Ohhhhhh, baby! This Sunday rekindles the bitter rivalry between our beloved Eagles and their longtime enemies to the west, the San Diego Chargers. There's no love lost between these two teams, like the Steelers and Browns or Duke vs North Carolina, Philadelphia and San Diego are separated by only a short 2,695 mile drive across the Pennsylvania Turnpike, then over to I-70 West, then a quick turn onto 55 South, then continuing onto 44 West through Oklahoma, then merging onto I-40 through Texas, New Mexico and a little bit of Arizona, then around 37 more turns leading you to zip across I-8 until you can hear the sweet sounds of waves crashing in the Pacific Ocean. If you leave now you could probably make it there by Sunday's kickoff, especially because the game is being played in Philly. Then again, traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway can be pretty jammed up at times, so you never really know.
Who can forget some of the all-time classic games between the Birds and the Bolts? How 'bout the 13-6 thriller in 1974 that saw Eagles linebacker Clint "The Spleen Crusher" Jenkins crush the spleens of 17 different Chargers running backs, only to have his own spleen crushed by teammate Bob Bogdanov during a post-spleen-crushing celebrashe.
[PHOTO GALLERY: Check out the new upgrades to the Linc this year]
This year's Chargers head into week 2 with their spleens intact, but carry with them an 0-1 record after dropping their season opener 31-28 to the Houston Texans. San Diego led by 21 points early in the 3rd Quarter last week, but they're unfortunately still quarterbacked by Captain Noodle Arm, Philip Rivers, who threw a devastating Pick Six during the 4th Quarter. This week, as the Bolts look to get back to .500, I did some internet sleuthing to learn a little more about their key players.
So let's break down the Chargers of San Diego position by position.
Ole Linguini Limbs Rivers comes into this weekend riding the NFL's second longest consecutive games started streak behind only Eli Manning (113 to 128). Nothing would make Philly fans prouder than to see that streak end after Mychal Kendricks crushes Rivers's spleen into 49 different pieces.
From the looks of Rivers, he seems to be a total douchenstein extraordinairre, but he was actually named a finalist for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award back in 2011. Seems as if he and his wife Tiffany help find safe homes for abandoned and orphaned children. That's nice, I guess, if you're into that sort of thing. Side note: Rivers met his wife in middle school so there's a very good chance that she's the only woman he's ever slept with. Despite his charity work, faith-based values and monogamous lifestyle, I'd still love to see his rib cage explode on live television.
Seeing as Philip may not be as big of a douche as he seems, let's take a look at the current list of the top 5 douche-jobs in the NFL.
1. Jay Cutler - constantly yells at his O-Line, somehow married a Playboy Bunny, absolutely unacceptable hairstyle for most of his NFL career.
2. Ben Roehtthhislerberger - just the 2 rapes for Big Ben.
3. Floyd Mayweather - technically not a football player, but there's no denying that a good portion of the American public would love to watch him die in the ring this Saturday night.
4. Mario Lopez - San Diego native is way too happy about life.
5 (tie). Tony Romo (obvs) and DeAngelo Hall - scooped up a Michael Vick backwards pass last week after pretty much everyone had stopped playing, then sauntered 80 yards to the end zone like Mikhail Baryshnikov where he proceeded to dance like Deion Sanders (HE DIDN'T EVEN DO HIS OWN DANCE, HE JUST STRAIGHT UP IMITATED DEION) despite making a play that any living, breathing human being (including Nate Allen) could've made.
Ryan Mathews (JUST THE ONE "T" IN MATHEWS, THANK YOU VERY MUCH), Ronnie Brown (YEP, THAT RONNIE BROWN) and Danny Woodhead (NOTHING TO REALLY SAY HERE).
If there's one person who is most likely to have their spleen shattered on Sunday, it's Ryan Mathews. That guy is fragile, having played only 12, 14 and 12 games a season during his 3-year career. Luckily, the Chargers also have Ronnie Brown and picked up Itty Bitty Danny Woodhead in the offseason. Fun facts about Woodhead (from his bio at Chargers.com): Danny was homeschooled up until 9th grade (red flag) and all of the men in the Woodhead family are nicknamed "Woody" except for his father, Mark, who goes by "Big Woody". Can't make this stuff up, folks. Cannot make this stuff up. Big. Woody. Also, are you aware of what Little Woody looks like?!?!
Receivers / Tight Ends
The Chargers' receivers are all terrible (Eddie Royal is currently banned in 74% of ESPN's standard fantasy leagues), but they still have Antonio Gates, the 8-time Pro Bowler who seems to suck more and more butt every year. Even if Gates turned back the clock and showed up as his former self on Sunday, it wouldn't matter because the Eagles have the most dominant linebacker in the history of football, Mychal Kendricks, a guy who most Philadelphians didn't even know existed until roughly five days ago.
