Since Gordon entered the league in 2015, the Chargers have only played the Oakland Raiders on a full field of grass. The Raiders are the last team in the NFL to a home field with a Major League Baseball team.
With the Oakland Athletics no longer in season, the Chargers will again avoid the clunky and majestic field for Thursday night’s matchup against the Raiders at RingCentral Coliseum, formerly known as Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
“I got lucky,” Gordon said about not playing on the baseball field. “I heard that’s not a good feeling to get tackled on that sand. I’m glad they got grass out there.”
“You just ran a little faster when you were in the dirt because you were trying to get the hell out,” Lynn said. “Some of these guys, they probably couldn’t care less (about playing in Oakland). I’ve been playing in the Coliseum my whole life, coaching in the Coliseum. I’m going to miss the place.”
“There’s no place like it. I don’t want to say it’s going to be nostalgic because I’m not that committed to their environment, but it’s a special place, and it has its place in NFL history.”
“I think what’s so interesting is just seeing the wide array of ages and personalities and everything, and they’re almost in character form,” Rivers said about the Oakland fans. “They kind of take on a whole new character for four hours. It’s definitely a unique place to trot out for a quarterback-center exchange unlike many places we go.”
Rivers’ most career wins as a visitor have come at the Oakland Coliseum, where he is 9-4. He can create more positive memories if he’s able to get his 10th career win in Oakland before saying farewell.
The Chargers have spent their short week revisiting past Oakland memories, but they have a pivotal game in front of them. The Chargers (4-5) and the Raiders (4-4) are one win behind the Indianapolis Colts (5-3) for the second wild-card spot in the AFC.
On Monday, The Athletic reported that London has been mentioned by the NFL as a possible relocation destination for the Chargers. Chargers owner Dean Spanos poured gasoline on the story Tuesday after huddling a group of beat reporters and providing a expletive-laced statement to vehemently deny the London report.
After Spanos stormed off at the conclusion of his 25-second statement, the Chargers’ best win of the season and their upcoming prime-time game became an afterthought. Spanos’ F-bombs and the London report became the top topic for national talk shows, and players were asked uncomfortable questions about it in the locker room.
“The aura of what that place has meant over the years will be alive on Thursday night,” Rivers said.