Chargers finally end losing ways

In his latest diary entry, Drayton Florence expresses his joy in the Chargers finally winning their first game.

Updated: October 21, 2003, 12:41 PM ET
By Drayton Florence | Special to ESPN.com

Editor's note: Defensive back Drayton Florence, taken in the second round of this year's NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers, will chronicle his rookie experiences in a weekly diary for ESPN.com.

Drayton Florence
Florence
After knocking on the door a few times this season, we finally kicked it down this past Sunday against Cleveland.

We put together strong performances in all three phases of the game -- offense, defense and special teams -- and as a result, we got a win. There were several standout performances by some of my teammates that I'm glad we rewarded with a victory.

LaDainian Tomlinson was awesome again. He had 200 yards and an electrifying 70-yard touchdown run. L.T. once again showed he's one of the premier running backs in the league. Kwamie Lassiter ran back a pick for a score and we got four field goals from Steve Christie to help us get the win.

I made a couple of tackles, deflected a pass and helped out with a tackle on special teams. But individual statistics don't matter to me because we got a win. The main thing is winning.

The plane ride back to San Diego could've been fueled by the positive energy we all had after the game. When you play football for a living, winning games is what we live for. Since it was the first game my team won, I'll never forget the feeling. I finally feel like a real NFL player. There are a few milestones you have to reach before a rookie feels like he belongs and the first time your team gets a win ranks right up there with suiting up and playing in your first game.

Food tastes better after you get a win. When you've been on a losing streak, a win re-energizes the players. If you've worked as hard as we have, a win reinforces that the hard work we've put in isn't for nothing. Finally the guys on SportsCenter will quit referring to us as the lone winless team in the NFL or a team that doesn't deserve to be without a victory.

Now that we have our first win, it is time for us to string a few together. We've got a big game this week against Miami. Not only is the game against a good team in our conference, but it is on Monday night. I remember growing up watching Monday Night Football on television and dreaming that one day I'd be playing on Monday nights. Now I have the time to fulfill that dream.

While it will be a thrill, I'm looking at it like it's just another game. I know all of America will be watching, but to me there's no difference because the game will be played on a field 100 yards long and the game will still be 60 minutes long. Don't get me wrong, it will be fun to be playing under the lights, but I'm preparing like it is just another game. I guess you could say, I'm ready for some football.

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