Anyone for Halloween minus a Trick-or-Treat?
The holidays without eggnog?
Raider Week missing a turned-up lip?
The Chargers play the eye-patch boys on Sunday and that’s always fun. These guys didn’t care for each other in the AFL. Then they switched to the AFC and things really got nasty.
So why aren’t we, in the name of the Holy Roller, riled up about Oakland coming to Mission Valley?
Oh, that’s right. Instead of combatants they’re business partners and yep, that’s hard to type.
These Hatfields and McCoys — no, not Mike — once mixed like Kevin Faulconer and Mark Fabiani.
Then the Chargers and Raiders shook hands, crossed their hearts and promised death to the NFL in San Diego and Oakland.
They set their sights on a mega market, with its home base in Carson. While few think the 405 Fortress will be constructed, if so, those two might be on its porch.
They are colleagues in the almighty chase for the Los Angeles NFL dollars. While Rams owner Stan Kroenke wants to turn the City of Champions into the City of Concrete with his Inglewood palace, the Chargers and Raiders counter with Carson.
So Raider Week has become chummy and we can’t imagine any Bolt, from Paul Lowe to LaDainian Tomlinson, wanting to rub an Oakland shoulder — with or without spikes on it.
But that’s today’s NFL and could Sunday be the halfway mark of the final eight games in San Diego?
That’s for the NFL’s smarty pants to decide. We’re sticking with what we kind of know: the Chargers (2-4) need a win.
Theirs was a splendid effort in Green Bay and if it makes you smile, have at it.
With it being their seventh loss in 10 games — dating back to last year — we wonder if that’s where rock met bottom?
One hopes — or is that the AFC West cellar gaining on San Diego.
While in the muck, the Chargers approach a soft stretch. After the Raiders (2-3), it’s the Ravens (1-5), Bears (2-4), Chiefs (1-5) and Jaguars (1-5) for comfort.
Although imagine what those teams are saying about one which can’t run the ball, can’t stop the run, has issues in the secondary and gets little from its special teams.
All together now Chargers fans: Thank you for Philip Rivers!
Rivers continues to add to his legacy in this uneven season. Without a running game and with a revolving door at offensive line, he’s spun defenses while racking up passing yardage. He reached 500 in Sunday’s loss and no, the Padres didn’t call asking how he did it?
Rivers won’t be on a pitch count against Oakland, which has as a defense that has an edge.
Coach Marty Schottenheimer was always cranky for Raider Week. Maybe that’s why he went 27-7 against them in 21 seasons; 8-2 with the Chargers.
“The Silver and Black, the demons, the pirates, whatever you want to call those guys,’’ he once said. “That used to annoy the hell out of me and I wanted to beat them every chance I got.’’
The Wednesday of each Raider Week, Schottenheimer would let the media linger at practice. When seizing his players and the press’ attention, he would clear his throat and loudly state: “Gentlemen, this is Raider Week! If you don’t engage yourself, they will come down here and stick it right up your…’’
Fill in that blank with whatever you want.
Have a nice Raider Week. Especially if it’s San Diego’s last one.
Contact Jay Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at jparis_sports.
Sportswriter Jay Paris has written his “Sports Talk” column since joining the Coast News in 2013.
Paris, a Cardiff resident, is a longtime Southern California writer, getting his start with the Orange County Register before coming to San Diego in 1992 to cover the Chargers.
He had the Chargers beat for more than two decades with Oceanside Blade-Citizen, the North County Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, before being named a sports columnist with the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Paris has won numerous awards voted on by his peers in the Pro Football Writers of America. He has also been a staple on countless media platforms, everything from the KPBS to MLB Network and various radio outlets.
Paris is also the author of three books, with his latest one being, “Shohei Ohtani: The Amazing Story Of Baseball’s Two-Way Japanese Superstar.” He has also written “Game Of My Life Chargers” and “Game Of My Life Rams.”
He currently covers the NFL in Los Angeles for Forbes. com and is a contributor to USA Today Sports Weekly.