[Deep within a hospital, a patient lies prone, still, and hooked up to many medical devices and machines that whirr, beep, and occasionally print out some esoteric bit of information to be collated later. There are no flowers, no evidence of visitors. A doctor stumbles into the room.]
Dr. David Chao: <urrrp> Wellllllll… welllll wellll welllll<urrp>lllll… Hows we doing today, my <aaaaarrrp> pashhhent? HMMMMM? [He attempts to pick up the chart from the end of the bed, but it tumbles around in his grasp and falls on the floor, somehow making him fall over as well] GAAHHHHHHH <uuurrrrrp> NURRRSH! NUUURRRRRRRRSSSHHHHHHH!
[A volunteer nurse enters, looking agitated]
Ryan Leaf: WHAT?!! OH! Ya fell over again, ya big dummy! [Helps the doctor up] Ya gotta lay off the sauce, Doc!
Chao: Shaddup, you! Lesshhhh take care ah this guy an get back toduh bar<urrrp>. Didja get ‘is pills?
Leaf: NO I DIDN’T TAKE HIS PILLS WHY WOULD YOU—oh, you meant did I bring the pills? Sure. Here ya go, doc. What’s wrong with ‘em, anyway?
Chao: <urrrrp> Hard to… harrrrrrrrd to… shay. I’ve tried to get that costume off but I keep slipping and falling. My guesh is he’s in a coma or something. Anyway, let’s eat thesh pills an get outta here.
Leaf: You’re the doctor!
[Deep within BOLTMAN’s twisted neural pathways, visions take shape, and BOLTMAN finds himself in the hidden room he occupies deep within the bowels of Jack Murphy Stadium.]
BOLTMAN: BOLTMAN IS READY TO GREET THE DAY! [His suit starts playing San Diego Super Chargers as he pumps out jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, and some very sketchy shadowboxing. He then throws open the curtains, only to find that the stadium is being thrown around in the middle of a vast hurricane.] OH NO! BOTLMAN’S GREATNESS HAS CHANGED THE WEATHER AGAIN!
[A green witch in black clothes flies up on a broom, but before she can say anything, Lorenzo Neal flies in OUT OF NOWHERE and just BLOWS HER UP with a monster block, sending her careening away]
Lo Neal: MAKE WAY MOTHERFUCKERS!
BOLTMAN: OH YEAHHHHHHHH! [Starts to do a fist pump dance] BOLTMAN would LOVE to see another great fullback on the team!
[As Lo Neal soars away, another figure starts to come into view]
LT: bikebikebikebike—Oh, hey, Boltman! Good to see you!
BOLTMAN: IT’S THE CHARGERS RUNNING GAME, RETURNING TO US FINALLY!
LT: Oh, no, no, no. I’ll never run another yard in the NFL, sad to say. I just saw the old stadium flying by, and wanted to come and say hello. Plus, I think I left my spare shaded visor somewhere around here…
BOLTMAN: But what will become of BOLTMAN? I’M SO SCARED THAT THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS WILL BE NO MORE!
LT: Can’t help you there, but, the ground’s coming up soon, and something tells me you have the chance to find some answers. [Manages to snatch a shaded visor out of the debris flying around] Nice! Gotta go! Bikebikebikebikebike…
[LT floats away and just moments later there is a tremendous sound as the stadium lands, throwing BOLTMAN out the window into a strangely decorated grove, with navy blue grass and trees around a lightning bolt yellow road, and where a crowd has gathered around the stadium]
BOLTMAN: HELL YEAH! NO STORM CAN DESTROY BOLTMAN! [Air guitar as Rock You Like A Hurricane plays] HEY WHAT’S THAT?
[A pair of shriveled pasty white legs stick out from where an edge of the stadium has buried itself into the grass. Among the surprising amount of blood that amazes the passersby, a pair of powder blue boots with “AJ SMITH” written on the bottoms can be seen at the ends of those legs]
BOLTMAN: That storm blew off Boltman’s shoes! Those will do nicely!
[As BOLTMAN ties the boots onto his feet, a dreamy harp sound begins, which is interrupted by a figure ever so slowly floating in]
Rivers The Good: YA BETTA WITCH-NESS SOMEBODAAYYYYYYYYYYY!
