There was a time, a few years ago, when my girlfriend Amy and I used to travel to a couple Texans road games each year. The venues we visited ranged from docile (San Diego) to frigid (Chicago) to intimidating (New England) to downright scary mean (San Francisco).
Even in the most hostile of environments, though, we never really felt in danger. Generally speaking, if you mind your own business at any venue, you can steer clear of pent up, often drunken hostility that permeates the stands. Also, generally speaking, the chaos gets worse the higher up you go in the stadium, so here's a pro tip — sit in the lower bowl whenever possible.
I wish I could have given this advice to the poor Texans fan that gets his head caved in by this psychopath Jaguars fan at Sunday's game, a 20-7 Texans win over said Jags. I hate that this happened, and I hope like hell that the perpetrator was taken into custody and made to pay for this cowardly act. So with that said, let's Zaprduer this film, and use this as a PSA for any of you thinking of attending an NFL game in an opposing stadium's upper deck.
Here's the video....
0:00 — First of all, can you people out there that film these things, please use the camera in landscape mode, not straight up and down? It makes the viewing so much easier. Ok, let's get started. We begin with the Texans fan, who, from behind, bears a disturbing resemblance to yours truly. I hate seeing a fellow baldy about to take a wallop. Jags fans swirl around my friend Baldo like the Kobra Kai in the first Karate Kid movie. The only thing missing are turquoise, Jag-themed skeleton outfits. Keep an eye on the left of the screen and the cowardly puncher first appears.
0:05 — Amidst cries of "There it is!" from someone off camera, Baldo is arguing with a Jag fan in front of him (who is likely trying to misguidedly explain why the Jags can win with Blake Bortles as their starting quarterback), when....
0:06 — POW!!!
0:10 — Cowardly Jag chases his sucker punch to the temple with a shove of Baldo's limp frame to the ground, because when you sucker punch some guy, it's important to make sure that he is also tossed down the steps, apparently.
0:11 — From there, a lady wearing some sort of Texans semi-moomoo springs into action, the Catwoman to Baldo's Batman, and she is having none of Cowardly Jag's shenanigans. Texans Catwoman, unfortunately, is not big into leverage, as she immediately collapses into the space in front of the seats, which allows the assembled Jags fans to take some pokes at her on the ground. Classy bunch.
0:22 — One police officer steps in to try to quell the fire, and maybe, just MAYBE, y'know, arrest the dude who started this whole thing. Unfortunately, Cowardly Jag continues to stand there and taunt Texans Catwoman. The camera then pans back to Baldo, who is on Dream Street, out cold, face down in the stairway. Of course, since this is the upper deck of an NFL stadium in 2018, pretty much everyone is either pointing at Baldo's carcass, laughing, or filming the action. Nobody is helping him or checking on him. The lesson here — if you get your lights punched out, don't expect people to help you out. Instead, expect to be tagged in someone's Facebook post (and have the video broken down frame-by-frame by me).
0:40 — Thirty seconds after being knocked out cold, Baldo begins to come to. Unfortunately, he probably has no clue he's at an NFL football game. Instead, he is probably asking the lady standing next to him what time Garth Brooks is coming out to the stage. All kidding aside, it's remarkable how little help anybody — a civilian, a police officer, anybody — is giving to Baldo. Good thing he isn't bleeding, that cop would probably sit there watching the puddle form, while checking on his fantasy football team on his phone.
1:00 — Baldo and Texans Catwoman are joined by another female Texans fan, who is trying her best to direct the authorities on how to handle things. The cops and the crowd are treating her like she is invisible. Nobody's listening to her.
1:06 — So they pan back to the row, and the cop is cuffing Texans Catwoman, while Cowardly Jag is still standing there talking crap. Is this even real life? How has nobody ratted that guy out? It appears that the thugs in the stands in J-ville have home field advantage. Oh well, if the Jacksonville football team isn't going to have home field advantage on the field, their upper deck ass clown fans may as well have it in their street fights.
1:25 — Texans Catwoman is now doing the perp walk, while the guy who landed the punch is cackling like a bully from a crappy '80s movie. THIS IS A COMPLETE MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE, MEAN GENE! Meanwhile, Baldo has made it to his feet, and he (presumably) asks the cop what time the Oilers are playing today. The video ends without a fulfilling visual ending to Cowardly Jag's saga.
However, it appears that some form of punishment has been doled out, according to First Coast News:
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The Jacksonville Jaguars and our stadium partners are firmly committed to maintaining a safe and enjoyable experience for all who visit TIAA Bank Field, including fans of the visiting team.
We in no way condone the behavior during Sunday’s Jaguars vs. Texans game, which included a physical altercation between fans in the east stands. Per our Fan Code of Conduct, two individuals involved in the altercation were ejected from the stadium. Each party, whether a Jaguars season ticket member or a single game purchaser, has had their ticket purchasing privileges rescinded.
The Jaguars are grateful for the immediate response by stadium security personnel to the situation.
Somehow, given the news on Monday that Blake Bortles will remain the Jags' starting quarterback, it seems like banning Cowardly Jag from the stadium is letting him off easy. Instead, he should be forced to actually WATCH the Jags the rest of the season.
The Texans and Jags rematch on the field here in Houston on December 30, but I think it's safe to say that, when it comes to Baldo and Cowardly Jag, ain't gonna be no rematch.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.