation. As Chargers fans we don’t know what that feels like – so now might be a great time to experience it. Plus, no one would ever call you a bandwagoner for all of a sudden liking Pittsburgh! That’s how consistently good they’ve always been! No one really hates Steelers fans, because Pittsburgh is basically one long Springsteen song, and they have the best looking throwbacks in all the NFL! Go for it. Say you love Mean Joe Green – because you do – I already believe you!

PROS: What’s not to like? (I mean of course there’s the whole Big Ben thing…)

CONS: The whole Big Ben thing…

NEW YORK JETS:

Super Bowl wins: 1

Players in HOF: 5

The Jets…they could be like…you know, if you put together all the times…J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! So…I mean…you’d get to yell that a lot?

PROS: You tell me.

CONS: 2009 and 2010 playoffs. Still hurts.

MIAMI DOLPHINS:

Super Bowl wins: 2

Players in HOF: 10

Is it weird that the Dolphins started their NFL lives as one of the most successful teams in the league? Remember that they’re the only undefeated team in NFL history? Like, despite the last 20 years the Dolphins have been a powerhouse in this league. Weird, right? But, hey! This might be a good place for you to land as a fan. You could pretend to have always known how great the Dolphins were in the 60’s and 70’s, and people would probably be fascinated. Don Schula used to ride through practices on a scooter! This is your team. Miami is like San Diego in a weird way, the color scheme isn’t terrible, and the franchises always seem to be just as relevant. Do it.

PROS: Don Schula rode a God damn scooter in practices!

CONS: Hurricanes. Real ones.

BUFFALO BILLS:

Super Bowl wins:

Players in HOF: 10

This might be another logical place for Chargers fans to land. Cool uniforms, diehard fans, no one will call you a bandwagoner for switching to the Bills because the Bills wagon broke down years ago! You get a great 30 for 30, and you can become a fan now when the team is years away from competing, so when they do win it all you’ll felt like you earned it.

PROS: Vincent Gallo’s unbelievably awkward film Buffalo ’66.

CONS: Any other Vincent Gallo film.

DALLAS COWBOYS:

Super Bowl wins: 5

Players in HOF: 16

If the Patriots had a predecessor it would be the Dallas Cowboys. “America’s Team” hasn’t really felt like that for quite some time. In fact, they got so popular almost everyone, even Troy Aikman, decided to hate them from about 1998 to 2015. However, with rookies like Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliot the Cowboys are starting to resemble the team my generation grew up idealizing. Sure Jerry Jones is a blowhard, and Jason Garrett looks like he’s always going to cry, but they’re young, they play like a team, and they’ve finally shed themselves of the Jessica Simpson curse. No one would blame you for adopting this squad, but tread softly, you might want to wait until after they fire Garrett then hire Jim Harbaugh then fire him, then hire Norv Turner.

PROS: Classic unis, get to claim Emmitt Smith, and already went through Ryan Leaf.

CONS: Garrett’s two-minute drills, whatever they get back for Romo, have to claim Greg Hardy.

NEW YORK GIANTS:

Super Bowl wins: 4

Players in HOF: 18

Eli. Pass.

PROS: Only team to stick it to the Patriots, Little Giants, ODB’s ridiculous catches.

CONS: Eli. Eli. Eli.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS:

Super Bowl wins: 3

Players in HOF: 17

If an ownership group ever felt like the Spanos’ it would be the Snyders. Like, just completely out of touch, consistently in over their heads, somehow losing money with the biggest sport in America, and can never seem to get out of their own way. Perhaps you need this in your life. Perhaps you’re like Brooks in Shawshank and you like being institutionalized. You need the hardships and the sadness. It’s become so much a part of you, that if you don’t have it you will die. If that’s the case – Brooks was here.

PROS: Um…give me a second…

CONS: The last thirty years.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES:

Super Bowl wins: 0

Players in HOF: 9

You remember that Mark Wahlberg movie where he’s a bartender in Philly and they have open tryouts and he goes and gets signed and he plays for the Eagles and it’s based on a true story? Yea.

PROS: Cool throwbacks, they have great fans; Greg Kinnear was also in the movie with Mark Wahlberg.

