In the days of the old west, you didn't get into another man's face unless you were prepared to engage your pistolas in the center of town 10 minutes later.
The Chargers failed to realize this yesterday.
And the Broncos were the only team left standing after all the gun play.
Apparently, for some unknown reason, the Chargers thought they were still dealing with a previous version of the Denver Broncos. Like a drugstore cowboy might do, they decided to walk over with their fancy-buttoned, powder blue shirts and pick a fight during pre-game. Classic paper tiger, schoolyard bully stuff. Here is how Mark Kiszla (Denver Post) described the event:
As Broncos linemen came out onto the Qualcomm Stadium field for their pregame warm-ups, they entered on the side of the field where the Chargers were already going through drills.
The Broncos gathered for their motivational huddle on the sideline, still in Chargers' territory. Chargers linebacker Tim Dobbins, otherwise known as the player who wasn't credited with a fumble recovery on the Ed Hochuli blunder last season, was among those who took offense.
Watching this during the pre-game was interesting to me. Three things stood out:
1) The Chargers appeared that they needed this to fire themselves up.
2) Phil Rivers was in the mix talking trash as well.
3) Denver did not back down. To the contrary, they were ready to get it on.
And it's the third point that made me smile. This year, we are not seeing your run of the mill Nate Webster bravado (with all due respect to this helmet-losing former Bronco). This year, the Broncos believe in themselves. And they won't be backing down.
This ain't your daddy's Denver Broncos.
After the real bloodshed, in which Rivers was beat to the turf six times by Denver (five in the second half), Rivers played the victim, which is exactly what you would expect from a grade school bully that suddenly got punched in the face...again and again and again:
"There were couple of things I didn't like that they did," Phillips said. "They didn't talk trash all game and then at the end they had everything to say. There were several little things like that which I view as childish and petty." (Source: Scott Bair, North County Times)
The pot has officially called the kettle black.
Perhaps Phil defines childish as double stunts and middle gap blitzes. Perhaps he defines petty as not letting Shaun Phillips get inside of your defensive huddle and talk trash.
Or perhaps he just doesn't like getting punched (and bloodied) in the mouth by a division opponent so damn hard.