Fans Against Violence - Can't We All Just Get Along?
Captain Jack Rack 'em Levy – Apr 27, 2012
It’s early Wednesday morning as I write this, the Captain having completed his night of work and the Raiders (likely) able to skip the first night of Festivities for the NFL Draft of 2012. I’m not like many people who are ‘day walkers’ on this earth, as I prefer working eves/nights to get away from many of the ‘anal retentive folks’ one usually has to deal with during a day … or folks you’d prefer to throw out a window for being a pain in your toucas…
Wow, talk about a spot on segue, as it IS a bit early to talk about whom the Raiders have drafted…since by the time this gets posted to the ‘net (and barring any unforeseen and/or unlikely scenarios) the Raiders will STILL be waiting to see whom is available with the 95th pick of the draft.
… Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… what to write about this week… when all of a sudden my topic gets almost literally dumped into the Captain’s lap through the IM of one Kathy Samoun, an avid fan and staunch supporter of the Silver and Black I know via some ‘Social Network’ known as Facebook (you may have heard of it…)
Kathy and I start to chat immediately after I’ve given my daily ‘Happy Birthday wishes’ to all friends on the site, where she directs my attention to one of the charitable endeavors she is sponsoring via her organization “F.A.V.” – Fans Against Violence (whom you probably have NOT heard about, until now).
Wow… imagine that… the F.A.V. – an organization that actually espouses “to improve and enhance game day experiences, as well as encourage good-will and sportsmanship across fan bases”… led by a RAIDER FAN at that!!
I can’t make this stuff up folks… and the sections I quote above and below are DIRECTLY from information posted right on their Facebook page – well TECHNICALLY ‘underneath’ it at the section advocating what their group is ‘About’ – but you get my drift.
In case you’re not reading my ‘dripping sarcasm’ of an organization for fan good-will, sportsmanship, and camaraderie headed by a die-hard Raider fan, its only due to the fact most media outlets would have you believe ALL Raider fans are allowed ‘weekend passes’ from their permanent locales of Chino, Lompoc, San Quentin and the like, hitchhiking or hijacking via any BART/AMTRAK Train, motor conveyance, or small aircraft headed up/down the 880 on their way to the Coliseum on game day...
… I will give the TSA the benefit of the doubt that these ‘diabolically criminal Raider fans’ wouldn’t be allowed to hornswoggle a large commercial aircraft, but I’ve been known to occasionally be wrong in the past, although not recently…
Back to point – isn’t it offensive to tried and true Raider fans that being a member of the Raider Nation automatically casts you as the ‘criminal element’ that Chuck Noll stated existed so many years before? Yeah…me too… RAIDER NATION is full of professionals and hard-working ‘Joe and Jan Schmoes’ who support our team through thick and thin, so Chuck Noll and like-minded nitwits can just ‘shove it’ sideways…
… as long as the shoving is merely a ‘mental exercise’ and not anything physical, you now have the true spirit of membership for “Fans Against Violence.”
Too bad more ‘True Sports Fans’ couldn’t have heeded the call to “encourage fan safety at professional sporting events through education, discussion and partnerships with like-minded organizations.”
Wouldn’t it be nice to “represent and include all fan bases and promote friendly rivalries,” something which perhaps could have prevented the ugliness exhibited not only during last season’s Raiders @ Niners pre-season game – ultimately putting the rivalry ‘on hold’ except for any regular season match-ups – but also during last year’s opening series between the Giants and Dodgers in L.A. which saw Santa Cruz resident Bryan Stow attacked, beaten and hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury?
C’mon people… it’s a BASEBALL GAME and PRE-SEASON FOOTBALL for crying out loud!!
Media ‘attacks’ having ALL Raider fans being the unruly, incorrigible trouble-making mayhem monsters will continue as long as there are ‘news worthy events’ bringing the issue to the fore. Yes, I know it’s difficult, as the Captain himself is cast as a ‘Salty Biker Hoodlum’ when he travels to games in full gear, and I have myself broken up more altercations between opposing fans and Raider brethren than I care to remember…
For instance, in Miami last year I was accosted by stadium police officers for my efforts to quell a dispute between a drunk, obnoxious Dolphin fan and a group of Raider fans sitting in the block of seats I had set aside; this took place even after I identified myself as both an active Florida Security Officer and retired US Navy Veteran still working as a government contractor in a respected position…
... AND a Retired NYC Department of Corrections Officer identified HIMSELF as well – showing his badge to boot – stating that both of us were handling the situation civilly and within our own bounds. They didn’t care, since all THEY saw was a ‘Decked-out Pirate’ and his ‘Raider jersey-wearing fan’ friend. ((Sigh))
By the way readers, Mateys and Wenches alike, the Captain is SOBER when he attends such functions, as fighting the stereotype is a lot easier when you have your wits (and control of your vocabulary) on your side…
So, the take away is this – Fans Against Violence is a dynamic organization which fights for the rights of ALL FANS. This ideology is long overdue and most welcome especially in the present time of incessant and undue physicality through fisticuffs, knife-wielding and gunplay. The Captain wholeheartedly endorses and supports the F.A.V.’s efforts through Kathy and members of her organization; I’m not the only one extolling the virtues of F.A.V., per the statement made by Anna Mohr, sister of Jets fan James Mohr who was beaten at the 11 December 2011 Jets/Chiefs game:
“Your efforts are so amazing and touching and really give people like me, indirect victims, so much solace and comfort! I have never met you and you reached out in a horrible time and for that I'm eternally grateful.”
You too can support their efforts, as they have a donations page for families of victims such as Bryan Stow and ‘Ryan’s Rally.’ In the near future F.A.V. hopes to do fundraisers for victims and families of victims, along with possibly an F.A.V. Stadium day to bring awareness to the pacifist fans cause. They already sponsor through the Raiders Fan Convention.
There is no reason why you can’t be an avid Team FANATIC, and I live within that mantra. However, being physical with someone else to the point of severe altercations leading to major injury (and even death per past events) is just asinine and intolerable.
For more information, please go to:
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