Chargers and Bills stacking up to be among weekend’s best games

P.Riv_Colts

Next up, the Billy Goats.

Buffalo sits about 6 years to the northeast of the Q, on the shore of a lake aptly named “Erie.” It’s a quaint town, Buffalo; which is to say, it’s generally bleak and more than likely, right now it’s snowing in one of its suburbs. And has been since June.

But … lo and behold, the white-and-blue-clad ungulates have made a statement in this early season. They sit at 2-0, on top of the AFC East. FootballBettingCenter.com, a site usually rich with little-known stats, reports that “Since 1980, the Bills have only five wins in 13 games against the Chargers and the last was in 2008 at home by 23-14.” So one could understand why Mario Williams and crew will come out pretty fired up to disrupt River’s passing efficiency. (Two NC State alumni, by the way.)

We’re not real concerned with the Chargers having a hangover from the win over last year’s Super Bowl Champions; after all, these guys are professionals. It’s their job to take the season one game at a time. Still, we need to hope that the guys who sat out of practices this week—other than Melvin Ingram who has been ruled out—did so only to rest, and not because they’re recovering. Big difference. And we’re looking right at you Keenan Allen. Stay tough, kid.

Boomer Esiason of SI.com is calling our matchup one of this weekend’s “most underrated games” in terms of divisional importance. We tend to think so too, especially when you consider how each of these franchises is wanting to make a statement.

Buffalo also brings a tough crowd. The people who sit in Ralph Wilson stadium are what you get when you exchange the white collars of Seattle’s twelfth man for blue ones, and then add a collective temperament that could only be derived from living nine months of the year in sub 50-degree cloud cover.

The pundits love the rookie Sammy Watkins, but ESPN is reporting that the darting wideout is still dealing with the after affects of a pre-season rib injury. Really? Did no one see what he did last week?

Nevertheless, we have an impressive rookie in the secondary in Jason Verrett and a pro-bowl safety backing him up. Let’s go Weddle, put that beard to work.

Anyway you slice the bison, it’s going to be good game. And by the way, Ralph Wilson fans can tailgate with the best of them. Because, what the hell else are you going to do up there with your free time?

A $300 soft-sided tailgating cooler?

Yeti_Hopper

Look, we get it: Yeti coolers keep stuff cold for a long time. They’re great for prolonged periods of boating in tropical places, weeks on the Colorado river, black market organ theft, and long-term road trips.

But if you need your tailgate beer to stay cold for more time than what’s allotted by a bag of ice dropped into a 7-11, carbon-loving, styrofoam box with handles that break as soon as money changes hands, then you’re doing it wrong. Man up and drink those, son, you’re tailgating.

Come on Yeti, marketing a $300 soft-sided cooler to football fans? Soft-sided is right.

Plus, do they even tailgate in Miami?

 

5 Best Things About Tailgating in D3

Like we always say, we can’t control the game, but we can control the tailgate. That’s not just a mantra, it’s a September to January lifestyle. We take it seriously because it’s serious fun.

However, it’s not just a “show up and hope for the best” type of process. A lot goes into making these parking lot parties come together. For example …

1. Dedicated Tailgaters
This is where it all starts. You have to have a crew that shows up week after week, season after season, win or lose. The lifeblood of any tailgate flows through the dedication of its participants. Here in D3, we have some Gates-like veterans who understand the critical value of being “first in,” saving spaces, timely arrivals, how to connect a satellite to a 1990-tube, and where to find obscure Olympians to show up and add some star power. Don’t bring that weak sauce.

2. Taco Guy
Talk about a veteran tailgater … this guy is our most frequent food vendor for a reason. The meat is fresh, the vegetables off the vine, the tortillas made on the spot. Last week, with probably the most people we’ve ever had under the tents, this team never fumbled. They seared, flipped, patted, cut, and just damn delivered an endless blitz of highly edible Mexican awesome. If you’re still on the border fence about a D3 tailgate, make Taco Guy’s next appearance your first.

