Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Oakland Raiders Experience

I was thinking yesterday about the Brian Stowe situation...the Giants fan who got beaten up at Dodger Stadium.

I don't think this situation will spell doom for the Dodgers, but it didn't exactly help. I'd been to many Dodgers games over the last few years and never seen that type of thing happen before.

Other fans in other cities have various reputations for being civil to visiting fans.
As a native of Green Bay, I can honestly say that I saw many Bear and Viking fans come to our beloved Lambeau Field, and except for a little teasing, nothing bad ever happened to them.

I was in San Francisco at Candlestick Park on Jan 11, 1998 watching my beloved Packers defeat the unfortunate San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. A few unruly and unhappy 49ers fans got into an altercation with some Packers fans....myself and a few others rushed to their aide. The San Fran fans backed down.

Now...on the other side of the Bay...totally different story.

Raider fans are about as mean as they come. I made the mistake of going to a game there in 1997.
I was wearing my Packers colors. It was an experience that I won't repeat.

I got into four separate fist fights on the way to my seat!

Somebody spit on me in one of the tunnels. That started the first fight.

Luckily, not all the Raiders fans were savages, because some of them were peacemakers and actually broke up some of the fighting and separated the individual combatants.

Somebody took my Packers Super Bowl 31 hat and tried to throw it out of the stadium. Luckily, the wind blew it back and I was able to retrieve it. I put it underneath me and sat on it for the rest of the game.

I saw a Packer fan in the upper deck being choked and someone took his cheesehead hat and threw it down onto the field. The Packer fan never got it back.

As bad as things were, a Raider fan pointed out to me that I was lucky I wasn't sitting in the notorious "Black Hole". He pointed to that section and said, "If you were over there, you'd probably be dead."

I remember one great play in the game where the Raiders had almost sacked Brett Favre and were taking him to the ground. The fans erupted, but then Brett flicked a 15 yard TD pass just before he hit the turf. From screams of ecstasy to tomblike silence in three seconds. Awesome. The Packers were the defending World Champs and won the game 37-24.

The thing that bothered me the most about the Raiders fans violence that day??

It was a pre-season game!

Absolutely no bearing on anything. No need to go psycho.

If any of you ever plan to attend a game there, watch these videos and think carefully.