April 24, 2014

Chargers P.R. to Fans, “What’s with you people?”

The Chargers were embarrassed by Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos with an historic comeback after the Chargers led 24-0 at half and went on to lose 35-24. Well, apparently the embarrassment turned to anger and restlessness, which is hardly unexpected of any fanbase after a collapse like that. Chargers P.R. director Bill Johnston took to the team’s website with a post entitled “Take a Chill Pill.” (Posting in its entirety just in case they decide to take it down.)

What’s with you people?

Yes, Monday night’s loss was bad. Horrible. Embarrassing.

Ok…enough already. No mas. I get it.

Now get over it. It was a loss. One loss.

Listening to some of you out there, you’d think Monday night was “win or go home” and the Chargers are now packing their bags.

“The Chargers are finished. Done,” said one scribe.

Another wrote, “Bye, bye Chargers. Put a fork in them.”

Sometimes I think Twitter was invented to give people a chance to puff out their chests and talk big, saying things they never would say to someone’s face.

And talk radio … don’t get me started. The old adage your mom used to preach – “If you don’t have anything good say, don’t say anything” – seems to have evolved to “if you don’t have anything good to say, call sports talk radio.”

Some of those folks are probably the same ones who called for former Head Coach Bobby Ross’ job when his first Chargers team started the 1992 season 0-4.  I still remember the self-proclaimed experts saying Bobby was “in over his head”. The Chargers went on to win 11 of the next 12 games that year, along with a 17-0 victory in the first round of the playoffs.

A few of the more recent Chargers teams have been declared dead by quacks, only to awaken in good health.  The 3-3 Chargers of 2004 won nine of their final 10 games.  The ’06 Chargers won their final 10.  The ’07 Chargers started 1-3 before winning 10 of their last 12.  The ’08 Chargers won their final four in a row and the ’09 team won its last 11 games.

Time to take a chill pill.  No one knows what will happen this season, yet alone the next game. That’s the beauty of the National Football League.  I don’t know, you don’t know, no one knows what’s going to happen.

If you want these players and coaches to succeed, then support them.  Don’t tear them down.  What you want and what we all want, including your team, is to know people believe in them.

Look at it this way.  We want our loved ones to succeed, and we’ll do whatever it takes to help them.  But when they make mistakes, like we all do, we would never criticize or belittle them publicly.

Your team is 3-3, tied at the top of the division, and has 10 games to play.  If the Chargers are your team, get behind them and stay behind them.  We’re all at our best when we know others believe in us.

I am guessing this will go over like a lead balloon for some fans. For others it will be a mixed bag. I agree with some of it, but it probably isn’t a message that should be delivered by someone on the team payroll.

Bill Johnston has been in the business 24 years and with the Chargers since 1979.

[Related: New Browns CEO Joe Banner: “We Need the Best People”]

  • http://www.facebook.com/aarondbrowning Aaron Browning

    Comparing your football team to your family members was a little odd, but in general I support the main idea of the article. Of course asking a fan to be rational, composed, and intelligent is contrary to the nature of most fans.

    Example that really annoys me: Greg Little has played 21 games in his NFL career and people have already written him off cuz he poses after a first down. Right, because he clearly know that he will not be a good player.

  • EZ

    Actually people have written off Little because he is dropping 30% of catchable passes thrown to him, and Cleveland folks are gunshy of flashy guys with a lot of ability that seem like they can’t catch because of Braylon Edwards.

    But yeah, I agree with your agreement with the main point of that post. The sky is rarely actually falling, and immediate fan panic just tends to make problems worse.

  • Natedawg86

    I think they all just need a good ol’ “bolt up boogie”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMYNa_lyg1Q

  • Brendon

    Where is the Comic Sans?? That’s how you let people know you mean business!

  • Hopwin

    Hey Chargers Fans: GO ROOT FOR #$%^ING BUFFALO!

  • NamedMyKidPrice

    I think if he caught the balls he should catch the whole crowd would do the Usain Bolt with him. But he drops most of them then acts like he is the best in the world when he catches a 10 yard pass. Just my thoughts. I do think that Gordon emerging as a true number 1 will take the pressure off of Little and he might perform better. And if he does I am all for the antics!

