Nobody in the NFL knows how to handle the fights and shootings that went down Saturday at Candlestick Park. Yesterday, 49ers owner Jed York used them as an excuse to push the 18-game season, because “people without season tickets” were the cause of violence. Today, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News is reporting that the NFL and local police “strongly support” ending the annual preseason contest altogether.
Though the two teams haven’t told each other that they don’t want to play the game any more, the NFL source said that there is no way the game will be played next year, the year after and maybe longer than that.
It’s likely that the discontinuation of the annual games won’t be announced—the match-up will just disappear from the preseason schedules of both teams next year (when it was due to be held in Oakland) and will not re-appear.
Is it weird to anyone else that “more football” and “no football” are the only two plans of action?
As it was astutely pointed out by Chris Chase over at Shutdown Corner, a guy in Raiders gear shot a guy in an anti-49ers shirt, so is there a problem with 49ers fans and Raiders fans or just sports fans in metropolitan California? Is taking football away from football fans the answer? Does every away team who shows up and witnesses fan violence have to leave forever? Do we build an invisible, semipermeable dome over San Francisco, or play 49ers games in a walled-off high-rise for the rich citizens?
That’s an exaggeration, obviously, but how hard is it for somebody in the NFL front office to say “hey, maybe we shouldn’t feed these guys beer all day and let them roam around unsupervised in the parking lots”? I don’t feel comfortable thinking we need a police escort every time we’re in public, but Jesus, it’s better than dying for football.