Monday, August 22, 2011

Well, I Pretty Much HAVE To Post About This

[Alternate Title: You Don't See Jets and Giants Fans Doing This Bullshit To Each Other.]

Been a while.

For months, the lockout was the dead, rotting elephant carcass in the room that nobody wanted to talk about, lest they be caught acknowledging its existence as a problem and thus being obligated to clean it up/dispose of it. Kinda like when you live with roommates and everybody keeps pushing the full trashcan down when they add one more piece of trash to it, because if it actually overflows or starts falling out while they are touching it, they have to change the bag. Plus, the temptation would have been there to explain how the San Francisco 49ers were particularly handcuffed and screwed over by the lockout in ways that some other teams were not -- namely, nobody could sign or trade for new quarterbacks and were instead stuck with their current one, which in the 49ers' woeful case is means ONE MORE YEAR OF ALEX SMITH FUCK YEAH RENEW YOUR SEASON TICKETS RIGHT N--hey where are you going. But that seemed a little petty when we were all staring NO FOOTBALL or at least Reduced Football in the face. Besides, I've started to soften on the kid. This tends to happen to us 49er fans when the 49ers are not actually playing, and time and alcohol dull the memories of just how good he is in camp or in practice yet how bad he is once the game actually starts. I even had to look back through my old posts to recover my weary, oft-repeated battle cry of He Checked Down To The Fullback On A Flea-Flicker (and overthrew him).

One day, I will write the full chronicle of the abusive co-dependent 7 year relationship between #1 Draft Pick 49er QB Alex Smith, 49er fans, and the York Family-Run 49er organization. There will be a tie-in to the history of the 49er team [because really, the past is way more fun than the present and the immediate future] and the history of 49er QBs [as soon as I can be arsed to google image search that "evolution of man" picture, flip it around so it depicts De-Evolution, and photoshop Alex onto the knuckledragging backward hominid that everything coming before was an improvement on]. But for now, there's something that really needs to be mentioned.

Remember months ago, when our man Neil wrote that insightful piece on the similarity between the emotional bonds we form with our American Football teams and the way people in Europe form bonds with their Soccer Teams? It was a nice look at how the sports aren't really THAT different and sports fans are comparably fanatical and emotionally invested the world over, regardless of the sport in question?

Well, here's the nasty look. The ugly side of that coin, if you will. Football and Soccer fans are also very much alike in that they are both equally capable of using their "love" of their team as an excuse to be violent thugs who assault and kill fans wearing the other team's jersey.

"Kwame Harris sucked WAY more when he played for us!"
"Bullshit! He had twice as many holding penalties while on our team!"
"Oh it's ON now! GET 'IM!"
Seriously, this is a fucking PRESEASON GAME. We're literally, to quote Allen Iverson, Talking About PRACTICE.

Would that it were only the isolated drunken fisticuffs seen in this photo, which features the hilarious irony of replica Jerry Rice jerseys for both teams separated only by the punchers and single punchee. If you haven't heard by now, fans were actually beaten and shot at the traditional 49ers vs Raiders preseason game last Saturday.

There's also more damning evidence on Youtube, if you care to look for it (I hear the chickfight in the parking lot is very competitive. By the way, notice when this sort of thing goes down people immediately whip out their phones to record the incident for youtube instead of using their phone to, oh, I dunno, call the cops? Or at least "security"? Hmmm.)

This is the second (well, sometimes third) preseason game every year for both teams. Really, every year since I've been alive, conscious, and turning on the TV to watch football, this has been on the preseason schedule. It ALWAYS leads to predictable stupid posturing and fake hype by fans, radio personalities, sports journalists, all deliberately trying to lose sight of this being a stupid PRACTICE GAME where both teams are trying to figure out who to cut and to not get anyone hurt. Not that shooting people would acceptable after the quadrennial regular season match up, [or even, God Forbid, these teams both get good again at the same time and end up in a Super Bowl together], but it just so conveniently underscores how senseless and stupid and pathetic this all is that it happened in a game that LITERALLY DOES NOT COUNT. "Bragging Rights" has perhaps never sounded as impotent and stupid as it does when muttered by a 49er (or Raider) fan in this week. Being a 49er fan for life who also happens to be very fond of the Raiders since they moved back to the area, I find all this especially tiresome. There are always a few drunken fights, and there's always a couple more every four years when they play a game that counts. I could do without with the bullshit that comes with this annual preseason game. And now, it looks like I'll get to, along with the rest of "Raider Nation" and the 49er Faithful.

In the wake of this, The Boy-King of the Yorkist Regime, 49er Team President Jed, has recommended to the NFL and the Raiders that these two teams not schedule their traditional preseason game against each other anymore. Naturally, some are already calling this an overreaction, since we never pass up a chance to second-guess a York. But really, I say it's the right call. Good Riddance. If the kids can't behave when playing with the toy, then take the toy away, and 49er and Raider fans -- despite living next to each other for 50 years, having to share a stadium way back when (and probably will once again, if they both want and need a brand new football stadium [they do; Candlestick and the Mausoleum are dumps. Sure they're historical, but so is the Roman Coliseum and you don't see the Italians still using THAT do you?]) -- apparently cannot share, and cannot accept that the teams are so similiar both in Glorious Past and Milquetoast Present, and that they are NOT analogues or surrogates for any sense of intra-sectional rivalries or class divides [really, can ANY NFL team claim to be a blue collar team for blue collar fans when parking costs $25 and a tickets cost upwards of $100?]. It's sad that people had to get seriously hurt for this to happen, but Good Riddance to this preseason game. Flush the bullshit, for our own protection.

I don't know who got cut, and I only remember who won this game because the 49ers 8th string running back had a unique name (Xavier Omon) and he scored a late touchdown so I had to look at the boxscore graphic in the upper left corner. Honestly, who gives a shit?

Luckily, none of the victims have died. But here you go. For all our smug stereotyping of the overly fanatical club soccer fan who drinks, riots, and sets fires pending their team's winning or losing, a reminder that we are just as emotionally overinvested in this game and we can be just as bad, and we will not let price gouging at the beer tap deter us, no sir. At least the soccer hooligans only set fire to stuff after games that actually count in the standings.

1 comment:

Raven Mack said...

See, I went a different way with this, because Raiders fans and Eagles fans are like the only awesome drunken force that takes over other cities. It made me want to get rich so I could buy like 100 sets of season tickets to the Redskins and give them to my drunkest, craziest, most pro-Redskins friends I could find. Fuck the world.
Also, I am waiting to see how Roach Gigz reacts before I make judgement on this SF/Oakland rivalry. The Washington/Baltimore preseason rivalry has probably had some wicked arguments over who has better goat cheese in the parking lot I'd bet.