We see it with the Yankees and Mets, we see it with Cubs and White Sox, and we see it with the Jets and Giants, among other professional pairings. When two teams play in the same city, there’s a natural rivalry between them. They don’t have to be in the same division or league or conference, either.
The rivalry just comes with the territory.
So, might there be a rivalry between Los Angeles’ NFL teams, the Chargers and Rams?
“I feel like it was when we had that little joint practice,” Chargers running back Melvin Gordon said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I felt like it was a little intense, man. I felt like it was a little rivalry building. But I don’t know, man. It’s hard to say. It is what it is.”
The Chargers and Rams got into it at a joint practice earlier this month. In fact, Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson took a swing at Chargers wideout Dontrelle Inman – one of several skirmishes that broke out between the two teams.
“The coaches obviously don’t recommend that,” Gordon said. “But if you’re going to war and one of your guys gets into it and you’re right there, you better be in the mix. You better have that guy’s back, and that’s kind of how it is regardless of what team you’re on. If someone is going out there (to) war, you better strap up and be ready.”
Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram know all about it. They are the self-described best pass-rushing duo in football.
Bosa, 22, had 10.5 sacks and one forced fumble in 12 games as a rookie, while Ingram, 28, had 8.0 sacks, four forced fumbles, and five passes defended. They combined for more than 100 tackles in 2016.
“They’re good, man,” Gordon said. “They’ve been causing me some stress in camp. You’re like, ‘Man, am I not that good?’ And then you go out there and see them doing it to other people and (you think), ‘Maybe I’m not so bad.’ But it’s definitely getting us better. They’re getting us prepared. Those boys are hard to stop up front. That’s only getting us better and getting us ready for the season.”
The Chargers, who finished 5-11 last year, hope to make the playoffs for the second time since 2009 and the first time since 2013. They open at Denver on Monday Night Football on Sept. 11. Kickoff is at 10:20 p.m. ET.