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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Something Special on a Cold Sunday Night – NFL Week 17 

Posted by David Allen Tyau at 10:00 AM ET

Impossible? No. Improbable? Yes. That’s what I would call the Chargers rise from the ashes to capture their third straight AFC West Division Title. Just three weeks ago, the Denver Broncos had a seemingly insurmountable three game lead over the sputtering Chargers, but a funny thing happened on the way to the division title. The Chargers won three straight and the Donkeys lost three straight. Make that four straight losses as the Chargers crushed the hapless Broncos, 52 – 21 before a national television audience. The Bronco’s December collapse has to rate as one of the biggest choke jobs in sports history along with Bill Buckner’s 1986 Boston Red Sox and Jean Van de Velde in the 1999 British Open. Well Bronco fans look on the bright side, at least your team is not the Detroit Lions…the NFL worst, 0 – 16 Detroit Lions.


This week’s game against the Denver Broncos marked the last of several regular season prime time telecasts on NBC for the Chargers. Not only do these night games make it harder to get properly exposed shots of the Charger Girls, but a nationally televised game also mean many more sideline obstructions like the numerous NBC Sunday Night Football bib wearing cable pullers and parabolic microphone grips. Not that having an extra ten or so people on the sidelines is so bad, but why do their bibs have to have white reflective tape? Are they afraid that some errant car or truck might not see them on the sidelines of a football game? I do use a flash for these night games and having all these white reflective tape bibs along the sidelines makes it that much more difficult to get a decent shot of the Charger Girls.


And another thing while I am on my soapbox, every year there is this one dufus photographer that comes out to a Charger game and stands right in front of my section, blocking my view of the Charger Girls. She just stands there, not even taking a shot. Now, I used to shoot for a newspaper…a weekly newspaper, but a newspaper nonetheless. And I learned the unwritten sports photographer’s code of conduct. One of the first rules is never block another photographer’s shot. This lady is just standing there looking into the crowd; I assume she’s trying to get a reaction shot. Every sports photographer knows that if you want a “jube” or jubilation shot, you want to get, let’s say Philip Rivers jumping for joy as the clock strikes zero or the Norv Turner getting the Gatorade shower or the tears of sadness flowing from Jay Cutler’s eyes as the realization of another loss sets in. Nope. This hack was just standing there trying to look officious, blocking everyone’s view of the Charger Girls. Lady, the game is in the other direction…I mean how many crowd reaction shots do you see in the sports section?


Okay I am off my soapbox. But I do have to give thanks to Line Captain Katrina and Coordinator Megan C. for trying to get this lady to move out of the way. I mean, if you want a crowd shot, any section will do, right? Why stand in front of Charger Girls preventing the enjoyment of so many fans. That’s just plain rude.


So, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled Charger Girl reporting. One stat not to be lost was that 52 points were the most points scored by the Chargers against the Broncos since 1968. 52 points…that’s seven touchdowns and one field goal. What does that mean for you and me? More photos of Charger Girls doing some celebratory dancing.


Charger Girls

Charger Girls

Charger Girls


Notice the big smiles? Winning cures all ills.



Though the Charger’s win puts them into the playoffs, this is my last game for this season. Like the Denver Broncos, I'm done. My Tournament of Roses duties prevent me from attending next Saturday’s playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts. So, this is the last set of 2008 Charger Girl photos. And as is customary, let’s start off this week’s cavalcade of Charger Girls with the Line Captains: Constance, Katrina, Rebecca and Summer.


Charger Girls

Charger Girls

Charger Girls

Charger Girls


This week’s Charger Girl of the Day hails from San Diego and graduated from San Diego State University, introducing…Vanesa.


Charger Girls


And while we are on the topic of honors, the Chargers 2009 Pro Bowl Cheerleader was announced this past Sunday. Marlina is a third year veteran Charger Girl and is a fan favorite for her exotic good looks and vivacious sidelines personality.


Charger Girls

Charger Girls


And speaking of fan favorites, here are a few photos of Jenny, Michelle, Kortney, Gail and Jill Ann.


Charger Girls

Charger Girls

Charger Girls

Charger Girls

Charger Girls


This week’s game was an electric affair, with all the hype and excitement of a playoff game for it was a playoff game of sorts. Win and move on; lose and you go home. And the Charger Girls were there exhorting on the rabid Charger fans. Here are a few shots of Jacquelyn, Giselle, Heather, Nicole M, and Katrina encouraging the fans to get up for the game.


Charger Girls

Charger Girls

Charger Girls

Charger Girls

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Charger Girls


Like I said earlier, the Chargers scored early and often, which meant many more dance routines for the Charger Girls. Yes, we still got more bounce in California…and here are some photos of Brittany, Tonya, Ashley, Carissa, and Jennifer to prove that fact.


Charger Girls

Charger Girls

ICharger Girls

Charger Girls

Charger Girls


How about some action shots of Kylette, Marisa, Breann, Lindsay, and Tamara?


Charger Girls

Charger Girls

Charger Girls

Charger Girls

Charger Girls


Football is a game of emotion. And the following photos capture some of the emotion of last Sunday’s game. Here’s a “jube” shot of Ashlie celebrating a LaDainian Tomlinson touchdown.


Charger Girls


And here is a wonderfully expressive photograph of Jenny, who is not at all impressed with the Bronco’s play.


Charger Girls


Here’s another shot of Nicole M. showing the passion and spirit that embodies the Charger Girls.


Charger Girls


And speaking of passion, here’s a couple of shots of Summer, one of my absolutely favorite Charger Girls to photograph. Yes, it wouldn’t be a Charger Girl report without that profound statement.


Charger Girls

Charger Girls


And here are a couple of photos of Nicole L. sizzling on the sidelines on a cold Sunday night.


Charger Girls

Charger Girls


Wow! If our servicemen overseas have forgotten what we are fighting for, this is why. Just image NFL Cheerleaders dancing in Burkhas.


You know when it is over. If it’s at the opera, it’s when the fat lady sings. If it’s at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, it’s when the seagulls circle the stadium. If you are the Denver Broncos last Sunday at Qualcomm, it was when Breann gave you the smiling throat slash gesture with her pom poms. Okay, I made that one up…please no complaint letters. I honestly don’t know what she was doing, but it was interesting. I took the photograph…it’s what I do.


Charger Girls


And let’s close out our coverage of “the hottest dance team in the NFL” with a couple photos of Jacquelyn and Kylette, two of the most photogenic Charger Girls and definitely two of my favorite Charger Girls to photograph.


Charger Girls

Charger Girls


One of the great pleasures (sarcasm) of these nationally televised Sunday night games is that I have a long wait to exit the parking lot at game’s end. It is usually during this time that I try to come up with some ideas for this week’s report and a witticism or two. I reflected upon the improbable comeback of the Chargers from the brink of elimination to become AFC West Champions, a truly amazing feat.


Then I realized that this was my last game of the season and that this would be the last time I would see some of these Charger Girls, those who would retire to other challenges in life. And there is a certain sadness in knowing this because you come to know and love these girls in some small way. You share something special, if only for a brief, fleeting moment on a Sunday afternoon. But you do and it’s real.


To the 2008 Charger Girls, thank you for making this season so special.

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