CARSON, Calif. -- They'd already heard the chants, the cheers and the chaos, the Chargers well aware that their stadium had been overtaken by fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But now, with the arrival of the fourth quarter Sunday, they were hearing something over the giant speakers at Dignity Health Sports Park completely unexpected.
It was the opening of the Styx song "Renegade," which is a regular anthem at Steelers home games.
"It was crazy," running back Melvin Gordon said. "They started playing their theme music. I don't know what we were doing -- that little soundtrack, what they do on their home games. I don't know why we played that.
"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."
Said offensive lineman Forrest Lamp: "We're used to not having any fans here. It does suck, though, when they're playing their music in the fourth quarter. We're the ones at home. I don't know who's in charge of that but they probably should be fired."
What the Chargers also didn't understand was that the song was being used as a setup, a setup of a joke that was then delivered when "Renegade" stopped playing and was replaced by Rick Astley's song, "Never Gonna Give You Up."
Such pranks, the likes of which have become popular at various stadiums, is intended to mock the visiting fans.
The problem Sunday was that the Chargers trailed at the time, 24-0. It also didn't help that Pittsburgh's fans had dominated the noise all night.
"We were kind of expecting it from the tendencies from the past," running back Austin Ekeler said. "There's no hiding it. A lot of times, we have more away fans than home fans. We've kind of gotten used to it.