The Fight For L.A. became literal on Wednesday, and the combatants seemed to enjoy it.
For most teams, fights during joint practices become real reason for concern. Based on the comments emerging after multiple skirmishes at a Chargers-Rams joint practice, the notion of the two teams vying for the same market exchanging blows after the whistle didn’t create nearly the hand-wringing that it would in other cities.
For example, Rams coach Sean McVay downplayed the fighting.
“I think anytime you practice against somebody else guys are competitive, especially after the first day where there’s some good back and forth,” McVay told reporters. “Starting out with the one on ones, guys are competitors that’s what makes them great. We always want to be smart about it, but those are things that we’ll be able to look at and figure out exactly what happened. Going to back and forth, it’s hard to exactly say what’s had gone on. But, I thought the guys did a nice job regaining their poise and finding a way to get through this practice where we both got something out of it.”
Most coaches would say that being “smart about it” means not fighting at all. But to the extent that the Chargers and Rams can create headlines and buzz in a market that may be ambivalent about both franchises, it can’t hurt — especially with the two teams meeting later this month, on the same night that Floyd Mayweather will take on Conor McGregor.
So why pay $100 to watch two guys fight on TV when you can spend a lot less money, and possibly see a lot more than two guys fighting, at the L.A. Coliseum?
Of course, it’s important that the fans avoid fighting. Otherwise, the two teams in Southern California may end up like the two teams in Northern California — unable to play at all in the preseason because any time they do brawls break out everywhere but on the field.