CONS: They may never win a Super Bowl. Ever.

GREEN BAY PACKERS:

Super Bowl wins: 4

Players in HOF: 23

This franchise is a lot like the Steelers, in the sense that everyone kinda likes them, and that’s okay. They might have the best colors in the NFL, they have arguably the greatest quarterback of the last decade, and they always seem relevant. Plus, the city owns the team! I mean, how cool is that? No one would ever get mad at you for being a Packer fan, except Lions, Bears and Vikings fans, but other than that probably no one. You get to do Lambeau Leaps into your pool, and you get all the joys of Green Bay football without having to ever step foot in Green Bay! Win-win!

PROS: Discount double checks.

CONS: That feeling that deep down inside this isn’t who you want to be.

DETROIT LIONS:

Super Bowl wins: 0

Players in HOF: 15

I would argue the Detroit Lions are the most tortured franchise in NFL history. Has any team meant more to a league and done less with it? I mean one of the best players to ever play the game retired early because he didn’t want to play for the team anymore. Plus, rooting for the Lions sounds weird. Like, does anyone really root for the Lions or do they just hope that they don’t lose so much? Perfect example – my Uncle John grew up loving the Lions. To this day never wears anything but Lions gear. I’ve never heard him say one word about the Lions. Ever. In this case you’ve already been rooting for the Lions. You always have been. No reason to stop, or continue.

PROS: Great history, legendary players, Motown.

CONS: A lot of losing. Just so much losing.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS:

Super Bowl wins: 0

Players in HOF: 13

Liking the Minnesota Vikings is like being a big fan of the old TV show ‘Coach’. Not just because they both take place in Minnesota, and purple is part of both of their color schemes, but because they’re both easy to like and for no good reason. If you’re a Vikings fan, you probably live in or are from Minnesota. You probably drink a lot, and you’ve probably never had to think about it much. I’m not insulting their fans, or maybe I am, but I am saying that your team is comparable to a second-rate sitcom that was intended for people over 40. But, hey you got Sam Bradford!

PROS: Getting to claim Adrian Peterson, using Viking lore as analogies for your games, nothing but upside.

CONS: Sam Bradford, knowing down deep that you’ll never win a Super Bowl.

CHICAGO BEARS:

Super Bowl wins: 1

Players in HOF: 25

There’s something about being a Bears fan that feels right. They have this legendary history of being a hardnosed, back-breaking defensive powerhouse. Only problem is they haven’t been relevant for a long time and rooting for the Bears feels about as 80’s as Ronald Reagan drinking Clear Pepsi while singing “Like a Virgin”. But hey, every four seasons or so the Bears look like they have a shot. And, you could do worse in picking a team to root for forever (SEE: Vikings).

PROS: The Super Bowl Shuffle, getting to claim the Fridge, The SNL “Super Fans” sketch.

CONS: Matt Barkley is your current quarterback.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS:

Super Bowl wins: 1

Players in HOF: 4

Talk about amazing throwback uniforms, the Bucs might have the best of all time. That weird orange, white, and yellow combo makes for an ugly yet extremely appealing jersey. Tampa Bay has never had a ton of success as a franchise, but it’s been a long time since they’ve been considered a laughing-stock as well. They always seem to be one or two players away from putting it all together and as an ex-Chargers fan that might be as appealing to you as orange and yellow. Winston is an emerging QB, Doug Martin might be good…again, and they always seem to be in every game. Could be a nice time to be a Bucs fan.

PROS: The pirate ship that fires a canon every time they score.

CONS: You’re forced to take a position on Warren Sapp.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS:

Super Bowl wins: 1

Players in HOF: 4

This is a tough one for me. I’ve always enjoyed the Saints. I like the colors, the city, and I was a massive Drew Brees fan. However, I can’t find a reason to root for them. But, hey that’s just me. You dig beads and baby cakes and jazz and JFK conspiracy theories? Then Nola might be for you. They’re a pretty well run franchise with moderate success, and always seem to have one or two guys you really want to root for. With the emergence of the Falcons it might be a long time till they’re winners again, but you never know with the South.