3. Beer Sponsors
Forgot your twelver? (Rookie.) But it’s okay, because we’ve found some insightful marketers in the beer world who are willing to share their kegs and cans with people who will appreciate them. And who can help sell them. This season, we’re fired up to welcome Canada’s Select Brews to Section D3. They’ve already won plenty of new customers, especially those Seattle fans. Because you know … they’re pretty much Canadian anyway.

4. Contests
Iron Bartender. Iron Tailgater. Best Recipe using Beer. Biggest Ti … wait, that’s not a contest. Anyway, we’re fans of sports, so why not bring some competition to the tailgate? Got a drink recipe you think can win over our judges? How about some greasy, grill-ready, parking-lot recipes using only bacon and Gouda cheese? Well, our folks do, and every season these little contests grow into dramatic, nail-biting, mouth-wiping battles of culinary imagination and liver-sapping alcoholism. Bring your spatula.

5. Private Bathroom
That’s right, D3 comes equipped. Few tailgates have revolutionized the public outhouse in such a fashion, not to mention in a way that creatively upcycles used consumer product containers. No one likes standing in line with Patriots fans for 20 minutes only to squat over a hot box of frothing methane or risk earning a bout with the clap. Nope, we figured out the tailgate toilet years ago, and it never fails to impress. Two doors and no shame.

FiveThirtyEight.com: Gates is the second best tight end ever

Any Bolts fans is quick to point out just how awesome #85 has been for us over the years, even with his injury-plagued slower seasons.

However, it can be hard to convince the non-cognoscente of Gatesy’s skill set because they just kind of blow off the idea that a tight end without a ring is a player worth labeling with terms like “best ever” or “Canton-bound.”

“Sure he’s good, but what has the team really done with him? Meh.”

FiveThrityEight.com, a mixed-content news and views site by I think, ESPN, authored a terrific, stat- and proof-filled take on why Tony Gonzalez is just a bit better than our guy, Antonio Gates.

Written by Neil Paine, the argument is rich in facts and short on hype, which offers a lingering swallow of cold refreshment from the harsh landscape of today’s pop-culture fueled, scandal-ridden sports-writing environment. It’s worth your time.

San Diego Chargers Web Round-up

In case you’re looking for some more talk on the Bolts home win against Seattle yesterday, here are some of what the rest of the Web is talking about:

Kennan Allen: Sherman not a shutdown corner
He probably shouldn’t have said it. But, let’s not kid ourselves, Sherman is as big a mouth as there is in the league right now. His team’s tactics don’t even include him covering the other team’s best pass catcher. Instead, they leave him on the weak side in the hopes opposing offenses will just ignore half of the playing surface. Anyway, here’s some more on Allen’s comments and Sherman’s absence from post-game media events.

Seahawks Blog from The Seattle Times
If you want some perspective from the guys up in the top left corner of the country, here’s your rundown. Two different ‘Hawks beat guys take on three points each about the contest.

Quarterback Russell Wilson looked comfortable operating without huddling, and the Seahawks finally started to get in rhythm. It’s not the style the Seahawks want to play; they’d much rather play how the Chargers did …”

Official: Mathews has Sprained MCL
Sigh. We all kind of knew it. But now the writing is written all over the Q. This will be Ryan Mathews’ last season wearing a helmet with a yellow Bolt on it. It’s too bad, he’s been decent. But decent doesn’t cut it in the NFL, and owners don’t spend lots of money on decent.

It Seems Like Old Times as Chargers Stun Seahawks
The L.A. Times is working hard to make it sound like Gates and Rivers should have retired years ago, but it’s nonetheless a good read on the Canton combination, Gates being the sure induction of the couple.

“The three touchdown receptions by Gates moved him into 11th on the NFL’s all-time list with 90, passing Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald (87) and Hall of Famers Andre Reed (87) and Don Maynard (88).”

San Diego Chargers Keep Sunday’s Win in Perspective
Bolts from the Blue is an SB Nation site that offers some nice content on the team. It’s definitely worth a bookmark for Bolts fans.

