NFL training camp fights are all different, but special in their own ways. These are the things that make them entertaining.
There’s nothing like a good NFL training camp fight. They can take place among teammates, opponents, coaches, fans, or whoever! And most times, somebody is getting embarrassed.
Not all training camp fights are created equal, and often devolve into just a minor scuffle. But there are pieces of every training camp fight that can be appreciated for what they bring to the table given the various circumstances.
We like training camp fights, but like Gucci Mane, we don’t promote violence.
Somebody gets embarrassed
It’s always embarrassing to get murked by another human being — that’s a given. But a player doesn’t have to get hands laid on him to get embarrassed.
Take the D.J. Swearinger/Terrelle Pryor kerfuffle on Tuesday. No punches were thrown, but a fake lunge from Swearinger towards Pryor had him shook to the core:
— Mitch B. (@MitchBrownTV3) August 14, 2018
After that moment, Pryor had a chance to fight Swearinger and didn’t. Whether Pryor would win that fight misses the point. The fear he showed, along with the howling from the rest of Swearinger’s teammates, would have been enough to get most other people to fight. Pryor chose the high road, which is admirable in its own way, but Washington’s players took the moment as a victory. (And yes, that’s petty, but that’s why we’re here).
Wasington players felt Pryor had it coming, too. They couldn’t put hands on Pryor when he was with the team in 2017, even when he would taunt them, and evidently that was frustrating. Washington LB Zach Brown said in June, “That’s going to be something right there. The boys are gonna have it out for [Pryor]. We can put hands on him now.”
This is the gas station wine version of a training camp fight. It’s not great, and you know you can do better. But it’s better than nothing, and still gives you a fix. Drink up!
One fighter is noticeably larger than the other
Sometimes size discrepancy makes a fight unfair, but we’re really just living for that one sweet “oh shit!” moment.
— Lisa Lane (@LisaLane_Sports) August 10, 2017
If the Chargers defense is in need of a safety, they could stick Allen in the defensive backfield. He’s tall for a DB, and if he’s not able to come down with the football, he can clearly make the tackle.
Two tanks are going at it
Before Albert Haynesworth stuck his cleats into flesh and got his bag, he was a rookie getting into fights at training camp. The 6’6, 320-pound Haynesworth and 6’5, 315-pound Zach Piller went at it for a couple of rounds.
This is something like a unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, at least you would think. Haynesworth got sent to the ground.
That’s a lot of man to be hitting the ground like that.
It happens so naturally, you don’t even see it coming
This fight between Dez Bryant and Tyler Patmon from 2015 transitioned so seamlessly from playing football into helmets flying off and punches being thrown that everything that happened after seemed like a bonus.
This truly has to be the most rare of all factors that go into a fight. We may never again see something happen so seamlessly.
We get a meme out of it
This particular example could fall underneath the size difference umbrella, but we’re going to acknowledge the memehood here.
The video of the fight isn’t what’s important here, because we got some incredible photography from the Charlotte Observer. It captured Newton smiling while he has a grip on Norman, while a fellow Panther tries to pry the 6’5, 245 pound quarterback off the much smaller defender.
— Mike Persinger (@mikepersinger) August 10, 2015
Memes make the world go round.
And a brief reminder that fans are not excluded
The year is 2017.
The place is Nashville, Tennessee.
Two grown men have decided that fighting at an NFL preseason game is an acceptable life choice in that moment. One in a Batman shirt, the other, in a “KEEP CALM AND TITAN UP” shirt.
— Terez Owens (@TerezOwens) August 6, 2017
I’m not one to critique another person’s fighting technique, but the gentleman who is supposed to be keeping calm is punching this Batman fanatic in the head like he’s feverishly trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Don’t be those guys.
Capturing all of the above elements into a single training camp fight is difficult, and that’s the way it should be. That way a moment like the Swearinger-Pryor scuffle still counts for something, even if it doesn’t live up to a World War III brawl in Los Angeles, or a meme-y delight in Carolina.
Training camp and the NFL preseason often give us little more than false hope, bad football, and spicy takes. The fights during training camp are a reminder that players are feeling restless, too, and that we’re getting closer and closer to weekends filled with football for the next six months.
Read more: sbnation.com