Shutdown Corner - NFL

Report: 49ers, Raiders to call off annual game after shootings

The San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders have decided to end their annual preseason game in the wake of the fan violence that marred the team's Saturday night meeting at Candlestick Park.

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News reports that a source said the NFL and local police "strongly support" ending the annual preseason contest.

Though the two teams haven't told each other that they don't want to play the game any more, the NFL source said that there is no way the game will be played next year, the year after and maybe longer than that.

It's likely that the discontinuation of the annual games won't be announced—the match-up will just disappear from the preseason schedules of both teams next year (when it was due to be held in Oakland) and will not re-appear.

Two men were shot after the game in separate incidents outside the stadium Saturday night. Another man was assaulted in the bathroom during the game.

Canceling the game seems like a bit of an overreaction to incidents involving a few people. Not that the Raiders-49ers preseason game is so important to the two cities or beyond reproach or anything like that, I just fail to see what this solves.

Making this move suggests that the violence was brought on by 49ers-Raiders tension. Yet early reports said one of the victims was wearing an anti-49ers T-shirt and that he was shot by a man wearing a Raiders jersey. If true, doesn't that go against the implication that the violence had something to do with what happened on the field? What happens if a Houston Texans fan gets assaulted this weekend at Candlestick? Does Houston never come to town again?

Get at the real root of the problem. Add some more security and police drunkenness in the stadium. (There's been no official link between alcohol and these events, but it doesn't take much to guess that it played a role.) There's always going to be rowdy fans clashing in the stands, it doesn't matter whether they come from the next city over or from across the country.

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