Ready for StickumGate, San Diego?
Here we go.
Fox Sports is reporting that the NFL is investigating the San Diego Chargers for using an illegal substance, Stickum, during last Monday night’s 35-24 home loss to Denver. Fox’s Jay Glazer reports officials noticed an equipment manager bringing the substance (which was popular in the 1970s because players would use it so the ball would stick to their hands and uniform) onto the field with a towel.
Glazer reports the Chargers could face a large fine and perhaps the loss of draft picks.
This is serious, folks. It’s not in the same scope as SpyGate or BountyGate, as those scandals were bigger to the landscape of the game. But it is against league rules and any time a team breaks rules to gain a competitive advantage, the league usually reacts harshly. I’m sure the 31 other teams in the league (Denver particularly) will expect the league to come down hard on the Chargers for this one.
Unless the investigation finds this issue is bigger than the one instance, I don’t see it becoming a huge defining moment for the Chargers. But it is an embarrassing situation for a club that is dealing with blowing two late leads in the past two games. With general manager A.J. Smith and coach Norv Turner on the hot seat, this added bad publicly is not needed.
UPDATE: The Chargers just sent out this statement on the issue: “We are aware of the inquiry and are cooperating fully with the League.”