Any time a person pretends to know anything about an offensive line, they are LYING. The only person with any knowledge about this position is Ray Didinger. All I know is that during Week 1, Ryan Mathews averaged a paltry 2.5 yards per carry, so the Chargers O-line probably stinks. Also, one of their starters is former Eagle, King Dunlap, which totally explains the whole 2.5 yards per carry thingie.
Something you probably didn't know about King Dunlap: His sister Victoria plays for the WNBA's Seattle Storm and averages a Ryan Mathews-esque 2.6 points per game.
Semi-interesting Information About the Chargers Logo:
During their initial years in the AFL, the Chargers had a lightning bolt AND A HORSE in their logo. It wasn't until the NFL-AFL merger that they decided to ditch the horse. Frankly, that seems kinda stupid considering only 9% of people die from lightning strikes whereas 98% of people who get kicked in the face by a horse get their entire heads blown off.
After spending his first 11 seasons with the Colts, future Hall of Famer Dwight Freeney signed a free agent deal this summer with San Diego. Technically, Freeney is listed as an outside linebacker, but he pretty much rushes the quarterback any time he's on the field. Honestly, I have no idea if he's still any good and am really excited to move on and talk about the Chargers linebackers.
So, so, so, so, so, so sad that we won't get to see Manti Te'o in uniform this week. The ChristianMingler.com is nursing a foot injury and has no timetable for his return. BUT DON'T FRET MY GOOD 700 LEVEL FRIENDS, because in his place the Chargers are starting a guy named Bront. Yep, that's his name. Bront. Bront Bird.
Bront led the Chargers in tackles last week and is seriously, honest to God named Bront. Turns out, Bront went to Permian High School in Odessa, Texas, which just so happens to be the same school that Buzz Bissinger wrote about in Friday Night Lights. Not quite sure why that's relevant here, but it does sort of make the whole Bront thing a little more understandable. Also, guess what Bront's nickname is. Nope, not "Brontosaurus Balls" (that's what I thought, too), it's "Big Bird".
Pro Bowl free safety, Eric Weddle, is probably the Chargers best player -- and is so popular in San Diego that he recently wrote a book entitled "No Excuses, No Regrets: The Eric Weddle Story". Obviously I didn't read the whole thing, but I did skim one excerpt from the first chapter and came across this gem:
The author describes the birth of little Eric.
Within a few years, Debbie and Steve (Eric's parents) discussed the idea of starting a family. Shortly thereafter Debbie learned she was pregnant, and they had a baby girl. Kathleen arrived without incident ... and even though she was a girl, Steve considered naming her Eric. While he loved his daughter, he had also always wanted a son, and he wanted to name him Eric, a name he picked out for his future son when he was a teenager. "It was a strong name," Steve said. "I loved it."
Okay okay okay okay okay hold on.
That's a strong name? I don't know about you, but I grew up with around 13 different Erics and pretty much every one of them went on to sell life insurance. I'm not saying there's not strong Erics -- Erik the Red was a bonafide beast -- but the name Eric pales in comparison to something like Bront. Expect Desean Jackson to rack up over 200 receiving yards against the Weddlenator.
Normally this is a spot devoted to weenies, but both the Chargers' kicker and punter appear to have a little street cred. Kicker, Nick Novak, was close friends with Kellen Winslow Jr. growing up and the two buddies actually share the same godmother (NOT KIDDING).
San Diego's punter, Mike Scifres (actual last name), was a high school teammate of notorious spleen crusher, Ed Reed. Sadly, back in high school, Reed was considered the far superior punter so Scifres was relegated to kickoffs, field goals and extra points. Even sadder, Scifres and his wife Stacie named their three children Berkeley, Bristyn and Brodyn, proving that they are by far the worst parents in the history of Western civilization.
Say hello to Boltman.
Boltman obviously sucks, but it must be stated that the San Diego Chicken is without a doubt the second best mascot of all time (behind you know who). My favorite San Diego Chicken memory was from an episode of The Baseball Bunch back in the day in which Andre Dawson aka "The Hawk" was scheduled to drop by. The Chicken spent the entire half hour bugging out because he thought The Hawk might eat him.
The dynamic duo of Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf will be calling the game for CBS. Kickoff is scheduled for 10am PST. Dierdorf is working on his own consecutive games streak as he will attempt to broadcast his 147th straight game with his testicles firmly implanted inside his own throat.
Doesn't matter. Chip Kelly is a GOLDEN GOD.
Eagles 358 Chargers 4
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