PROS: Get to have Drew Brees back in your life, get to wear a fleur de lis and not get beat up.

CONS: Sean Payton, never having a good Running Back.

CAROLINA PANTHERS:

Super Bowl wins: 0

Players in HOF: 0

I feel like the Panthers are the Oklahoma City Thunder or Drake or Solange of the NFL. There is so much potential, and you continually see flashes of greatness, but will that greatness last an entire season, and the fact that they did have one good season you’re afraid that that greatness will never happen again. The issue here is that no one knows, and neither will you as a fan. Of all the teams in the league this one could give you the highest of highs and the lowest of lows every other week. For the rest of your life. If you decide to go down this road use extreme caution and buy lots of Tylenol.

PROS: Cam Newton is extremely fun to watch, Ron Rivera is a bad ass, a feeling that you’re hip.

CONS: The color scheme is terrible, Jake Delhomme works security, and Cam Newton might die on every play.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS:

Super Bowl wins: 1

Players in HOF: 4

Fuck Pete Carroll. Richard Sherman is an asshole. Russell Wilson is so overrated you might as well call him Colin Kaepernick.

PROS: None.

CONS: All.

ARIZONA CARDINALS:

Super Bowl wins: 0

Players in HOF: 13

This is an interesting one. Although I have so much disdain for Bruce Arians it makes me never want to support the NFL, I actually enjoy the Cardinals. A team that can turn old quarterbacks good again and always has one or two receivers that are just plain awesome. They’ve been good long enough for you to think that it might stick, and they play in a stadium that you could drive to. As a Chargers fan I’d put this team in your top five.

PROS: Cool unis, you get to say “Football Cardinals”, can buy a Rod Tidwell jersey and mean it.

CONS: Bruce Arians, and the overwhelming confusion that comes with Cuba Gooding, Jr’s career.

LOS ANGELES RAMS:

Super Bowl wins: 1

Players in HOF: 18

You could root for the Rams out of spite. Like an anti-Chargers move, but ultimately any money you give them will somehow benefit the Spanos family. Also, Stan Kroenke is an asshole who just screwed over a great sports city because he wanted more money. Sound familiar? A little too much. I’d say pass on the Rams and let Spanos and Kroenke fight it out for most irrelevant franchise in LA.

PROS: I sincerely can’t think of one.

CONS: Jared Goff.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ers:

Super Bowl wins: 5

Players in HOF: 15

The last team on our list might actually be the best option for Chargers fans looking for a new team to love. You’re first reaction would be to hate them for the 1994 Super Bowl, which is considered by many to be one of the most lopsided victories in the history of the Super Bowl, but that would be silly. The 49ers were the best team in the league that year, and the Chargers lucked into that game by a yard. Plus, that was a long time ago. San Francisco is a different beast now. They’ve had plenty of down years, went through Harbaugh and then Chip Kelly. They had the whole National Anthem fiasco. I mean, this team has been through some shit. The best part for Chargers fans is that there is no light at the end of the tunnel for the 49ers, so they feel like an underdog. In fact saying you’re a 49ers fan these days sounds more like a joke than anything else. Perfect time to claim a team with amazing history, tons of success, but it all being so far in the past that no one cares anymore! It’s a win-win!

PROS: Getting to claim Montana, Steve Young, and Jerry Rice. Great color scheme and logo, playing in a division you might win every year no matter how good you are.

CONS: Other than not being any good for a couple of seasons I can’t think of one!

So, there you have it. All thirty-one NFL teams proposed as possible destinations for your fandom. Never forget that you’re in this situation because the NFL itself let you be, and that the league is built and fueled by greed and wealth with very little concern for the fan. If you’re okay with that then choose wisely, because you never know when the team you choose will one morning change their twitter handle, make a shitty logo, and leave you in the rear view mirror.

HAPPY PICKING!

