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Fires in Southern California: Where Will the Houston Texans Play the San Diego Chargers?

As you good Houston Texans fans probably know, the Texans have a game this weekend with the San Diego Chargers. And this game is to be played in San Diego. And, as anyone who’s been paying any attention to the news knows, Southern California is currently engulfed in flames.

That leads to the question: Where will the Texans and Chargers actually be playing this game?

You see, while Qualcomm Stadium, where the Chargers play, is in a safe area, far from the fires, it just happens to be a designated evacuation area, so it’s a little tough to play football when you’ve got refugees living on your 50-yard line.

The Chargers have abandoned San Diego for the moment, and are currently practicing in Phoenix. Now, there’s precedent for this game to be played in Phoenix because, way back in 2003, a similar thing happened in San Diego and the Chargers had to get out of San Diego because the stadium was being used to house evacuees. The game against the Dolphins was moved to Phoenix and played in the home stadium of the Arizona Cardinals on a Monday night.

The NFL apparently doesn’t want to do that this time out because the home of the Cardinals is currently being used for a motorcycle show and won’t be available until Monday night. And the stadium in Tempe, previously used by the Cardinals before moving into a new stadium last season, is no longer good enough for the NFL.

And neither are the two NFL-quality stadiums in Los Angeles.

So where will the game be played?

As of now, officials are holding out for playing Monday night in San Diego. But if that ends up not being possible, the game will be played in either Texas Stadium in Dallas, or Reliant Stadium in Houston, the home of the Texans, though the game would be designated as a home game for the Chargers.

And there is precedent for that too, as in 2005 the New Orleans Saints had the opportunity to host the “visiting” New York Giants on a Monday night in the Meadowlands at Giants Stadium – the Giants home stadium – while the Saints were without a home because of Katrina.

It appears that the NFL doesn’t want to play the game in a stadium that is not equipped to handle all of the NFL state-of-the-art High Def video gear, which it judges to be necessary for the replay officials.

May I note that I wouldn't see a lack of HD as a bad thing? Gary Kubiak loses every challenge anyway, and this way his assistants can tell him they’ll lose the challenge because of the poor video and maybe he won’t bother wasting the challenge and losing the timeout – though with Kubiak’s poor clock-management skills, this might not give the team much of an advantage anyway.

But I’ve got another problem.

The NFL says it wants the game in a state-of-the-art stadium that can handle HD. Well, maybe the NFL doesn’t know this, but virtually every USC game is shown on national TV, in High Def, and the Trojans play their games in the Coliseum. And I guess the NFL has forgotten that little place in Pasadena, CA called the Rose Bowl which hosts UCLA football and also, every January, hosts a major college football bowl game, which is also shown in HD. And if Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe – the previous home of the Cardinals – was good enough for the NFL in 2005, the NFL can’t really expect me to believe that it’s no longer good enough less than two years later.

And finally, the other thing bugging me is, when the game in 2003 was moved, tickets in Phoenix for the game were free. But that’s not the case for this one. It looks like Bob McNair is trying to gouge the public, which is probably why he’s lobbying so hard to have the game played here.

So, it looks from here like the NFL wants to play nice for Bob McNair while trying to screw the Chargers. And with what’s going on in San Diego at the moment, aren’t the Chargers being screwed around with enough as it is? -- John Royal

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