Saturday, January 16, 2010

I’m Back. Kouz’s Gone. The Chargers are going all the way!

Firstly, it has been a few weeks since I have posted anything. The Chargers have been on an amazing run and part of me did not want to jinx them. The truth is that I have been, busy, as 10% of this country is, struggling to find a job and haven't had the motivation to keep this thing going. However, I realized this morning, that if only one person is reading this, then it is worth it to keep going. Plus, there has been a lot of exciting (both positive and negative) sporting news coming from our fine city over the past couple of weeks. Let's begin with the Chargers.

11 games in a row won. Never scoring below 20 points. An opponent that has no right to be in the playoffs. If there is one for sure bet this weekend, it is that the Chargers, our Chargers (the one's the typically fall in the playoffs) are going to Breeze…wait…flow (like Rivers) past the Jets tomorrow. This past week I interviewed Chargers DT, Antonio Garay, who was traded to the Chargers by the Jets on December 9 this season. Here is the full article:

Whether it was the Jets or any other team, I truly believe, that this is the team to represent San Diego in a Super Bowl. The biggest factor is the desire built from heartache. The core team has been together over the past four AFC West titles and have felt the highs of winning in the regular season (2008 was pure luck…thanks, Denver) and the lows of crashing in the playoffs. That is the motivation that none of the other teams left in the playoff have and what I truly believe will guide this team to their destiny. I should mention that the offensive is filled with weapons at every starting and back up position. There is so much talent on this team that even with the talk of the Revis – Jackson match up this Sunday, Rivers has 6 – 7 other guys that he can go to just as effectively. Revis can't cover them all. I see Malcolm Floyd having one hell of a game tomorrow (as well as Antonio Gates).

As for our defense, they were called out early in the season and have truly gelled together. Now, with the exception of a handful of games, (Miami, K.C. – both times, Denver – the second game, and Tennessee) the games this season have been very close, nail biters, yet, for the most part, the defense has bent, but not broken. That should be the formula for Sunday's match up. Don't give up the big play and allow rookie QB Mark Sanchez to make the error (which he will) and running backs Thomas Jones and Shone Greene (rookie) the opportunity to fumble. The offense will put up the points, we don't need to worry about that, let's just hope the defense does what they do best and keep the Jets just out of reach of winning the game.

Onto our beloved minor league team, the San Diego Padres. Yesterday, Kevin Kouzmanoff was traded to the Oakland A's. One of the most efficient third basemen in the league today, gone. But, we got Scott Hairston back…what, not that excited? The Padres also acquired some other players you've never heard of and are going to have both an outfield and infield of young, inexperienced, but most importantly, cheap players. I firmly believe that the other shoe is soon to drop, that being the trade of Adrian Gonzalez. Was trading Kouzmanoff a way to keep Gonzalez? I don't think so. Adrian's value is as high as it has ever been and the new regime at Petco Park is looking to unload as much debt as they can. Yet, there should be much rejoicing, the new president of the team, Art Garfunkel, or whatever his name is, says they are going to lower the price of parking, beer, and tickets. Here is my response to that:

Parking: I've been to 25 of the 30 major league ball parks. San Diego, by far, has the worst parking situation. It's not the cost, necessarily; it's the actual ability to park. I've missed several innings in the past just trying to find a spot. Good thing is, no one will be going to the games this season, so there should be ample parking and I guess the decrease from $20 to $15 is nice, if it still wasn't highway robbery. We are coming to your facility, spending our hard earned money on tickets, food, and merchandise, the least you do is offer affordable and ample parking.

Beer: I worked for the Los Angeles, California Angels of Anaheim from 2005 – 2006. The new owner Arte Moreno, as a peace offering for changing the name of the team, lowered beer prices. That wasn't what packed the fans in the stands that season, it was the Angels vigorous off season hiring's and the extending of contracts of popular players…oh, and winning. 2006 was the first season the Angels ever had to start a waiting list for season tickets. Trust me; it had nothing to do with the beer. It was the quality of the team on the field and the buzz around Orange County. Everyone wanted to be a part of the action. Padres buzz, who wants to go to a game with me? Didn't think so.

Tickets: I've written several times in the past, in this very blog, that the Padres ticket pricing is not justifiable in this economy and with the product that they have. I was obviously right because last season was one of the worst attended seasons in Padres history and the worst attended season in Petco Park history. We often wonder why San Diego is considered a small market. It has nothing to do with size or population; it is simply due to the fact that the Padres are often relegated to a brief mention on Sportscenter because there is no passion for the team, here in San Diego. Why should there be? The new ownership says they are going to give us cheaper beer, tickets, and parking…and think that we can be manipulated like children, when all we want is a competitive team. Is that too much to ask for?

Let's leave this week's blog on a positive note. Go, Chargers! Bring home the first major championship to San Diego.

A shout out to Antonio Garay: I hope the Chargers keep you next season, man and thanks again for the interview. Your story is very inspiring.

A not so cool to former (I think he's former…he was on the Rams) NFL QB Kyle Boller: You're dating Carrie Prejean? First you play for the Rams now you are dating that train wreck…do you hate yourself? Come on Kyle, sign with the Raiders and try and steal Jessica Simpson away from Billy Corgan. It'd be a major step up in both scenarios.

Until next week (I promise)…

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