$0.02: Chargers played ‘like a rat in a corner’ | SummitDaily.com

$0.02: Chargers played ‘like a rat in a corner’

DEVON O'NEILsummit daily news

Devon O'Neil

My high school baseball coach, a man named Tom Yankus, used to tell us to crouch down and get tough when we hit with two strikes. “Like a rat in a corner,” he’d say, doing his best to demonstrate with his 62-year-old body. The point being, of course, that anything or anyone with its back against the wall is difficult to defeat. His words would have done well to describe the collective state of mind of the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. The Bolts, whose playoff hopes were on the line against the previously undefeated Colts, looked every bit the rat in the corner while upsetting Indy on the road, 26-17. Their feisty, aggressive, we-won’t-lose-because-we-can’t-afford-to attitude was evident from the start. In short, they took it to a team that had been taking it to every opponent all year.Should San Diego have lost, the season’s final two games probably would have meant nothing. The Colts’ loss, however, did little more than end their pursuit of the second perfect season in NFL history.

All of which proves, refreshingly I should say, that a team’s will to survive is more powerful than another’s will to achieve glory, history and a superlative feat. …Everyone wants to know: Is New England suddenly the team to beat in the AFC? Maybe if the Patriots had home-field advantage, but not if they have to go through Indianapolis. …Former Broncos first-round draft pick Deltha O’Neal is having one heck of a season in Cincinnati this year for Marvin Lewis’ suddenly formidable D. O’Neal, who flopped in Denver, has picked off 10 passes for the 11-3 Bengals. But too many of them have come on plays when a receiver broke off a route too early, or a tipped pass kerplunked into his hands. In other words, don’t feel like you’re missing out, Broncos fans. …Speaking of the Donkeys, how’s this for dominance. Denver has outrushed its opponents this year by a yards margin of 2,049-1,110. Mike Anderson leads the team with 968 of the 2,049. …

Easily the most disappointing instance of U.S. politics colliding with sports occurred last week, when the U.S. Treasury Department informed Major League Baseball that Cuba would not be permitted to take part in the inaugural World Baseball Classic next spring. No word from Fidel on a potential rules finagling, though the Treasury Department didn’t leave much hope that the standing embargo would be lifted to allow Cuba’s participation. The shame lies here: Cuba has one of – if not the – richest baseball pipelines in the world. Every time we see a big-name Cuban player defect to the U.S., he is inevitably snatched up by a premier major league team hungry to win. This tournament has the potential to be one of the most exciting sporting events in recent memory, and Cuba would add a ton of intrigue. Thus, because of politics, the sports fan suffers. …Paul Revere, part two: “The Clippers are in first place! The Clippers are in first place!” If you hadn’t heard, it’s true. Led by Mr. Under the Radar, Elton Brand, who averages 25 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, the most reliable loser in sports is suddenly 15-8 and would be the No. 3 seed if the playoffs began today.

Oh by the way, while the Clips have gone 10-2 at home, L.A.’s other team – “Kobe Bryant-plus-four” – is 5-6 in the same building. …In parting, I’m trying to figure out which is uglier, Princeton scoring only 21 points in a men’s hoops loss to Monmouth, or Gonzaga star Adam Morrison’s mustache. Honestly, Morrison’s ‘stache makes me think of the kids in seventh grade who treated facial hair like a first-born child.Good thing for him that he’s the best college player in America.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13630, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.