I Knew Orange Juice was the Answer!

Major League Baseball fans and probably many other people are familiar with the beating of Bryan Stow on Opening Night of this year in Los Angeles.  Basically, some vicious people, “Dodgers fans” came at him, a Giants fan, from behind and beat him savagely.  The story is really beyond terrible.

This weekend, there was a shooting outside Candlestick Park in San Francisco after a Raiders/Niners game and it drew immediate comparisons to the Stow case, although there are some obvious and major differences.  You can read about it here.

What it all comes down to, though, is fan-on-fan violence.  I don’t think as a trend it’s necessarily growing (there have always been fights outside of games), but the attention on it certainly is.  I can’t quite pinpoint why, but I would guess it has to do with a growing diversity in sports fans (hey, people like me!) and that a lot of people really want to go to games without lots of rowdiness, let alone these fights or beatings.

Call me what you will for saying this, but to me going to a ballgame is like going to the movie theatre or a play or a concert.  At none of those events do I think selling alcohol really makes sense.   I remember being struck by reading a tweet from someone who was going to an important game with his favorite team and he said he wasn’t going to be drinking because he wanted to remember this one.  I choked when I read that.  Does that mean that some percentage of people routinely drink so much at sporting events that they don’t remember it?  Probably yes.

That makes me sad.  That makes me very, very sad.

Now I do know that there are plenty of people who just want to be able to get a beer and leave it at that.  And I understand that.  I guess I just have to ask, Would it be that much worse if you got a soda instead?

I mean, take it from the drunk driving perspective.  There have been times walking back to the parking lot with a crowd where I’ve questioned my sanity at getting on the road with these people.  I don’t know any stats on accidents after games, but I would guess there’s something there.  The bottom line is that drunk people = impaired people = potential for a whole host of problems.

It’s a culture, really, but I think at this point it’s a culture that is destructive and does not make sense.  On the Giants radio station, a good half of all the sponsorships are from beer companies.  So when they then give a line about drinking responsibly or getting a designated driver, I have to roll my eyes a little bit.

Which brings me to my main point… what if they really just stopped selling alcohol at baseball games or football games or any other sporting events?  What if Minute Maid Park was the norm instead of Coors Field?  I’m sure the stadiums would argue that right now they can control the issue with stopping the sale of beer after the seventh inning and whatever, but the fact is that isn’t working.  Whenever you outlaw something you unwittingly, perhaps, create a black market of people sneaking in their own, but I think they could deal with that too, if they wanted to.

I can hear a million voices that would disagree with what I’m saying but I just think the negatives far outweigh the positives in this situation.

Not to mention that I do not like that my shoes smell like cheap beer for days after I go to a game.

I knew orange juice was the answer to all the world’s problems!

Diamond Girl

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “I Knew Orange Juice was the Answer!

  1. Wayne

    Not that I condone this type of behavior but new evidence has surfaced that Brian Stow was actually provoking some very large “gang members” in the section he was in. They have the video on TMZ. Also, other sources have come forward saying that Mr Stow has a DUI, domestic violence and other criminal related offenses on his background. Like I said, I dont condone what happened. And I dont know how true any of this is…but when things happen like that its usually because alcohol is involved. Both parties are guilty and its very unfortunate that this happened with Brian Stow. I hope he’s doing better. I heard he’s still in a coma though. And Barry Bonds has come forward to put his children through college.

    • sfdiamondgirl

      Good points, all, and I agree with you entirely. It (generally) takes two to tango, you know? :) I would like to see these issues dealt with overall, in terms of changing the way security deals with it, the vibe at the stadium and, as I said, the sale of alcohol.

  2. Robert Seeds

    DG, this is a great statement and you have hit the nail on the head about booze and the NFL. Have you ever attended an NFL game? Those games — and especially preseason games — are ta big problem, for a mess of reasons. I was Raiders season ticket holder from 1995 to about 2009. I’ve seen lots of folks who had been over-served well before the game started, and many of them do not remain conscious for the game.

    I’ve also seen a fair amount of violence in my day. Rarely in my own section; season ticket holders tend to behave themselves. I used to sit near a season ticket holder who was a Jets fan, and it seemed like we played the Jets every year. He would wear Raiders gear to every game but the Jets games, and then a Jets jersey. He was treated with respect. Part of it was, he did not taunt people, and was moderate in the boozing.

