Drew Brees fondly recalls the game winning touchdown by LaDainian Tomlinson where he raised his arms in an end zone celebration as the batteries and full bottles of water were being thrown at them.
Marty Schottenheimer told a story about his wife on Wednesday and how she was in an altercation when the Raiders were in LA. There was a weapon reportedly drawn but no one was injured.
But most Raiders fans aren't that bad, are they?
Sure Halloween extends throughout the year. And they do come out in their wannabe gothic look. They even had trading cards at one time for several fans – the garbage patch kids? The fans truly provide an edge, however, as they are genuinely into the game and create a buzz around the stadium.
The Raiders pride was thoroughly beaten to a pulp in San Diego and the fans got their beating too. Leaving San Diego at halftime to make the trek north isn't what they had in mind when the tailgating began that morning.
The Oakland fans want retribution and batteries aren't what they have in mind. They want a win – and the Chargers understand they have to bring their best. Anything less would be uncivilized and that surely doesn't fly in Oakland.
"We go out there two hours before game time and they are all out there yelling and screaming at you," said Brees. "It is a fun atmosphere."
Starting fast and finishing remains the motto. They were able to do that when the two teams faced each other in San Diego. Oakland has grown since then. They played well against Carolina and enjoyed their bye week as the Bolts did. The Raiders also got healthier. Instead of questionable status' dotting the injury report, only a select few are even listed.
The Chargers, ironically, are worse in the injury department. Lorenzo Neal is listed as questionable, as is Justin Peelle – two of their best blockers. Strange that it comes at a time when LaDainian Tomlinson may be at his healthiest point since suffering his groin injury.
Sunday is the first of three straight division opponents and if they want to shed the mark of pretender, they have to come out strong this week.
Said wide receiver Keenan McCardell: "Coach Schottenheimer tells us a lot, ‘those nine games are behind us now. We got a seven game season. It is what we do in this seven game season that is going to determine our whole season.'"
On the road in a hostile environment this week will be a test. It likely won't be the cakewalk the Chargers experienced at home and the fans will be ready to trade jibes with their rivals.
As for the batteries, unlike a new birthday toy, let's hope this once they aren't included.
Denis Savage can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Helmets only for Chargers in Oakland
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