On canceling 49ers-Raiders in preseason

August, 22, 2011
8/22/11
3:55
PM ET
This will come as a great shock, but one of the first times I attended a Raiders game in Oakland, the guy sitting directly in front of me was wearing a piece of red tape across his back with X-rated instructions for then-Kansas City Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer.

There's no telling what might have happened if someone decked out in Chiefs gear -- or, worse, San Francisco 49ers gear -- had told him where to go.

Alas, scrapping exhibition games between the Raiders and 49ers seems like a logical, if unfortunate response to the violence at Candlestick Park on Saturday night.

Games between the 49ers and Raiders throw together the rougher elements of these teams' fan bases in large numbers, with alcohol readily available. The shooting that marred the Raiders-49ers game Saturday night took the usual fighting to more dangerous levels.

There's no compelling reason to recreate circumstances that precipitated widespread, potentially deadly violence for games that don't even count in the standings.

The bottom line: I wouldn't have taken my young kids to a Raiders-49ers game before this shooting incident, based on what they would have seen and heard in the stands. Looks like that won't be an option in the future.

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