Sounds of the silence

In five of the past six games between the Chargers and Chiefs the margin of victory has been five points or less and the Bolts have won but once. The Chiefs may be 3-7 but they have lost their last five by an average of 5.4 points and have beaten San Diego in Arrowhead eight straight times.

For the Chargers, playing the Chiefs always has meaning. Not only are they divisional rivals in the AFC West but Chargers' coach Marty Schottenheimer was at the helm of the Chiefs for most of the nineties and middle linebacker Donnie Edwards was a key contributor to the success of the defense before coming to San Diego.

Schottenheimer led the Chiefs to seven playoff appearances and along with Chiefs President Carl Peterson, they were the longest-running GM-head coach tandem in pro sports during the '90s, producing a 101-58-1 record in KC from '89-98.

Losing eight straight to them in Kansas City has certainly taken its toll and the advantage is because of the crowd, the 12th man. Schottenheimer knows a thing or two about the eight straight since he was the head coach when the streak began.

"They have a great passion for their team," the coach explained passionately. "It is a great environment to come and attend a game. Today it looks almost as good as it did when I was there years ago. It is a terrific place to sit and watch a football game. The Chiefs fans are terrific."

Schottenheimer looks back on his history with a sense of pride. He was one of the reasons that football took on a new meaning in Kansas City.

The Stadium, built in 1972, almost got a dome back in 1984 when officials discussed it, but project costs kept it from becoming a reality. A JumboTron was added in 1991 and the AstroTurf was replaced by grass in 1994.

The capacity: 79,409. And they sell out every single game.

"One of the most gratifying things in my coaching career was to be a part of Carl Peterson and to see that go from a stadium half-full at best to a place you couldn't buy a ticket," Schottenheimer added. "There is a tremendous satisfaction that I was able to be a part of that."

It is one of the reasons Schottenheimer says he is hoping for with San Diego. He places helping young players realize their potential above all but wants to make the Chargers the marquee name in town.

"It is part of what drives me – so we can change it – so we have every ballgame, people lining up to come see the Chargers play here in our home."

This week, however, the game is away in a stadium that many have called the loudest in the league. Imagine if it got that dome back in the eighties?

Six years of Edwards' career was spent with the Chiefs but his hometown team remains San Diego. He was a tackling machine for Kansas City and part of the reason for their success.

"Arrowhead is the loudest place to play in the NFL," Edwards confirmed. "You can see the sound. I know a few times in the past I saw those wavelengths. It was pretty scary. I had to remove my helmet and plug my ears it was so loud."

Rewind to his days with the Chiefs for some noise nostalgia:

"It was third down against the Broncos when Elway was still playing there. We had him backed up and it was a TV timeout. Fans just started yelling and screaming – I don't know if I could see it or my eyes were shaking but everything just starts moving. It is incredible. It was like being in the back of a jet engine.

"Chiefs' fans are a different breed. They are very passionate about their Chiefs. That city shuts down on Sunday. You can't get anything to eat, can't go into a store, everyone is at the Chiefs game."

The history extends beyond the current players and coaches. It was 1960 when these two franchises faced off in what was the first regular season game in the history of both franchises when the Dallas Texans lost a 21-20 decision to the L.A. Chargers at the L.A. Coliseum (9/10/60).

They will meet Sunday for the 89th time and the Chargers are hoping to reverse a trend and fight off the demons – something they have exorcised all year long. They have a four game winning streak but no stadium they have entered this year will be as loud as what they will face on Sunday. If you drove by the Murphy Canyon facility and heard music, it was just the Bolts getting ready. But speakers blaring can't come close to a jet engine.

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