Norv Turner dreams in blue and yellow. He remembers in silver and black.
The Chargers coach was raised on Daryle Lamonica and Fred Biletnikoff. In his 20s, Turner endured the Immaculate Reception and celebrated the Holy Roller. The end zone of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was like a second home.
“I don't know that it was 'The Black Hole' back then,” said Turner, who grew up in Martinez, Calif. “It was when Coach [John] Madden was there and [Ken] Stabler. Those were some exciting times, some fun teams to watch.”
"Were" -- the past tense. So the verbs usually go when describing the franchise's excellence.
The Raiders (1-3) have lost 11 or more games in seven straight seasons, the longest streak in NFL history. The Chargers (2-2) are four-time defending AFC West Champions and have won 13 consecutive games over their rival.
But the silver hasn't dulled, and the black hasn't faded. The Raiders are still the Raiders, and the Chargers will face them Sunday in Oakland.
“It's been quite a run," quarterback Philip Rivers said, "but this game stands alone as a new challenge."
One with new players.
Tight end Zach Miller may be great, but he's no Dave Casper just yet. Just like Louis Murphy is no Biletnikoff. Chaz Schilens and Darrius Heyward-Bey aren't Tim Brown and Jerry Rice. Neither Darren McFadden nor Michael Bush is Marcus Allen, and Michael Huff isn't Jack Tatum.
The list goes on.
“But those guys have pride, too,” said linebacker Kevin Burnett. “And I'm pretty sure if I would have told you Buster Douglas was going to beat Mike Tyson, you would have laughed at me. But then, when it happened, 'Well, there is a puncher's chance.' So don't take nothing for granted in this game.... We've got to strap it on because they're not going to roll it over and hand [a win] to us.''