WTF San Francisco?! When did we turn into Raider Nation?
I am really ashamed right now and I don’t even know who to blame or how we fix this as a society. I am a proud 49ers fan and have been for many, many years. I always enjoyed going to games at The Stick with my Dad. I prided myself on the fact that “our” fans were the civilized ones. The rowdy and at times criminal behaviour was for Oakland and the Raider Nation. The Niner fans had their tailgate parties reminiscent of a neighborhood social in Mayberry or Stepford. The Raider fans were crude, rude and socially unacceptable. The Red and Gold set snubbed their noses at their loud “reindeer games”.
True, I haven’t been to a Niners game for some time now, at least a decade if memory serves. My parents moved back East, ticket prices soared out of reach, even when we were the Charlie Brown losers of the league. I was so thrilled by our teams win last weekend against such an amazing team as the Saints. It seemed like all our hard work and waiting was coming to fruition.
And then it turned to ashes in my mouth. My friend Thayer, who moved to New Orleans with her hubby, had a friendly bet with me (as friends will do). As the game went back and forth and near caused me heart failure, never once did I think to trash the Saints or their fans. Those guys played like warriors and everyone’s fans deserve to root for their team. Remember when we were at the bottom of the pile for so long?
Well, this is what she told me – “Hey, are they talking about how badly the Saints fans were treated at Candlestick? Have some friends of friends that were being verbally attacked (Really hurtful stuff, re: Katrina references) so viciously they left early because they were afraid of physical violence if the Saints won. They said other Saints fans on the flight home had similar stories. [:(] ”
That is upsetting to me. WE are suppose to be the civilized fans from the “Enlightened” city. I thought perhaps it was a few bad apples. Then I read this in the San Francisco Chronicle with increasing horror and unease – http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/18/EDOL1MQO1D.DTL from a Saints fan. Here are some letters to the Editor – http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/18/EDC41MQGDD.DTL and here is the letter from the gentleman with his daughters one of the writers referred to – http://blog.sfgate.com/opinionshop/2012/01/17/should-49ers-fans-be-concerned-about-hooliganism/
This behaviour is appalling and must stop. Is our society so broken, scared and cowed that hooligans and criminals are allowed free reign? As a city we watched in horror as a Giants fan was bludgeoned near to death at a Dodgers game. We were outraged, as we should be and guess what? We should be outraged now. This behavior is unacceptable! The problem? How do you stop a stadium of tens of thousands of people from turning into a blood thirsty mob worthy of the Circus Maximus? Don’t know what that is? Crack a frackin book and look it up!
Do we stop going to the stadium and just watch on the tele? How do we fix this problem? I really would like some solid ideas because I haven’t a clue. I can understand the fear of standing up to drunk, abusive people especially if you have your children with you. The very real threat of violence or death is not a fantasy. Do you lock up thousands of idiots? SF and Daly City PD just don’t have the presence to police this.
Will I root for my team on Sunday? You betcha! Will we be having my bet-winning King Cake as part of our spread? Yes we will and raising a pint to New Orleans as well! Will I bash anyone who roots for the Giants other than good old fashioned ribbing over a beer? Of course not! We need to clean our houses people. Not just over a football game but in all aspects of our lives. This behaviour does not exist in a vacuum.
And here is where I apologize to the Raider Nation. We all know what they say about people who live in glass houses….