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Rivalry recharged: AFC foe takes shots at Raiders, fans in schedule release video

Updated May 12, 2023 - 12:50 pm

While no opponent was safe from the biting humor of the Chargers’ social media team on Thursday’s video unveiling the 2023 schedule, the Raiders and their fans certainly took their fair share of shots.

Like last year, the Chargers were a resounding winner in the court of public opinion for which team came up with the best video to announce their schedule, which has now become an annual informal competition.

There were no sacred cows as the Chargers used a series of anime storylines to release their slate of games for the second straight season.

A Chiefs supporter who is alleged to have committed a bank robbery to fund his fandom was a main character of the 130-second cartoon, which also included a shot at the Lions sports betting scandal, along with references to an obscure and lewd decade-old tweet by Mitch Trubisky and the rumor Zach Wilson slept with his mother’s best friend.

And the Raiders still may have taken the most direct hits, which should come as little surprise considering the heated rivalry between the franchises and their fan bases.

The two panels revealing the dates of the games against the Raiders, which will happen Oct. 1 in Inglewood and Dec. 14 at Allegiant Stadium, were a singular storyline even though they were separated by several unrelated games.

In the portion revealing the first meeting, an animated Josh McDaniels sits at a slot machine called “Get Your Quarter Back” and spins reels that include the names of Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson, Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr.

(Los Angeles Chargers)
(Los Angeles Chargers)

The reels all land on “Garoppolo,” a reference to all of the rumors that tied the Raiders to all of those big-name quarterbacks before essentially signing Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason. In the corner of the machine were the words, “Family, Trust, Respect.”

(Los Angeles Chargers)
(Los Angeles Chargers)

All of this was just a setup to the next clip later in the video where the machine pays off the “winnings” for the three Garoppolo’s in the form of a slot cashout ticket from the “Fantasy Treasure Resort” for the amount of minus-$72,750,000, which is the total potential value of his deal with the Raiders.

(Los Angeles Chargers)
(Los Angeles Chargers)

The rest of the cashout slip requires a great deal of scanning to find all the hidden references.

A validation number on the ticket indicates Thursday’s date, followed by 6-11, 10-7, 8-8, 7-9, 4-12, 6-10. Those numbers, of course, represent the Raiders records in each season since the 12-4 campaign in 2016.

There is also fine print indicating the voucher is “not valid for full season,” a reference to a common critique that Garoppolo is prone to injury.

More fine print indicates the voucher is “not redeemable for wedding invite,” a reference to the offseason controversy sparked when Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum joked on Twitter that McDaniels not getting invited to her wedding to Raiders tight end Darren Waller triggered McDaniels to trade Waller to the Giants less than two weeks later.

It took some time and some sharp internet detectives to discover the hidden Easter egg in the scene. The payout voucher included a QR code that could actually be scanned.

Those who tried it were taken to a link with two options. It instructed Raiders fans to click in one box and Chargers fans in the other.

Those clicking Chargers were redirected to a site where they could purchase single-game tickets for the upcoming season. Those who clicked Raiders, however, were taken to a Google search with instructions on how to get a job.

Oh, and as for “Family, Trust, Respect” and “Fantasy Treasure Resort?”

They both share the acronym FTR, which also stands for “(Expletive) the Raiders.”

The rivalry is alive and well.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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