The Justice Files

Sorry I'm comin' at ya a little later in the week. During the 13 years since I graduated college, I've been nestled safely here on The Isle of Manhattan. But my wife and I are moving to the ‘burbs at the end of the month and things have been a little hectic. I don't know if The Justice Files: Isle of Long will have the same ring to it, but it's all for the best.

I was having trouble thinking of how to begin this week's column/screed when I received an e-mail from Chargers Executive Vice President Jim Steeg, who was kind enough to talk to me on the record a couple months back.

He was wondering if I thought that there would be sufficient consumers for the Bolts' 2004 Highlight Film on DVD. I guess there was some debate in the Charger offices as to whether there was a market for such a product. Our friend Mr. Steeg estimated that there would be at least 200 people interested in the DVD. I not only agree with him, but think that his estimation might even be a little light. I even checked TiVo to see if the highlight film would be shown (it's on NFL Network) and I would still buy the DVD. Then again, I also own the complete set of "Airport!" and all three of its sequels on DVD. What can I say? I love the campy quality of ‘70s disaster films.

In fact, when I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I spotted the '92 film on ESPN Classic, I received a couple of e-mails asking if I made a copy. I taped it, but don't have a second VCR to copy it. In a few years, VHS machines will probably be obsolete anyway. Incidentally, when I checked TiVo's program guide for the 2004 film, the program description read something like: "Marty Schottenheimer and the Chargers go 12-4 to win the AFC West championship but lose in the Wild Card game to the Jets." Damn, that's putting it a little bluntly. I know that TiVo isn't just for New York fans, so I was taken back by the plot synopsis. In fact, I punched up the description for the Oakland Traitors highlight film just to make myself feel a little better.

The fact is, even within the city of San Diego itself, The Legion Of The Lightning Bolt is a comparatively small and fanatical group, regardless of how well the Chargers are playing. I've always felt that the climate and subsequent attitudes of the citizenry make San Diego much more amenable to baseball. Feel free to correct if you disagree. Anyway, I've like that the Bolts' bandwagon is relatively smaller and free of dead weight.

At least there is a minicamp in Chargerland this week, although the plots remain the same. Shawne Merriman is still unsigned, Vincent Jackson is still tall and Carl Mauck is actually fatter than the last time he was the Bolts' offensive line coach.

I know people are talking up Van Buren as being this year's Fonoti, but that I'll need to see. Arkansas Pine-Bluff ain't Nebraska. Of course, Houston isn't San Diego and apparently Fonoti hasn't mastered that just yet.

In closing, I'd like to dedicate this week's "Justice Files" to the memory of Anne Bancroft. She's best known as Mrs. Robinson or Mel Brooks' wife, but she also had a genius cameo as Nicolas Cage's mom in "Honeymoon In Vegas." If you haven't seen the flick or haven't watched it recently check it out. Funny stuff.

-RLW


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