When teams come to U.S. Bank Stadium, they often have to make adjustments for the volume generated by a stadium full of rabid Minnesota Vikings fans. That’s the sort of thing that you expect. What you don’t normally expect is opposing fans doing that when they’re cheering on the visiting team in someone else’s stadium.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, however, that’s precisely the situation that the Los Angeles Chargers found themselves in when they hosted the Vikings in Week 15. Schefter’s report said that the Chargers were forced to go to a silent snap count because of the huge number of Vikings fans that were at Dignity Health Sports Park last Sunday afternoon.
As one of the people that was in attendance in Los Angeles last week, I can’t even begin to describe how crazy the crowd was for a road game. After parking my car and walking to the stadium, basically every jersey I saw was purple. The stadium itself was, at worst, a 75/25 split in favor of Vikings fans, and the noise generated when the Vikings did something positive or the Chargers were facing third down sounded like a Vikings home game. It was pretty crazy to see it happen, but that’s what the Chargers were faced with.
Schefter’s report says that the Chargers considered doing the same thing earlier this season when they played the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are widely considered to be the best-traveling fan base in the NFL. You’ll note that they did not have to make that consideration when they hosted the Green Bay Packers earlier this year, which probably has something to do with the fact that the Chargers beat the Packers by two touchdowns.
This isn’t the first game this season where there have been a significant number of Vikings fans in attendance. Reports from venues like Kansas City said that there was a lot of purple to be seen, though not nearly in the proportions that we saw them last Sunday. It certainly flies in the face of fans of lesser teams that swear up and down that Vikings fans are merely front-runners that don’t care all that much about their team.
I’m not sure if the Vikings will get to the level of Steelers fans when it comes to traveling to other stadiums in the near future, but they’re certainly starting to gain a reputation as one of the better traveling fan bases in the NFL.