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At left: Volek and Rivers; above: Turner; below: Sontag

Note 1: First, I want to acknowledge that some of the readers of this feature may still think of me primarily as a football coach and not as an artist-provocateur whose chosen canvas is a 100-yard swath of turf and whose chosen medium is a carefully choreographed series of complicated collisions between muscular young men.

As a result, some readers may view the title of this column primarily as a reference to the San Diego Chargers' training camp currently in session, and not as a sly, winking reference to Susan Sontag's essential essay, "Notes on Camp." I had hoped to make this clear by the use of quotation marks around the title - viz. Sontag's observation that "Camp sees everything in quotation marks. It's not a lamp, but a 'lamp'; not a woman, but a 'woman.' To perceive Camp in objects and persons is to understand Being-as-Playing-a-Role. It is the farthest extension, in sensibility, of the metaphor of life as theater." But sometimes, it's best to just come out and say it.

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Note 2: As long as I'm mentioning Sontag's bit on quotation marks, I should note how pleased I am that Management is putting serious effort into the signing of "backup quarterback" Billy Volek. It allows me to begin making plans for this season's strategic management of "starting quarterback" Philip Rivers, a "Pro-Bowl-caliber" player who has somehow never managed to take his team to the Super Bowl. I have been training with one of Hollywood's top vocal coaches in an effort to inflect "vocal quotation marks" around all my praise for Rivers. The resulting cognitive dissonance should be enough to either break him or drive him to new heights. Especially when I drop the inflection and talk with perfect sincerity about Volek's excellent work ethic.

Note 3: Sigh. I fear I have already given away the store, said too much without saying a thing, instead letting Sontag slip the cat out of the bag with that allusion to life as theater. Antonio Gates, of course, has no business even thinking about coming back to practice, but I had to let him talk to the press. The giant with feet of clay...The torn plantar fascia that threatens to make the Gates Arch the new Achilles Heel...it's too delicious a drama to let pass.

But enough. More tomorrow, including my proposal for resolving the stadium situation. Salut!

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