The staff at BoltBlitz.com gives their predictions to Thursday’s game versus the Broncos.
Corey Decker: Chargers 31-28. Broncos miss a last-second field goal.
Cheryl A White: 31-28, the guys in the blue color rush unis. Gordon with two rushing scores, Henry & Williams with TD passes + a Lambo field goal give the Bolts win No. 2. Whether or not it’s enough to save McCoy’s job, we’ll find out Friday.
Charles LaFurno: The Chargers win and save McCoy’s tail, unfortunately, 27-20.
Bosa has two sacks and causes a fumble. Gordon goes for over 100 yards from scrimmage.
Zak Darman: The Chargers never get into rhythm on offense and rival signal caller Trevor Siemian slings a late TD to clinch. 24-3 Broncos.
Brian Scott: Denver holds a 9-1 record over the last 10 games against San Diego, winning the last five in America’s finest city. In San Diego, the last five against Denver, Denver has outscored the Chargers 23.6-14. Gordon grinds it out in the middle where Denver has been exploited this year. With an established run game, Rivers is able to throw underneath often and even tests the excellent secondary of Denver, with a few long balls – Rivers never backs down from a challenge. Joey Bosa fuels the fire from his debut last week and will have at least two sacks, and will disrupt Trevor with the help of Liuget. Even with the polar opposite records, how horrible the losses have been for San Diego, they somehow find a way to win at home against Denver for the first time since 2010. Chargers 26 – 21
Travis Blake: As much as I want — NEED — this team to win, and as good as I am feeling about their chances in this game, I still can’t pick them to win. The Chargers of late have always failed hardest in Prime Time, tonight will be no exception. The color rush will be awesome! Broncos defenders will be caught starring at the brilliant blues as Double H, TW16, Travis Benjamin, and MG28 run past them for a couple of TDs! But soon the Bronco defenders will snap out of it and start stopping the run and pressuring PR17 to death. With a short week of preparation and healing Mike McCoy’s team folds yet again. THE Bolts lose, 24-17. Stay tuned after the game if you’re still awake to see who the new head ball coach will be!
Laura Leech: I was worried about being the only one not predicting a win. It will come down to if the Chargers can effectively run the ball. They won’t be being the huge passes from the Chargers like they did against the Raiders. Chargers are without their starting secondary and the Broncos will use that. Their secondary is the best in the league. I think the defense gets two turnovers but it still won’t be enough to secure the win. 21-17 Broncos
Will McCafferty: The one thing the Chargers have been consistent at this season is being inconsistent. They have proven that they can come from ahead better than any other losing team in the league. With that in mind, I have decided to think outside the box for this game against Denver. Many of us hope that if the Chargers fall to Denver tonight, Mike McCoy will lose his gig as head coach. With that in mind, I fully expect the Chargers to beat the reigning Super Bowl champions. That will secure McCoy’s job until week 10 against the Dolphins. At that time, with McCoy’s job on the line again, the Chargers will secure their third victory of the season, once again saving McCoy’s job. Finally, their fourth and final win of the season will be week 17 against the Chiefs. With that win, the Chargers will end the year at 4-12, but Dean Spanos will be so proud that the Bolts beat KC to end the year, that he will make sure that McCoy will get a three-year extension on his contract. As for tonight….. Chargers 24 Denver 23
Chris Hoke: Chargers start slow in the second half settling for 2 field goals. While the defense gives up 14 point one on a long bomb to Sanders and the other on a five-yard rushing TD From CJ Anderson. The Bolts come charging back and take a 20-14 lead going into the 4th, once again settling for a field goal. McNorv has Lambo kick a field goal, which is blocked and returned for six points and the Broncos win 21-20.
Brian Krich: These are the games the Chargers tend to win. Games when you think they have no chance against a deeper opponent. I think they get some things down the middle of the field and Gordon contributes in the passing game. I like the Chargers in a 20-13 type of game.
Big question is can Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin win some of the one-on-one match-ups on the outside. You know Denver is going to do what Denver does. They’re going to play a ton of Cover-1 and dare you to throw the ball outside. If the Chargers can get them out of some of those single-high safety looks the run game should open up, allowing them to control the ball a little bit and get in to manageable third downs.
Dave Booga Peters: When looking at the respective records of the Chargers (1-4) and the Broncos (4-1), this game could possibly be over before it starts, ending in a Denver win.
But, not so fast, my friend.
Historically, the Chargers tend to play up to their competition when facing an elite opponent. They are doing just that Thursday night as they face the defending Super Bowl Champion Broncos.