  • mgbode

    it’s not that anything he says in there is wrong, it’s just that you would hope that the PR director for your team would be a little better with PR.

    there are better ways of getting this message across IMO.

  • nj0

    Exactly. If you work for the team- thinking this is one thing, saying it in public is another.

  • Natedawg86

    Time for a good ol’ fashion “Bolt up Boogie”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMYNa_lyg1Q

  • Harv 21

    Breathtaking: the PR guy doesn’t understand his specific part of the biz in which he specializes.

    Mr. Johnston, you are not a moronic and sheltered player who might be confused enough to think an entertainment option is entitled to public and media support. You are a PR guy. You are charged with putting an appealing face on your business such that the public will be likely to spend their disposable income and attention on your biz, as opposed to the Padres or the aquarium or the boats or the beautiful people jogging the hills on any given day or whatever. Listen, if I praise and smile at my barista, she may make my beverage better or more quickly or make my experience better. But the onus is not on me, it’s on her and her managers to make me wanna come back. And if I act like a boor when the bev is bad she better react to my reaction the right way because I’ll remember her screams long after the taste of sour half’half is forgotten, and I’m gone to another place or if there’s none I’ll switch to tea or if I just cannot replace that place I’ll be back with a resentful attitude that’ll really kill the business.

    Have you been hanging out in the locker room again, talking to moronic players and embattled coaches? You’re fired, so fired.

  • JK

    It would be hilarious to see what he would be like if he was the Browns PR guy.

  • JK

    Also…. WHATTA YOU MEAN YOU PEOPLE?!

  • Natedawg86

    As if once wasn’t enough. I posted comment and refreshed and it wasn’t there. Not recommended to watch twice, unless just watching for cheerleaders

  • Natedawg86

    Can Gordon’s nickname be Flash Gordon?

  • mgbode

    I thought it was the commish?

  • stryker1121

    That’s a bit racialist, innit?

  • eric

    he needs to get a new job…or figure out what PR stands for.

  • NamedMyKidPrice

    What about the Flying J’s? Cooper, Gordon, Cribs could even use Norwood in this scenario. Saw this in a tweet last week. Makes sense in a lot of ways when you think about it.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Why else would we watch?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    He forgot the “You don’t live in SF you live in SD” line. That was entirely to long this guy is clearly under mental duress.

  • mgbode

    ‘B’randon is throwing to them. I think this might end badly.

  • mgbode

    you mean if he had to survive 300days of precipitation a year along with the harsh Lake Erie winds, snow, and the general negative vibe of Cleveland sports permeating through the entire city?
    (realize he wrote all of the above while living and working in SD where if it’s 68 and partly cloudy people are bummed about it being a bad weather day)

  • maxfnmloans

    lets get to .500, then worry about nicknames

  • Jay

    Travis Benjamin does not approve.

  • Jay

    I was for sure waiting for the “Go root for the Raiders. Blank YOU!” quote.

  • mgbode

    I don’t want to wait until Thanksgiving though ;)

  • porckchopexpress

    How did he not go Ron Burgundy in this situation?
    “Go F##@ yourself, San Diego!”

  • porckchopexpress

    “What do you mean “You people?”
    God I love Tropic Thunder

  • MrCleaveland

    Hey, you’re either with them or you’re not. Just don’t come around asking Bill for playoff tickets.

  • Natedawg86

    B to J? Why would this be bad?

  • NamedMyKidPrice

    Neither does MoMass but they need to stay healthy in order to join the fun…

  • jay

    I was referring to the nickname of Flying J’s…but I agree with what you’re saying.

  • Jaker

    Wow. I love the message but not sure if it was necessary. Guy has been in the game for awhile, seems like he was having a bad day and just snapped because something like this usually costs you your job.

    On another note, man I’m pumped we aren’t playing San Diego in December, because if those numbers are right, it seems like they haven’t lost in the second half in thirty years, give or take