The ‘Snake-bit’ San Diego Chargers: What to do?
Living here in San Diego, I have had the occasional run in with the wily rattlesnake. Consequently, I have read about what to do in case of a rattlesnake bite, much of which goes against common folklore.
The Chargers find themselves in the same position at five games into the season. Let’s take a look at just a few of the key indicators, shall we? 25 players on injured reserve, including many of their top talent on both sides of the ball. That’s the amazing bad luck that the general public (and the media) seem to not understand. In today’s NFL, you simply can’t take talent like Keenan Allen, Danny Woodhead, Stevie Johnson, Jason Verret, Brandon Flowers, Manti Teo’, not to mention a late injury/contract-related start by Joey Bosa out of the equation and not feel the pain of the snake bite. Add to that, turnovers at the absolute worst of times, and hell, even the officials, placing the ball incorrectly on a third-and-short against the Raiders. It all adds up to a painful injection of venom.
So, with the impending vote on the new stadium less than a month away (more on that in a later article), the rules for snakebite preparedness seem appropriate:
- Don’t suck out the poison! (This doesn’t apply in this example but it needed to be said)
- Don’t panic! Staying calm in the world of 24 hour sports news with many ‘talking heads’ is rough. Many of these people not only don’t have the credentials, but also can’t really put two properly worded sentences together. That makes it doubly difficult, but panic and speculation about the future of the head coach does nothing but cause the poison to spread more quickly. I was personally very impressed by the way the Chargers have handled all the injury-related adversity. John Pagano called a brilliant game on defense, keeping the Raider offense looking a bit confused as he disguised his looks and coverages. Ken Whisenhunt also called a solid game, coordinating with Phillip Rivers to keep the ball moving.
- That leads to the biggest issue when snake bitten; Get help immediately. This could be the part that may lead you to death. The old saying, “Coaches coach, and players play…” is so clear here. You simply can’t blame Mike McCoy when a kid like Travis Benjamin (who wouldn’t even likely be in the game were it not for injuries) fumbles without even being hit. Or the normally sure-handed Antonio Gates losses the ball trying to stretch a play, and your holder takes his eye off the ball and loses the snap on a very makeable game-tying field goal. So that’s the real problem; there is no help on the horizon. The team will need to simply gut it out and continue to prepare in a very tough situation.
I take back what I said above about not sucking out the poison…