Part of being a true fan of a team involves a stubborn refusal to understand that the other team has fans of its own who care about their team as much as you care about yours. Impossible! The other team is nothing more than Opponent. When you are watching on Sunday afternoon, all you want to know is: How do we kill these guys? Whom do we boo? Die, humans wearing different colors than the colors for which I have grown accustomed to cheering!
We are here to help. With a slight nod to Drew Magary’s Why Your Team Sucks series, we want to give you three people to scream at on the television every Sunday, peppering Cheetos flecks in every direction. The Giants play the San Diego Chargers at Giants Stadium at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday. Here’s whom to boo on the Chargers.
Shawne Merriman. The linebacker was suspended for four games for steroids in 2006, though nobody really held that against him: He was selected to the Pro Bowl that same season. More recently, he was arrested for allegedly choking and restraining reality “star” Tila Tequila, who signed a citizen’s arrest warrant for battery and false imprisonment. The case would be dismissed, but not before both sides took to Twitter (where else?) to state their case.
Phillip Rivers. Is he the one that got away? Or did trading Rivers away on Draft Day 2004 lead to a Super Bowl win? Eli Manning’s got his ring, so it’s hard to complain about the trade. But the announcers will surely bring it up a hundred times on Sunday, and you might as well align yourself with Eli and direct your hate toward Rivers.
Norv Turner. Exactly how bad a coach is Turner? When the Chargers hired him, he had a 58–82–1 record as a head coach with Washington and Oakland. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only three coaches in league history had lower winning percentages in previous head-coaching jobs at the time of their hire. Then there’s this (only slightly out of context) vote of confidence that team president Dean Spanos gave him at the time: “You can say whatever you want to say [about hiring Turner]. If we hadn’t made a change and we lost, we made the wrong decision. If we do make the change and we lose, we made the wrong decision.”