x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

San Diego Chargers glued to an entertaining controversy

The NFL franchise is being investigated after their equipment manager was caught carrying a towel apparently used to rub onto the hands of receivers.

The San Diego Chargers, in blue, are in a spot of bother. Eric Bakke / AP Photo
The San Diego Chargers, in blue, are in a spot of bother. Eric Bakke / AP Photo

A team breaking the rules to gain a competitive advantage is normally no laughing matter.

But on the heels of a gloomy year fraught with a growing concern over concussions, revelations of the bonus system in New Orleans and replacement referees, the case of the sticky fingers in San Diego has provided some welcome comic relief.

Seems a Chargers equipment manager recently was detected by a game official with a towel apparently used to rub onto the hands of receivers. The league reportedly was already investigating San Diego for possible use of a substance commonly known as Stickum that enables one to catch just about everything but a cold.

The team insists that it has deployed the towels for years, and their manufacturer maintained that 70 per cent of the league were customers. Of course, that would not explain why the equipment manager refused to hand over the towel to the suspicious official.

If the Chargers were loading up their receivers' mitts with glop, they cannot plead ignorance of the law. Such materials have been banned since 1981, when Oakland defensive back Lester Hayes coated his hands so heavily that high-fives would have been out of the question.

Did the stuff have any impact? Well, one of two teams tied with the fewer passes dropped, at seven, is ... San Diego.

Thank you, Chargers, for lightening the mood. Not until the probe is complete will it be known if the charges, uh, stick.

sports@thenational.ae

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