Christie the Loser, Chargers Take the Loss

Steve Christie missed two field goals on Sunday as the San Diego Chargers lost their tenth game of the season, 28-24 to Kansas City. Six points more and the Chargers could have been on the winning end of the spectrum, a rare artifact in San Diego.

Granted the team faced a prevent defense (Dick Vermeil called it a prevent-prevent, one that could not stop wind) on its final drive and the outcome could have still been a loss had the game been closer, but Marty Schottenheimer was certain the missed field goals by Steve Christie were a part of the loss.

"I am an English Major," Schottenheimer said in an attempt to deflect blame.

Christie missed the first one from 40 yards on a low kick that was ultimately tipped at the line before sailing wide left.

"We tipped one of them," Kansas City Head Coach Dick Vermeil confirmed.

His second attempt from 48 yards out was just a terrible kick and it was not close to clearing the posts.

"That is an opportunity for us, absolutely," said Schottenheimer.

Even the 21 yarder Christie made seemed forced.

"It's just hard losing," a resigned LaDainian Tomlinson said.

Doug Flutie, not free from error, echoed his sentiments saying, "Each loss is harder to take than the last."

Mike Scifres was active for the second time this year and handled kickoffs after Christie proved his weak leg was no match for getting it deeper than the 15 yard line. Scifres' first kick sailed to the one.

Mackenzie Hoambrecker sits on the practice squad and with four games to go, it would not surprise if he finally got his chance to play. The team has little to lose at this point.

The same has been said about every youngster on this team and in an effort to keep his job; Schottenheimer has kept the youth out of the lineup. Next year when Christie is long gone many will wonder why Hoambrecker wasn't given a chance.

With any luck that will change. Kickers have been let go for missing two kicks that cost a team a game.

Will loyalty prevail?

When is enough, enough?

Denis Savage can be reached at

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