Unfortunately for the Los Angeles Chargers, they have hardly ever been able to say that they are the home team in Los Angeles, but perhaps in the Monday Night Football of Week 4, they will be much less, because they will receive the invasion of the ‘Raider Nation’.
With the return of the fans to the stadiums at maximum capacity, something that has been a reality since the Bolts left San Diego to move to LA or even before: Chargers is, if anything, the fourth team in the city, because there Those with the most fans are the Raiders (now from Las Vegas), followed by the Rams (who returned after a stint in St. Louis), then the team playing the Chargers that weekend (if neither of them mentioned) and at the end the squad that belongs to the Spanos family.
It is a sad reality that can be verified simply by looking at the color of the fans’ jerseys, now in SoFi Stadium as it was before in Carson’s Dignity Health Sports Park, where they were for three years, waiting for it to be finished. the property, which is owned by Stan Kroenke, also a top Rams boss.
And it is not just a question of perception or popularity, in fact the Chargers live in “huddled” in Inglewood on a borrowed space, and they struggle to root themselves in a very changing NFL market that sees them, many times, as outsiders.
They were 56 years in the field of Jack Murphy, lately known as Qualcomm Stadium (already demolished) in San Diego, a place that was not exempt from the invasions of its fierce rivals such as Broncos, Chiefs or Raiders, but that at least sheltered them with a A city that painted itself with their colors and identified with the franchise, despite the fact that in its history they have only reached the Super Bowl once, the XXIX edition in which they lost 49-26 to the San Francisco 49ers.
Derek Carr, quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders (3-0) said in the previous week the game where he will face Justin Herbert and Chargers (2-1), which we all know.
“If it’s in LA at the soccer stadium or in San Diego (for Raiders) it’s another home game. We always saw it as another home game and it’s not disrespectful, it’s just a fact,” said Carr on 30. September at a press conference.
Derek Carr on road games vs. the #Chargers: “Whether it was in LA at that soccer stadium or in San Diego, it was another home game. You always looked at it as another home game and that was no disrespect, it’s just a fact.”
I have expects it again this week.pic.twitter.com/3ruDiaMqFE
– Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 30, 2021
The one who sounded a bit deluded was Chargers star wide receiver Keenan Allen who said he was expecting a 50-50 fan percentage Monday night.
Anyone who has experienced attending a game as a Chargers fan in Los Angeles knows what it is like to sit among dozens of “enemy” jerseys, to have the rivals’ feast to the face, the shouts of “Defense, defense!” when the Los Angeles team is in a decisive situation on the offensive or suffer from a last-minute defeat (of which there have been seven by 7 points or less between 2020 and 2021) and the ridicule of the opponents.
The fan with the lightning jersey feels alien in his own stadium and not only against the Raiders, against practically any visitor. Sometimes the handicap that it means for a team to play the 16, now 17 games on the calendar with the public mostly against it, is not valued.
The Chargers vs. The Raiders will be No. 123 in the historic series dominated by those recently moved from Oakland 65-55-2.
A rivalry that knows no respects or accepts lukewarmness and despite the fact that SoFi is upholstered by those “malefic” beings with painted faces, threatening suits with studs and shoulder pads, almost like orcs under the command of Sauron, out of a movie from In the Lord of the Rings saga, there is always a loyal minority of Bolts fans, who even travel from San Diego to support their Angeleno “brothers” in the tough battle of countering rival fans in the stands.
The truth is that the only and best way to build a hobby or win back a disappointed move-in is to win, so that’s where the Los Angeles Chargers should start on Monday Night in front of their “hated” Raiders.