It's a good thing that the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders are no longer going to meet in the preseason, at least for now. It's a shame that this all happened due to gang violence, too. People being shot and beaten down in bathrooms is horrible no matter how you slice it, but with this particular rivalry, most just assume it was a bunch of idiotic fans. That's not what it was, at all. It was gang violence, but it was gang violence that is likely to occur again if the two teams meet again in preseason.
So yes, as already stated, it's a good thing that this particular Battle of the Bay is put on hold. One thing that the 49ers now need to do it take it easy on their fans. As a season ticket holder (even on top of the media credentials I possessed), the entire atmosphere at Candlestick Park changed after that incident. Make the jump for some thoughts on the matter.
The 49ers had a knee-jerk reaction and beefed up security, which is, of course, just fine. Unfortunately, they also started cracking down on everything. They actually eliminated tailgating parties during the hours of the game - something just about unheard of in the NFL these days. What's odd about this is that it has nothing to do with security at this point. It's something that has been sustainable for the 49ers for decades. Why change it now?
Now, on top of that, the 49ers wait to open the gates to their parking lots, despite being perfectly ready hours in advance of doing so. The traffic is ten times worse now than it was two years ago, and they're also doing things like cracking down on the kinds of things you wear, too.
There was also multiple times in which I didn't feel like a customer or a loyal fan, but an intruder. The security staff on hand are quick to call the cops over for any reason, and they're outright rude just because they can. In short, it's an overly hostile environment at this point. Or rather, it has been at times.
I'm not sure if it's similar at the Raiders stadium at this point, and no, the oppressiveness isn't something that gets in the way every single time out, but the 49ers were so hell-bent on showing the league that they follow regulations, that they forgot why the 49ers Faithful are in fact, faithful. They were trying to impress the league security people, who, by the way, are woefully incompetent already.
I mean come on, the NFL's security team suggested that the violence at Candlestick could have properly been avoided if there were more signs posted with the rules. That's right - they're suggesting that more signs suggesting that you can't shoot people or beat them up in bathrooms would have eliminated that problem from the start. That's actually a thing.
"Oh man, I can't have a gun here? And I CAN'T SHOOT ANYBODY!? LAME. I'M GOING TO SEATTLE, I HEAR THE SEAHAWKS LET ME POP OFF WHENEVER I WANT!"
In the words on the signage of a man who I only know from the meme this comes from: c'mon son.
Ah, well, this was just a rant, albeit a rather long rant. Increasing security is one thing, but destroying the fundamentals that govern tailgating is a totally different. I would think that the 49ers would have been better equipped to deal with the violence if they didn't close half the gates and hire half the staff for the preseason game against the Raiders, or preseason games in general. At any rate, I'll go back to being in "writer mode" and put "disgruntled fan mode" away for awhile.