The Thursday Night Preview

It wasn’t so long ago that the Chargers were coached by Marty Schottenheimer, a man who looked like an extra from a control tower scene in Top Gun and probably slept in aviator shades and who barked into his headset with such ferocity that you could actually watch it melt over the course of a game. When Schottenheimer was fired because He Couldn’t Win The Big One, he was replaced by Norv Turner, who was at the time almost a joke — a thwarted, dad-faced would-be offensive guru who kept coaching teams with crummy offenses. At the time, I wrote about him as a tragic figure of sorts — a fraudulent genius who was, like so many of us, waiting fearfully to be discovered as such. But then ol’ Norvis actually won some playoff games in San Diego, and now he’s accepted as normal — just another NFL coach who, while stuck with his own struggles Winning The Big One, is at least no longer either punchline or joke. The same could presumably happen for crazy-faced 49ers coach Mike Singletary someday, and I might eventually look back and be like “years ago, I compared Singletary to a crazed bear running around your campsite, and thought it was weird that he wore a four-foot wooden crucifix around his neck and blinked only three times per hour.” That is certainly possible. But I wouldn’t bet on it. I would bet, instead, on the Chargers (-9). The coin is going with Singletary and his crummy Niners. The coin may have seen the future.

Photo by Jon Oropeza, from Flickr.