The jokes practically writes themselves. The San Diego Chargers, constant AFC bridesmaids despite some deeply talented teams the past 10 years, even come in second in their offseason beer league for softball.

Stu Woo of the Wall Street Journal profiled the Chargers' beer league team, which despite being easily the most athletic assemblage of players in its Wednesday night league, could not take home the title.

"Fielding was the problem," Philip Rivers, the team's shortstop and captain, told Woo.

Many of the Chargers hadn't played baseball or softball since high school, and while they still had the advantage over most teams, they could not defeat Randy Jones Invitational, the top squad in the league. Named for a local golf tournament that sponsored their jerseys, Randy Jones Invitational beat the Chargers twice in the regular season and earned the top spot in the league standings.

"The Chargers are by far the most athletic guys on the field on Wednesday nights," Henry Schweichler, catcher for Randy Jones Invitational, told Woo, "but we are the more skillful team."

Rivers organized his team as an offseason bonding activity, and the Chargers certainly had fun on the diamond. According to Woo they had "country names" like "Jim-Bob" and "Cletis" on the backs of their jerseys, and some of the players donned disguises during the games.

Rivers, who went by "Ricky," wore a hat that was accompanied by a mullet wig.


With many of their regulars on vacation before training camp starts, the Chargers were upset in the first round of the playoffs.

Despite a solid AFC West that includes defending conference champion Denver, Chargers fans can only hope their football team advances farther in the playoffs than their softball team did this year.

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