Football’s Growing Problem is Football

Somewhere in the deep bravado of jock culture sits this need to be all that is “man”. The finest example of strength, dedication, and courage. If these terms and examples sound familiar, it’s because they were first used hundreds of years ago to highlight the efforts and success of our armed forces. The soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice were the ones bestowed with monikers and adjectives befitting the trials they would one day experience. As patriotic conflict became more foreign, and sport monetized and worshipped slowly but surely the terms “battle” and “war” found their way into the mouths of coaches hoping to inspire their players. Followed by “courage” and “sacrifice” and eventually even “soldier” were thrown about to motivate a win in whatever game it is they might be playing. It’s an irresponsible oversight, one that now seems so present it has all but replaced its original designation. Football is the prime example of this. The ultimate blunt force clash of oversized men designed to make themselves millionaires, and make millionaires billionaires. The new ultimate sacrifice.

Football is a game of self-proclaimed gladiators, and deals in a business of overhyped, overproduced, and overanalyzed drama that only exists in the mind of the delusional and the chicken wing-filled stomachs of fanatical club supporters. It’s the crème de la crème of accepted violence and exceptional athleticism, and if you don’t agree you are weak.

Football has a real problem, and that problem is it once again being exposed as a place for men (and only men) to be violent, and we must accept and celebrate this so sayeth those who reap the benefits. As a nation we choose every single season the game is played, whether we’d like to support this. Whether the unabashed violence, the highlight reel tackles, or the possible career-ending penalties are okay with us. We make the decision that the “controlled” chaos, the modern day coliseum games are acceptable. For decades, we’ve made it clearer than a Coors Light Silver Bullet Train that all of this is in fact acceptable if we don’t have to think about it too much, and that we are just fine with it…until we aren’t. It’s that five minutes of progressive humanity that makes me ponder – will there be professional football in twenty years? What happens when someone dies on the field? Why are football notables like Bruce Arians telling mother’s they’re ignorant for not wanting their children to play a game in which large men run into other large men with alarming force?

All three questions hinge on each other’s answer. And, all three questions prove that the NFL is working as hard as they can to set aside the glaring issues with a sport that was never intended to be anything other than a beer-drinker’s legal version of fight club with uniforms. Football has always been violent, it needed to be violent. It was played by either college kids who exuded so much testosterone they could kill an adult deer with their bare hands, or it was played by adult men who had nothing better to do and wanted to see if they could legally kill a person who was holding a ball. It’s no secret that Teddy Roosevelt, a human male bred from lions and reared on the open plains of the Wild West, wanted to ban football solely due to the amount of death and injuries the game had caused. Football imposed strict regulations, and the sport lived on, however many continue to ask if it should have and if the ghosts of the past failed to shed their ghoulish light on the future that might be.

The uncontrolled violence became somewhat controlled, better helmets and pads were introduced to soften impact, and players became more athletic to better prepare they’re bodies for the rigorous stress they’d be experiencing at an almost nonstop pace. Men become more men. They lock themselves in rooms, and grunt and sweat, and push their bodies to the limits so they can be the best at what they do. We expect them to be in shape, to be better than in shape, to be the best, the strongest, no matter what it takes, no matter the mental and physical toll, they must be prepared for “war” for “battle”. These men shrouded in pads that no longer serve a purpose, must be prepared to be “soldiers” in the ongoing fight for a ball and (sometimes fake) grass. There is no tomorrow. There is no second chance. If the good Lord decides your knee bone will be crushed today, or that all your ligaments burst apart, then so be it. It’s because the other man, who rammed helmet first into your knee, was more prepared, stronger, quicker, he was more man. Now, so must you be.

As spectators we cheer. We push for this. We want this. Take the ball into (sometimes fake) grass and dance. Do it. Dance, while I high-five people I like, and spill beer, and laugh, and sometimes cry. We have made the decision that this should continue as planned. Sure, that hit was illegal. Sure, that player did something horribly inappropriate, but they scored. I will pretend to care about that heinous act for the next few minutes with a tweet or a facebook post, but as soon as that player scores again my care will turn once again into high-fives; I’ll bury all semblance or reason down deep as to not look less of a man. Men watch this sport. Men play this sport. Women are allowed to follow it. And, follow it you must. Closely, and with every single ounce of pertinent information the National Football League tells you is pertinent. This is all the information you will need to let your children play. Dad will understand. Pain is a currency. Mom is ignorant. Pain is being alive, and if you don’t agree – you are stupid and weak. So sayeth the men who know. The men who stand on sidelines with clipboards and headphones, and large stomachs, who screech at players like dying animals that winning is all that matters. Clinging to an era long gone when they themselves were measured, when they themselves were victims of spit in face, grass in mouth, ice on swollen body parts. Now, years later knees ache, bellies jiggle, scowls perfected, and others are ignorant. “These parents didn’t go through anything”, the husky men think. They haven’t survived the “battle” the “war”. They never played a game.

