COSTA MESA – It is fake football played at real prices and quite audaciously so, NFL preseason games, from the fleeced spectator’s view, not worth the electricity required to light the scoreboard.
Except, of course, when the exhibitions are gargantuan, history-defining affairs that are as must-see as a three-headed llama, even here in L.A., where, if reality isn’t interesting enough, we just punch up the script to make it better.
So Sunday, for the second time in a year, we’ll be home to one of the most significant meaningless games of all-time, various players dressed as Chargers and Seahawks tangling on a soccer pitch dressed as a football field.
See, when the real thing doesn’t work, simply revise the costumes and improve the set.
“Just looking forward to the atmosphere and how loud it’s going to be,” Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “There’s quite a bit of excitement about this game.”
It will be staged at StubHub Center, where some 27,000 fans are expected to wedge their way in for the opportunity to watch Philip Rivers play a single series before giving way to quarterbacks the Chargers hope to never use in games that actually count.
Apparently fearing a crush of humanity, stadium officials have urged everyone to arrive at least an hour early, their news release noting that those who don’t “will risk missing the 5 p.m. kickoff.”
As of late Saturday afternoon, StubHub’s website had only about 400 tickets still available, the cheapest of which was $73.
And, again, all this is for an exercise in which Rivers might take three or fewer snaps, Coach Anthony Lynn explaining that the plan is to “start the game with his teammates and then get him out.”
And then get him out … Lynn said the words as if he would be rescuing Rivers from a burning car or something.
This matchup, of course, is much more than just another round of glorified calisthenics for the starters followed by insanely intense battles featuring free agents desperate to make the kickoff team.
The game will mark the first for the Chargers as a representative of L.A. since 1960, coming after 56 seasons in San Diego, where, depending on your perspective, Dean Spanos is either the devil or someone worse.
Part of the attraction will be the intimate venue, too, no professional football team playing regularly in a stadium this small in 52 years.
The game will be shown live on the NFL Network, which will televise all 65 of the league’s preseason…