Damion Square, Donnie Jones and Justin JAckson Inside the Locker room with Desiree




This week was big, an AFC West showdown on prime time in Kansas City for Thursday Night Football vs. The Chiefs.  On the ITL 12-11-18, Inside the Locker Room at the Chargers HQ’s, a special on The Desiree Show. I spoke with Damion Square, Donnie Jones and Justin Jackson.

There is truly something special I have seen in this locker room this season and on the field, this team has a phenomenal unity. It’s tight, there is mutual respect, a fight together and a special something one can’t quite put a figure on, the ingredients of a championship team.

Donnie Jones, Damion Square and Justin Jackson.

I asked Donnie Jones about the specialness of this team, the Super Bowl and BCS Champ told me ” Probably the best locker room I’ve been apart of”

On the similarities of championship teams he has been apart of  three time  BCS Champion, Damion Square simply stated,
“Respect! We respect each other”

Also, some cool background on Justin Jackson’s current and past jerseys.

The ITL is a regular special on the show.

ICYMI on Dash Radio which aired 12-12-18 on the Desiree SHOW for your convenience its up on ITunes and SoundCloud.

The Desiree SHOW airs on Wednesdays on Dash Radio 4- 5 PM PST
Stay up to date by tuning and following Desiree Astorga & The Desiree SHOW on IG/ Twitter an d Facebook. For some cool BTS on stories and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog, for in depth.

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Marc Johnson on The Desiree Show

I welcomed the extraordinary MARC JOHNSON November 13, 2018 to the show or perhaps the Most Interesting Man in the World as I played to introduce him.

Seriously one of the most interesting humans I’ve had the opportunity to get to know!!

From North Carolina to Virginia, back and forth to hopping in a Honda Accord at the age of 16 with 80 dollars in his pocket and heading west to Nor Cal, SF, Santa Cruz onward south to San Diego. Although he left prior to graduating high school, he did home school and received his high school diploma.  He also went on to take classes in college and had hopes to even get a masters in math at Berkley had it not been for the explosion of travel for his skateboarding career.

He comes with a list of accolades ( too many to list) but including

Thrasher Skater of the Year 2007 (SOTY), over 34 video parts, he’s a company owner and all around creative minded authentic individual. One of the most technical and phenomenal skaters ever,

“He’s one of the best skateboarders ever”, Giovanni Reda.

We skimmed or hit on many points including MySpace perils, his first skateboard with a story never heard, where his SOTY award resides and ironically on National Pickle Day ( who knew), which is the key ingredient to his infamous breakfast sandwich.

©DesireeAstorga

Heads up also for Business and Company board release with an ETA of February 2019.

Also, stay tuned to Marc’s return as so much we couldn’t even address, (talks of a mini series on the forecast).

Warm thanks to Jai Tanju, Giovanni Reda, Michael Burnett and Ben Colen for their quotes and time. 

And obviously BIG THANKS to Marc!  Look forward to having him back in studio.

ICYMI its up on the Desiree SHOW Itunes

The Desiree SHOW airs on Dash Radio’s Dash Talk on Wednesdays 4-5 PM PST.

Stay up to date and follow @Desiree_Astorga & @TheDesireeSHOW on coming guests, Chargers ITL Special, Beat the Outsiders (the seasonal weekly NFL pick’em show by skaters) and to watch the stories for BTS from the show.

Chargers rack up more miles to Seahawks

Chargers rack up more miles in the air, but this game will be on the ground.

A somewhat delusional month or 2 week bye feeling for Chargers.  Not only on the road non-stop from Cleveland to London with a game commencing at 6:30AM PST followed by a bye week.   It has felt almost like a 2 week bye add Halloween follow with another business trip to Seattle and the Bolts have played on the road the entire second quarter.

