By Dale Skulsky
The start of another National Football League season marks the beginning of the end. The beginning of football, beer and pizza. The end of productive Sundays.
The professional football season foreshadows touchdown passes, game winning field goals and, ironically, sweet revenge.
While not perfect in his San Diego Chargers debut, Doug Flutie played well enough to lead his team to a 30-3 victory over the Washington Redskins. Flutie threw for 129 yeards on 10 for 18 passes and two interceptions. Meanwhile, up in Buffalo, Rob Johnson, Flutie’s one time teammate and rapidly developing nemesis fell in a losing cause to the New Orleans Saints in his first start as the Bills’ official number one quarterback.
The brewing animosity between these two players is no secret. While neither quarterback put up impressive numbers on opening day, Flutie’s future definately seems brighter on the sunshine coast. While Flutie emerges as a hero in San Diego, Johnson is establishing a dangerous love-hate relationship with Buffalo fans. Johnson must maintain the support of his followers while attempting to swing the tide of disappointed Flutie fans.
Both figuratively and literally, Flutie fits the mould of a "little man." Sports fans in Canada and south of the border cannot help but cheer for him. Flutie appears as the modest father by leading and supporting his son in the little one’s battle against Autism. Johnson graces the pages of Sports Illustrated relaxing in a hot tub at his $2.5 million home in Laguna Beach California.
Johnson is playing a risky game, handling himself like a Hollywood movie star trapped in a Buffalo snowstorm.
With a fresh start in San Diego, Flutie has nowhere to go but up. The Chargers convincing victory over the Redskins matched their total wins for last year. And while some may say its only been one game with Flutie at the helm, the Chargers appear poised to make the playoffs and beat the Bills when they play against San Diego in week eight.
Johnson, on the other hand, appears primed to self destruct and the pain in his shoulders is very real–it’s the weight of the world.
The city of San Diego will be revitalized by the electrifying come-backs and daring play of a thrilling new quarterback, much like Stamps fans were in the mid ’90s.
So sit back and enjoy. David is about to take a swing at Goliath.