Had the Chargers known what they were getting themselves into when they signed Takeo Spikes to a three-year deal this past offseason, they probably would have reconsidered. San Diego’s season was doomed from the start. As soon as they put pen to paper and shook hands with Spikes, they removed themselves from playoff contention. Why is that? Because despite an extremely successful career that includes 936 tackles, 28.5 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, and 18 interceptions, Spikes has no idea what it feels like to take part in a playoff game.
As Don Banks of Sports Illustrated pointed out, Spikes has played in more games without tasting the playoffs than any active player in the NFL. At age 35 and in his 14th NFL season, time is wearing thin.
“It’s been an emotional roller coaster,” Spikes said when asked about the Chargers season. “I love this game so much, and I give it my all. The only thing I ever felt like is if you treat it right, it will treat you right, and it’s always truthful. That aspect is what keeps me coming back.”
Was it the fact that he was selected at unlucky No. 13 by an unlucky franchise like the Bengals in the 1998 draft? Perhaps. Or perhaps it’s just proof that not everyone gets what they’re looking for in an NFL career. Whatever the case, it’s tough not to root for a guy who has always played the game at 100 percent and recorded over 100 tackles in seven different seasons. At this point it Takeo would probably trade an unlimited supply of barbecued raccoon for a chance to compete for a Super Bowl ring.