The Evster: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the San Diego Chargers, But Were Afraid to Google

The Evster: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the San Diego Chargers, But Were Afraid to Google

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.

Quarterback

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.

Only $11.96 on Amazon.

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.

Running Backs

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?!?!

And he's got some hair on his chinny chin chin!

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.

Offensive Line

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.

Nice horsey.

Defensive Line

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.

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".

Secondary

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 okay hold on.

Eric?

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.

How 'bout Shefty getting a quote on the front cover!

Special Teams

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.

Mascot

Say hello to Boltman.

It's a bolt and it's also a man.

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.

Broadcasters

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.

Coaching

Doesn't matter. Chip Kelly is a GOLDEN GOD.

Prediction

Eagles 358 Chargers 4

Follow the Evster @TVMWW

Soul fight off Rattlers' comeback bid, win ArenaBowl XXIX

soul-photo-ron-jaworski.jpg
Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Soul

Soul fight off Rattlers' comeback bid, win ArenaBowl XXIX

The Soul are Arena Football League champions again.

The Soul jumped out to a 21-point lead in the first quarter and fended off a comeback attempt down the stretch for a 56-42 win over the Arizona Rattlers in Arena Bowl XXIX on Friday night for the franchise's second AFL title. The first league championship came back in 2008.

With the win, the Soul also got a bit of revenge against the Rattlers, who they lost to in the ArenaBowl in 2012 and 2013.

Dan Raudabaugh had six touchdown passes in Friday's win and the Soul defense held the Rattlers to nearly half of their average points per game (80.3 coming into the game).

(More coming...)

Instant Replay: Mets 9, Phillies 4

Instant Replay: Mets 9, Phillies 4

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK — The New York Mets clubbed four home runs on their way to pounding the Phillies, 9-4, at Citi Field on Friday night.
 
Phillies starter Adam Morgan gave up six runs, all on homers.
 
Meanwhile, the Phillies’ bats did little against 43-year-old Mets starter Bartolo Colon for the first seven innings and by that time they were down by eight runs.
 
The Mets are in the thick of the NL wild-card chase and have won five of their last six. The Phillies have lost six of their last nine.
 
The Mets are 20-9 against the Phillies over the last two seasons.
 
Starting pitching report
Morgan was tagged for three home runs, including a grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. He gave up back-to-back homers on his first five pitches to open the bottom of the first inning.
 
In all, the lefty allowed eight hits, including five for extra bases, in his five innings of work. He dropped to 1-8 and his ERA rose to 6.50.
 
The grand slam was hit by Wilmer Flores on a first-pitch slider. Morgan threw nine pitches before walking Neil Walker, the previous batter, to extend the inning. One of those pitches was a foul pop down the right-field line that first baseman Ryan Howard could not chase down. Had he been able to make a play, Morgan would have gotten out of the inning unscathed.
 
Colon allowed four runs over seven-plus innings. Three of them came when he failed to retire a batter in the eighth. Colon is 12-7 with a 3.44 ERA. He is 9-3 with a 2.98 ERA against the Phillies as a member of the Mets.
 
Bullpen report
Frank Herrmann gave up three runs in two innings of work.
 
Hansel Robles, Sean Gilmartin and Jeurys Familia closed it out after Colon exited.
 
At the plate
The Phillies did not have a hit until Odubel Herrera’s one-out double in the fifth. He scored on a two-out single by Morgan. The Phils had just three hits through seven innings. Cesar Hernandez and Aaron Altherr teamed to drive in three runs with a pair of doubles off Colon in the eighth.
 
The Mets had 11 hits, four of which were homers. Asdrubal Cabrera homered from both sides of plate for the Mets.
 
Colon helped himself with a double, a single and two runs scored.
 
Jay Bruce was the only Met to struggle. He struck out four times.

Transaction
The Phillies brought up catcher Jorge Alfaro from Double A. The plan is to send him back Saturday when newcomer A.J. Ellis arrives and assumes the second catcher duties. Ellis was acquired from the Dodgers in the Carlos Ruiz trade Thursday. The trade left Howard as the lone member of the 2008 World Series championship still with the club. Howard can deal with it (see story).
 
Up next
Jeremy Hellickson (10-7, 3.60) opposes hard-throwing Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard (11-7, 2.61) on Saturday night.

NFL Notes: All-Pro safety Eric Berry to report to Chiefs Sunday

NFL Notes: All-Pro safety Eric Berry to report to Chiefs Sunday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- All-Pro safety Eric Berry plans to report to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, giving him two weeks and one preseason game to prepare for the start of the regular season.

A person familiar with his plans told The Associated Press that Berry will join the team after its preseason game Saturday in Chicago. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because he was not authorized to discuss Berry's plans publicly.

Berry was given the franchise tag early in the offseason but has not signed the deal, which means he could skip all of training camp without being fined. Once he signs the one-year contract, he will make just over $10.8 million, making him the league's highest-paid safety.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey have said all along they expect Berry to report ahead of the regular season, but it was never clear when that might happen.

Kansas City plays its first regular-season game Sept. 11 against San Diego.

"I think it's important to see what kind of shape he is in and then gradually bring him back into the football speed of things," Reid said Tuesday, when asked what Berry will need to do to get up to speed. "I don't think it's the end of the world if he doesn't play in the last preseason game (see full story).

Falcons: 1st-round pick Neal to have knee surgery
ATLANTA -- Atlanta Falcons rookie strong safety Keanu Neal, the team's first-round pick and a projected starter, will miss the beginning of the season with a knee injury.

Neal will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Monday and is expected to miss three to four weeks, according to the Falcons. Coach Dan Quinn said he is encouraged Neal avoided a more serious injury that could have kept him out longer.

"Hopefully it's a shorter-term injury where we're looking at two and hopefully the worst would be three games," Quinn said, adding that he knows Neal will work for a quick return because "he's kind of just built that way."

Wide receiver Julio Jones is expected to be limited in practice after leaving Thursday night's game in the second quarter with an ankle injury. Quinn said he the injury is not expected to threaten Jones' status for the regular season.

Neal hurt his knee in the first quarter of the Falcons' 17-6 preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins. He had to be helped off the field but walked to the locker room without assistance (see full story).

Ravens: Former Navy star Reynolds finds NFL life 'humbling'
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Keenan Reynolds' foray into the NFL has overwhelmingly altered his perspective of the game.

As a standout quarterback at Navy, Reynolds was revered in Annapolis. He ran for an NCAA-record 88 touchdowns, went 4-0 against Army and finished fifth in the 2015 Heisman Trophy balloting.

However, his prowess at running the triple option is of no help in his quest to make the Baltimore Ravens. Fighting for a job as a backup receiver and special teams contributor, Reynolds is just another rookie buried deep on the depth chart.

"It's very humbling," he acknowledged. "I'm just trying to make the best of it."

At Navy, Reynolds ran, handed off or threw the football. His job now is to catch it.

"I have a lot more respect for the position of wide receiver," he said, "especially after being a quarterback."