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Chargers Are Lacking Two Key Ingredients

December 12, 1987

In the 13th paragraph of Dave Distel's Sportscene (Dec. 9) regarding the disappearance (Poof. Gone.) of the real Chargers, you acknowledge the dawning realization that "things had changed, and something was missing."

The change (the team's offensive demise) you address. What might be missing, you don't.

What's missing, to this damaged fan, are Don Coryell and Gene Klein. On the field, Coryell was a man possessed. His intensity was almost frightening and no doubt contagious. Al Saunders seems a pale shadow in comparison. Gene Klein loved football, bled lightning and knew the game. Alex Spanos seems more a hobbyist, sort of a reticent Steinbrenner, who has yet to impress me with his grasp of the game.

So it seems to me that Gene is what's "poof" and Don is what's "gone," and what's missing is the fuel and the fire.

PATRICK BRANIN

San Diego

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