 

The road trip winning Chargers have been flying under the radar a little, which suits this team as they sit at 5-2.  Let me remind you their only 2 losses were to the 7-1 Chiefs and the 8-0 Rams.  Bolts find themselves with the 3rd best record in all the AFC behind the Chiefs (7-1) and the Patriots (6-1). In all the NFL they are tied with two other teams with the fourth overall record at (5-2) Panthers and Redskins.
I hate to use a comparison from another team but Todd Gurley going down before a gimme TD illustrated  complete unselfishness and true team move, that’s what I see in this Chargers team!  I can’t, but we can mentality, a true team.

Milestone for Philip Rivers on Sunday, toughness personified as this one is really special.  Philip will have his 200th consecutive start!  Beyond awing, and will join a very short list of QBs; Brett Farve, Peyton and Eli  Manning.

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The Leader, Phillip Rivers ©desireeastorga

The last time Rivers played in Seattle (2010), he threw for 455 yards which is the second most passing yards of his career. But almost more importantly his respect from his teammates.  I’ve spoke on his demeanor shift or this more calm or less worrisome face,  his love for football and this team somehow appears even stronger this season.  There is a playfulness in him, in his body language,  it has even been illustrated and captured in celebration photos, another thing I’ve not seen, not this way at least.

Melvin Gordon on Philip Rivers: “He’s out there playing chess. And when you’re a master at chess, and you know what moves are made before they’re made, it’s kind of hard for people to beat you.”

At Seattle

At CenturyLink yes, home field advantage always an asset for Hawks and the 12s are LOUD!  Both share in a few similarities the first a sad one, loss of their owners’ Alex Spanos and Paul Allen this last month and both wear decals on their helmets.  Secondly they see themselves in the two best divisions, trailing the NFL’s top two teams and both seem to have to prove themselves despite their records and streaks. Add the loss to the Rams and lastly have shared DC Gus Bradley, which in my mind nullifies any advantage.

Defensive minded Hc Pete Carroll vs Offensive minded HC Anthony Lynn.

Seattle struggled early in this season, but have looked to find their stride with a 2-win streak, 4 out of 5 wins, including a 2-pt loss to division rival Rams and a big win at Ford Stadium vs. the Lions last week.
Chargers come in to continue their 4-win streak and come with a restful bye week. Fourteen days since they have played along with racking up flight miles and add to their month long of road trips with a total of 11,229 miles, Cleveland to London and back to Orange County adding a mere 978 miles to Seattle to total 12,207 for the quarter and that includes a bye week!  Headed to the northeast a quick flight comparatively to their flying month.

Pressure, pressure, and more pressure on QB Russell Wilson, I’m sure Gus Bradley has it all set in stone (and don’t forget he also was at Seattle with Pete as DC, knowing how he thinks) however you have to believe the same true for Pete Carroll knowing how Gus thinks).

Brandon Mebane also a connection , this however I believe more vital as the vet will lead the defense  with vengeance. There is a bit of revenge there.   No Bosa, but Bolts are fairing well without him, just think how his contribution will impact  when he returns however.

This should be a close game, the spread indicating Seattle (-2).

Chargers can handle noise and a hostile environment, they come with rest, a prolific offense, a bonus love from London fans along with time with their families, as well as a special cohesiveness and comradery with the team.

Look for Ekeler to have a prolific game, more so with catch and runs, and Gordon, (although listed as questionable that is usually a yes) with a productive day on the ground.  Both Williams and Keenan Allen impacting with a big game, as well.  Seahawks will most likely be attentive to all the threats that the Chargers have, but there are just too many weapons to cover. But this game most likely will be on the ground as rain and a wet field will be prevalent.  Along with a physical disruptive defense and a special teams whom have found consistency.

Weather at CenturyLink Field for kick off rain and a wet field forcasted! Chargers have cohesiveness but on the flip side Seahawks have seemed to gel, as well and have their Legion of Boom.

Both teams find themselves in the 2 toughest divisions trailing the NFL’s top 2 teams and both looking to continue and add to their W columns.
Injury reports (as of Friday)

Chargers

OUT:  Joey Bosa, Christopher Landrum, Kyzir White.

