Chargers to fans: Pump up the volume

The San Diego Chargers will be relying on the power of the crowd at Qualcomm Stadium as they don the Powder Blues for the first time this year – on Monday Night Football.

With a bustling crowd of Chargers fans set to attend the sellout affair at Qualcomm, the stadium should be rocking.

Several players called Sunday night's game two weeks ago the loudest they had ever heard the Q – including the playoffs.

That same intensity is something the team would love to see again as they prepare to play the Steelers.

Energized by the screams and yells, the players and coaches tote an odd smile when they think about how much the fans bring to the game.

"I think the crowd is definitely going to be in it," said head coach Marty Schottenheimer. "That's always been important. Whether I was in Cleveland, Kansas City or Washington, your home crowd is a tangible asset to your effort because they are right there with you. The support is important when you're at home."

Schottenheimer relayed that the crowd was responsible for four different mistakes the Giants made during their last home game.

He often calls the twelfth man to arms and it is a trait in San Diego that is still undervalued.

Sellouts and The City have been few and far between in recent years and just now the Chargers have turned the corner. Two games this year have not officially been declared sellouts but that figures to change as the season wears on.

And where fans from the visiting team dotted the landscape enough to make a collage, these days it is a sea of blue and gold that reigns with a sprinkle of other colors being taunted.

"The majority of the people are Charger fans," Schottenheimer applauded. "They're presence is appreciated and has value."

"We have the fans on our side," linebacker Donnie Edwards said.

A product of winning. Fickle they may be, but when the wins begin to pile up, the crowd thickens.

The Steelers are coming off a 15-1 season and are 2-1 early this year – their only losses since the start of 2004 coming against the Patriots.

Ben Roethlisberger has been infallible this year, not tossing any interceptions.

"Hopefully they will be harassing Big Ben a little bit," Tomlinson admitted.

The product of such banter has the potential to create offsides penalties and use of timeouts. That works in the Chargers favor.

So bring the "A" game when Monday rolls around and make the Sunday night affair sound like a pin drop.

Lightning Quicks:

The Chargers are encouraging all fans in attendence to wear their Powder Blue uniforms as they make their first appearance at Qualcomm on Monday night in nine years.

Toniu Fonoti was at practice on Thursday but did not take part in any drills. He is expected to miss three weeks after having a second surgery on his broken hand.

The team will practice at Qualcomm Stadium on Saturday - a night practice - to prepare for Monday's game.


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