Hey bozos: Stay home if you want to get drunk and fight

August 24, 2011|By Kevin Cowherd

If you're a Ravens fan that goes to the games to cheer for your team and have a good time and not abuse the people around you, this column's not for you.

No, this one's for the knuckleheads who aren't quite as, um, thoughtful.

This one's for the yahoos who'll show up at M&T Bank Stadium for tonight's Ravens-Washington Redskins game just to cause trouble.

This one's for all the boneheads who'll come to get loaded and spill beer on others and scream curse words all night long.

This one's for all the pseudo tough guys who'll curse anyone in a Redskins jersey — even women and little kids — and look for fights. Like the brave bunch that attacked that one young Chiefs fans — the video went viral on Youtube — when the Ravens played Kansas City at the Bank last week.

You know who you are. The rest of us do, too.

And, frankly, we're sick to death of you.

Out in San Francisco a few days ago, they had a little problem with thuggish fans just like you. Maybe you heard about it.

This was at an NFL pre-season game between the 49ers and Oakland Raiders. To say all hell broke loose is an understatement. That night, Candlestick Park was practically hell's waiting room.

Here's the Cliffs Notes version of what happened: the stands were filled with howling drunks. Fistfights broke out everywhere. A man was beaten and stomped and found unconscious in one of the restrooms. Police said they'd never seen anything like it at a Niners game.

But that was just a dress rehearsal for what happened afterward.

Knots of drunken fans spilled into the parking lots. More fights broke out. And two fans were shot.

And remember, this was a pre-season game.

Imagine what would have happened if the game actually counted.

Anyway, the whole scene was so nightmarish the Niners plan to suspend their pre-season series with the Raiders.

And they're also — I love this — "re-examining" their tailgating policy to see what they can do about controlling the beered-up idiots who cause all the problems at games.

So that's what you thugs are doing: you're ruining the experience of going to a ballgame for everyone else.

USA Today, in fact, ran an interesting survey on the subject a few days after the mayhem at Candlestick.

Readers were asked: Will recent violence keep you from attending a sporting event?

Twenty-six percent of respondents checked the answer: "No, don't give it a second thought." (I gotta figure they travel with security details.)

But a whopping 35 percent checked: "Yes. Live events no longer family fun." And another 24 percent checked: "Yes. Watch game and be safe at home."

For the math-impaired, that's almost 60 percent of respondents that are too soured on fan behavior to go to games. And that's ridiculous.

By the way, if you bozos think the Ravens themselves love the way you act at games, love how "fired-up" you get with a dozen Budweisers sloshing around in your gut, you'd be dead wrong.

When I asked Ravens linebacker Jarrett Johnson about some of the antics he's seen in the stands, he looked like a man about to pass a kidney stone.

"You love the enthusiasm," Johnson said. "You want them to love our sport and love their team and be passionate about their team, because it's what makes the NFL so great. But at the same time, when you take it overboard and there's violence ... there's no place (for that.)"

Crude, boorish behavior isn't limited to fans of the 49ers, Raiders and Ravens, of course. This stuff happens in every stadium on NFL Sundays.

When the Ravens played the Miami Dolphins in Florida not long ago, Johnson's family was so upset by the drunkenness, foul language and brawling of Dolphins fans they were forced to flee at halftime.

And Johnson still seethes when he recalls what happened to former Ravens safety Dawan Landry when he was injured in a game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium and lay slumped against a wall in the end zone, receiving treatment from the trainers.

"These fans are throwing stuff on him, spitting on him, and I just lost it," he said. "What kind of a person are you? You have a guy here doing his job. He gets hurt. And you're such a coward you're going to take advantage of the situation and do that?"

Anyway, if you're one of the knuckleheads who sees himself in anything described here, do us a favor, OK?

Stay home tonight. Watch the game on TV. Get as drunk as you want. Let loose with all the F-bombs you want. If you feel like popping someone in the jaw, invite a few of your buddies over.

And let the rest of us enjoy the games in peace.

kevin.cowherd@baltsun.com

(Listen to Kevin Cowherd Tuesdays at 7:20 a.m. on 105.7 The Fan's "Norris and Davis Show.")

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