By Rashaan Mungo
The August 20 preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders ended in tragedy as two fans were shot after the game Plenty of fights broke out in various parts of the stadium, drawing the attention of even the players in the stands. The incident comes roughly 6 months after San Francisco Giants’ fan Bryan Stow got assaulted at Dodger Stadium during the season opener and was hospitalized with a coma.
The majority of people believe fans take sports too seriously and have trouble keeping the game in perspective by realizing it is just a game. Personally, I agree, but only to a certain extent. There are some people out there who support a specific team with such passion and conviction that it can border on the insane. This is where we get some of our most treasured parts of sports lore. The “Hogettes” for Washington’s Redskins, or the “Green Men” for Vancouver’s Canucks are a perfect example. Even the Oakland Raiders themselves have the famous, or infamous “Black Hole”.
The people who committed the heinous acts at Candlestick Park, are not fans, they’re criminals. I think it’s very important to realize the difference. I can guarantee that the fights that took place were not over which teams runs a better 3-4 defense, or whose receiving core runs better routes. It was strictly about city and neighborhood
This type of fan commitment makes sports what it is and what makes professional sports leagues lucrative. The problem is that these fans get lumped in with the violent offenders unjustifiably.
affiliation. I have been to Candlestick
Park a mind-boggling number and times, and I have seen my fair share of fights. It has never been about the players on the field or the score on the scoreboard. It may start there, but it always turns into a representation of neighborhood and that’s when it escalates.
This is not a football or sports related issue, but because of a few irresponsible people, the NFL has decided to cancel the annual “Battle of the Bay” preseason game. This is a gross over-reaction to the melee that occurred a couple weeks ago. If the NFL and the city were serious about the safety of the public, it could do other things to prevent a reoccurrence. Most notably, tighten up security at the entrance gates of games. It is an embarrassment how easy it is to sneak things into games including alcohol and weapons.
The real fans of the Raiders and the 49ers should be upset at the cancellation of the games, because many fans are just good fans that love their team and just want to have a good time. It is sad that these fans are the ones who are getting penalized. The fans that get aggressively drunk and cause trouble are not the season ticket holders and are not the ones who actually pay attention to the game. The next time the Raiders and the 49ers play will be their scheduled regular season meeting in 2014 in Oakland.