Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Best AFC West Rivalry

Bill Williamson says Donkeys vs. Raiders.

I would probably agree, but his Denver prejudice shows a little bit at the end:

Wear a Bronco shirt in Oakland and you risk being hit by garbage. In Denver, one of the best selling clothing items is a "Raider hater" shirt.

Ooh, scary, evil Raiders fans throw "garbage," while the civilized, decent, hardworking fans of the Denver Broncos wear angry t-shirts.

This is a difficult dilemma for me. On the one hand, it's kind of cool that everyone is scared of the Raiders fans. We dress up in skulls and gorilla costumes and biker gear and people are terrified. It's fun to dress up like a pirate. Halloween comes eight times in the Fall.

But on the other hand, it's become the conventional wisdom that if you are a fan of another team visiting the coliseum, you be physically attacked. I know that's not the same as having garbage thrown at you, but "garbage" could be an empty bottle (although, if that's what Williamson meant, maybe he'd have written "risk being hit by recycling"), or a battery, or an old knife that the meth-addled Raiders fan meant to throw away.

This is way overblown. I was at the Denver game last year. I spoke with a family of Broncos fans, originally from Colorado, who had driven down from Santa Rosa or Petaluma for the game. We had a pleasant conversation. They people were talking some trash, but nothing threatening or intimidating. Maybe they could do without some of the cursing, but for the most part people were being cool. They hadn't been hit by any garbage, nobody'd poor a beer on them.

I told them to enjoy the game, and I hoped they had a good time, but that their team lost. They shook my hand, wished me the same, and walked away.

I mean, to read Williamson tell it, you'd think we were Christian Motorcycle Gang, instead of just plain old football fans.

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