Nomadic Chargers, Raiders Square Off In AFC West Clash On Thursday Night To Kick Off NFL Week 10

Getting ready for the AFC West matchup The Los Angeles Chargers and the Oakland Raiders were original competitors in the American Football League and, oddly, were in exactly those...

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Getting ready for the AFC West matchup

The Los Angeles Chargers and the Oakland Raiders were original competitors in the American Football League and, oddly, were in exactly those cities in 1960 when they were born.

They meet on Thursday night (8:20 p.m. ET, Fox and NFL Network) for the last time in Oakland, the result of franchise free agency fought for and won by the Raiders, who will be moving to Las Vegas.

In 1961, before anyone much cared, the Chargers left Los Angeles for San Diego and stayed there until 2017. With no new stadium forthcoming, the Chargers agreed to become the second tenant in a palace under construction for the Los Angeles Rams (who left Cleveland for L.A., L.A. for St. Louis and St. Louis for L.A., all of these moves coming with the approval of the NFL). The Raiders, who exited Oakland for Los Angeles, L.A. for Oakland and next year Oakland for Las Vegas, also could not get a stadium deal in their ancestral home.

The Raiders (4-4) are going to be greeted wildly in Vegas. Their image captures the city’s swagger and further diminishes the line between pro sports and a home in gambling’s capital. The Chargers (4-5) are already considered a laggard in the L.A. market and who knows how well the fans will support a pair of NFL teams while also turning out for college football (Southern Cal, UCLA), two baseball teams, two NBA teams and the NHL.

The Chargers angrily disputed reports this week that they were in consideration for a move to London (yes, the one in England) as the NFL seeks to enlarge its international footprint. Who knows? The Jacksonville Jaguars have made London a second home and have priority on any full-time relocation, so shifting the Chargers 6,000 miles is unlikely.

Thursday night is about two of the NFL’s nomads. At least until the first snap. Then it’s simply football between old rivals.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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