The NFL has wasted no time at the owner's meetings approving new rules for the upcoming campaign. Starting in 2023, the LA Chargers -- and all other 31 teams -- can carry an emergency third quarterback on game day without the QB counting as a spot on the 48-man roster.
While that rule was universally approved by the media and fans, the following changes received largely negative reviews: The new kickoff rule allowing teams to start at the 25-yard line if there is a catch on a kickoff, and allowing two possible games to be flexed from Sunday to Thursday Night Football between Weeks 13-17.
Fittingly, the Chargers will lock horns with their biggest rival, the Las Vegas Raiders, on Thursday Night Football in Week 15.
Predictably, Raiders owner Mark Davis voted against the flexing of late-season TNF matchups. Though fans were at the forefront of Davis' vote of dissent, he took an embarrassing shot at the Chargers in explaining why he opposes the new rule.
Raiders' Mark Davis drags Chargers fans in TNF complaint
"If you have a Raiders-Chargers game in Las Vegas scheduled for a Thursday,” Davis said, via USA Today, “and all of the fans driving from Los Angeles – the Raiders fans and all three Chargers fans – buy their tickets and book their hotels, how in the hell do you schedule it and now say, ‘Sorry, it’s now on Sunday?’ How in the hell do you do that?”
"All three Chargers fans." Way to get creative, Davis. We haven't heard that one before. It's well-documented that the Bolts have struggled to replicate their massive San Diego following since they relocated to Los Angeles in 2017.
Whenever the Chargers and Raiders meet in Los Angeles, there's typically more black and silver in the stands than powder blue and gold. While the Raiders recently moved to Las Vegas after a 25-year run in Oakland, they've long boasted one of the NFL's most passionate fan bases.
The joke has lost its shelf life at this point.
Very rarely does an NFL owner (!) poke fun at a rival, let alone a rival's fan base. Perhaps the owner should've spent more time researching the particulars of the league's allowing of TNF games to be flexed.
Davis complained about the burden it puts on fans, but the league must give teams 28 days notice -- nearly a full month -- of the schedule change. That's plenty of time for fans to either be reimbursed or readjust their schedules. The change wouldn't have been approved if the NFL didn't allow maximum notice time.
Still, maybe leave the trash talk for the fans and players?