Sunny day here in San Diego, and we’re packed into the press box at Qualcomm Stadium. It’s an open-air press box, so it’s always fun to be able to soak in the full atmosphere of the game.
Like the Broncos, the Chargers have painted the field with an old-school feel, as well — the end zones are blue with white diamonds outlined in yellow, and the AFL’s 50th anniversary logo is painted at midfield.
Players are on the field warming up, and there have already been sightings of the brown-and-white striped socks along with the brown and gold pants. Clearly we’re in for an interesting uniform combination yet again.
Sad and scary scene to open the evening, though, as a long-time Chargers gameday employee fell from the press box to the level below — about 25 feet. It was announced that he has been taken to a nearby hospital, and medics were still administering CPR as he was taken away. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers, and if we hear any updates, we will let you know.
3:40 p.m. PDT: Looks like Robert Ayers, Marcus Thomas, Kenny Peterson, Daniel Graham, Brandon Marshall, Jack Williams, Renaldo Hill, Wesley Woodyard, Andra Davis, David Bruton, Darcel McBath, Tyler Polumbus, Russ Hochstein and Brandon Gorin are on the field warming up.
3:52 p.m. PDT: The Monday Night Football desk is set up just off the field — Stuart Scott is standing nearby, and Suzy Kolber is walking on the sideline. Fans are beginning to file into the stadium — there’s a scattered crowd here at Qualcomm.
3:59 p.m. PDT: A couple notes about the Broncos on Monday Night Football, courtesy of the PR staff’s always-superb pregame notes. This is the third time the Broncos and Chargers have met on MNF, and hold a 2-0 advantage. Denver has won three of its last four divisional games on MNF, however, including last season’s 41-14 season-opening win at Oakland. The Broncos are 11-11-1 all-time in divisional matchups on MNF.
4:08 p.m. PDT: The jerseys aren’t very spread out in San Diego. Every single fan in a jersey I’ve seen so far is either sporting Philip Rivers’ No. 17, LaDainian Tomlinson’s No. 21 or Shawne Merriman’s No. 56. In the midst of it all, just spoted three fans in three different Broncos jerseys — one Champ Bailey, one Eddie Royal and one Alfred Williams. Oh, just spotted a couple Antonio Gates jerseys.
4:19 p.m. PDT: Brett Kern is on the field in the Broncos’ white and brown get-up. Chargers punter Mike Scifres is donning San Diego’s powder blue jersey and white pants.
4:26 p.m. PDT: Going down to the field to get some pregame photos courtesy of Zach Eisendrath. Right now it’s the in-between period of warm-ups when the only uniformed players on the field are both teams’ kicker and punter. Lonie Paxton is on the field with Kern and Matt Prater, as well.
4:28 p.m. PDT: Just got the inactives for today’s game. Chris Baker, Brandon Gorin, Spencer Larsen, Brandon Lloyd, Kenny McKinley, Jarvis Moss and Seth Olsen will not dress for tonight’s matchup. Tom Brandstater is inactive as well, listed as the team’s third quarterback.
For the Chargers, LB Antwan Applewhite, WR Buster Davis, C Tyronne Green, C Nick Hardwick, DE-DT Vaughn Martin and FS C.J. Spillman are inactive. QB Charlie Whitehurst is inactive as well, listed as the team’s third quarterback.
5:02 p.m. PDT: Here are photos from the field, thanks to Zach Eisendrath. We’re not too far away from kickoff now.
5:03 p.m. PDT: Both teams are on the field — when the Broncos ran to form a huddle near the tunnel, some Chargers led by Merriman came over and for a minute there seemed to be a little jawing going back and forth as the two teams prepared for the clash. Get ready for some AFC West rivalry football.
5:20 p.m. PDT: Some skydivers just jumped into the stadium, and the seats are filling up as kickoff isn’t far away. AC/DC is pumping through the speakers — “Thunderstruck” — and it’s starting to feel more and more like Monday Night Football. But with it being so bright out, it doesn’t quite feel like a night game yet.
5:32 p.m. PDT: The Chargers are introducing their offense — Tomlinson is the last man out of the tunnel. After plenty of pyrotechnics, it’s time for the national anthem.
5:34 p.m. PDT: The captains are at midfield for the coin toss. The Chargers have won the coin toss and elect to receive. See you in the first-half live blog.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com