In this contest, the Bolts do NOT forget about running back Melvin Gordon and he sets his career-high in total yards from scrimmage with almost 200 yards, scoring twice in the game. Rivers is efficient enough, posts a solid QBR but does not wow in most major passing categories. That being said, he easily throws for over 126 yards, passing Hall of Famer and San Diego Chargers great Dan Fouts for the team record in passing yards. Rivers does manage to throw for two passing scores, with one to Tyrell Williams and the other to Hunter Henry.
In the end, the Bolts triumph over the Broncos by a score of 34-27, ending their 10-game losing streak within the AFC West.
Feel free to leave your prediction for the game in the comments section below.
Thanks a lot for reading.
Dave Booga Peters
Now that the initial wave of free agency has come and gone, there are still many questions that need to be answered and holes on the roster to be filled.
For the purpose of this interview, I’ll be sitting down with the lead writer of this website, Greg Williams.
Booga: Which of the recently signed Chargers’ free agents are you most excited about?
Greg: By the slimmest of margins, I am most excited about the addition of wide receiver/returner Travis Benjamin. Slightly edging out Brandon Mebane, Benjamin had nearly four times as many punt return yards in 2015 than the Chargers did. Giving the Bolts a much-needed advantage in field position, the former Brown can swing the field in favor of the Chargers’ offense, as opposed to struggling mightily in that department in recent years. His ability to take the top off of defenses is something Philip Rivers hasn’t had since the days of Vincent Jackson. His presence dramatically opens up two of the three phases of the game for the Bolts.
Booga: Which position do you feel could still be addressed via free agency?
Greg: The center spot. Due to the fact that San Diego needs a veteran presence in the middle of the offensive line, Stefen Wisniewski should have already received a phone call from Tom Telesco, by now. He’s a Pro Bowl center who (no offense, Trevor Robinson and Chris Watt) is far and away better than the guys filling that spot now.
Booga: With the third pick, in the 2016 NFL draft, the San Diego Chargers select…….
Greg: I want the answer to be Jalen Ramsey. With his size, speed, natural ball-hawking skills and versatility, he is going to be an instant game changer. The problem is his stock is WAY too high. I’m afraid he’s going to go top-two. Also, with the Chargers already signing Dwight Lowery, they may feel they have the safety position suitably covered. I would still want him since he can play corner just as well as safety. Play him opposite Jason Verrett, put Casey Hayward on the slot receiver and Brandon Flowers in the dime package. Unstoppable secondary.
All that being said, I think the Chargers will draft DeForest Buckner. He will be there. He has freakish size, speed and power. He’s got that Oregon conditioning so he won’t gas out. His presence will open up Corey Liuget, Melvin Ingram and other pass rushers to favorable one-on-one conditions.
Booga: The retirement of Malcom Floyd has left a gaping hole in the wide receiving corps. Despite the addition of Benjamin, do you feel the position should still be addressed in the draft?
Greg: Yes. There is a good crop of receivers in this draft and none are projected to go higher than middle of the first round; meaning, there will be high quality guys available in the second and third rounds. The Chargers always seem to be pulling guys in off the street to catch the ball by the end of the year due to receiver injuries. Adding a receiver in the draft is a must. Better to have too much depth than not enough. I’m sure Rivers would attest to that.
Booga: Now that offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is back with the team, do you think he can help steer Melvin Gordon’s career in the right direction? His rookie season left a lot to be desired.
Greg: Absolutely. Whisenhunt is the perfect man for the job. He knows how to use a power back correctly. The most frustrating thing about last season for me was watching how clueless former OC Frank Reich was in using Gordon. This was the man who just had a 2,000-yard, record-breaking, Heisman Trophy finalist season at Wisconsin using a traditional Power-I system. Fullback makes the first crack in the line and Melvin blasts through it to outstanding results. Did Reich sample that formula at all last season? No. He’s so married to his system he doesn’t want to help Gordon along with a system he’s familiar with that showcases his strengths. Instead, he wants to put him as a single back in a pistol or shotgun formation, use him as a receiving back and overuse inside draw handoffs from seven yards deep in the backfield. Gordon was doomed to fail.
Whisenhunt has a ton of experience using the style Gordon knows from his time in Pittsburgh and Arizona, and he used that style to great success. Both of his teams made the Super Bowl. He did it as a coordinator in Pittsburgh and as a head coach in Arizona. He understands using a fullback yields positive results. He will run old-school, smashmouth power sets, and Gordon will be the back we were hoping to see last season. I’m thrilled for him. I met Gordon three times at the NFL Draft in Chicago last year. He is an amazing young man and it couldn’t be happening to a better person.
