The Los Angeles Chargers have one of the oddest situations in football, a team without a true stadium to call home. As the Chargers are about to complete their third season in Los Angeles after their controversial exit from San Diego, their situation hasn't improved.
Los Angeles has resorted to using silent snap counts at Dignity Health Sports Park, their home stadium, due to the abundance of opposing fans taking over in the past three years. This season, rabid fan bases of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders took over the soccer-specific stadium, which seats just 27,000. Because fans sit so close to the action, it can be hard for the teams to hear the signals relaying in from the sidelines.
That's not supposed to be the case for the home team, but that's the situation Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers faces on a weekly basis. As the Chargers wrapped up their home schedule with a 24-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders, Rivers sounded off on Chargers fans as the team played its final game at Dignity Health.
Next season, Los Angeles moves into SoFi Stadium at Hollywood Park, sharing the field with the Los Angeles Rams. Rivers hopes things will change even as he faces an uncertain future ( ).
"I think we definitely have gotten used to it," a frustrated Rivers said after the loss. "What will be in years to come remains to be seen. It's tough.
"That didn't have anything to do with the outcome of the game, but being someone who remembers what it used to be like at home games it's pretty bad, you know. I appreciate the Chargers fans that are out there, but it's disheartening to say the least. I don't think all our guys understand that ... the guys that have been here for a long time certainly know what it used to be like."
No surprise Rivers mentioned San Diego when criticizing Los Angeles, as the Southern California city was where the Chargers used to call home. San Diego tried for 15 years to get a new stadium to keep the Chargers in the city, but was unable to find a proper location. There were at least nine different stadium proposals since 2003.
Rivers was an advocate of staying in San Diego, not wanted the franchise to relocate in the first place. The Chargers' all-time passing leader may be on his way out, but hopes things get better for the only franchise he's ever played for.
Based on the past three seasons, the Chargers are the stepchild in the Los Angeles market. That doesn't seem likely to change any time soon.