I am one of the more dedicated sports fans you’ll find out there, my emotions and general attitude always reflect the success and failures of my favorite sports teams.
I wear my emotions on my sleeves about this all too, everyone knows where I stand. Being a fan of the San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, Mariners, Cougs and Canucks, my sports fandom has seen it all.
All that being said, I would never in a million years consider getting violent about sports. It’s absolutely out of the question; there are zero excuses to justify getting violent over a game, even if that game does shape who you are.
During the last year, we as sports fans have been witnesses to four equally disturbing acts of violence stemming from sporting events. These four events struck me particularly hard because all four involved fans of the teams I love.
Sit down, grab a can of Pullman water and prepare to be preached at.
Last Apple Cup, we as Cougar fans witnessed what has to be one of the more classless things I’ve seen live at a sports event. It had been snowing for days before the game, and try as they might, the Martin Stadium staff was not able to remove all the snow and ice from the student section. Totally understandable.
What did we as fans (all of us are guilty, even if just by association) proceed to do with this excess snow and ice? We threw it at the UW marching band, at least that’s who we were aiming at.
Most of these ice balls ultimately landed on, and in some cases caused semi-serious injuries to, our own marching band and fans.
I love this school and our fans more than anything, but that was just completely tasteless and stupid.
On March 31, after a Giants-Dodgers game in Los Angeles, a Giants fan (and father of two) was viciously beaten in the parking lot. He was one of three Giants fans who were attacked, taking the brunt of the beating. After being hospitalized, the victim was put in a medically induced coma (that he has since come out of) and is still recovering in the hospital.
I’m a Giants fan, to me Dodger blue is one of the worst colors in the world and the feeling is reciprocated from the Dodgers side. That this “hatred” was taken to such extreme levels makes me physically sick.
After the Stanley Cup was final and Boston had taken home the trophy, I (along with many other Canuck fans) was severely disappointed. You know what I didn’t do? Riot.
The riots in Vancouver were definitely not the worst we’ve seen, but a riot is a riot. Your team lost, move on and find a different avenue for your anger.
Finally, we come to this weekend when two men were shot directly following a 49ers-Raiders preseason football game. You read that right, they were shot. Neither passed away, thankfully, but that does not make it any more acceptable. What makes this story even more absurd: One of the victims (mind you, shot by a Raiders fan) was wearing an “F-the 49ers” T-shirt. Yes, apparently shot by one of his fellow fans.
These acts of violence are only escalating in severity, and as fellow sports fans that should disgust, alarm, infuriate and sadden you.
What can you do to help curb this terrible behavior? Make sure you and anyone around you are never a part of it.
Be responsible. Don’t attend games intoxicated, no matter how much fun it may seem like at the time.
Be vocal. When the atmosphere around you is getting out of hand, contact stadium security or deal with it on your own (if you can do so safely).
Finally, be safe. Don’t wear clothing that could infuriate the other fans, you never know who over there is ready to snap.
Please people, let’s all dedicate ourselves to stopping this, it’s getting out of control.