Booga: If you were to grade Telesco’s free agency period thus far, what grade would you give it and why?
Greg: I would give him a B-minus.
Getting Mack would have given him an automatic-A. Looking at what Atlanta gave him, the Chargers could’ve done that contract and still had the room to sign their other guys. In their defense, however, there’s no way to know how much other guys are going to command. Getting Wisniewski would give them an A, as well.
The center problem is still a problem and the solution is still sitting there.
Mebane is a great add. All his teammates talk about how he is the soul of their defense, more so than the heralded Legion of Boom. He can occupy two defenders, opening up pass rushers, he can stop the run and he can push the pocket into quarterbacks’ laps.
I love Benjamin for the reasons I mentioned above.
Hayward hasn’t reached his prime yet. He’s going to shine because a lot of balls will be coming his way. Quarterbacks are learning to stay away from Verrett. He had six picks his rookie year and he’s shown himself to be a solid, versatile defender.
Lowery has grown into a quality pro, despite becoming an NFL journeyman. He’s going to have every opportunity to write his name in pen for the next three years at that position if he produces.
I like this free agent class a lot.
Booga: Despite a horrible 2015 for the Bolts, both on and off the field, what are your thoughts on the 2016 offseason thus far, and the prospects of the organization moving forward.
Greg: The Chargers needed this past season to happen. They needed it to see what they were doing is wrong on so many levels. The revolving door on the offensive and defensive lines is wrong. The offensive philosophy was wrong for the talent they have.
They needed the stadium fiasco to play out to light a fire under their butts and realize you can’t half-step on these stadium proposals and say they did their part, essentially blaming the fans. Now they see that the way to win back your fan base is bring in names we know to spark interest, not only in the fan base but in their own locker room.
Do you think the defensive captains are happy to hear Brandon Mebane is coming? Do you think Philip Rivers is happy to hear Travis Benjamin is coming? You better believe they’re excited! Rivers has already said he and his son were watching YouTube clips on Benjamin. That’s how you begin building a winning culture. Now the stadium task force will come correct with a viable plan and a stadium will become a reality.
The draft is going to bring in another impact player or two, and this team has a very realistic shot at getting back to a double-digit win season. They will have everyone coming back healthy and they’re playing a last-place schedule. They needed to be smacked down by reality in order to move forward. Now you’re going to see the real Chargers and a front office with their heads out of the sand.
Believe it or not, it’s a great time to be a Chargers fan. I can’t wait for the season to start!
Thanks a lot for reading.
Please follow Greg on Twitter, @LordOfTheGregs.
Name: Greg Anthony Williams
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Alias(es): The Greg One, The ‘novelist’ of Boltblitz, Hootie
40-yard dash: 4.49 seconds
Hand size: 10 1/2
225-pound bench press: Nope
Vertical: I’d rather be horizontal
Sports played: Football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track and field, volleyball, tennis
Role models: Ozzy Osbourne, Philip Rivers, Sam Kinison
Biggest passions: My family, writing, acting, performing. I have had stints as a stand-up comedian, DJ, VJ, and worked in TV, movies and theater since I was 8.
You make that sound like a bad thing… -Yours truly
To BE the man, you’ve got to BEAT the man! -Ric Flair
Not everyone who wanders is lost. -Tolkien
If stuck on a desert island with only…
3 CD’s: Pearl Jam- Ten; My Chemical Romance- Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge; Slipknot- The Subliminal Verses Vol. 3
3 DVD’s: Lord Of The Rings trilogy (counts as 1); Decline Of Western Civilization Pt.2, the Metal Years, Friday
3 Books: It by Stephen King; The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien; The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3 little known facts about me: I was a singer in a country/rock band. I was a writer for a NFL fansite called Seahawks Huddle in 2003. I won the Jane Austin Spirit Of The West film award for a student film I starred in called Sure Thing in 1996. That award is still in my former agent’s house somewhere. Haven’t seen her since. (I’ll find you yet…)
On where ‘The Greg One’ came from: High School. We all had nicknames on the student newspaper. ‘The Great One’ was currently in use by Wayne Gretzky so I thought ‘The Greg One’ was a clever spin on it. It’s close enough in sound and it feeds my ego so I kept it. I think i’m the only one who gets it though. I’m my own inside joke.