Questionable: Melvin Gordon

Seahawks

Doubtful:  Jordan Simmons & Neiko Thorpe

Questionable:  Chris Carson, Bradley McDougald, K.J. Wright

 

Bolts & Dawgs

Chargers head to Cleveland to face America’s new favorite sweethearts the stars of HBO’s Hard Knocks, but the Bolts don’t see them as darlings.

If you have football Tourette’s as I do you also watched it, and if your the kind of person or sucker I am you wished they could just get a win, learn or relearn how to. Just like how life sometimes is hard with multiple adversities hit you, you start to expect the shoe to drop, on a personal note I know I have had to shift my thinking to get thru similar hard times.  Human interest or the common rooting for the perpetual underdog, is obsolete in this scenario, the Browns first win this season was the first in 635 days when they beat the Chargers on Christmas Eve 2016.

It’s not a trap game, not for LA.  Although many variables have changed in those days (635) the exclamation point of loosing to the win-less Browns on Christmas Eve is not forgotten and will not be overlooked.

Chargers played their most complete game this season vs. the Raiders last Sunday and are 3-2.  Rank in top offense with yards, both rushing & passing. Phillip Rivers showcasing something special with this team as epitomized Sunday with the celebration TD photo! Quite a rarity! Something cool is brewing with this offense or gelling.

 

Chargers have experience and success with new quarterback’s ( Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and C.J Beathard)  whom also come with little film, they’ve been able to contain, disrupt and pressure them successfully. And vs the run last week the defense contained Marshawn Lynch  to 31 yards, Sunday they will face Carlos Hyde.

The special teams woes addressed with the reuniting of former Eagles teammates, the addition of  Donnie Jones last week however Caleb Sturgis may be out on Sunday and Michael Badgley is on stand by.

The kicking game is one aspect that these two teams have had in common one that both teams have had issues with this season.

The Browns who started the season not with a loss but a tie are at 2-2-1. They have a new king at the helm number one draft pick Baker Mayfield coming in with 3 TDs and 3 INTs whom made his debut in their first win.  Sunday will be his third start, although the hype has been on him, Browns defense led by DC Greg Williams are first in the NFL in takeaways with 15.

The Browns are 2nd in rushing  and their defense 12th allowing 22.9 points a game (reminder they contained Drew Brees and the Saints to 21 points in the 3-point loss). They handed the Ravens their 2nd loss and the Steelers a tie in OT. This team has some grit and probably the most loyal fan base in the NFL, ones whom no matter what the record or the temperatures are at FirstEnergy Stadium. They have a new mascot as well whom showed up at their first win vs. the Jets, a possum, another showed in their win vs. the Ravens.

A few connections

Adrian Phillips played against Baker Mayfield when he was at Texas Tech and Chargers are familiar with Todd Hailey (KC HC 2009-11 and OC Steelers 2012-2017).

 

IMO prediction: Chargers win, no way they go back into Cleveland with this group and not come out with win.

 

 

Michael Gehlken & Alex Corporan on The Desiree SHOW

I welcomed two amazing men on October 2, 2018 for The Desiree Show, which broadcasts on Tuesdays and airs on Wednesdays 4-5 PM PST on Dash Radio.

Michael Gehlken beat reporter for the Raiders for The  Las Vegas Review Journal  and former beat reporter for the San Diego Chargers, a great perspective especially with the LA Chargers hosting the Raiders Sunday.  No better person with a more unique perspective  having covered both teams than Michael.

Also, on the show via New York, the Godfather of skateboarding, the tour guide, a mayor, and the list goes on…… the one and only Alex Corporan. Former pro skateboarder whom helped brand Supreme as we know it today, Skate Night in NY, El Senor among a slew of other brands he has had his hands on. One whom is always giving back to the community and impacting all the lives he touches.  Alex also has a board dropping in December on Raised Fist Propaganda.

 

The King of Lower Manhattan! Part city historian, part black Anthony bordain, full time tour/party/spot guide, full time tastemaker, full time rad dad, full blown NYC skate legend, and all the way New York.

