Oakland sports fans are used to being degraded. Oakland sports teams are used to being overlooked. This is nothing new. The glamorous lights seem to stray to the San Francisco area or even Los Angeles, not Oakland.
Although the Oakland Raiders and Oakland A’s attendance records may say there is an absence in fan support, if you’re ever at O.Co Coliseum for a game, you know, no matter the amount of fans, there’s not much like it.
Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
So when last year, many people, the majority being those who’ve never been to an O.Co sporting event started bashing the stadium, t-shirts were made to support our second home. When Bud Selig referred to the coliseum as a “pit”, A’s fans ran with it.
And last year, after an ESPN headline wrote “Cool Hand Luke” with a photo of Josh Donaldson, the fans were sure to let them know what Donaldson’s first name was. The past two years, if you’ve watched any A’s nationally televised games (there’s been few), you’ve noticed how little the broadcasters truly know about the team. Sports analysts will say we’re a bunch of “no-names”, but that’s because they hadn’t taken notice or made an effort to find out.
Two American League West crowns later, you’d think major sports analysts or reporters would learn that the team and fanbase isn’t something to mess with. Wrong.
J.A. Adande, who, in my opinion, is a great basketball/NBA reporter, jumped outside of his usual safe-zone and said something quite moronic, which instantly irked me and plenty of other A’s supporters, yesterday.
"There’s a distinct Oakland feel to Warriors & Raiders games. A’s, not so much.— J.A. Adande (@jadande)"
If this were “Around the Horn”, and I were playing the part of Tony Reali, I would have “muted” him into next week.
First, let me state that I have been born and bred in Sacramento, Ca. Also, I am a Sacramento Kings fan. But I have been to plenty, as a matter of fact, hundreds of Oakland sporting events, varying from Raiders, A’s, and Warriors games. And let me say this, they’ve all been memorable. Not just because of the teams, but because of the consistent support that the fans exhibit. No matter how many seats are filled, you know the fans will be up and cheering, will be rowdy and will make for an incredible hometown advantage.
At Warriors games, you can expect there to be a raucous crowd decked out in gold. At Raiders games, you can bet on seeing hundreds of fans that’ll make you think every Sunday is Halloween, most noticeably in the Black Hole. At A’s games, what do you see? Well if you’ve never been to an A’s game or haven’t caught one on TV, you wouldn’t know; until recently since MLB Network has decided to shed a little light on the “raging” fans in the outfield.
Enter: the Bleacher Creatures. Die hard fans who are always loud, with chants pertaining to almost every player. You can also catch them with musical instruments, such as drums or horns, heckling outfielders of the opposite team throughout the game.
Thus brings me to my main point: Where did the J.A. Adande tweet even come from? Honestly, the dude should be focusing on the Golden State Warriors, who play in Oakland, but have never decked the city on their front chest and are planning on moving to San Francisco in a couple years. Kind of odd how they can have more of an “Oakland feel” than the A’s. Not to diss Warriors fans, because they are up there with the best of them, but it confuses me. If you’ve never hopped off that BART train with hundreds of A’s fans, you can’t seriously expect your opinion to matter when you say something so subjective.
Some A’s players, like A.J. Griffin, clearly didn’t agree as he tweeted out “unbelievable, the lack of respect” in response to Adande’s tweet. Sean Doolittle took a more hilarious route (and I can’t say it wasn’t deserving):
So, sorry J.A., I lost some respect for you and most A’s fans down-right hate you. When you tweet about baseball about once a month and this is what you decide to post, you should expect to be bombarded with tweets of retaliation. You should also know, you were probably in the wrong. And you deserve every 140 character tweet, filled with all the name-calling, that’s sent your way. The worst thing out of all of this, is that Adande went on to delete the tweet he posted some six hours before, but like many journalists, won’t man up and admit he made a mistake. I hate to make assumptions, but if I had to guess, I’d say Adande hadn’t watched more than a handful of A’s games in the past 10 or so years.
So Adande, next time you’re in Nor-Cal in the months between March and October, how about hitting up an A’s game. I’ll even shell out some cash from my meager bank account and pay for a general admission bleacher seat. So maybe then, you’ll have an actual understanding of just how “Oakland”, A’s games really are. Or just stick to talking about hoops. Either way, you should follow the old guideline and just think before you speak.