On Twitter: @LordOfTheGregs. One Greg to rule them all. One Greg to find them. One Greg to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them! You’ll find no bigger LOTR fanboy than me!
On Playstation Network: Saruman316. Representing for the PS3 owners out there! Let’s play! Currently deep into Diablo 3.
Favorite non-NFL sports/teams: NBA-Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, UFC, NCAA football/basketball- N.C. State, Duke, Florida State, Oregon, WWE
Favorite current Charger: Philip Rivers
Favorite All-Time Charger: Junior Seau
On when he became a Chargers fan: The game was rite of passage a in my house. I learned the way a lot of us did, sitting on my dad’s knee. Six years old. Dad’s drinking buddies would come over because we had the biggest TV on the block. It was a Zenith floor model TV that probably weighed 200 pounds. Amidst all the drinking and swearing the guys always tried to keep me involved. ‘Who do you want to win little man?’ They would always ask. Until I got to know who was who I always picked the winner by who had the best looking helmets. The Chargers always had the best looking helmets so they were always my favorite team with the Seahawks coming in second. Keep in mind I grew up on the East Coast. The Redskins were the default every week team and most of my family were Redskins or Cowboys fans. The Chargers were seemingly always on in the 4 pm late game. I was the one weirdo who chose a west coast team!
Greatest Chargers moment: 1994 AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That game stands out because my favorite player, Junior, was questionable to play because he had a pinched in his neck that rendered his left arm useless. Junior played. With that one good arm he had 16 tackles and dominated the game. I’ve seen no better individual performance in a game where that stakes were that high. Seau was literally a one-armed man in an ass-kicking contest, and he won!
Lowest Chargers moment: The game after Seau’s amazing performance, the Chargers lone Super Bowl appearance against San Francisco. The Chargers were boatraced by the 49ers 49-26. As soon as Jerry Rice caught that 80-yard strike over the middle with no one in the picture on the second play from scrimmage, you knew it was going to be a bad day. I held out hope that the Chargers could come back even deep in the fourth quarter (Ok, all we need is to score a touchdown, stop them, score another touchdown, onside kick, score another touchdown…) It was definitely my worst day as a Chargers fan. I knew how great the 49ers were that year but that loss still stings and it will until the Chargers do win a Super Bowl.
On Boltblitz: Dave and I both wrote for another sports site before he decided to form Boltblitz and I hold it as the highest honor that I was the first person he asked me to join him. Boltblitz has been a great part of my life. I have enjoyed meeting scores of Chargers fans at games, tailgates and local events. We share the vision of making Boltblitz the greatest Chargers website in existence and nothing will change that! Thank you all for reading through these last two years, it’s only going to get better!
As it is written here, I am the owner, editor and lead writer for BoltBlitz.com. We are a few months away from being two-years-old and there has been so much hard work put into building this site into what it is today. Sure, I have worked hard, but I’m talking about the staff here at BoltBlitz.com.
I may not be the best editor, but I truly have the best staff when it comes to Charger blogs and websites. My writers donate their time, effort and heart to provide you with the best Charger content available. I have intentionally put together a staff of varied opinions and backgrounds. We have writers from all over the US and the world.
Thomas Powell deserves a lot of credit for his work in helping to come up with article ideas and co-hosting our meetups with me. He is incredibly opinionated, but he knows his stuff. Let me put it this way, he does more homework than anyone else in the business. He listens to all of the radio shows that he can and has connections with multiple media members. Powell’s interviews have been some of the best articles on this website. Why, you ask? Because he does his homework. He may regurgitate some other people’s opinions as his own, but he does that homework. Ignore his inability to spell. He knows his stuff.
Although he can’t stand the fact that I wear my hat backwards, Mike Pisciotta is third in line behind myself and Thomas. He was recently named the ASSistant editor here on the website. He is a solid writer that has been supporting the Chargers for many, many years. Mike and I speak every other day on ways to improve the website and deal with the way Thomas posts things on Facebook. It’s a full-time job. 😉
Greg Williams is a senior writer here at BoltBlitz.com. He is one of my best friends and I hate that he lives in Arizona. Every article he writes is basically a novel. Whenever I go in to edit Greg’s articles, I take a magazine and a roll of toilet paper. I’m going to be there for a while. Williams does a fantastic job of showing the homer-perspective while backing it up with football knowledge. He is a former player of the game and it shows in his writing. I’d still burn him on a 9-route. Just saying.
