Dear, San Diego Chargers

As you embark on the 2003 NFL season we would like to bring to your attention that most experts out there don't think too highly of your football team. They say things like the loss of Rodney Harrison and Junior Seau will be too much for you to overcome. They say your defense is too young. They say David Boston is too big. They say you'll finish last in the division. They say your head coach doesn't do well in the playoffs. They say you won't even make it to the playoffs...

As of September 1st, Pete Prisco of CBS Sportsline rates your football team as the 23th best team in the league. Stating that, "There are too many young faces on defense for this to be a playoff team." At this point, Pete believes that 22 of the leagues 32 teams are better than you...

Peter King of Sports Illustrated predicts that you will finish at 7-9 and be last in the AFC West. Then states: "David Boston will be the first 400-pound wideout ever." But what if he's 400 pounds and still runs a 4.4?...

Dr. Z, also of Sports Illustrated, predicts that you will finish last in the division. Give him credit though, he has you notching 8 victories this season. He states: "I've heard some people pick them as their sleeper team to go all the way. Well, OK, it was my cousins nephew who picked them, and he's only 8." Really. My cousins nephews brothers sisters boyfriend picked the Tigers to win the World Series and he's only 4...

Don Banks, also of Sports Illustrated, is yet another who thinks you will finish last in the AFC West. Did you guys boycott Sports Illustrated or something? He did mention that it "pained " him to assign you last, "but with the Chargers, you just can't count on them finishing what they started."...Is that so?...

Michael Silver another doubter from Sports Illustrated predicts.......surprise, surprise, 4th in the AFC West. In his preview an opposing scout breaks down your team:

"They could be scary good offensively, but I think they'll struggle on defense. There are lots of question marks when a team loses Junior Seau and Rodney Harrison. Marcellus Wiley has been trying to become a leader, but that's hard to do when you're hurt, as he was during camp. Jamal Williams is another big-time player with a nasty edge, but he's also trying to rebound from injuries.... The linebackers will play within the system better than Junior did, but they're not playmakers. Donnie Edwards is a good athlete, but is he a game-changer? I don't think so.... Quentin Jammer hasn't learned to play in the NFL. His last name epitomizes what he did in college -- he'd backpedal, jam a guy and run with him. In the NFL you've got to cover.... David Boston and Lorenzo Neal will help that offense go. Drew Brees won't dominate on his own, but he can make plays.... They had to get Boston, because nobody else out wide makes you nervous; I'm not going to lose sleep over Reche Caldwell. If they ever play [first-year man] Terry Charles, though, watch out.... The line doesn't have quickness, but it'll mash you and create lanes for Tomlinson."

So this scout doesn't think you're a game changer Donnie. 5 picks and a couple game changing plays last year...No respect I tell ya, no respect. Show him #59, you show him. Hey Zeke and Ben sounds like he's calling you guys out too, you non-playmaking linebackers. Oh yeah, Terry Charles was cut by the way...

Bob Glauber of Newsday.com predicts that you will finish last in the AFC West. This guy must really like you guys, going with a 6-10 finish...

Jason Lagendorf of The Sporting News is another who thinks you guys suck. On his positional grading system he gave your quarterbacks a "D". Not a Drew Brees or Doug Flutie guy, I take it. He says, "By all rights the Chargers front office which neglected to address the defense in the offseason deserved a failing grade to go with the one this unit earned on the field last year." This guy must not watch the draft. He also thinks David Boston is injury prone and the other receivers don't scare anybody, namely Reche Caldwell. Is this guy from the Raider nation or what?...

Espn.com currently lists you as #23 in their power rankings, just like that Pete Prisco guy. To top it off, not one, zero, zilch, zippo of the nineteen experts thinks you have what it takes to win your division. As a matter of fact, only one, (Chris Berman) picks you as a wildcard team. I'm sure he feels you will be blasted out of the playoffs in the first round.

We could keep going but what's the point? Most of these experts never set foot in Carson, California. How do I know? I was there, every day.

Most of these experts don't realize the foundation that has been laid. Most of these experts don't comprehend that the man who laid the foundation still motivates though he is gone. Most don't foresee the power of a little patch with the initials JB and what it means. Most don't give your head coach credit for adapting his approach. We believe your coach has learned so much from all his experience and will make the adjustments needed to get it done. He realizes that in a playoff game he may have to throw the ball 40 times to win the game. He knows that being too conservative in the playoffs will get you beat. He will do what it takes. It's your time.

"I have always believed that one of the most satisfying and gratifying things you can do in life is to take something that people say about you and disprove every aspect of that," said your very own head coach. "And that is exactly what this group of coaches and young men are setting out to do in this season. That is to disprove all the naysayers and all the doubters because the San Diego Chargers are a damn good football team."

Do you guys get it yet? People are telling you that you can't do something. The odds aren't in your favor. Well Champions defy odds. So go be champions. How would you feel if you won the Superbowl? How would it taste? How do you think it would make your head coach feel? How would Mrs. Butler feel? Big John is watching.

So it is up to you. The San Diego Chargers. The challenge is set and begins this Sunday in Kansas City against a team that some of these experts pick to win your division. The first step on a long journey that ends where?... Destination Houston?

Sincerely, Believers

P.S. Pete O'Brien of USA Today predicts you will lose to the Chiefs 31-23 this Sunday.

contact Will at will.powered@verizon.net

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