I'm a 49er fan, and I am completely embarrassed by the recent incidents during the 49ers vs. Raiders game this past Saturday. I am also completely baffled by the lack of respect between these two fan bases. Why must we generalize that all Raider fans are thugs? Why must we generalize that because preseason tickets are cheaper, then inevitably there will be thugs and "trash" in our stadium? Why can't people understand that just because you happen to root for a particular team, it does not reflect upon your lifestyle or character? What happened to sportsmanship?
I. The notion that the Raider fan base is full of thugs is absolutely ridiculous. Here are some common and ridiculous notions that I've heard thrown around and my attempt at proving these ideas wrong.
If all 49er fans are classy, then all Raider fans are thugs, then all women are bad drivers... wait what?!
Yeah some of you are probably offended that I would compare "classy 49er fans" with "thug Raiders fans", but as you have all witnessed this past weekend, not all 49er fans are classy seeing as how one shot a Raider fan. Now you might say, "well that dumb ass thug's actions, does not reflect upon all classy 49er fans!" Well then the actions of some Raider fans does not necessarily represent their entire fan base right? And one bad woman driver does not mean all women are bad drivers. Just a large majority of them are... like 9 out of 10... but not all. Just kidding :)
II. The notion that because tickets are cheaper, we will inevitably be surrounded by thugs and "trash." This is false because your financial status has nothing to do with how you were raised or how you behave.
If you are poor, then you a waste of life and a trashy thug but rich people are all classy like Bernie Madoff.
My parents are immigrants. When they arrived to the States, they had nothing but family and the clothes on their backs. They worked so hard to become upstanding citizens and so that their children could have everything they dreamed of. They became citizens and they are dam proud of it. It wasn't easy but my parents made dam sure I grew up comfortable and did their best to make sure my dreams came true. And one of my dreams was in fact to go to a 49er game. But tickets to 49er games are not cheap, so what was the best alternative? Buy discounted preseason tickets. So yeah we went to a 49er game on the cheap discounted tickets. We were struggling but still went to cheer on our team, even in games that didn't matter. How is that any different from a Raider fan that came just to cheer on their team? Some of us just wanna cheer on our teams, how much I make or spent on the ticket is no indicator of what kind of person I am.
III. Why is there so much hate between our two fan bases? We're both in the Bay Area, we both love our teams and we are both currently rebuilding and on the uppity up!
I hate the Raiders because I'm a 49er fan or I hate the 49ers because I'm a Raider fan.
Hell if anything, the Raider fan base should be one of the most easy for us to relate to. Terrible owners that trashed the teams for the past couple of years, but are currently moving in the right direction, York Parents and Al. The QBotF's haven't exactly saved the franchises, Alex Smith and J. Russell. Our supposed WRotF haven't exactly lit the league up either, M. Crabtree and DHB. Extremely potent running backs that have entire defenses keyed into them because the passing attack has been abysmal, Frank Gore and Run DMC. Before this free agency, a franchise defensive player that was a favorite of the fan base, Willis and Asomugha. Both acquired a solid anchor on any defensive line, Justin Smith and Richard Seymour, but question marks across the rest of the line. Hell, both franchises at their peak, were running the WCO. There's just so much in common! It's like hating your twin brother.
I'm not understanding all the hate between our two franchises. The Raiders are pretty much our brothers, yet some people continue to disrespect and berate them. If you do that, then you're no better than the supposed "thugs" you seem to hate. Instead of having this Civil War between 49er fans and Raider fans, we should band together and represent the Bay Area NFC and AFC and meet up in the dam Super Bowl while waving a middle finger at the East Coast!
Superbowl XLVI :)
There's nothing wrong with a little rivalry, but at the end of the day, you still shake hands and respect your competition. They worked just as hard as you. They have done everything that you have done. They want it just as much as you. Opponents on the field, but friends, family and neighbors off of it.