Think of it as Black Hole South! The Oakland Raiders close out the 2012 season at their Home Away from Home, Qualcomm Stadium, in Baja Oakland, a.k.a. known as San Diego, California. Yes! You read that right. I said, “Baja Oakland”!
San Diego has great weather, friendly people, wonderful architecture, a fantastic landscape, excellent beaches, and fabulous Mexican food. When it comes to football teams, however – well, what can I say? The San Diego Chargers? Don't make me laugh!
I first heard the term “Baja Oakland” when I was in San Diego several years ago to attend an Oakland Raiders game. One of the local sports writers used it in a sarcastic piece about the city's inexplicable love affair with the Oakland Raiders in the local newspaper.
He was saying things like, "Why do we need a footbal team of our own when we've got the Raiders? Maybe they should move to San Diego so that they can be closer to their real fans!"
I must say, that article tickled the living daylights out of me. I cut it out and saved it. I'm sure if I looked hard enough, I could still find it …
Charger Fans in Oaktown? Not!
Chatting with a fellow Oakland Raiders fan the night before the game, I asked, “When did you move to San Diego?”
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“I'm FROM San Diego!”
“But you're an Oakland Raiders fan!” I said.
“So I just assumed that you were from Northern California – and that you moved to Southern California. I mean, there aren't any Charger fans in Oakland – unless they've moved from San Diego to Oakland. I mean, no one from Oakland supports the Chargers! I mean, why would they?”
Black Hole South?
There were two types of football fans in San Diego, I was told. And not all of them supported the local football team. Perhaps, not even most of them …
“Half of the football fans in San Diego support the Chargers, and the other half support the Raiders,” is what I heard.
“When the Oakland Raiders play at Qualcomm Stadium, it's like a home game for the Raiders – there are more Raider fans than Charger fans. We like to think of it as 'Black Hole South'. The Raiders OWN Southern California.”
Good to know that my Raiders own Southern California. That's really nice. But I DO hope that they remain in NORTHERN California. More specifically, in OAKLAND, California.
That IS where they were born. And that IS where they belong.
And one more thing … GO RAIDERS!!!