Since the Raiders’ “Commitment to Excellence” has become an NFL punch line, apparently their fans are adopting a new slogan:
If you can’t beat ‘em, well, beat ‘em up.
The Raiders suck and their fans are taking it out on anyone in their fists’ reach. At their joint practices with the Cowboys in Oxnard Tuesday, Morris Claiborne had the audacity to put a big hit on Oakland tight end Mychal Rivera. The clean, but hard, hit sparked a fight between players. No biggie, that happens in every NFL training camp, especially when teams practice together.
But when the fight moved close to stands, some tough-guy Raiders’ fan actually swung his souvenir helmet at Cowboys’ players.
There are rabid fan bases and the Cowboys are atop that list. But when their team loses, they kick the dog or throw the remote control are glaze over into “Trade Tony!” They don’t physically take out their frustrations on other human beings. The Raiders’ fans do exactly that.
In 2011 there was a major fan brawl at a Raiders-49ers game. And last year a San Francisco fan was beaten and shot by a group of Raiders’ hooligans. I’ve been to games in Oakland and their famed “Black Hole” of costumed fans is a joke. They don’t make a lot of noise, and they take their roles as spectators way too seriously.
Think the Cowboys are in a rut? Consider the plight of the Raiders. Haven’t made the playoffs since 2002 and are an abysmal 53-123 the last 11 seasons. It’s enough to make any fan grumpy, but security in Oxnard had to make sure Raiders fans were kept separate from Cowboys fans. Still, it wasn’t enough to keep their fans for getting involved.
Enjoy it, Raiders. Swinging a helmet at a Cowboys’ player during a training camp practice will probably the highlight of your next dreadful season.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.