Monday, December 14, 2009
The San Diego Chargers have made it eight in a row. Joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris.
San Diego Chargers make it eight wins in a row. Joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris. Another Sunday, another big win, Jay, for the Chargers. How did they get it done against Dallas?
JAY PARIS: They got it done really with their defense and being opportune on offense. They're been rolling along pretty well, putting up 30 and 40 points a game, but this was a pretty much an old smash mouth, hit the guy next to you game, and really a game that's maybe among their most impressive all season. The offense didn't throw up that big number, and they still managed to win. This was a big win against a desperate Dallas team that has really seen their season circle the drain. The Chargers, they stood up to the challenge, big win.
PAMELA DAVIS: Jay, the Chargers seem to dominate in December. Why do they consistently turn it on at the end of the season?
PARIS: Some of it's been injuries. They've been injured early in the year and some of those guys are getting healthy, and some of it's just luck of the schedule. What it's done, I think, has created confidence within them that they can, you know, flick that switch, and they can rally toward the end. You know, you want to be playing your best ball toward the end, you want to be peaking now. You don't want to have a fancy September and then fade in the end. So, you know, it's coaching, it's players, but a lot of it's confidence. The Chargers have kind of made this their niche to start slow and finish fast.
DWANE BROWN: Yeah, well, I saw a lot of the players in awe of the new stadium in Dallas, that's where you're at this morning in Big D. The team still leads the AFC by two games, three games left in the regular season, is it too soon to talk about the playoffs, another division championship?
PARIS: I wouldn't send the cork into the air from that champagne bottle just yet, but I'd put it on ice. I mean, they are really in the driver's seat with the Broncos losing yesterday, and the Bengals as well. They'd really have to go toes up, and about eight other things would have to happen not to have a post season--to hit the post season again. So they're not there yet, but yesterday was a critical day. Yesterday was a real moving day with those two teams losing and the Chargers winning two of their final three at home. Things are looking good in Boltville.
DAVIS: Jay, off the field, the Chargers now say a new stadium in San Diego would most likely include a request for public money. What do you think of this?
PARIS: That's a dramatic change, and you know that was part of the whole deal. They were going to structure this so the public money wasn't needed. But with the 11 acre site downtown there isn't the room for the condos and the hotel and the retail buildings where they were going to coup that other money to pay for it, so it looks like if they, if the downtown place sticks, they're going to have to ask for taxpayer money, and that's going to be a tough sell. You know that place, you talked about the stadium here in Dallas, over-the-top in Texas is kind of redundant, but that place is over-the-top. The citizens here voted nearly $400 million to pay for that palace. So that's going to be a tough sell in San Diego, and really the whole dynamics of the stadium situation has kind of been thrown up in the air.
BROWN: Well, there was a big sell-out at Viejas for the San Diego State men's basketball team on Friday. They beat a team they have not beaten in 26 years, Arizona. How is the Aztecs looking?
PARIS: The Aztecs are looking good, and that's what kind of--they stubbed their toe last year, they had a couple marquee non-conference games, and they didn't win. They didn't prevail, and even though they won the Mountain West conference tournament, they were denied a bid to the NCAA tournament. So beating Arizona, beating a Pac-10 school, you know, it's great right now, but that's really going to come into play at the end of the season as they try to get in. Arizona's down a little bit, but any time you can end a streak like that, it makes for smiles up at Montezuma Mesa, that's for sure.
DAVIS: Winter meetings for professional baseball are over. What kind of moves did the San Diego Padres make?
PARIS: They brought back really their best starting pitcher, Kevin Correia. And it was touch and go there for a while, signed him to a deal. That was a good move. I mean, I know a ton of Padres fans, and they're waiting for something to happen. And so far they're kind of disappointed at the new ownership and that the new management team hasn't done something more concrete. But bringing Correia back, and making a few more moves here and there, at least there is a spark, at least there's some hope. So that was a good move.
DAVIS: Live from Dallas, North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris. Jay, thanks so much for joining us this morning.