Raider-Charger Rivalry Shifts to the Courtroom

Times Staff Writer

Another chapter in the old Raider-Charger rivalry:

Al Davis is on trial in San Diego, where former Charger owner Gene Klein has brought suit, charging that Davis’ maneuvers caused Klein’s heart attack. After Sunday’s game, Davis said he was confident of prevailing in court, too.

“The doctors admitted that (Klein) had been drinking . . . for 15-20 years steadily,” Davis said. “I drove him to that, too. . . . He’s a smoker. He’s overweight.

“It’s harassment, that’s all it is, to get me out of this environment and take me down there. . . . Even league headquarters is happy.”


Monday, for a change, the Raiders were happy, too.

“Somebody was telling me they sold 70,000 seats, but only 60,000 people showed,” Todd Christensen said. “We’re 0-3 and we’re not prime time.

“People are saying we’ve gone Hollywood, (but) the video is making us lose. As far as I’m concerned, there are other things I want to do in my life, but this is first.

“I couldn’t believe it. I ran out and high-fived Jessie Hester. Me, the coolest cat going. I couldn’t believe it, but this (football) is a short run.”

Hester had just caught a 40-yard touchdown pass, and Raider Coach Tom Flores said Monday that Hester will probably return to the starting lineup for the first time since the opener. The Raiders cited his ankle injury, but before Sunday, his drops out-numbered his catches.

“I felt like I really wasn’t contributing to the team,” Hester said. “I felt like a burden, really. I knew I was needed. I know they expect a lot of big things from me.

“The drops are just something that happen. I look around the league and see everybody else dropping balls, too. All-Pros drop passes.”

The big Raider question is whether Marcus Allen can play Sunday in Kansas City.


“I don’t know how Marcus will be,” Flores said. “He’s still pretty sore. At this point, I’d still have to say he’s questionable. Marcus is usually a pretty quick healer. It had to be a pretty bad sprain.”

Allen couldn’t even suit up against the Chargers. Rookie Vance Mueller started but struggled. If Allen sits out in Kansas City, the Raiders may move Napoleon McCallum up to No. 1. McCallum was scheduled for limited action against the Chargers because of a strained right hamstring, but looked good and played a lot in the second half.

“Obviously, for Vance, this is a whole new world,” Flores said. “He’s a very talented young man, but this is a whole new world.”

Arrowhead Stadium is one of the loudest outdoor facilities in the NFL. With the Chiefs off to a 3-1 start, and the Raiders coming in, and Alumni Day scheduled, the game has already been sold out.


A year ago, the Chiefs beat the Raiders, 36-20, before another big Arrowhead crowd.

“It’s always something when we come to town,” Flores said. “A reunion of the ’69 champions, or Alumni Day.”

The Chiefs wound up last in the AFC West last year, and so have drawn an easier schedule this season. They have beaten the Bengals and Oilers at home and the Bills on the road.

Sunday in Buffalo, however, they had five starters forced out by injury--halfback Herman Heard, receivers Stephone Paige and Carlos Carson, and defensive backs Albert Lewis and Lloyd Burruss.