Do fans owe their support to teams?
It's a question frequently debated on great sports talk shows (such as, oh I don't know, say The Beat of Sports, hosted by Marc Daniels from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays on 740 the Game).
Bill Johnston thinks so.
Who's Bill Johnston? Glad you asked. He is listed as the director of public relations on the San Diego Chargers website (chargers.com). And earlier this week he posted a blog there that began like this:
"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."
And after a lot of chastising of the Charger fan base, he suggests: "Time to take a chill pill."
Seriously, Bill? A chill pill? First of all, the '70s called and want their colloquialism back. More important, who do you think you are? Is this really your definition of "public relations"? Perhaps your title should be "director of public antagonism."
By the way, when I looked, there were 403 comments posted. I looked at maybe a hundred without finding one that agreed with Bill.
For the record, it is my belief that fans owe a team nothing. A fan may choose to adore and support a team, which is fine. But the fan has no obligation. Teams are in the entertainment business. It is their job to entertain. And when they fail to entertain, they fail period.
What do you think? Who should chill, you, me or Bill?
Fab Five Football Picks
Last week: No chill here. Check out my work as I was a brilliant 10-3 straight up (62-42 for the season). But ignore that I was an awful 5-8 against the spread (42-61-1 for the season, almost a direct opposite of the straight-up mark). In fact, let's just move on while I'm still feeling kind of good about myself.
Jacksonville (1-5) at Green Bay (4-3) — Packers favored by 15
The Packers are pranksters. Receiver James Jones left practice to discover the wheels were gone from his truck thanks to fellow receiver Greg Jennings. Probably a smart idea for Jennings to take a cab now. Fantasy fans, start all your Packers. If you got the Packer punter, start him. No, wait, he probably won't get in the game.
Jerry says: Packer Pranksters by 38.
Miami (3-3) at East Rutherford Jets (3-4) — Jets favored by 2
No joke here. An 11-year-old fan wrote the commish, suggesting officials throw pink flags to honor cancer awareness — and it will happen Sunday during this game. As for the game, here's Jets Interim Coach Rex Ryan: "We can go toe-to-toe with anybody. Maybe the rest of the world will have more confidence in us now." Only problem, Rexy, is that you said it after another loss.
Jerry says: In a Shut-Up-Rexy Upset Special, Fish by 7.
Carolina (1-5) at Chicago (5-1) — Da Bears favored by 7.5
My new favorite QB is Jay Cutler. Seriously. Talking about how he was crushed by Ndamukong Suh, Cutler said: "When he grabbed me, I knew it wasn't going to end well." No such problems this week. My over/under on successful third down conversions by Panthers is 3.
Jerry says: Da Bears by 17.
San Diego (3-3) at Cleveland (1-6) — Chargers favored by 2.5
After one week off, Chargers face Browns, Chiefs and Bucs. They must have pictures of the commish placing bets to get a schedule this soft. Meanwhile, Brownies got their seasonal victory two weeks ago, so their work is done.
Jerry says: Chargers by 16.
San Francisco (5-2) at Arizona (4-3), Monday night — Niners favored by 6.5
According to some reports, the Cards may sign QB Vince Young. If there is no QB on your roster better than Vince Young, your best bet is forfeit and your next best bet is the single wing. Seriously, how are the Cards going to score?
Jerry says: Niners by 28. As in, 28-zip.
Look for the rest of my prognostications at thebeatofsports.com, where you can also make your own picks and have a shot at some genuine swag.
These are the notes, folks
• According to the Indianapolis Star: "An estimated crowd of 3,000 'crowded into the entry pavilion' of Bankers Life Fieldhouse to celebrate the Fever winning the WNBA championship. The team was slated to participate in a downtown Indianapolis victory parade, but the event was canceled due to rain." — Any comment would be piling on.
• You think Peyton Manning is just a shill for Papa John's? Think again, pepperoni breath. Manning will own 21 of the pizza shops in the Denver area.
The life and death of Junior Seau
Famed football player Junior Seau took his life in May. After months of research, Jill Lieber Steeg has written a painful examination of what led him to that act and what legacy he left, good and bad. It is a long and not particularly pleasant read but it is a compelling look into the bright and dark corners of one man's soul. It will win awards for sports journalism. You should check it out here.
Did Jerry mention that he can be heard week days from 9 a.m. to noon as part of The Beat of Sports, hosted by Marc Daniels on 740 the Game? (Actually we know he mentioned it but doing it again is the only way to stop his whinnying.) He also can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and answers most mail as long as you don't make too much fun of his NFL picks. And he wishes you a great sports Sunday.