Raiders’ Fan Go To Far
November 5 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers were in Oakland this past weekend, and the usual nuts were in the crowd. Dressed for hallowed, and in full taunting form, the fans were for the most part quite civil. They were loud - definitely, and they certainly were talking a lot, but in general peace was upheld and both 49ers fans and Raiders fans were able to sit in close proximity.
Sure the Raiders fans were heckling, taunting Jeff Garcia with words he couldn’t repeat to the media. Garcia tried to draw on that energy and used it to help him perform on the field. Kevan Barlow was under similar scrutiny, the fans commenting on his part time role in the offense among other things.
In general though, the Raiders fans didn’t go that much farther than other opposing teams do. Taunting is common in the NFL. But when one fan took it upon himself to hit Jeremy Newberry’s father in the head with a beer bottle, he went to far. Newberry’s father refused treatment (though he did see 49ers doctors afterwards), but was groggy - such acts are not simply a disgrace to a set of fans but football in general. Thankfully Mr. Newberry is ‘ok’ today.
Most 49ers asked their families to stay home for the game. The Newberry’s however are a close gang, in attendance at every home game, and given the short trip, felt that they could make it. They made the trip, and unfortunately had an ugly visit despite the 49ers over time victory.
Upon being alerted by JJ Stokes of the incident after the game, Newberry who was talking to the media said ``Excuse me, Some guy busted my dad in the head with a bottle.'' Dampening what should have been a proud moment for the Newberry’s.
Many stadiums throughout the major leagues have taken steps to eliminate such problems. They serve beer in cans only, or plastic bottles. Or they pour the beer into a plastic cup trashing the glass bottle. Such actions should not be necessary, but apparently are. Fans have to be able to control themselves, so that incidents like what happened to Mr. Newberry are not repeated. This fellow 49ers fans, was a disgrace to football, and if Raiders’ fans have any class, they should be ashamed. An apology is hardly enough, something must be done.