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….
The general rudeness of people never ceases to amaze me. Last week I was on the BART train at rush hour. BART has rules about bicycles. Either they are only allowed in certain trains or are not allowed at all during certain hours or one certain lines unless they fold. There is a large sign that says NO BIKES when that rule is in effect.
So here we were smashed into a full car when this self-entitled asshat pushes into the car with his full size racing bike. You can tell this guy rides and rides a great deal. In addition to the riding ensemble of helmet, racing shirt, Lycra shorts with package enhancement and gloves, he was wearing the special clip shoes. You see his bike doesn’t have regular pedals, it has these nubs that “clip” into the bottom of the cyclists shoes. This dude was no Clueless Clara. He rides. He rides all the time. He travels on BART all the time. He knows the rules but he doesn’t care. The rules don’t apply to him and his huge bike.
So here I am, standing, mashed by the door and the handlebars of his bike keep poking me in the peesch. OK, this is really on my last nerve. I pull out my iPhone and post about it on Facebook because that’s what we do now to deal with the stress of self-entitled asshat’ s on public transportation. I posted that if those handlebars poked me one more time, that bike owes me dinner.
Then my friends in cyberspace started egging me on. “You should tell him that. I totally dare you.”, “OMG; I am totally in on that dare. Go Dre! Go!”, “Do it!!” Hell, with all this Facebook support, I pulled up my big girl panties and turned to the poking offender.
“Excuse me, are you aware that bikes aren’t allowed on the train at this hour?” The asshat just stares at me with a blank “WTF” look. I continue, “Because if the handle bars of your bike poke me in the peesch one more time, that bike is buying me dinner.” I refer back to my phone that just updated, “or jewelry. My other friend said jewelry”
The asshat looks like a carp. His mouth is opening and closing but no sound is coming out. The people around in the close train confines are staring at him like he is an exhibit in the zoo. One lady had this terrified expression on her face like this bike dude was going to start flinging poo any minute now.
He stammers “Whaaa.. Are you posting this?” “Yeah, on Facebook.” I reply. “Your behavior and lack of consideration for others is really rude.” The train pulls up to West Oakland station. He stumbles out near smacking “please don’t fling poo on me” woman with the wheel. He stumbles getting onto the platform. The train applauds. The old man opposite me smiles and gives me a thumbs up.
Attention Self-Entitled Asshats: This world is not just about you. Try having a little consideration for those around you. Otherwise you may get on the wrong side of “Public Shaming Girl” and it’s an uncomfortable place to be. Ask the biker asshat. I think he wet himself. My job here is done.
There are a few rules on the Ferry. Eating & drinking is not one of them especially since they sell snacks, booze and coffee, though no clam chowder to my continuing displeasure. I continue to look back with longing to my ferry trip across Puget Sound in Washington and my cup of amazing clam chowder. It isn’t fair. We even have some of their ferries but not their chowder.
Anyway, one of the big posted rules is no talking on your cell phone. More specifically the rule as stated on the ferry website lists “Please listen to music or media devices only with headphones or earphones. Keep cell phone conversations to a minimum.” Which means turn your phone on vibrate or pick it up on the first ring, keep your voice low and your conversation quick if you HAVE to pick it up at all. If you need to talk, it is accepted courtesy to go outside on the tail with the bikers where no one cares what you do.
So yesterday I boarded the ferry Mariposa (as I do most mornings now), sit in the front of the 2nd level so I can see out and open my book. This woman sits down diagonal to me. My right, her left, whatever. She is jabbering on her phone about her spawn and her spawns SAT scores and trying to get into UC Palo Alto. Do they even HAVE a UC school in Palo Alto? Now I understand the “voluntary cell phone free zone” sign she is sitting under. This is annoying as fuck. However, we are still in dock. I figure she will hang the phone up once we get under way. You know where this is going… no, she doesn’t.
So now I have a dilema. Do I be the one that says something? I have no problem doing it but she is a little out of my eye shot since she is not in front of me and I don’t know if she will hear me over her blathering about “Why are they having little kids there?” and “I can’t believe he said that to her.”. Part of me wanted to chime in with my fall back position of chatting about her conversation to her until she gets the point but I am too far away.
Fortunatly, the gentleman two seats over in her row says “Can you please take your conversation outside?’ She looks startled, then people chime in under their breath with “Please” or “We really don’t need to hear your conversation.”. Now she looks abashed. Some one with a better view of human nature would consider her to be honestly sorry. I’m not one of those people. Let me clarify, she is sorry. She is very sorry she was caught and called on her behaviour. I don’t believe she is sorry she did it in the first place. Why? Because by her own admission, she rides the ferry all the time and this was “the first time I did this.” Well if you ride the ferry all the time, you know the rules. You are a selfish git who didn’t care about other people, you just wanted to talk to your idiot friend and that was that. You only look abashed because you were called on your rudeness. Let’s hope today is better.