Rivalries are an integral part of sports, without them sports just couldn’t function. Fans need a villain to root against whether that villain is just an opposition of that particular game or a rival that your team has historically clashed with. They make sports worth watching, besides athletic ability people want to watch teams beat up on each other. Rivalries like the Yankees-Redsox and Dodgers-Giants attract a lot of national attention for a reason; there is added intrigue for these games. Those games mean more to fans than just a win or loss. Bragging rights are on the line and for fans that is often more important than how a team performs during the season. Even if the Giants don’t make the playoffs, fans will get some satisfaction if they finish better than the Dodgers.
But fans often forget that rivalries are best served for the actual games not for fights in stands or in parking lots. Unfortunately fans taking rivalries too far happens more often than not. The latest example happened on MLB’s opening weekend when two Dodger fans attacked and critically injured Bryan Stow, a Giants fan, in the parking lot of Chavez Ravine. Stow has spent a week in the hospital in critical condition, just because he was sporting black and orange at a Dodgers game. Fans have a right to get cheer their team on passionately and even banter with a rival fan but there is no excuse for the type violence Stow endured.
The Dodgers and Giants obviously have a heated rivalry that extends back to the days when both teams played in New York. If you ever go to a Giants-Dodgers game you can feel the hatred. But for some reason violence is prevalent among the fan basis anytime the teams play. All it takes is some heckling and a few beers for violence to start. Just a few years ago a Giants fan was murdered outside Dodger Stadium following a game. That’s right, murdered. There should never be a point during a sports game when a fan thinks, let’s murder an opposing fan or let’s beat the crap out of this guy. It’s inexcusable and sick really. Sports aren’t life or death, although as fans we like to think of it that way. At the end of the day baseball is nothing more than a game, period. Someone’s life should never be taken away, especially because of baseball rivalry.
Dodger fans have really disgraced themselves with these actions, now they have the rep, as violent thugs that just want to start fights. Dodger fans shouldn’t be grouped together and labeled in such a way but unfortunately they will because a select group of fans doesn’t know how to act like normal fans. What ever happened to peacefully going to a game to eat a hotdog and watch your favorite team compete?
As a lifelong Dodger fan I’m disappointed in my fellow Dodger supporters, at least the ones that would think of acting out violently. Giants fans have even more of a reason to hate us, and who can blame them. At least the Dodger organization and the LAPD have took actions by offering a $50,000 reward for information about the suspect while they investigate the incident. Dodger Stadium has also beefed up its security and has vowed to have a large LAPD presence at the stadium and in the parking lot. But is this enough to end the violence? Ultimately it’s up to the fans to act responsibly.
It’s time to put an end to this violence. This rivalry has already been taken too far and it needs to stop before something terrible happens to another fan. All this violence takes the fun out of rooting against a rival. Why would you want to go to a game and worry about getting beaten up from an opposing fan? Sports aren’t the time for fighting. Fans need to put their anger aside when opposing fans start “talking trash”, let the scoreboard and your mouth do the talking not your fists.
Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy
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Sports Editor: Matt Steinbach
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