“It’s still one game,” head coach Mike McCoy said after the game. “Honestly, I mean we’re going to play one game at a time and this is a big win for us. We have to put it to the side now and enjoy it tonight.”

 

 

Chargers execute flawlessly in first win of the 2014-15 season

Superbowl.

Big-time defense.

Richard Sherman.

For most Chargers fans, these few phrases were enough to make their Sunday morning start with an all-too-familiar, “Well, I’m just hoping it’s a good game” attitudes.

After some coffee and a few desperate sighs of hope, they came to Section D3 to at least enjoy the pre-game festivities. (And boy, did we.)

You could kind of sense it though, right when our playlist started to up the ante about an hour before kick-off. Despite a rowdy and very fun crew of Starbucks stock-owning, sun-fearing ‘Hawks fans, some confidence—probably beer-based—filtered in through the heat. It was a confidence we would need come kick-off. And it helped.

Yesterday, the tailgate performance matched what we saw on the field. In an almost perfect balance of game plan and execution, the Chargers took down the reigning NFL Champions, a team so many have been very quick to crown as the team most likely to be lifting that big gold football again next February.

But here’s the thing: this wasn’t a fluke win. It didn’t come from a freak turnover or a ball end-over-ending inside a goal post with only inches and seconds to spare. There was a plan to this win, the same plan since Mike McCoy became head coach: keep the pigskin out of the hands of the guys who are paid to put it in your end zone and things will probably work out for the best.

However, the ‘Hawks hype is not without merit. That’s a damn tough defense. So McCoy’s plan needed to be taken seriously and rolled out with confidence. In a way, Seattle helped. Each of their scoring drives were quick; it’s not like they didn’t have chances to earn possession time.

Pete Carroll, one would think, would have recognized the toll the heat and offensive coordinator Frank Reich’s plans were having on their defense.

However, Seattle’s coaching staff clearly looked to their reputable, often vocal defense to hold Rivers and Gates in check, so why not just score as soon as you are able? It was a plan that didn’t go well for the team in neon green and blue.

In fact, it was the Chargers defense that stole the day, proving again what everyone knows: lightening is the best part of any “booming” thunderstorm.

Gates’ classic performance not withstanding, when Seattle needed to score quickly, at a time when it most critical, they were stymied by hard, clean tackling, quick route detection, and a booming Qualcomm Stadium.

After a few hours in the swampy humidity, the team more used to playing under the sun left with the W. And the team accustomed to shadowed cold and hard rains were left longing for it.

But put on a happy face Seahawks fans, at least you got to spend some time in San Diego, where the grey skies always clear up.

We’re Back!

Chargers vs. Seahawks
Sunday, September 14

But first … the tailgate in Section D3!

10:00 AM: Tailgate begins
10:30 AM: Tacos are served
1:00 PM: We walk from Section D3 to watch the Chargers first victory of the season.

Let’s kick off the tailgate season strong with Taco Guy. If you would like to eat tacos, RSVP by Friday at Noon.

As usual we’ll have tvs set up for NFL viewing. To quench your thirst, Sobieski Vodka cocktails will be available along with Canada’s Select Brews. For this week, we’ll wash down our tacos with Steamworks, a crisp, Canadian Pilsner.

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See you in a few weeks.

P.Riv_RW

“I signed it on the back for you Russ’.”

Welcome to this season

We’re a few weeks out of the 2014-15 season, the second for McCoy & Crew. New OC. Some new faces in the secondary. Maybe some linebacker depth?

I won’t even say it.

Let’s choose to enter this season with indifferent optimism. Hope for the best, drink more at worst. After all—technically—alcohol is a solution; and we’re in the tailgating business. Continue reading

What Position Would President Obama Play?

This image of Barack Obama in a Chargers jersey is making the rounds on social media. We live in a politically charged world (no pun intended), so it’s not surprising this picture has ignited Charger Nation.

Just wondering … what position would President Obama play for the Chargers?