Every out of town skater who’s ever visited New York has learned the ropes from Alex…Thank you Bro!

Chris Pastas

 

You can follow Michael on Twitter also on The Las Vegas Review Journal and Alex on Instagram, Twitter or his Facebook page.

The Desiree SHOW Broadcasts on Wednesday 4-5 PM PST on Dash Radio, Dash Talk.

Make sure to follow her IG & TW @Desiree_Astorga @TheDesireeSHOW on IG and Twitter @TheDesiree_Show

 

ICYMI live on Dash radio, it is up on The Desiree SHOW Itunes and up on SoundCloud.

 

Chargers and Raiders reunite in LA

Chargers (2-2)  and Raiders (1-3) reunite in LA, both have had their share of LA as their title, however this one is the Chargers.  I also am reuniting with the blogging so please bare with me as this will be all over the board, a quick whip around, just so I get my rhythm rolling, so hear it goes!

This will be the second time in decades that the match up is in Los Angeles, with either as the host team, obviously last year was at the Stubhub Center,  but the last time that the LA Chargers hosted before last year was November 27th 1960 where the LA Chargers walloped the Oakland Raiders 52-28, and the  final time before The Raiders departure from LA, The San Diego Chargers edged over the LA Raiders 26-24 September 25th, 1994.

This rivalry started November 27th 1960 since the two have met up 117 times including 1 playoff and combined have been in multiple cities, the Raiders lead the series 63-52-1 however the Chargers hold the longest win streak (2003-2009) along with the current win streak of 2 (2017).

Oakland has a new head coach as you know, John Gruden at the helm, whom finally had his first win in nearly 10 years, even though the Raiders play with passion on the field they have shown an inability to finish games, that is until last Sunday vs. the Browns, where the received their first W in OT in the 2018 season.

Chargers came out with a W vs. the Niners, putting them at 500 but perhaps not as big as what was forecasted however many positives, but a few struggles, third down conversions and the kicking game slightly dimed the positives.

Inside the NFL kicked off their highlights this week with the fantastic NFL Films  with Mic’D Up Phillip Rivers, pretty fabulous! If you didn’t get a chance to see it here it is for your viewing and listening pleasure.

Philip Rivers said that it was more balance of an offense, I have seen something else a more of a je ne sais quoi something I can’t put my finger on but, it definitely looks like there’s some cohesiveness

Rivers_Whisenhunt7371

and a bit more of a relaxed demeanor for Phillip on the field and in his pressers.

He seems just more at ease, less strained maybe the last few years mayhem or change surrounding the moving, commute, the new city and a temporary stadium struggles have finally ebbed, but there just seems to be something different with Philip Rivers -something I haven’t seen in the 11 years I have been covering the team.
The cohesiveness with this offense coupled with the duel threat productivity in the run.
The physicality and passion in Melvin Gordon’s running, not by mistake he’s out there doing foot drills daily and has been strengthening his leg throughout the off season, (Great piece by Sam at the Athletic).  And then the other half Austin Ekeler with great hands, catch and runs as well as his ability to utilize suggestions from his coaches are visibly seen.

gordon7058Couple that or triple it with the big presence of Mike Pouncey and add the receivers sharing the catches and the blocking duties for the run.
All seem to be ingredients of a TEAM, no “I”, a strength of unity perhaps by a challenging few years with the move and the double edged sword of living in a place where most any away teams fans would want to come visit and take over the stadium.

 

 

 

Rivers has had a big stretch of success vs the Raiders actually the longest win streak between the two, and then a hiccup since last season and currently with a 2 win streak vs. Oakland.

Connections;

Gus Bradley was LB coach Under Gruden at Tampa, Anthony Lynn friend of Gruden since NY days ( Presser) but the biggest one in my eyes is NT Brendan Mebane and RB Marshawn Lynch former team mates and vets both at Cal during a very special time and SB Champs with the Seattle Seahawks. There is something to practicing against some one on the daily, plus there is a long history.