Both David Droegemeier and Matthew Stanley are members of the United States Military. Yet, they take time out of their schedules to give you their opinions on your San Diego Chargers. They both have great insight and I am privileged to have them on my staff. Remember why we have our freedom. It is because of guys like David and Matthew.
Oh, boy…. Jarvis Royall. When he writes, it’s gold. When he doesn’t, it’s, well, nothing. Jarvis is the youngest member of the staff and I had to find a way to make him a senior writer. He has written the third most articles on the website behind myself and Greg Williams. Royall is a great asset to the team and people love his posts. ( Side note: Write more often )
Three words. Big. White. Kahuna. His improvement over the last few months is like night and day. He writes with his heart on his sleeve. He does a great job communicating with me via text, Facebook and Twitter. He is an emotional writer that does everything in his power to relate to the fans. He can and will be a great writer. I have the utmost confidence in BWK.
David Agranoff might be the most creative writer that we have on the staff. His “Charger Bars around the US” article blew up. It was a top-25 article, hit-wise, on the website of all-time. He consistently has unique ideas and I always look forward to hearing from him and what his next topic will be. I end up with a smile on my face each time I read his next article. He is very clever and he incorporates humor into each and every one of his pieces.
When I get ready to edit David Parada’s articles, I kind of yawn and hit spell check. Not because his posts aren’t interesting, but they just don’t need much editing. It’s a blessing to have a professional writer like Parada on the staff. His last piece about the FCC repealing the blackout policy and the NFL still being the boss was fantastic; as were his previous articles. I love seeing Parada pop up in my editor queue. It is an effortless task and I genuinely appreciate his work.
Oddly enough, I have to bring up a new writer that has burst onto the scene. Her name is Briana Soltis. She does a fabulous job of taking the readers away from the article and into a world where they are sitting right next to her. They see what she sees. They believe in what she believes. She has the innate ability to take you away from this world with imagery and a poetic license that delivers a different world to fans all over Charger land. Powell landed her as a writer for the site. Props, Thomas.
Joe Martinez is now in charge of helping out our Spanish-speaking fanbase. He is putting out multiple Spanish-related articles and doing a great job in doing so. Although four years of high school Spanish were helpful at the time, I can’t edit his pieces and give you the quality you deserve. The good news is that I trust Joe. He’s a great kid and he believes in this team. Keep an eye on Joe. He gets better each and every article he writes; whether it’s in English or Spanish.
I have 25 members on my staff and every single one deserves recognition for all of their hard work and dedication in building this website into the best it can be. We’re getting there, but it’s up to me to push us to the next level. Why? Because all of you have provided the groundwork for us to do just that. I can’t thank you enough for everything that you do. I am incredibly blessed that all of my writers do everything in their power to provide quality, stat-driven, fact-based thoughts into every one of their articles.
My staff is why this site is successful. I have very little to do with it. I may have put these people in a place to succeed, but I’m not why they’re doing so. Again, I have the best Charger blog/website staff out there. You will not be able to convince me of anything else. I respect all opinions regarding topics such as this. But, I’ll say this, you’re wrong if you think I don’t have the best Charger bloggers out there.
P.S. My name is Booga Peters. I own this website and I endorse every single one of my writers. They are here for a reason. They’re here to give you the best opinions and coverage in the business.
Some days the football gods smile down upon your team and usually its long after their assistance is needed. I finally got to go to my first Chargers game of the season as the Giants came to town on December 8th. This was a game I had circled on the calendar for a number of reasons, the biggest one being the obvious permanent interlinking of Philip Rivers and Eli Manning through the 2004 draft.
Manning’s outright refusal led to the Chargers selecting him and ransoming him to the Giants for four draft picks, most importantly my favorite college player, Philip Rivers who played at my Alma Mater, N.C.State. No one was happier to see this scenario play out than I was, having known what Rivers did in college. I grew up in Raleigh, home to the N.C. State Wolfpack. I grew up on that campus, mere miles from the campus of my high school and I hung out with players from those teams.
Fast forward a decade later and here comes Manning, in the midst of the worst season of his pro career coming into San Diego to face the Chargers and Rivers, having a pro bowl caliber season. Despite the last minutes corporate purchase of seats to avoid a blackout, the fans turned out in droves to cheer on the Chargers in this game. From my vantage point ten rows from the field I could see the stadium was nearly full of screaming Chargers fans. Yes, there were a lot of Giants fans in attendance as well but such is life at Qualcomm stadium. There are too many visiting jerseys for my liking. Hopefully, once the culture changes as the new management digs in it will get much harder for visiting fans to get into the stadium.
