This morning in the San Francisco Chronicle, a headline read “GIANTS FAN ON LIFE SUPPORT AFTER L.A. BEATING“. When I first heard about the attack I wasn’t surprised. It’s happened before. Back in 2003, a fan was shot in the Dodgers stadium parking lot after a game, and then again, in 2009, in the same parking lot, a man was stabbed after leaving a home-opener game there. So ho-hum, (yawn) here we go again. But then I picked up the local Santa Cruz Sentinel and the headline read “SANTA CRUZ MAN CRITICAL AFTER BEATING AT DODGER STADIUM“. Please read the article. It will give you a better perspective.
It’s rather sad that I accepted the story as being routine until I found out it was one of my neighbors, someone from my home town. All of a sudden it becomes really personal, and that’s not acceptable. This type of story should involve all of us, everywhere, and not just baseball fans. How many times have you heard about a crime where there were onlookers, passersby everywhere and no one stopped to lift a finger, to intervene? In this situation, imagine leaving a baseball stadium with thousands of people walking, totally ambivalent to their surroundings, or probably aware, but just don’t want to get involved. It happens all the time.
In February I purchased tickets to this very game, the season opener with the World Champion Giants vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers! Whatta game that would be! I’d never been to an opening game before so I was stoked; only to receive an email a few weeks later from Stubhub announcing the tickets had to be cancelled and refunded (evidently they had the game time at 1:00 PM instead of the actual 5:10PM game time and had to reissue the tickets. I never found out exactly what it was about, but nonetheless, when I tried to repurchase the tickets, it was not to be. They were sold out.
I’d been warned about Dodger Stadium before; don’t wear your game colors, etc. But I wouldn’t have paid attention. After all, a game’s a game and what would it be without fans from both teams there cheering them on? So this morning I was totally disheartened after reading about this local fellow being in a coma after the attack. It’s especially disheartening when you read responses like this, reprinted from the LAist blog. Here you go, hang on……
“really not that big a deal and certainly nothing inherent in Giants or Dodgers fans, sure there was some extra trash talking leading up to the game this year but people get in fights in the proximity of alcohol period no matter where they are or from or whether it’s a wine bar or a ufc fight or the parking lot at Dodger stadium. Calling fans thugs is naive and ignores reality that drinking with thousands of people around is fun and probably going to cause a fight, these people were probably drinking and got rowdy after them game it’s doubtful that it’s more complex than that“
Oh really? Talk about naive. The statement above would be good for another blog but I’ll refrain, for now. The reason I was so intent on blogging this morning was because I believe there’s a high probability the perpetrator of this crime wasn’t even a Dodger fan! Think about it. The Dodgers won the game! And it was a great game! The Dodger’s young pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, had an outstanding game, and the Giants didn’t. So from a Dodgers perspective, what was there to get so ticked off about? What was it about the game that would make someone become a total jerk? It’s pathetic.
I’m guessing these guys probably fit the stereotype of a bunch of thugs, no job, nothing to do, totally miserable with their life , and this is how they get their kicks. And even though no one stopped to intervene, they certainly weren’t standing around cheering the guys on. That ambivalence is a societal problem that’s probably here to stay, spurred on by the litigious spirit that, unfortunately, surrounds each of us on a daily basis.
I don’t know. I’m just saying I feel bad for the Giants for losing the game, of course. But I also feel badly that the Dodgers fans who earned the right to revel in their glory after beating the World Champions should have been able to enjoy the win without having this albatross around their neck.
UPDATE: 4/5/11. THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS ARE SUPPORTING A FUND SET UP FOR THE BENEFIT OF BRYAN STOW, THE PARAMEDIC WHO WAS ATTACKED. HERE’S THE LINK:
- Giants fan beaten at Dodger Stadium in coma, identified as paramedic (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- LAPD release sketches of Dodger fans opening day attack (abclocal.go.com)
- Dodgers Beat the Giants on the Ballfield, Dodgers Fans Beat Giants Fans in the Parking Lot (laist.com)