The players are machines of athletics and strength. They’ve been trained from a young age to work hard. They’re minds molded that their coach is their leader, and that his words are those of Gods. When Gods not around though, we tend to play. As the animalistic nature takes over, the machine is let loose, and the few hours you get to be alive take over, no longer is God in your face. The Bible has been left in the locker room, and now the tree of good and evil will shake. We as the spectators clasp our hands and pray for good decisions, but know few will be made. Girlfriends will be punched, wives knocked cold, alcohol consumed behind the wheel of some of the finest machines ever made. Machines impaired, controlling machines needing guidance. Dads will understand. Steam must let off. Moms are ignorant. The game must be won, and if you don’t agree – you are weak and pathetic. You are not American. Football is American. It’s misconstrued violence reminds of us of our primal instincts. They make the off the field mistakes of the player more understandable and relatable when we don’t stop to think about it, because our primal instinct is our first, and our evolved intellect must have time to discern. When we utilize that time things become dark. They become upsetting, and we start to ask questions. We start to have open conversations with friends and family. We start seeing things we didn’t see before. Are we becoming weak? Are we becoming stupid? Are we not men? These questions are too much for our small brains to handle. Even if we wanted to, we could do nothing about it. It will take a death, we say, and that’ll never happen, right? It can’t. These men are trained “soldiers”. They’re prepared for “battle” for “war”. Bruce Arians and the NFL braintrust have readied their men for all situations on the field. I believe this. I must. Only consume what is on the field. Ignore the broken laws, the broken jaws, the DUI, CTE, and other acronyms we could never possibly grasp. The braintrust knows what’s best for their men, for us. We must follow them. If not, we’ll be ignorant. We’ll be women. We’ll be un-American.

For more expert sports stuff, and things you probably won’t care about, follow me on Twitter @dallas_mc 

TKF Pod #31: Oh Dean

This week Travis and Nick are joined with Nicholas Burmeister AKA @padreshaiku to talk about the crazy day that was in San Diego Sports. The guys talk about the Chargers failed plan to get to Carson and what it means for the Spanos family to become Stan Kroenke’s tenant. Then Haiku weighs in on Travis’ Trevor Hoffman rant from last week and breaks down the state of the Padres shortstop situation.

RIP David Bowie!!!

Follow us on Twitter @thekeptfaith.

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TKF Pod #27: Farm Building

This week Dallas, Nick, and Travis talk about the big week that was in PrellerLand. The Pads got some new prospects and the guys break them down. They also talk about the dying animal that is the 2015 San Diego (for now) Chargers. Follow us on Twitter @thekeptfaith.

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TKF Pod 25: Raiders vs Chargers

This week Nick, Dallas and Travis recap the depressing Chargers vs Raiders game, the impending move to LA, the Padres manager search, and the World Series. Follow on Twitter @thekeptfaith.

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The Raiders

On the surface, Raider Nation represents a population of fans from both Northern and Southern California. Al Davis, the team’s deceased founding owner, started his franchise in Oakland and then moved it to Los Angeles. After a failure to reach a new stadium deal with LA, he moved them back to Oakland. Through out his turbulent dealings with the NFL over the last half of his life, Davis never lost fans beyond any great measure, despite the relocation moves. He always made it very clear that the world was coming down on him and that no matter what he wouldn’t be pushed around. Al wouldn’t hate Commissioner Roger Goodell for the same reasons a growing percentage of football fans do today. The father of the Raiders despised the concept of a commissioner’s office. If you were in the position of anointed ruler for the National Football League, he hated you the same way Ice Cube hated the LAPD.