Shift with Special Teams, Chargers announced that they had released Punter Drew Kaiser ( whom was also the holder) brought in retired P and SB Champion Donnie Jones
Coach Lynn spoke on shaking things up a bit with the crucial holding position and brings in a familiarity with former team mates, both having played for the Eagles last year that and the fact that he is an experienced holder and Punter. Donnie Jones had retired after the SB, so prior to his calls, or I should I say missed calls from his agent he had been at Home Depot getting Halloween decorations, that evening he was on a flight to LA and signed the following day.

Hayley Elwood spoke with him on Wednesday on the last 24 hours.

Welcome back to DT Corey Luiget who returns after his 4 week suspension, his presence will be visibly seen and the team announced Saturday he was activated for Sundays Game and to make room, Chargers waived DT T.Y.McGill, whom has not played.

Gruden’s complimentary praises to Rivers, and Derwin James, even on Bosa, whom will not be playing on Sunday.

WR Travis Benjamin (foot), * to miss 2-3 weeks

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Chargers Injury report

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Raiders Injury report

 

On how Raiders plan to contain Rivers and company…….

ICYMI:  Tuesday Michael Gehlken joined me on the the Desiree Show, he shares a very unique perspective having covered both teams, former UT SD beat reporter for the SD Chargers and currently Raiders beat reporter for the Las Vegas Review.

Take a listen if you missed it!

Chargers find a way to get their 3rd win at Stubhub despite it most likely being a mini sea of the Black Hole, continue their streak at get to 3-2, before hitting a 4 week road tour.

 

Stay up to date for the ITL a special weekly series on the Desiree SHOW on Dash Radio, also on Itunes and Soundcoud.

INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM with Désirée

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Join me for this weekly locker room visit at the Chargers HQs
Hoag Performance Center in Costa Mesa.
It’s odds and ends, the third dimension, b-day cheers, games, some stats, high school & college roots and more, Its fun, quick and RAW.

 

Essentially a little get-to-know some of these LA Chargers players.
Join me weekly for this special on the Desiree Show

INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM with Desiree

Welcome to ITL
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM with Desiree.

A few weeks ago I was granted the opportunity to come to the Chargers on a regular, weekly basis.

My intent and it still is to cover the team on all my platforms, a weekly quick hits on The Desiree SHOW on Dash Radio  including locker room interviews, blog entries, social media posts and in addition I came up with a fun idea.

Having the opportunity to have access is something I am super grateful for. I have covered the Chargers on many levels throughout the last 9-10 years, from shooting still photos for ESPN the Magazine, KUSI Sports for TV coverage, multiple media outlets for events on all giving back the Chargers do for the community, helping document, via photos and words or packages for KUSI-PPR among other outlets and obviously for The Desiree SHOW.

I thought that it would be pretty cool to let you all get to know some of these players on a different level from inside the locker room, with that I would like to welcome you to ITL!

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Join me for this weekly locker room visit at the Hoag Performance Center in Costa Mesa, The Chargers HQ’s.

It’s odds and ends, the third dimension, birthday cheers, games, some stats, high school & college roots and more…. It’s fun, quick and raw.

Essentially a little get-to-know some of these LA Chargers players.
Join me weekly for this special only on The Desiree Show.

Warm thanks to all the Chargers PR Department and to all the players whom have given me time and to those who will in the future.

Also, would like to once again thank the ever so talented Mark Penxa for the art, I did make some changes, but he designed the Desiree SHOW logo, this one I have kept and found that it worked perfectly for this special on my show with one quick addition.

 

Make sure to tune in to The Desiree SHOW on Dash Radio on Wednesday’s 4-5 PM PST for my weekly hits, quick interviews and please make sure to subscribe to the Desiree SHOW on Itunes and SoundCloud and on IG and twitter, so you don’t miss anything!

First Downs and Flip Tricks, The Desiree SHOW