No fans, no problem.
With the coronavirus pandemic threatening live sports attendance, new Broncos running back Melvin Gordon says that he’s prepared to deal with that fallout having played for the Chargers for his entire career.
“We didn’t have fans anyway,” Gordon told Marcus Cromartie on Wednesday. “We didn’t have many Chargers fans at the game…. We ain’t have any so I’m not missing anything.”
The Chargers, who moved from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2017, have been oft-criticized for their meager fanbase and low attendance at games. The 27-year-old Gordon had complained about the issue in the past.
“It was crazy,” he told the Los Angeles Times following a game against the Steelers last season. “They started playing their theme music. … I don’t know what that was. Don’t do that at our own stadium … It already felt like it was their stadium … I don’t understand that.”
The Packers overtook the Chargers’ temporary home at Dignity Health Sports Park in November, referring to it as “Lambeau Field West.”
Both the Chargers and Rams will play in the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood for the first time this season.
Gordon, the Chargers’ 2015 first-round pick from Wisconsin, joined the AFC West-rival Broncos this offseason, who in contrast have a very passionate fanbase.
He signed a two-year, $16 million deal with $13.5 million guaranteed in March after an ugly divorce involving a four-game contract holdout at the beginning of last season amid a contract stalemate with the team. Upon returning, the disgruntled Gordon tallied 612 rushing yards behind Austin Ekeler, whom the Chargers signed to a four-year, $24.5 million extension this offseason.
“I just felt like a lot of people doubt my talent as a back,” Gordon said after the signing. “Just during the holdout, saying, ‘He’s just an average back, he’s not this, he’s not that.’ Just this year saying, ‘He’s not the back that he was.’ … I’m going to take that and use it as fuel because I know what type of player I am and I want to show that. I want to show that, and I am going to show that I’m better than just average.”
The two-time Pro Bowler has accrued 4,240 rushing yards, 1,873 receiving yards and 47 total touchdowns over five years in the NFL. He will presumably be the No. 1 option ahead of Philip Lindsay and Royce Freeman in the Broncos’ backfield.