BOLTMAN: RIVERS! YEAHHHHHH BABY, WHAT’S UP!
Rivers: WELCOME TO THE LAND OF WOZ, FREAK! IT’S ONLY PLACE WHERE CHARGERS FANDOM LIVES—IN WHAT WOZ AND WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN!
BOLTMAN: BOLTMAN doesn’t understand. Why me?
Rivers: WHY YOU? WELL, BECAUSE—OH UNHOLY FUCKING SHIT, HERE COME THE SHIT FLINGING FLYING MONKEYS AGAIN! GODDAMNIT! [A rapidly moving, screaming herd of flying monkeys comes into view, heading straight at Rivers]
BOLTMAN: NO! Can’t someone stop them?
Rivers: VERY FUNNY, FOAM FOR BRAINS! I ONLY WISH I HAD PROTECTION—HELL I ONCE HAD A KING TO PROTECT ME, THE WHOLE CITY OF ORLANDO, AND SOMETHING CALLED TYREEK BURWELL! BUT NOW ALL I HAVE IS A DIPSHIT NAMED WIGGINS, HALF A SKEIN OF WET YARN, AND A VAT OF SCREAMING MEAT FURNITURE THEY FOUND IN A WALK IN REFRIGERATOR IN THE STADIUM BASEMENT!
BOLTMAN: BOTLMAN KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT THAT! [Shifts nervously]
Rivers: ANYWAY, I’M GETTING THE FUCK OUT OF HERE BEFORE I GET KILLED—I WAS GONNA TELL YOU WHAT TO DO NEXT BUT I’LL JUST DUMP THAT OFF TO WOODHEAD AS I DO WITH EVERYTHING ELSE! [Attempts to float away from the incoming monkeys, but is just floating and hanging there way too long and is brutally tackled in his liver]
BOLTMAN: GRIT-TASTIC! BOLTMAN is ELECTRIFIED to see the Bolt’s number two best player! AND… IS THAT SPROLES? BRANDEN OLIVER! GASP! NATRONE THE BOMB MEANS! YEAHHHHHHHHH! [Hip thrusts]
BOLTMAN: BOLTMAN COULDN’T HEAR YOU, PLEASE STEP CLOSER!
[The tiny running backs advance about two yards closer, then dance in place before falling back six yards, then running forward closer two yards at a time until they’re finally close enough to be heard]
Woodhead: The Gritty Back Guild is pleased to inform Mister Boltman that the Lightning Bolt Road will take him to the city of Woz, where the Mild And Even Tempered Coach will grant him an audience!
BOLTMAN: FINALLY BOLTMAN GETS HIS CHANCE TO JOIN THE TEAM! [Does a spastic victory dance] CHAAAAAAAAAAAAARGE!
[BOLTMAN rushes down the Yellow Bolt Road, which zigs and zags like a lightning bolt in regular intervals, until he finds himself near a football field covered in corn, where he comes face to face with a legend]
Seaucrow: Hey! You! With the fake biceps! Where you goin’?
BOLTMAN: I’m going to see the Coach!
Seaucrow: Take me with you! I’d say I need to give him a piece of my mind, but I already took care of that!
BOLTMAN: AND YOU’RE A HERO FOR THAT, MAN!
Seaucrow: Damn straight. Don’t let that be in vain, buddy. Take me with you and let’s go stick it to the man.
BOLTMAN: YEAH! BOLTMAN’S GONNA HANG OUT WITH JUNIOR! [Self high fives]
[BOLTMAN and the SEAUCROW enter a portion of the road surrounded by woods, where suddenly a slow, short form charges out at them, and appears to be set for a killer tackle of BOLTMAN but instead just sort of bounces off, ends up grabbing a limb like he’s injured]
Seaucrow: Wow, that’s terrible form. I hope he’s not on the team.
BOLTMAN: He’s our best linebacker.
Cowardly Teo: Hey, it’s not my fault! I’ve suffered irreparable heartbreak, which leaves me afraid of getting hurt again.
BOLTMAN: BUT SHE WASN’T EVEN REAL!
Cowardly Teo: MY PAIN IS REAL! Uh… I think.
