The Justice Files

Well, it's one week later and I'm starting to adjust to life in the suburbs. However, every time I go to get the mail I feel a little like Ray Liotta at the end of "Goodfellas."

I was trolling all the Chargers sites for something to write about this week and then I spotted something coming over the wire Thursday morning which immediately sparked my interest.

The Chargers are going to retire Lance Alworth's number, but that wasn't what caught my eye initially.

Ben Jones, "Cooter" from The Dukes of Hazard, was urging fans via his website not next month's Dukes movie. Coot feels that the Jackass/American Pie/Newlyweds triumvirate was taking the "family values" out of the show and making it into smut.

It's no secret that I subscribe to some elements of Southern culture, mainly the bands and the bourbon. But it's mind-boggling that Jones, who actually won a Senate seat based on the show's popularity, feels that Hollywood is doing anything other than parodying the stuff that has kept the Dukes (and his career) alive all these years.

Cooter actually compared the upcoming movie to turning Lucille Ricardo into a crackhead. No offense to the toothless legions who elected him Senator, but does he actually think that the Dukes is actually revered as a television treasure like "I Love Lucy?" He feels that the show promoted family values and that Bo and Luke always made the moral decision at the end of the episode. I watched one episode on Country Music Television and all I remember is that the Cousins Duke eluded the law and helped some smugglers escape prosecution.

Does Coot think Katherine Bach wouldn't film a soapy car wash video like Jessie Simpson? Has he seen Cannonball Run II? The appeal of that show was and still is mindless action mixed with some old-fashioned American T and A. If you listen to John Schnieder describe it, the Dukes didn't do so bad off camera, either.

Sorry to get all preachy, but if we live in a country where former Senator Cooter can find fault in harmless movie, I can only imagine what the Religious Right will say on this and far more important issues.

Where was I? Oh yeah, Lance Alworth is getting his number retired.

I found pretty telling that there wasn't a single quote from Bambi in the press release from the Chargers. The way it was written, you'd think he was dead.

"Lance Alworth played a significant role in the initial success of the Chargers and the American Football League," said Dean Spanos, Chargers President & Chief Executive Officer. "His play on the field became a trademark for this team and an entire league. I can't think of anyone more deserving of this honor."

Alworth was the first of many former Bolts to leave The Organization on less-than-favorable terms. He was a pretty solitary dude to begin with, but he was especially chilly towards the Bolts after his retirement. The fact that it's taken this long for the Chargers to officially recognize him in this fashion testifies to that.

Before Dan Fouts left San Francisco and began to establish himself on the national broadcasting scene, he wasn't too fond of The Organization either.

However, I always admired that he came out in support of the '94 Bolts anyway when they faced the Niners in Miami.

You can find his official endorsement of the AFC Champs in the introduction to the book Super Bowl XXIX: The Golden State of Football.

If I remember my Topps cards correctly, Fouts' dad was a broadcaster for the 49ers and young Daniel was once a ball boy. But the Bolts reaching out to Lance Alworth, even now, is a move in the right direction.

I intimated back in April to Jim Steeg that the Chargers needed to utilize the resource that is their most beloved alumni, especially if they want a new stadium.

I would suggest that they reach out to Kellen Winslow next, but he's even more enigmatic than Alworth. Beyond his involvement in his son's career (his influence clearly isn't working), Winslow neglected to be presented by a member of The Organization for his Hall of Fame induction.

I think it was his high school coach that introduced him. I know Winslow felt that the Bolts weren't too tactful in handling him after his injury.

But the Knicks let Bernard King go to Washington after he came all the way back and he still identifies with the team. Of course, he doesn't have a broadcasting career or famous son. In fact, I think myfavorite hoops player may be back on the bottle. At least we'll always have the image of him eating that brick of pot in Fast Break with Gabe Kaplan.

I read in Pro Football Weekly that Jue will open camp behind Jerry Wilson on the depth chart. I'll reserve judgment on that until next week. With a month to go before the preseason opener, we'll have a lot to talk about.


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