Two thoughts now as the San Diego Chargers, 4-11 and going nowhere but home (or, perhaps, L.A.), get ready to put a sad bow on a sad season:
1. If the Bolts had hit anyone nearly as hard as they just hit their All-Pro safety Eric Weddle, they probably wouldn't be 4-11.
2. On the other hand, given what a cheap shot it was, Weddle would likely have drawn a two-game sitdown if he'd hit anyone like that.
This upon the news that the Chargers have not only fined their best defensive player for the crime of being a Dad, they got petty about it and put him on IR even though Weddle didn't want to get put on IR. So he'll likely not even get to be on the sideline Sunday as the Bolts close out their less-than-distinguished season at Denver.
It's an amazing show of spite in light of the fact Weddle has so faithfully answered the bell for them, averaging 937 snaps a year since 2008 and racking up 961 last season. And it's perhaps the clearest indication why they're where they are right now, which is dead last in the AFC West.
So what was Weddle's crime?
Well, it seems that on Dec. 20, in the middle of a 30-13 win over the Dolphins, Weddle decided to stay on the field at halftime to watch his daughter perform a dance number sponsored by the Chargers themselves. For that, he was fined $10,000 and put on IR with a groin injury through which he's been battling.
And, yes, sure, he's a professional, so he probably should have been there for the halftime meetings. And you can certainly fault him for not asking permission first. He should have.
But the punishment, clearly, does not fit the crime here. To begin with, being a Dad trumps being around for halftime "adjustments" that obviously haven't been worth a damn. If they were,, after all, the Chargers wouldn't be 4-11.
Add to that the fact Weddle has for eight seasons been a valuable and conscientious employee. Add also the fact if his presence was all that vital at this point in a lost season, the Chargers wouldn't be leaving him behind this week just to be jerks about it.
The skinny: Weddle, an enormously popular player, has more than earned his employer's benefit of the doubt. So he didn't ask permission? Fine. You call him in, you tell him don't ever do that again, you move on.
But to fine him $10,000 and then kick him in the, well, groin by putting him on IR?
Ingratitude, thy name is Charger.