The Chargers gave reason to cheer from the very first drive. The Giants received the ball and the Chargers defense forced a three-and-out. On the Giants second drive Donald Butler intercepted Manning and returned it thirty yards. Rivers capitalized on the turnover, hitting Keenan Allen along the visitors sideline from 43 yards away on third and three. The rout was on as the Chargers raced to a 24-0 halftime lead. Keenan Allen had two touchdowns in the half and Danny Woodhead caught the third touchdown seconds before the second quarter ended.
My biggest reason for going to the game was to boo Eli Manning from start to finish and from the sounds of things, every fan in the home team’s colors had the same idea. Manning was booed loudly and lustily every time he walked onto the field, every time he took a snap. A giant Fathead graphic of Eli Manning’s face, (now known as SHEli) adorned with short blonde hair, lipstick and earrings hung from the home end zone. It was a comical sight once the Giants made it inside the ten-yard line and there was now way for Eli to not see that Fathead sitting exact center of the end zone at eye level. Great creativity from the Chargers faithful.
The Chargers played their most complete game of the season up to that point. Manning was sacked and intercepted twice. The Giants were only three of eight on third down. Ryan Mathews ran hard, gaining 103 yards and a touchdown. Allen had two touchdowns among his three catches. Rivers threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. The defense kept pressure on Manning and the Giants all game forcing three turnovers and keeping the Giants off the field. The Chargers owned time of possession 36 minutes to 24.
After an embarrassing performance the week before against Cincinnati, this was just the performance the Chargers needed to build steam for one last playoff push. The win came on Philip Rivers birthday and that win also knocked out the Giants from the postseason race. The game could not have come together better. The Chargers dominated the diva that spurned them in 2004 (Manning) at home on Rivers’ birthday, simultaneously eliminating the diva’s team from the playoffs and keeping the Chargers in the playoff race. Football kismet.
It goes without saying I was thrilled with the team’s play. Unlike all the games before it, this was a worry-free, mistake free game and there were no Maalox moments as the game sped too quickly to a finish. I’m most proud of the crowd who were full throat from the first snap to the last along with me and my best friend, Boltblitz fearless leader Dave ‘BoogaP’ Peters, all reveling in Manning’s misery. Thank you to all those who came to say hello, share your tailgate fare and make my foray back to America’s finest city a great experience.
The Greg One
The hot story in the NFL right now is not about what’s going on in training camp but of a three-year veteran from the Philadelphia Eagles, Riley Cooper. Footage has recently surfaced of an intoxicated Cooper at a Kenny Chesney concert berating security guards because they wouldn’t let him backstage. He threatened to fight every person back there (replace ‘person’ with a racial slur for black people that begins with N) to get backstage.
The day after its released, the story has already been blown out of proportion. Cooper was definitely not the smartest man that night 1. For his choice of words. 2. For threatening not one but apparently multiple security guards. The drinking is not an excuse. Who hasn’t gone to a concert and thrown back some suds? Concerts indoors or outdoors are hot, crowded, hours long endeavors. A beverage of some kind is needed for survival. Cooper would have been wise to bring a friend or bodyguard to manage the situation. Cooper also should have been smart enough to know that as a (somewhat) known football player in a football crazed town that cell phones cameras and TV cameras are everywhere, waiting to record every misstep. Who’s not annoyed when you’re at a concert, a favorite song starts playing and every other person in your section holds their iphones in your line of sight to record the song?
Players and media are spewing outrage at Cooper for his drunken rant. The story will die in a couple of days but today, Cooper is public enemy number one.
He shouldn’t be.
We’ve all heard that alcohol is a truth serum and it is. When inhibitions are lowered (which alcohol tends to do) the ability to filter your words equals the release of thoughts an inebriated mind would otherwise hold back. Riley Cooper is a man who still has that word in his vocabulary. It doesn’t make him evil. It doesn’t make him a bad guy. Does it make him a racist? Maybe.
The definition of racist is: 1. The belief that races have distinctive cultural characteristics determined by hereditary factors and that this endows some races with an intrinsic superiority over others. 2. Abusive or aggressive behavior towards the members of another race on the basis of such a belief.
Truth is, we don’t know what Riley Cooper believes. Until he tells us so, it is unwise to speculate. The Grand Wizard is a racist. The members of the KKK are racist. Remember baseball’s John Rocker? Youtube his rant. That guy is a racist and it can be said because his words were uttered without the provocation of alcohol. They’re not the first racists and unfortunately they won’t be the last. Until Cooper tells us we can’t include him in that list.
