RIVER FALLS, Wis. — A fan who yelled encouragement at a player for fighting got an earful from Kansas City coach Herm Edwards.
Afterward, the fan did a good job of disappearing into the crowd.
The Chiefs were nearing the end of a rough and physical morning practice that had already caused tempers to boil when Will Svitek, a backup offensive tackle known to have a short fuse, briefly scuffled with another player.
As Svitek backed away, a man sitting with a couple of hundred other spectators on risers at the edge of the field hollered, “Way to go, Will.”
Edwards, with an annoyed look, immediately turned his head toward the crowd and hollered back.
“Way to go? That’s no way to go,” he said in a voice that could be heard across the field. “He just got kicked out of the game! Do you think that’s the way to go?”
Afterward, Edwards said he was trying to send a message to his team, not the fan.
“I don’t want players to think that all of a sudden it’s good to fight, cause it’s never good to fight,” he said. “Bad things always happen.”
The former Jets coach said he yelled at fans like that many times in New York.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. You got something to say, at least think about what you say. That’s never smart,” he said. “It’s never smart to say something like that, because if you think that’s right, then you’re watching the wrong sport.”
Actually, he added, the fan helped make his point.
“He just happened to say the right thing at the right time, which is great.
“You’ve got to be able to walk away and keep your composure. Because you fight doesn’t make you a tough guy. A tough guy is a smart guy. In football, you get another play to hit the guy legally.”