It's been a couple of days since the Raiders-49ers game in San Franciso ended with three fans being assaulted and in the aftermath having team officals suspend future preseason matchups between these two teams. All of this garbage taking place five months after a San Franciso Giants fan was assaulted outside Dodger Stadium in LA. I posted a comment earlier this morning in an open thread regarding the incident outside Candlestick Park but I felt the need to give the issue its own forum. More on my thoughts and your comments after the jump.
I love the rivalries of sports. It can be collegiate or professional but either way a rivalry makes sports that more fun. As a kid, I always felt it was a privilege to go out to the ball park and watch the game. Even today, going to the stadium to watch a football game, baseball game or whatever should be a fun family outing. I am not a parent but I know those of you at CSR would not want to subject your kids to such nonsense or mayhem. Its bad enough we, as adults, send a bad message to the kids by acting afool and not minding our language. However, I think that by a long shot those issues pale in comparison to the violent events in the past few months. Here is a link to ESPN's story about the incident that took place at Candlestick.
Did anyone else see what I saw in that opening melee? A woman is holding her child while a bunch of guys decide to wail on each other. Really? There is no protective instinct for the well being of her child? She would rather watch and "support" her man delivering a beat down or receiving one (I don't know nor do I care). The only reason I am pointing that out is because sometimes these incidents can escalate and the last thing that needs to happen is an innocent child being caught up in the mix.
I think the sad thing after its all said and done is there isn't any justification for fans to lash out at each other. Especially at the game this weekend. It was an exhibition game. A game that did not matter but also was played between two teams that haven't been relevant in almost a decade. The sad thing is the fans who know how to behave and keep our emotions (for the most part) in check are being punished. It seems as though 49ers officials are going to crack down and eliminate post game tailgating. Before you know it, pregame tailgating will be banned and all that will do is take away from the fan's gameday experience. Sometimes, talking with fans of the opposing teams can be a good thing and positive experience. In December of 2008, a friend and I were hanging out with some Lions fans. We drank some beer and threw the ball around. They were very decent people AND they even commented on how nice the Carolina fans are. I have watched many games in various locations sitting with people playing the Panthers and we always kept it cordial.
In closing, go out to the game to watch your favorite team play. There is no need to be aggressive or physical. There is no need to be disruptive. Enjoy the experience and have fun...whether its with your family or friends. There is more to life than having the need to beat someone down because of the team they like. That being said, we should be able to wear our team colors proudly where ever and when ever without concerning ourselves of the ramifications. Be good to each other and respect the opposing fans. I have no worries about our fans because I feel they are the best in the league. Until next time, go Panthers!