Cooper has come out and apologized through the media and to his teammates in person. Not doing so could be an occupational hazard considering his team is over 70% black so we’ll just consider that damage control. What Cooper is guilty of is ignorance. Ignorance to the strength that the word still carries in today’s society. No word epitomizes the decades of slavery and the struggle of African-Americans during that time and for decades after better than that word. What Cooper is guilty of is insensitivity towards his fellow-man. Not getting backstage entry to a concert doesn’t justify its use. Nothing justifies its use.
As a black man and lifelong athlete who has spent years in and around locker rooms to call Cooper a racist solely because he used it is wrong. It shows he has a tendency, a leaning, towards being racist. It doesn’t automatically make him one. My word for this situation is this:
One thing I’m truly sick of is the double standard that comes with this word. In any mixed race locker room in the country that word is thrown around by one black athlete toward another incessantly and its fine. However, if a white player says that to a black player its racist. Black people will say they can say it to one another because they’ve earned the right to use it the way they want. Earned it. Like the maturing of a 401K perhaps. Earned? Today, the spelling and pronunciation has been changed from ending in ‘ger’ to ending in ‘ga’ along with the definition attached. No matter who says it or how the pronunciation, spelling or perceived definition of the word may have changed in the black culture, it’s still the same hateful, debasing, derogatory and violent word it always was and anyone who uses it is a fool.
The best example I can give you is rap music. Rappers litter their music with these words. They have put pen to paper and composed these lyrics themselves. Does that make them racists? They wrote it. They will stand there on TV and promote it, celebrate it and implore you to buy it! They become multi-billionaires and they’re perceived as musical geniuses. Many rappers will release these filth laced albums then go home to their white wives and girlfriends. No one calls Tupac or Biggie Smalls racists. Jay-Z is a billionaire and his clothing brand, custom line of Vodka, 40-40 Club sports club chain and his music are celebrated by all cultures. No one considers Jay-Z a racist. They consider him a brilliant artist and you will find the N word on almost every track, multiple times.
This word should be banished from our collective vocabularies altogether as well as derogatory terms for ALL ethnic groups. I have not EVER used this word, and I will not EVER use this word, and I don’t feel any more ‘entitled’ to it than the next guy. There are more intelligent ways to express your disapproval or anger of a person than resorting to racial threats.
I consider myself an intelligent black man who is aware of what happened to my earlier generations in American history. The best I can do is learn from it, recognize it and thus understand how to respond to it if and when it arises. It is not my responsibility to carry their hatred into the 21st century. When someone who is a throwback to those hateful times arises, I know from their words and their actions of their intent. I accept it but it doesn’t mean I have to accept that person. I recognize that person as someone I do not want as a part of my life and just like that, they’re out of it. Being a racist is a choice, not something you’re born with and so is your response to racism.
Riley Cooper has made his bed and now he has to sleep in it. Despite how far we have advanced as a culture, there are and always will be blacks who are genuinely hurt, and offended, by its use because they empathize so strongly with the actions of that time. Segregation is only about 40 years in the rear view mirror. There are still generations of people in this country who lived through it.
Want to know who I see as racist? Marcus Vick, the younger brother of Michael Vick. After the Cooper video went viral, Vick posted on Twitter (in a very quickly deleted tweet) that he was putting a bounty on the head of Cooper. That is the act of a racist. Vick wanted like-minded people to go and do physical harm to Cooper. THAT is the kind of thinking that holds us back as a people. THAT is the kind of mentality that keeps racism alive. And THAT is from the brother of one of Cooper’s teammates!
It is definitely not up to Marcus Vick. But it is up to Cooper’s teammates to now decide whether to accept him or exile him from their lives. Some will be accepting and forgive, others will not. The lesson in this for all cultures is to learn from it, understand the effect such slang has on that culture and better yourself by rising above such language. Then and only then can we all evolve as a people.
