Sunday, January 13, 2008

All About the Turners For Chargers

Next weekend, the Indianapolis Colts were supposed to have another AFC Championship showdown with the New England Patriots. However, the San Diego Chargers will make the trip to Foxborough instead, after closing out the RCA Dome with a 28-24 upset on Sunday. The triumph provided vindication for first-year coach Norv Turner, whose predecessor Marty Schottenheimer never took San Diego to the conference championship game. Among other unlikely heroes, Norv can thank backup running back Michael Turner, who replaced injured star LaDainian Tomlinson and rushed for 71 yards. Indeed, the Turner influence is all around for these Chargers.

Tina Turner once sang, “We don’t need another hero,” but San Diego needed heroes wherever it could find them after LT was injured. Missing their superstar, the Chargers were like Turner & Hooch without Tom Hanks. Michael Turner is considered a fine back, but in Pirates of the Caribbean terms, he’s the Will Turner next to LT’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Quarterback Philip Rivers was also knocked out, so Norv Turner figured to meet the same fate versus the Indianapolis defense as brother Ron Turner, offensive coordinator for Chicago in last year’s Super Bowl. Granted, Ron Turner’s problem was that HIS quarterback stayed healthy.

Still, the Chargers persevered before the cameras of CBS, not to be confused with TBS (Turner Broadcasting System). Led by Shawne Merriman and Antonio Cromartie, the defense was as hard-hitting as Ike Turner. Whereas Lana Turner was Oscar-nominated for Peyton Place, San Diego gave an award-worthy performance in Peyton’s place. The improbable result was the biggest win in San Diego sports since the Padres took down the Braves in the 1998 NLCS, to the chagrin of Ted Turner.

Now, with an injured roster headed to New England, the Chargers will need some Strong Medicine for their Northern Exposure (both series starring Janine Turner). On February 3, most NFL fans expect Tom Brady to collect his fourth Super Bowl ring, like former San Francisco linebacker Keena Turner. However, San Diego wants to pull a shocker like the Jets in Super Bowl III, in which Jim Turner kicked three field goals and an extra point. Speaking of those Jets, I guarantee Joe Namath wants to kiss Kathleen Turner.

Indeed, like Bachman Turner Overdrive, the Chargers vow, “You ain’t seen nothing yet” as they attempt to knock off the undefeated Patriots. If they succeed, just one step will remain. Or in the profound words of Warrant (founded by Erik Turner), “Heaven isn’t too far away.”