I’m a Dodger fan and I have a friend who is a Giants fan. As you can imagine, if one or the other team wins or loses, we let the texts fly:
I heard Yasiel Puig left his green card at the gas station.
I heard Buster Posey left his NAMBLA card on BART.
Ha-ha. LMFAO. Good, insulting fun. And that’s where it stops.
Unfortunately, other Dodgers or Giants fans never got that memo.
Denver, a 24-year-old plumber’s apprentice from Mendocino County, Calif., was stabbed to death late Wednesday a few blocks from San Francisco’s AT&T Park after the Giants’ 6-4 victory over the Dodgers, who recently clinched the NL West Division title. Denver, his brother and their father were apparently wearing Dodgers gear when a melee erupted with guys wearing Giants gear. Police made one arrest and were seeking two other suspects.
You may remember that Stow, a Giants fan and Northern California paramedic, was beaten into a coma by a couple of Dodger fans in the Dodger Stadium parking lot after the 2011 home opener. The timing of Denver’s fatal stabbing couldn’t have been worse – Wednesday night’s game at AT&T Park doubled as a team-sponsored fundraiser for Stow, who now suffers from a variety of physical ailments.
It’s been a few years since my last trip to Chavez Ravine, but friends have said the once family-friendly ballpark sometimes feels a prison yard, complete with whistles, catcalls and in-your-face “fuck-yous!” being offered to anyone wearing an opposing team’s colors. I imagine AT&T Park has degenerated in a similar fashion, prompting San Francisco police officers to start donning Dodgers garb last season in an effort to keep the peace in the stands during games between the two rivals.
The condolences for Denver have been drowned out by moronic comments like the following quote in Thursday’s San Jose Mercury News, from a Dodger fan who has probably watched “American Me” one too many times:
“I guess it’s payback for two years ago,” said the man as he walked past the scene of the stabbing, referring to the Stow beating. “It’s OK. Giant fans will get worse if they come to Dodger Stadium.”
Guys like that should get his nuts clipped so he can’t pollute the world with like-minded progeny.
I’m trying to figure out when Giants vs. Dodgers became a blood-in, blood-out, Nortenos vs. Surenos gangbanger feud. There’s only so much both teams and the cities’ police departments can do to prevent people from acting like a bunch of thugs. If fans can’t keep their hands to themselves and people don’t feel safe bringing their kids to the ballpark anymore, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig should cancel the series.
Stay home, drink beers with your fellow losers and beat each other if you feel like it. I’d rather watch a ballgame.
Either American sports fan violence has worsened in recent years or our increased media exposure to this violence has created this perception. I can’t imagine today’s fans being any more passionate than they were 20 or 30 years ago.
Full disclosure: I was a season ticket holder for USC football and Los Angeles Lakers basketball games, and have been accused of behavior that could be characterized as being a bit extreme.
Needle opposing fans with insulting comments – sure.
Flip the bird – guilty as charged, my finger sometimes does that.
Scream things about their questionable parentage – yup!
But even at my most boorish, the thought of jumping another team’s fans never crossed my mind.
I guess we can find solace in the fact that fan violence outside the U.S. is worse. In July of this year, 18 people were killed and 40 others injured in a stampede following a controversial decision at a boxing match. In February 2012, 73 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured in an Egyptian soccer riot. Here’s a more complete list, courtesy of the Chairman’s informative BFF, Wikipedia.