Home > Uncategorized > Don’t piss off the Chargers, and the Week 1 Picks

Don’t piss off the Chargers, and the Week 1 Picks

Qualcomm Stadium - and the rest of San Diego - went dark on Thursday.

Someone great (either Muhatma Gandhi or Biggie Smalls – I can’t remember) once said, “Karma’s a bitch.” As a firm believer of you get what you give, I probably should have re-thought my semi-rant against the Chagers’ marketing office last week. However, as I walked giddily out of office around  3:40pm Pacific time on Thursday, this was not on my mind. Nope – I was practically skipping out of there, excited to watch the Super Bowl Champs begin their title defense against the Saints in the first NFL game of the year.

And then, IT happened.

Caught in the stairwell (thank God I never take the elevator) on my way out, the lights abruptly went dark, and I heard that collective zzzzzeewwwwwww sound identifying that – yes – the power in my office was gone. I think I may have even laughed at my “good fortune” considering that all my work from the day had been saved. I hopped in my car – the radio had gone dead – burshed aside the dead traffic lights down the block, and considered the power outage a local thing that wouldn’t last more than a few minutes. This wasn’t the first outage in Mira Mesa, and surely my apartment 10 miles away wouldn’t be effected. I drove home with touchdowns on the mind and the new Chili Peppers CD blaring. Yup, I was home free alright.

Wrong.

When I made it to my neighborhood, it became evident that the outage was bigger than I had first imagined. Traffic lights were dunzo, and cars were navigating the streets with a surprising amount of caution. I parked the Focus, walked into the apartment and naively asked my roommate (doing something in the dark bathroom with the door open  that I’m not obliged to write here – use your imagination), “ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!”

Then I tried turning on the TV for some good ole’ Kid Rock pre-game excitement – and … nothing. (I attempted to turn the lights on throughout this ordeal no less than 30 times – we are all Pavlov’s Dog in these situations, I swear.) Why I thought we still might have power was beyond me, but the nature of the situation began to set in. Less than an hour before kickoff, and all of San Diego was being blacked out. Take a guess at what four-letter word I screamed next.

After a good 20 minutes of moping (and harmonica-playing – yeah, I had the blues alright), I strapped on my green Rodgers authentic replica jersey, attempted to make some calls (phone towers were cut), and tried to decide what exactly my next move was.

Yup – we went to the liquor store.

After paying for a 6-pack in quarters and dimes (debit cards were useless), and with kickoff ensuing, my roommate came up with the brilliant idea of listening to the game in his car. FM stations were shot, but old-fashioned AM radio was still kicking. We drove around the block, searching and searching until – finally – we found it. I swear to you – no one has ever been more happy to hear Boomer Esiason’s voice as I was. Ever.

We listened as Aaron Rodgers through his first of many touchdowns (over under: 36.5?) to my main man Greg Jennings, and after I ran back to the apartment to grab two more brewskies from our now lukewarm fridge, I returned to hear Marcus Colston fumble the ball followed by a Jordy Nelson TD. Yup – we were cruising alright.

Then the battery went. Oh, for fuck’s sake.

Undaunted and problem-solving like a couple of BOSSES, we procured some jumper cables from a neighbor, got Tim’s car up and running again, then made the move to the bullpen and fired up the Focus. In the alley behind our house at this point, we were in full-on tailgate mode. Our luck began to change when Tim practically tripped over a $5 bill (yup – time for another 6-pack). Staying true to the original plan, our good buddies from around the corner (Shane and Suze) showed up to keep the festivities going, and it was starting to look like we had a party on our hands.

One bottle of gin, 12 Rolling Rocks,  two grilled burgers, some leftover chicken and zero electricity later, we listened intently as the Packers stuffed Mark Ingram at the goal line to seal the first win of the year. Undefeated never felt so good.

Three hours later, the power turned back on – and at this point we didn’t even want it. Too little, too late.

OK, so I got a little carried away there – back to my point about karma. There are few things more terrifying to a die-hard football fan than missing their team’s big game, let alone the home opener under the lights. And no, my unprovoked comments about the Chargers (the irony in their name versus the blackout situation should not go unnoticed) didn’t have anything to do with the blackout. But you have to admit – it’s pretty amusing that, less than a week after bitching about not being able to buy tickets to a football game, the Football Gods would summon a one-game punishment for my judgmental rant. As my Mom once told me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it all.”

Well, that and “Shut your fucking mouth.”

So, it looks like I’ll only be able to see 15 games this year. And that’s OK; instead, I got a memorable evening with some great friends, a little perspective and – most importantly – a W.

I wish all football fans could be as lucky this weekend.

The Picks – Week 1

(Note: In the future, I’ll explain my picks for the week. But earlier this week, I broke my computer screen – karma again – and I can only see like 30% of what I’m typing. This is taxing on the eyes, and very depressing on the wallet. I’ll do better next time, I swear!)

Steelers over Ravens

Falcons over Bears

Browns over Bengals

Texans over Colts

Titans over Jaguars

Bills over Chiefs

Rams over Eagles

Bucs over Lions

Cardinals over Panthers

Chargers over Vikings

Niners over Seahawks

Giants over Redskins

Jets over Cowboys

Patriots over Dolphins (suicide pick – one a week, no team used more than twice)

Broncos over Raiders

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