Let’s be perfectly honest about one thing: No official website for any team in any sport is going to be truly objective. The primary goals of team sites are to get the fans pumped up and to sell merchandise, sometimes with the benefit of access that other media outlets are not given. That’s the nature of the beast these days, and everyone understands it. Still, there’s a level of professionalism required, and for the most part exhibited, by those official mouthpieces. Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com and Geoff Hobson at Bengals.com regularly provide outstanding examples of how you can work for a team and still impart more than the usual “OUR GUYS ARE GREAT” fluff all the time. There are many more writers who adroitly walk that line. On the other side, there’s what the San Diego Chargers’ official site recently endorsed. D irector of public relations Bill Johnston recently put up an article at Chargers.com blasting local writers, fans, and talk radio folks for daring to question the resolve of a team that blew a 24-point lead and allowed 35 unanswered points in last Monday’s dumpster fire of a loss to the Denver Broncos. While everyone locally and nationally was wondering just how the Chargers would respond to that embarrassment, Johnston made himself a team spokesperson and embarrassed the organization on an entirely different level. Here’s the meat of the “article”: Listening to some of you out there, you’d think Monday night was “win or go home” and the Chargers are now packing their bags. “The Chargers are finished. Done,” said one scribe. Another wrote, “Bye, bye Chargers. Put a fork in them.” Sometimes I think Twitter was invented to give people a chance to puff out their chests and talk big, saying things they never would say to someone’s face. And talk radio … don’t get me started. The old adage your mom used to preach — “If you don’t have anything good say, don’t say anything” — seems to have evolved to “if you don’t have anything good to say, call sports talk radio.” Time to take a chill pill. No one knows what will happen this season, yet alone the next game. That’s the beauty of the National Football League. I don’t know, you don’t know, no one knows what’s going to happen. If you want these players and coaches to succeed, then support them. Don’t tear them down. What you want and what we all want, including your team, is to know people believe in them.
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