This week has brought us two new champions in the world of sports. Congrats to the St. Louis Blues and Toronto Raptors. No matter how much Drake or the song “Gloria” was shoved in our face, Boston (all their teams combined lately sans the Celtics) and Golden State make Thanos jealous with the amount of rings they have. It was time to spread the wealth.
The other cool aspect is both franchises have been around at least 25 years and had no championships to show for it. We can now mark them both off the list of championship-less ineptitude. But there are still quite a few franchises still waiting to get their turn. All the athletic kids have been picked for the team, even the “not really that good but big/strong” kids have been picked. Yes, we are down to the merely popular kids and friends of the Captain getting their names called. At this point you just don’t want to be the very last person selected.
Although we have empathy with all franchises in this position—especially as fans of the Lions—we are now going to focus on the NFL. Who’s name is next to be called? Who is the next franchise to win their first Super Bowl? Here are your contestants: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, DETROIT LIONS, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Di... errr Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans.
Look over the list. Think. Ponder. Throw emotion and homerism out the window. Who’s the next of those teams to win it all? I sip the Kool Aid like everyone else. In fact, I envision the Lions winning it all at least several times a week. I’ve even got emotional and teary-eyed just thinking about it. But the next team to be called wears a different color blue.
The Los Angeles Chargers are my pick. They have all you’d need to make that next leap. Recent success (12-4 in 2018). Elite skill position players on offense (Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and the not elite but ascending Mike Williams). Premier defensive players (Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Casey Hayward, Detroit’s own Desmond King and a promising young stud safety Derwin James. And if we follow the Patriot model of always having a good coach and QB they have that as well. Anthony Lynn is proving to be one of the better new coaches and Philip Rivers is one of the most overlooked elite QBs. He also has 78 kids so that has to count for something.
Top to bottom this is one of the best rosters with a good coach and a great QB. Aside from taking the easy money and picking the Patriots every year, if I were to pick a Super Bowl Champion right now, the Chargers would be under strong consideration. The biggest issue with them has been injuries. The majority of those players I mentioned has had significant injuries recently. And at 37, Philip Rivers is no spring chicken. But in terms of talent and coaching they have what it takes.
I’d love to say it’s our Lions. This past offseason was a success and I think we have something special brewing. But for now, the Chargers are in the best shape to join the championship ranks. All they now need is a gimmick like an entertaining celebrity fan or a cheesy old song and they’re good to go. Wait the Lions have Toto’s “Africa”. Maybe we’re the next t... never mind.
Your turn. Who you got?