SEAUCROW: Yeesh. Let’s get to the Coach. Maybe he can get this clown a new position.
[The trio head further down the trail, where they find a big but seemingly frozen figure blocking their way]
Tin Basketball Man: HEY GUYS! Golly it’s good to see you. Be a baller and hit me with some juice, will ya? I’m not quite as limber as I used to be.
BOLTMAN: YEAH, GATES BABY! Boltman has your back! [From some hidden chamber in his costume, Boltman produces a syringe and surreptitiously injects something into Gates’ joints]
Tin Basketball Man: [Barrels down fifteen yards, boxes out a big tree and makes a ridiculous one handed catch of an apple that fell from it] Good as new. Come on, y’all, let’s go see the Coach!
[They skip down the road, arm in arm, singing San Diego Super Chargers, until they reach a gate guarded by a redhead wielding a red hammer, who is accompanied by a sniveling lackey who is carrying a giant pail of water with him]
Goodell: STATE YOUR BUSINESS OR BE FINED AND/OR SUSPENDED!
PK: YEAH! And no dancing or singing!
BOLTMAN: WE HAVE AN AUDIENCE WITH THE COACH, BABY, WOOOOOOO! [Begins to dance]
Goodell: STOP! YOU SHALL NOT PASS!
Seaucrow: Don’t worry guys, I got this. [He hands a Starbucks gift card and bottle of Allegash White to PK, and then whispers something to Goodell about losing the PR battle to Seau’s family]
Goodell: I have decided in my wisdom to reduce my initial sentence upon appeal, and you are permitted to enter. BUT FIRST, you must meet with the Wicked Lawyer Of The West, Mark Fabiani!
BOLTMAN: OH GOOD! Let me at him! I’m gonna DESTROY that piece of slime!
[They enter Fabiani’s evil looking chambers, where he is surrounded by flying monkeys that are throwing poo out the window at the citizens of San Diego]
Fabiani: NYA HA HA HA HA HAAAA! You can’t stop me! The people of Los Angeles cry out for a sports team, and I will deliver one to them! Not to mention the city of San Diego’s offers are totally pathetic and in no way could ever in a million years expect to keep a football team here!
BOLTMAN: But aren’t you just waging a mean-spirited propaganda war?
Tin Basketball Man: Yeah, and aren’t you just acting as the bad cop for the Spanos family?
Seaucrow: Isn’t this just a massive, cynical cash grab, with no reverence or respect for the sport that many sacrifice their futures for?
Cowardly Teo: And aren’t you the one who killed my beloved?
Fabiani: Are you suggesting that I… COMPROMISE?!? HA! HAHAHA! THAT’S NOT HOW BUSINESS WORKS! OUR OFFER TO ONLY CONTRIBUTE $250 MILLION TO A NEW STADIUM FROM OVER A DECADE AGO STILL STANDS AND THAT IS ALL WE CAN POSSIBLY AFFORD!
Tin Basketball Man: But the city has offered to only raise the contributing cost by $100 million. That doesn’t even completely account for the cost of inflation since that plan was made!
Seaucrow: Not to mention the entire county is now willing support and fund the project!
BOLTMAN: BOLTMAN IS CHARGED WITH THE POWER OF FANS FROM ALPINE TO LEUCADIA!
Fabiani: Listen, I steal so much money from rich idiots that I don’t have to stand hear and listen to this. FLY, MY MONKEYS, FLY! [Fabiani hops into a private jet and flies]
BOLTMAN: BOLTMAN CURSES YOUR NAME! [Shakes his fist] Well, let’s go see the Coach.
[They enter a chamber filled with many fancy special effects, and a large and bland face appears to float in midair before them]
McCoy: WHO DISTURBS THE PERSONAL ACCOUNTING AUDIT OF THE EVEN AND DEPENDABLE COACH?
Seaucrow: I’ve come to make sure that you don’t fail the veterans of the league, and take care of their health! Your team’s injury rate this year has been too great, and you’re going to screw those players over in the long run!
McCoy: WE’RE JUST DOING WHAT WE THINK IS BEST FOR THE LEAGUE AND OUR PLAYERS! YOU CAN’T PLAN FOR INJURIES, SO WE JUST HAVE TO PLAY THE BEST PLAYERS WE CAN PLAY WHEN WE PLAY!
