Fan Fighting League, Season Premiere — Welcome Back, Los Angeles!
I wasn't surprised at all when the NFL decided to bring professional football back to Los Angeles. It's a huge television market, and a lot of the core functions of the league's television partners, including their own league-backed network, are based in LA.
However, I'd be lying if I said I KNEW that the NFL would get a hero's welcome when the Rams heartily volunteered to be the team that would
watch its value triple by move back to the West Coast. I didn't.
In fact, I was skeptical, largely because the people I know in Southern California seemed indifferent toward the need to have a team in their locale. They love their football, but they were almost proud of the fact that they could love football without having a team in their market. (Also, they love to throw in your face how much there is to do in California — we have so much to do out here, why would we want football??)
Well, as it turns out, there are plenty of people happy to have football back in LA. You can watch these folks weekly as the backdrop to this season of Hard Knocks on HBO... OR as it turns out, you can watch the proverbial "deleted scenes" on YouTube, and by "deleted scenes" I mean FAN FIGHTS! Yes, the Los Angelenos are so happy to have football back, they're willing to fight for their team! Literally!
Rice Owls Football vs. Southern Miss
TicketsSat., Nov. 11, 2:30pm
Houston Texans vs. Arizona Cardinals
TicketsSun., Nov. 19, 12:00pm
Rice Owls Football vs. North Texas
TicketsSat., Nov. 25, 12:00pm
Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers
TicketsSun., Dec. 10, 12:00pm
Houston Texans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
TicketsMon., Dec. 25, 3:30pm
And so it was that in the first week of the NFL's preseason we got our first entry into the YouTube box set for the 2016 Fan Fighting League, and big surprise — Cowboy fans were involved. (NOTE: Least surprising thing EVER.)
This one is surprisingly easy to narrate as the battle lines are very clearly drawn, not so much by team allegiance, but sartorial allegiance! It appears as though this is a three-on-two handicap match, in which three guys in jerseys — blue Todd Gurley, white Jared Goff, and dark blue Jason Witten — wind up wailing on two dudes in black t-shirts.
Let's Zapruder-analyze this bad boy, shall we?
0:01 — According to this footage, the first punch comes from the heavier of the two t-shirt guys (we shall call him Bluto — a good fat guy nickname) on Faux Gurley. The second t-shirt guy, the more slender of the two (we shall call him Slim), is trying to jump into the fray. Oh, and there will be a fray.
0:03 — Bluto throws the one punch then skulks away leaving Slim there to face the Three Jersey Guys all by himself. Bluto does not appear to be a guy you want in a foxhole with you.
0:05 — A three-on-one beatdown of Slim ensues and Bluto, perhaps feeling guilty (and possibly smelling some nachos in the row behind him) jumps into the mix and it's a five-man brawl that could headline Monday Night RAW! (...if Monday Night RAW was comprised of thirty second matches between out-of-shape civilians)
0:07 — Now keep an eye out, because pretty much everyone in this fight is going to find out what it's like to tumble down a couple rows...
0:08 — There goes Faux Witten...
0:17 — There goes Faux Witten yanking Faux Gurley and Slim down a row.... like a dude who just got tossed out of a battle royal yanking two other guys over the top rope....
0:18 — Meanwhile, Faux Goff is throwing hands on Bluto with such sociopathic joy that, if I were the Rams, I'd consider cutting the real Goff and signing Faux Goff.
0:22 — Perhaps inspired by Faux Goff's otherworldly performance, Faux Witten begins dutifully clubbing Slim across the shoulder blades, which is a good way to look like you're fighting the good fight, while really, REALLY losing steam.
0:24 — Quick jump into the screen by a female Faux Gurley, which is a nice break from five fat dudes swinging on each other. It's short lived, though. Back to the fat dudes...
0:30 — Slim gets unceremoniously sent down one more row, and then the filming is over. Presumably, the cops show up and the cameraman would rather not have his phone submitted as evidence. Smart move, I get it.
The WINNERS of the fight — the Jersey Guys... however, the LOSERS of life — the Jersey Guys, because they are grown men getting into fights while wearing jerseys.
One final request for you aspiring FFL cameramen out there — could you please film these fights on landscape view and not portrait view? Help a brother out, man.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.