It Happens Every Year, Right?

It Happens Every Year, Right?


It Happens Every Year, Right?


I was prepared to write about the preseason game against Arizona until the news came out today that Derwin James has a stress fracture in his foot.  Keenan Allen’s knee and ankle were apparently going to keep him out for the rest of the preseason already.  What’s so crazy about James was that he participated in practice against the Saints and even had a pick of Brees.  I can’t allow go down that road of “only the Chargers” right now.  It sucks, no doubt.  However, injuries at Florida State are probably what allowed the Chargers to draft James in the first place.  I’m surprised no one is ready to start the conspiracy theory that he hurt himself originally when he did that dunk in the spring.

I did end up watching the Arizona game live.  However, NFL Network didn’t switch over to it until almost the end of the first quarter.  I saw that Ekler fumbled, which was upsetting.  He had those two huge fumbles against Jacksonville and Kansas City in 2017 which could have cost the team a playoff berth.  Yes, I know that he broke his hand on the second one.  Even without Bosa and Ingram, they seemed to get pressure on Kyler Murray.  Rochell appeared to be involved a bunch.

Michael Badgley had a touchback, which was great to see.  When we last saw the Chargers, they had signed Nick Rose to try keep the Patriots from starting with great field position.  Of course, it didn’t matter since New England drove up and down the field all day.

James’ surgery is apparently going to be performed this week by Dr. James Andrews, who apparently does every surgery for every player.  No one really knows what his return time is since they haven’t even operated yet.  Coming back in late Nonmember/December seems to be the consensus.  Obviously, the team won’t endanger James’ future by having him return.  It’s very similar to the Bosa and Henry injuries of a year ago.  Is Derwin the best player on the defense?  Is he the most indispensable player on the team?  I guess we’ll find out soon enough.  It sucks, but at least he didn’t tear an ACL or something.  I know I’m rationalizing here.

That was my phone after the Chargers made the playoffs in 2013.  I don’t know if getting a Wild Card spot.  I don’t know if that really constituted “justice,” but it felt like the most unexpected thing in the world at the time.  The scary thing is that the team went exactly as far as last year’s did.  2014 was a total shit show, highlighted by the loss at KC.  Let’s hope nothing like that happens this year.  Seeing the text from my Dad being at the top obviously makes me smile.  He always supported my support of this stupid team.

Speaking of those who have passed, former defensive coordinator Tom “Boss Hogg” Bass died last month.  His family put together a very nice tribute which I am re-posting here with their permission.

That’s all for now.  I’ll be back next week after the preseason game against the Saints and “Poo Bear’s” surgery.  I heard that someone stepped on his foot during practice.  Maybe we should find them and deal with them? Nah.

Tom Bass

1935 – 2019


(prepared by Steve Carpowich with permission from the Bass family)

Longtime National Football League coach, executive and author Tom Bass passed away on July 27 at his Encinitas home. He was 83.

Tom’s NFL career included roles as defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers. He also served as vice president of player personnel for the Buccaneers and vice president of pro personnel for the New England Patriots. Additionally, Tom held leadership positions with the Canadian Football League, serving as team president of the Sacramento Gold Miners and San Antonio Texans. He also was head coach of an American football team in France, the Paris Castors.

Regarded as a Renaissance man in the football world, Tom also published two books of poetry, “Fly Free My Love” and “Pro Football from the Inside.” A devoted teacher of the game, he authored the NFL’s first instructional book, “Play Football the NFL Way” and also wrote “Football Skills and Drills” for Human Kinetics and “Youth Football Skills and Drills” for McGraw Hill, both youth coaching books, still enormously popular today. Tom is believed to be the first NFL coach to lead football seminars for women.

His passions extended beyond the football field, including board positions with the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and the Gulfcoast Symphony in Florida.

In the 1950s, Tom was a promising lineman at San Jose State University with aspirations to play football professionally. But he was diagnosed with polio while in college and was told he would never walk again. Undaunted, he devised his own exercise program, which allowed him to walk again and launched his coaching career as the freshman coach with Dick Vermeil at San Jose State.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biological science, Tom was hired by then-San Diego State head coach Don Coryell as an assistant football coach for the Aztecs and also did graduate work at SDSU.  Tom later worked as an offensive coach and defensive coordinator with the Chargers under Hall of Fame coach Sid Gillman, during the team’s early American Football League years. Tom then went on to coach as a defensive coordinator for three NFL franchises from the 1960s until the 1980s (under Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown with the Cincinnati Bengals; coach John McKay with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; and coach Don Coryell with the San Diego Chargers).

After his career in the NFL, CFL and European football, Tom continued his passion to teach football in a variety of ways. Through his own business, Tom Bass Enterprises, he led football clinics and offered coaching consulting services. He also was a technical football content writer and advisor for USA Football, as well as director of football education for the San Diego Hall of Champions.  Additionally, Tom was a commentator with Ted Leitner on Aztecs football radio broadcasts in San Diego.

In his later years, Coach Bass was a beloved fixture at local youth basketball, baseball, and football sporting events throughout North County.

Tom is survived by his wife Michele; brother Bob; sons Michael (Mona), Robert (Paula) and David (Igmar); daughter Shana (Jonah); five beloved grandchildren and one great-grandchild; niece Gina and nephews Lance and Jake. The family plans a private memorial service and celebration of life.

Nick Canepa wrote a nice piece for the U-T here as well.


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