YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsDefense

San Diego Sportscene/ Dave Distel

Getting Chance of Lifetime May Mean Crossing Fine Line

October 07, 1987|DAVE DISTEL and I.M. GOODE | Replacement Columnist

Since their was no Nashional Football League games planned with the reel players Sunday, I planned a bizzy day with others things to do. I was going to give my dog a flee bath, take the mudder-in-law to brunch and then, to stay kool, watch a tape of the Chargers' 27-7 loss to Cincinatti in the Ice Bowl back in '82.

All those wunnerful plans went out the window when I got the call.

Would I right a sports colume?

Derned write I would. This wuz something I've wanted to do since I was knee hi to a kicking tee. Other kids wanted to play baseball or football or poker when they gru up. I wanted to be a sportsrighter for a newspaper.

Don't know how many places I applied, but I kept getting the same answer. They red me stuf and all came to the same conclushun.

I was too brite. I was too smart. I was too overqualifyed.

Consequentially, I had to settle for a hire calling. I became a quality control inspecter for imported beer. The hours ain't bad, cuz it don't take me too much inspecting not to be able to inspect any more. Then I get so I cain't tell the guud from the badd.

Anyways, now I get this call that this newspaper needs a replacement columnist to take a look at the sitchuation with the Chargers.


Cepting I had to skip my plans on Sunday and watch these nu guys play football in Charger uniforms aginst some other guys called the Cincinatti Bungles. And I had to be up by 10 a.m. after working my reglar job Saturday nite.

But a fella has to make a sacrafice to fullfill a lifelong dream.

I was gonna right a column.

I set down with my leagle pad and prepared to become an xpert. It would be a eazy, watching football and righting down my impreshuns.

Dang! I thot. The first guy I noticed for the Chargers was this No. 77. He wuz BIG. I looked him up in the paper. Curtis Rouse. I remember a basketball coach at Winston-Salem State named Bighouse Gaines. This guy wuz Bigger House Rouse.

I dunno if this guy ever blocked any of the Bungles, but he din't need to. They hadda take a sleeping bag and a lunch to get round him. Bigger House Rouse was my guy.

I was spending so much time watching the Bungles trying to take trips around Bigger House that I din't notice the Chargers dropping the football. That was no problem, fumbling the ball once in awhile. Heck, the reel players do that. Din't they have that guy Muncie who had it always sqirting outta his hands like a wet bar a soap?

I wuz excited that one of the announcers was Joe Willy Namath. He wuz a hero a mine. He confuzed me a little bit though. He kept saying the defense wuz ahed a the offense, and I cudn't figger how the defense wuz winning cuz I thot the Chargers wuz playing the Bungles.

Anyways, the Charger's defense was doing good. It wuz ahed of the Bungles offense, excepting the Bungles wuz ahed of the Chargers, 9-0.

Part of the problem wuz the Charger quarterback being rusty. His name was somethin like Rick New Highzul, and I unnerstand he wuz in law skul until the last minit and din't get enuff time to practis. I cain't unnerstand what took him so long. It seems to me being a quarterback is a much hire calling then being a dam attorny.

New Highzul wuz having problems, but nunn like the ones the Bungle QBs wuz having. They had one guy who passed for nine yards and another for one. Hardly neither one of them could pass for a quarterback . . . or at leest like a quarterback. By the time they added up the Charger sax, the Bungles had minus-13 yards passing.

These replacement Chargers could play some D, huh?

Still, the Chargers cudn't get going much. It wud get going and then do somethin crazy and the other guys would get the ball.

Then it came to the fourth quarter. We'd see if these new Chargers had some characteristic.

Newhighzul was on the bench and sum guy named Mike Kelley was QB. Maybe he shudda been in from the start. He had been round for bout two weeks. How can ya ignore sperience like that?

Maybe they thot this Kelley guy was confuzed. He made the trip to San Diego from Winnapig by going through Toronto and Bufflo. The fella needs a nu travle agint.

Irregardless, Kelley got these new offense going. He thru passes for 25 yards and 45 yards and the next thing you knew a fella named Larry Middleton was leeping over the Bungles for a tuchdown.

I gotta tell ya. The next play was the play of the game. I usually take a brake during xtra points, but somethin kept me in my chare.

The center hikes the ball and it duzn't go to New Highzul, whose suppozed to be the holder. It bounces and goez to Jeph Gaffney, the kicker. He don't know what to do with it, so he starts to run round left end. He ain't gonna go nowhere, so he throes it back to New Highzul. This din't look like no semmy-ottomatik xtra point.

Now New Highzul runz the other way and goez into the end zone like some guy coming thru the wall in a beer commercial. It looked like a play Kelley's travle agint mighta dezigned, but it wirks.

This wuz ecksiting!

After that, some other stuff happened and these replacement Chargers won the game, 10-9. Give me these guys and this football. I sher hope these guys get ta go over ta Tampa Bay Sunday to play the Buckanears.

I unnerstand wear those guys is coming from. Outta the kindness of their harts, the owners give these guys a chance to show their better than the guys who usually do a job . . . and they go write out and do it.

Jest like me.

Los Angeles Times Articles