San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said Monday that he will make recommendations to the NFL to end their preseason matchup against the Oakland Raiders next season after 11 years of the two teams playing each other annually. This comes following two people shot outside Candlestick Park and another found beaten inside a bathroom inside the stadium after Saturday’s 17-3 win over the Raiders.
“This is a game where you have a rivalry situation and, unfortunately you have the worst segment from a very small segment of both fan bases that come and brings about this type of event,” York said. “It’s our belief that we should recommend to the NFL that this game is at least postponed for some period of time.”
York has also announced a ban on tailgating once the game has started and that any season ticket holder who is found to have been fighting will have their tickets revoked.
KNBR host Damon Bruce was quoted on his mid-morning radio show saying the game should disappear for “at least a decade”.
I wasn’t sure of a solution to all of this yesterday when I wrote that day’s column, but having heard Bruce’s idea and seen the initial report by the San Jose Mercury News on Monday, this is the absolute right decision. I hate to say it, but it is obvious that fans of both teams are unable to coexist in the same stadium together for a meaningless three hour game. I don’t even know how they’re managing to share a region at the point. In any case, this is absolutely the best way to protect fans from themselves, to not play the game. The only way these two teams can play each other again is either the Super Bowl (Yeah,right!) and their next regular season matchup in the 2014 season. There are 30 other teams these teams can play in the preseason besides each other and at this point in time, they can stand to be apart.
I have to say that the behavior of fans of both teams is downright sickening. Yes, I said both teams. Raiders fans have gotten a bad rap over the years while 49ers fans have somehow escaped it. If you’re not a 49ers fan and have attended a game of theirs over the last five or six years, you’ve probably noticed that 49ers fans have become just as nasty,rude,and even violent as Raiders fans. I know I have. Any argument that they aren’t otherwise is a falsehood because I have seen it up close and personal with my own four eyes.
I’m not saying that all fans of these teams are this way, I know they aren’t, but incidents like this give fans of either team a very bad name. If you’re behaving like this at an event which is meant to be fun for people, you’re classless and a disgrace and you should not even be allowed to attend a game if your intent is to start trouble with people. Nobody needs you at the stadium. It’s the bad apples like you that ruin the fun for the people who are there to have a good time and watch a football game.
It’s like I said on my Facebook page yesterday, if you can’t get along and leave your gun at home, these are the consequences.
SETTING IT STRAIGHT: Before I go, I would like to apologize for an incorrection. I had said a Raiders fan was responsible for the shootings outside of Candlestick Park on Saturday when it was in fact a Raiders fan who was shot. I am sorry about that and I retract what I said previously.