For San Diego Chargers fans, it doesn’t matter whether the Raiders are in Oakland or in LA. They’re the enemy. However, the distinction between the teams runs deeper than geography. San Diegans root for the Chargers because they’re a football team that plays in San Diego. That’s it. The team’s brand is basically, We play here and the excitement we provide is at times electric. For the Raiders, it’s something different. Location doesn’t really matter if you’re offering your fans a chance to adopt an idea that everyone on a certain level can be attracted to. I hated Al Davis, but I respect him even now more than living Chargers owner Dean Spanos.

While trying my best to engage with the 2015 incarnation of the Chargers, it’s hard to forget what is most likely on the horizon if they leave for LA. On Sunday the two teams will meet at Qualcomm for what is usually the most violent NFL matchup at any one location as far as arrest totals in the crowd. When these two approaches to fandom collide things get weird. Like in the Monday Night Pittsburgh game two weeks back, the stadium will likely be filled with opposing colors. It will be bikers and strippers and people who aspire to channel those archetypes through their football team. On the field, Chargers QB Philip Rivers will likely have a tough day because several of his skill player options are hurt. And like with the Steelers, he probably will experience trouble hearing on the field because of Raiders fans over populating the stadium. If the Chargers win, nobody will care because they should win. It’s the NFL and the Chargers are at home. Philip Rivers is more experienced than Oakland’s young QB David Carr and the Raiders have long been a rebuild project. If the Bolts blow this game, everyone-including locals- will blame the loss on the lack of support the Chargers fans have for their team.

Watch this video

Ice Cube and O’Shea Jackson Jr. on Conan

If Al Davis is the everlasting patriarch of the Raiders, Ice Cube is the sitting president of Raider Nation. He directed the flawed but fascinating ESPN 30 for 30 Documentary Straight Out of LA where the bulk of the movie surrounds a sit down interview with Al Davis and Cube face to face. They talk about toughness and perseverance and all the other cliché’s that built both of their brands. Ice Cube navigated music and film to become a boss and Davis went from coaching to owning one of the great products in the history of sports. In the film, Ice Cube makes it clear he wished the Raiders had stayed in his home town because they captured the spirit of LA. Al’s response was basically that the NFL screwed him over. At no point in the piece does Cube ever question Davis’ motives or express a decline in his love for the Raiders. Location doesn’t matter to him as a Raiders fan because he bought into the Al Davis code of how to exist in the world.

Ice Cube has since publicly expressed that LA doesn’t want the Chargers. I ride with Cube. If the Chargers and Raiders go to Carson and try to unite Southern California, the best case scenario for me would be to have nobody from San Diego follow them. I want LA to completely reject the LA Chargers for the LA Raiders. Since the release of the Carson2gether video and campaign, the reality has set in that both Dean Spanos, and Al’s son Mark Davis, could care less about rivalry or the people who need to exercise it twice a year. It’s hard to view the Raiders as anything more than a potential roommate, masquerading as another struggling, hard to evaluate team this early in the season. Is Oakland QB David Carr good? It doesn’t really matter. Philip Rivers and he could be using the same home locker room this time next year.

In the video above, Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., is a good example of how much this doesn’t really matter. He was three when the Raiders left LA. In fact, his Dad’s enthusiasm scared him enough to actually root for the Chargers. While his Dad blames himself for this happening, O’Shea Jr., promoting Straight Outta Compton, a film in which he plays his Dad at the genesis of his storied career, admits if the Raiders come back to LA he would totally be on board. I guess location doesn’t matter. The Raiders idea lives on while the Chargers don’t have one. My Dad moved from Oakland to San Diego and became a Chargers fan when he had me. They were here and they were electric.

TKF Pod #16: Pouder & The Cycle of Life

This week the guys welcome  Robert Pouder – MLB Inisder and Rock Star GM of Tiger! Tiger! Also he’s a Dodger fan. They talk about Matt Kemp’s cycle, who won “the trade”, and Mattingly’s future. They talk about Matt Kemp’s cycle, who won “the trade”, and Mattingly’s future. They also talk about Philip Rivers’ new deal and the future of Chargers fandom.

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Follow Robert Pouder on Twitter @rpouder

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