Thursday night was just another night at the Oakland Coliseum. I’ve grown to expect weird happenings during Raiders football. The first few years the team resettled in Oakland after a stint in the southland, photog Chris Chung and I were assigned to shoot the games. Each and every home game, both Chris and I expected to get hit with fan projectiles which included ice, beer, peanuts, an occasional spray of spit and epithets best not repeated here. The Blackhole on the south end of the stadium was a virtual go there at your own risk type of thing. It was like the wild, wild west of football.
Over the years, the fans have gotten a little more mellow and not so many foreign objects -save for a few plastic beer bottles-have been tossed towards photographers on the sidelines.
As the second and third string teams were busy beating the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday, I looked in to the stands. This guy with his significant other, yelled at me to take a picture of his wife. “Why?” I said.
“Cause she’s beautiful!” Chivalry it seems, is alive and well in Raiders fandom.
“Oh,” I said, turning back to the playing field. The timeout was almost over.
“If you don’t, I’m gonna throw my pizza at you!” He yelled back, nonplussed that I wasn’t photographing his wife.
He held up a half eaten piece of pepperoni. Lethal I’m sure.
Ever game, I asked him if he had a slice that didn’t have teeth marks.
No. Then a security guard told the guy to sit down. He did, eating his pizza. He had a smile on his face.
Among the other more lethal things i’ve been threatened with while doing my job, pizza is a first.
Heart attack anyone?