One of the longest-running jokes in the NFL is that the LA Chargers do not have any fans and that home games are typically road games for the Bolts. To be fair, the Chargers did deserve that narrative. They played in the StubHub Center for several seasons and with a smaller venue, ticket prices were absurdly high and visiting fans were more likely to pay those prices to see their team play in LA. Mix that with a mostly bad team and the San Diego fans feeling betrayed and it is not hard to see why the team struggled to draw a home crowd.
However, things are now completely different with the team in SoFi Stadium. The Chargers have a young franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert that has all the makings of being the face of the league for a decade-plus with a young head coach in Brandon Staley that finally seems to get it. With games more accessible and a more exciting team to watch, Charger fans have shown up this season.
And as far as we are concerned on Bolt Beat, Charger fans put that narrative to bed on Thursday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes, there was a contingent of red jerseys in the crowd on the Chiefs' sideline, but that stadium was rocking for the Chargers.
The NFL better start respecting Chargers fans.
Heck, late in the game on third down Patrick Mahomes had to cover his helmet to get the play-call because the stadium was so loud. People with lazy takes will see the red jerseys opposite of the camera and say that it was 80% Chiefs fans, but would only 20% Chargers fans make it so loud that Mahomes cannot hear the play call being relayed in?
Spoiler alert: no.
Every week we see various teams get invaded by opposing fanbases. Last week there was 75% Dallas fans against the Washington Football Team, who the week prior had a home crowd in Las Vegas against the Las Vegas Raiders. There is really only a handful of teams in the league that can truly dominate a crowd with near-100 percent home fans and the Chargers had far more Charger fans in the building last night than other teams have against the Chiefs.
The Dallas and Las Vegas game were the only two this season that had a huge contingent of opposing fans and that is because the Cowboys are the most popular team in America and most of the Raiders fans are rooted in LA from their time in Southern California. Aside from that, the Chargers have had better home crowds than most teams have had this season.
But it is fun to poke fun at the Chargers and their "12 fans", even if that narrative is completely being put to bed.