    When I go to a Raiders game, I generally go to a tailgate party, run by the La Familia tailgaters. They drink their share of booze but they have great food, their grandmothers are there, there are kids (sometimes including mine) and it is just a loud and colorful but harmless bunch of folks celebrating life and the Greatness of the Raiders.

    The bigger problem is the folks who show up occasionally. They have no stake in a good fan experience and are often there in part because they view it as a chance to misbehave. They drink way too much and, not caring whether anyone else has a good time, do stuff like at that game the other day.

    Preseason games are probably worse because season ticket holders sell their tickets (you have to buy preseason games to get the regular season, but season ticket holders often sell these and watch on TV) and, yes, the Raiders and 49ers is a big rivalry. However, if those teams play in the regular season, the season ticket holders are there, and they pretty much behave. They are probably there with their friend who is a 49ers fan. Everyone gets along, with a few rare exceptions. Actually, over the years, I see less and less violence at Raiders games.

    Baseball opening days like that tragic day in LA can occasionally be amateur day, just like a preseason NFL game. Some folks booze early and often. People are attracted because it is an “event”. They think that taunting and fighting is fun. Best to stay away from games like that. But mostly, baseball crowds are families and real fans and they behave.

    I think my point is that there are some sporting events — NFL games, particularly preseason games, especially Raiders-49ers games — that attract people who like to drink too much and get rowdy. Best to stay away. On the other hand, your run of the mill baseball game or a regular season NFL game, with families and fans, or the opera during intermission, you can sell drinks and have little or no trouble.

    • sfdiamondgirl

      No, I have never been to an NFL game (or any other kind of football game, for that matter) and am not very familiar with the culture, but everything you said makes sense. I agree that it’s casual fans or people who are not fans at all who almost entirely cause the problems, which is just a terrible pity. And it’s certainly true as well that generally alcohol (or tailgating) is not a problem. I guess my question is since it is, occasionally, a huge problem… is it really worth it the rest of the time? Maybe it is and banning it is just an easy way out. I’m not sure. Either way, I’d like to see these issues addressed to some extent.

      Great comment, Robert! Thanks!

  3. sfrunner

    I agree and your post hits home. I was a 49er season ticket holder from 1976-1981 (1981 being the year that they went to the Super Bowl and won their first of five SBs). The 1981 season was the worst of the six years that I attended games. Each game, there seemed to be a fight in lower section 30 (left field general addmision when the Giants were playing there). My friend and I wrote to Eddie DeBartolo after the season requesting a change of seats and didn’t get the change. We decided not to renew even though they won the Super Bowl.

    Back in the 1970s at Candlestick when the Giants and Dodgers were playing, there seemed to be a fight in every one of the series. It was really sad. Things have got a lot better since the Giants moved to AT&T Park. There have been a couple of isolated incidents but nothing like what happened last Saturday. I don’t think it helps either when television stations show the fights going on in the stands either.

    I plan on doing a West Coast Baseball roadtrip next year. I haven’t seen Petco Park in San Diego yet and Dodger Stadium will be celebrating its 50th year as a park. Though I’ll be traveling with a couple of friends, I’ll be definitely aware of my surroundings.

    I’ve got to say that the 49ers made a statement today regarding the possible stoppage of tailgating.

    Wayne
    http://giantorture.mlblogs.com

    • sfdiamondgirl

      Since I’ve never been to a football game, that’s fascinating to hear about Niners games. I do agree that they’re doing a good job overall at AT&T Park, though I had a bad experience with security not being responsive there earlier this year. I’m sure it depends on the day and incident. I also agree about TV not showing these things. I think NBC has some sort of policy about that and I admire it. And that roadtrip sounds like a blast! I’d love to do something that myself, someday, too. I have been to Dodger Stadium and even as an obvious Giants fan, I was lucky to have no problems. That park gets a bad rap, but I think if you’re prudent and aware of your surroundings, that usually does the trick. Thanks for the great comment!

  4. Wayne

    I’ve heard a lot of horrible things about Dodger Stadium and Anahiem Stadium. I visted Anaheim Stadium this year for the first time, saw two games and sat by very nice people. I think the cheaper your tickets are the more problems you’ll have. And yes, alcohol is a major contributor to these problems. Alcohol will never go away from sporting events. Its a huge money draw. But ending alcohol sales at the first pitch of the eight inning is pushing it.
    http://bit.ly/qXwDns

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