The San Diego Chargers chose wide receiver Keenan Allen last month in round three of the 2013 NFL Draft. Allen tweeted a photo of himself wearing an Oakland Raiders hat last week. Oakland is arguably San Diego’s biggest rival as the two teams have played 106 times going back to the 1960 season which is tied for the most games played by San Diego against one opponent.
Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder was out in public wearing a Chicago Bulls hat in 2011 after he signed a five year extension with Oklahoma City. While there were some questions about Durant wearing a Bulls hat, the story was not a big deal to me because Chicago and OKC play in different conferences and are not rivals unlike San Diego and Oakland who play in the same division.
According to Tom Krasovic of utsandiego.com:
“Allen said Chargers safety Eric Weddle gave him the rundown before Monday’s practice. Allen said that it won’t happen again.”
San Diego went on a 13 game winning streak against Oakland from December 28, 2003 until October 10, 2010 and is 16-3 against them since December of 2003. However, the Lightning Bolts are still 47-57-2 all-time against Oakland including a loss in their only playoff game against them.
While there are athletes who follow each other on Twitter, the battle lines are drawn in the sand so to speak when the game starts. I am sure that Allen will learn from his mistake of wearing an Oakland hat once the season begins and San Diego plays against their most hated rival.
Allen tore his PCL last year in college and had a red flag placed on his drug test at the NFL Combine which caused his draft stock to drop from a potential late first or early second round pick to round three. This latest incident is one of those “you should know better” moments, but it’s not as serious as the PCL tear or drug test red flag.