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Chargers ready to host Raiders, and their fans, in regular-season finale

By in Press Enterprise on December 31, 2017

By Jack Wang

As family and friends plead for tickets to the Chargers’ regular-season finale, Hayes Pullard has one rule.

“Don’t wear Raiders gear,” he said.

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Pullard gets it. The 25-year-old linebacker grew up in Inglewood and graduated from Crenshaw High and USC. He was too young to be indoctrinated as a Raiders fan before the franchise moved back to Oakland in 1995, but his family? For the vast majority of them, silver and black run deep.

The Raiders (6-9) have long been the area’s most popular professional football team, winning Super Bowl XVII to cap the second of their 13 seasons in Los Angeles. Even after the NFL abandoned the region for over two decades, their brand has remained strong.

When the Chargers (8-7) host their division rival Sunday (1:25 p.m., CBS), StubHub Center could feel like the Black Hole.

“You know, it’s kind of funny,” Raiders owner Mark Davis told this news organization in August. “They’re talking about the fight for Los Angeles. And Raiders fans have been telling me we already won that fight. And that the Rams and Chargers are fighting for the No. 2 and 3 spots.”

The players know this as well as anyone. Unlike the Rams, who in 2016 returned to Los Angeles with a small but loyal fanbase, […]    

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