Photo Credit: Thegrio.com
Good morning friends and neighbors! Just swinging through to give you a glimpse into my whimsical, oddball life. I have been a Chargers fan from day one. Around age 6 is when my football interest began. My dad had one of those big Zenith floor model TV’s. (The equivalent of a giant flat screen today for those of you who are too young to remember those). We must have been the big players on the block because all the guys came to watch TV at our house. There were no remote controls back then, you actually had to get off the couch and turn the knobs on the TV MANUALLY! Yeah, its true. I’m sure these were the same models the cavemen started with…
I sat on my dad’s lap and watched the game as one of ‘the boys’. I learned about football on those Sundays and Sunday was my favorite day of the week. Still is. Listening to the ‘colorful’ language thrown about when someone’s team succeeded (or failed). The guys all drank beer while I drank soda, imitating the big guys. Until I knew who was who, I picked the winner (because the guys always wanted to know who I thought would win) I picked the team with the best looking helmets. The Chargers always had the best looking helmets (still do) and my allegiance has never changed. Not for a day. The Chargers are my favorite team regardless of sport, by a country mile.
I played every sport I could. Football, basketball, baseball, track, softball, soccer, tennis and I ran track. I am a veteran of the US Army. Growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina I practically grew up on the North Carolina State campus. I attended my ‘U’ on a Young Writers scholarship while I was still in middle school. There was me and a bunch of high schoolers who paid a lot to be in the program. I was Doogie Howser! (Dated 90’s reference. Sorry youngsters! HULU it).
Writing has always been a great passion. I have traveled all over the United States and been an Editor and staff writer for various publications. Even when my editor says write just 200 words (Sorry Dave) I find it next to impossible once I get rolling. I will almost always have the longest columns on this site but I will load them with facts (and a pinch of humor) to support my opinion. That’s my word to you, my loyal readers. I gave myself the moniker ‘The Greg One’ because the Great One was already taken by Gretzky and The Greg One sounds close enough to it while staying unique to only me. The Greg One is my alter ego. Loud, opinionated, life of the party, always ready to put on a show.
Performing is the other great passion. I have performed in TV, movies, theatre, radio, lead singer, DJ, VJ, and stand-up comic. Wherever there is a microphone, I will be there. I look forward to meeting you all at games and watering holes around San Diego. I will always tweet out my location. Let me be your reason (or excuse) to party. I live in Phoenix but I work for US Airways so I fly free and its a short flight to my personal promised land, San Diego! Hope to see and meet you all very soon!
Follow me on Twitter @LordOfTheGregs. Always ready for a football conversation (or debate)!
You can tell a lot about a person by what’s in their medicine cabinet, IPOD or dvd collection. There’s nothing in my medicine cabinet except Cinnamon flavored Colgate, contact cases and saline solution. No medications, no cream or clear. I don’t even take aspirin! You get a good idea of what’s in my IPOD if you follow me on Twitter. My first tweet of the day is my entrance music for the day, the song I would want to signal my arrival to every room I enter. It’s all flavors of metal for those who don’t know. That leaves my movie collection. I’m a hardcore movie buff and if I’m out to sea with only ten movies to last me the rest of existence, I would take these and die happy.
1. The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. Okay, so it’s three movies but they all play as one. Great action, fantastic story and tons of quotable lines. I know, i’ve memorized ALL the movies. As your resident Lord Of The Rings fanboy, (hence the @LordOfTheGregs twitter handle), no other movie will ever claim the top spot.
The way is SHUT! It was made by those who are dead…and the dead keep it…
2. Interview With The Vampire. Amazing movie that draws you in from the opening scene. Before Tom Cruise lost his mind he owned the screen as the vampire Lestat and Brad Pitt took over the last half of the movie as the reluctant Louie. Lest we forget a young Kirsten Dunst completing the triangle of awesomeness as Claudia. Never gets old. Never.
Always know where to find you Louie…all I have to do is follow the corpses of rats…
3. Army Of Darkness. Unofficially Evil Dead 3, featuring Bruce Campbell against the undead. So many great lines. So funny. We all want to be Ash after this flick is over..
Gimme some sugar baby…
4. Stigmata. Hot city girl becomes unknowingly afflicted by the wounds of the crucifixion of Christ (Stigmata). She stays so hot even in the midst of supernatural torture it makes a priest want to change his religion. Gripping.
5. Saw. The original Saw, not the six sequels that followed. The first Saw ushered in an angle of horror we haven’t seen before. An evil mastermind (Jigsaw) subjets his victims to death traps as penance for the wrongs they have committed upon others. He even takes a place in the center of two of his captives, staying completely still while they stare at their shackled ankles and a strategically placed bone saw. Still terrifying.
6. Friday. A day in the life in the hood. Crackheads. Drug dealers. Lying, cheating, stealing and fighting. And weed…lots and lots of weed. Chris Tucker and Ice Cube make this an instant classc.