Seaucrow: Seriously? This is the coach, buddy?
Tin Basketball Man: I mean, come on, man! Our window for a championship is closing and there’s no way we should only have two wins with this team! You and those other two failures of coordinators have got to get it together for the players on the field today, and for the fans!
McCoy: WE’RE JUST DOING WHAT WE THINK IS BEST FOR THE TEAM, MAKING THE MOST OF THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT COME OUR WAY, AND WE JUST HAVE TO TAKE THINGS ONE GAME AT A TIME.
Tin Basketball Man: Uh huh. Yeah. [Files retirement papers]
Cowardly Teo: Can you at least tell everybody stop making fun of my late girlfriend?
McCoy: WE’RE JUST DOING WHAT WE THINK IS BEST FOR THE TEAM.
Cowardly Teo: Oh, come on, really? [Stomps foot, ankle pops] Damnit!
BOLTMAN: BOLTMAN IS TIRED OF THIS PLACE! SEND BOLTMAN BACK TO HIS HOME, HIS MANY COSTUMES, HIS SEASON TICKETS, AND HIS INFAMY!
McCoy: YOU’VE HAD THE POWER TO DO THAT THIS ENTIRE TIME! JUST DO WHAT YOU DO BEST!
BOLTMAN: [Looks down at the powder blue boots] AH HA! GOOOOOOOOOOOO BOLTS!
[Stomp, stomp. clap]
[Stomp, stomp. clap]
[Stomp, stomp. clap]
[WOZ begins to fade away as BOLTMAN fades back into consciousness, and the hospital comes into focus]
BOLTMAN: BOLTMAN HAD THE STRANGEST DREAM! All of BOLTMAN’s favorite players were there, and AJ Smith was meat pulp! [BOLTMAN sees Dr. Chao enter] DOC CHAO! That means I’m home, back in SAAAAAAAAAN DIEGOOOOOOOOOOO!
Chao: Shorry, man, but I only work in Los Angeles now.
[A sudden silence descends on the room, then the lights flicker and die as the screaming begins]
The Chargers are 2-7 and only a half game behind the Browns from getting the #1 pick in the draft. LeVeon Bell’s wildcat TD kicked off a 5 game losing streak that has seen the Chargers snatch defeat from the jaws of victory multiple times. WR injuries have left Rivers throwing to Stevie Johnson, Dontrelle Inman and…….Javontee Herndon. Gates has the questionable tag which I am surprised is not permanently affixed and Ladarius Green has been a big tease…again. Melvin Gordon has yet to score a TD and is looking like the Ryan Leaf to Todd Gurley’s Pey-Pey. And finally the defense looks lost. I think Weddle may be playing not to injure himself and screw up a huge payday from the Stillers or P*ts. I originally predicted a 5-11 season but I can’t imagine this team winning three more games this year. I’ll be generous and revise it to 4-12 and get the 5th pick in the draft (which they’ll fuck up but that’s Los Angeles’ problem.) – sunrisesunrise
Despite the injuries, the piss poor play of the run defense, the entire coaching staff’s inability to make adjustments and the positive (1) net punt return yards, the Chargers could just as easily be 8-1 as they could be where they are now at 2-7. There has only been one game this entire year where they been completely out of (at Minnesota), and all of their other losses have been by one score or less, many of which (all?) have come down to the final play. Philip Rivers is having a tremendous year and this team would go 0-16 if not for him. Melvin Gordon has had flashes of raw talent, but between the play calling, and working behind a non-existent offensive line, without a leading blocker, this has not become a constant. Brandon Flowers looks lost since signing his big contract this offseason, and if not for Jason Verrett and Jerry Attaochu, the defense would be last in nearly all categories. This year may be lost, but there are few things that I want more than for them to remain in my city. As long as some kind of deal gets done to accomplish that, I can count this year as a success. GO CHAR-GAHS, GO! – Low Commander of the Super Soldiers
Prediction? Madness, insanity, panic, hysteria, terror, at least five more significant team injuries, and a maximum of 4 wins. – OSZ