The fans here do not own earmuffs. The players do not have runny noses. They do not have showers. They prefer hot tubs. Cleveland's deep-freeze is light years away. A foggy day in Jack London Square in Oakland is irrelevant. San Diego is laid-back.
When the San Diego Chargers win, it is as orderly as a zippy fly-over by an Air Force group, with pass patterns suggesting the streak-of-lightning symbols on their helmets. For the Oakland Raiders, every effort is uphill with the world against them, like Hannibal crossing the mountains.
Four days before the Chargers play host to the Raiders for the AFC title on Sunday, Charger quarterback Dan Fouts was asked today if he thought there was anything "sinister" about the Raiders.
"I think their tailor is sinister," he said with a grin, referring to the supposedly intimidating black and silver colors of the Oakland uniforms.
The Chargers' defensive leader, Louie Kelcher, was asked if they had any feelings about Raider owner Al Davis and replied, "I don't think about that; it isn't in our realm. I only read about it, in the papers."
He put such trivialities in a pertinent perspective when, in light of the report of a temblor in northern California on Wednesday, he was asked if he was scared of earthquakes. "No," he said, "if you're going to go, you're going to go."
Cool Hand Chuck Muncie of San Diego turned out to be a marvel at refining the complex into the simple. He said Coach Don Coryell specifies only that "you don't make mistakes and maintain total concentration." He boiled down his previous problems at New Orleans into "nit-picking." He blamed 10 fumbles here on "trying too hard to be a better player."
He described the difference between playing in the National Conference and the American as saying, "In the AFC you do not run one, two, three plays and then throw."
Quarterback Fouts did acknowledge the Chargers are getting ready to put on their game faces.
"We're anxious to get the game started," he said. "We've been at it since July."
He was asked why quarterbacks continued to throw in the direction of Lester Hayes, the Raiders' all-pro cornerback.
"You will have to ask each of those other quarterbacks," Fouts said. "He is a great defensive back, but I'm sure he won't intercept as much next season. A lot of quarterbacks won't throw his way."
Fouts also was asked if he would find it frustrating to move the ball downfield with the Chargers' controlled passing offense, only to have the Raiders come back and offset the score with one big play.
"You have a misconception about us," he said. "If we see a chance for a bomb, we take it; but we don't force it." He was asked if it were harder to throw against the Raiders' man-to-man defense or zone coverage.
"It is equally difficult," he said. "It is a question of how much time you get to throw. They get good pressure on the quarterback."
Is Oakland's one of the last of the great one-one-one pass defenses?
"Well, we use it a lot, too. So does Pittsburgh; the Steelers have one of the great ones. Hayes is one of the best at it. The Raiders know pretty much what we're going to do, what we've been doing for 17 weeks. There will be no big changes now."