The Oakland Raiders enjoyed quite the turnout in Oxnard, Calif. yesterday. Over 8,000 fans showed up, and by all accounts the majority were decked out in silver and black. At least one Raiders fan brought a souvenir helmet, and that’s where we’ll focus in this story.
The Raiders and Cowboys engaged in one of the more explosive (televised) practice brawls in recent memory (a stark contrast to the 49ers-Ravens practices over the weekend, which were tame by comparison). This one started after a reception from Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera. He turned upfield and ran about 10 yards before running into Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne, who got the better of the collision. After flipping Rivera to the turf, Claiborne stepped over Rivera and came close to kicking him as he attempted to stand up.
Then all hell broke loose. Greg Little shoved Claiborne and the teams converged, knocking down a ad-covered pad between the sideline and a fence separating the fans from the field. Several players ended up against that fence. Most of the nearby fans watched or took cellphone videos, but a few got a little touchy-feely with the players. Maurice Jones-Drew ended up on the ground with his helmet off, and a friendly Raiders fan decided to use his helmet to fend off Cowboys cornerback B.W. Webb.
Here’s another angle (h/t Just Blog Baby):
From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
The fan took a couple shots at Webb and then swung a game-sized souvenir helmet at him. Webb went back at the fan twice before he was pulled away by coaches.
“It’s definitely a dangerous situation,” Webb said. “I don’t know why fans would want to jump on this side of the fence. I don’t think they’d like it too much on this side.
“I wasn’t expecting that, but whoever jumped on my back, I had to get them off.”
Webb said he doesn’t expect to hear anything from the NFL about his actions.
We’ll see about that last part. As for the fan, who knows? This could be a case of no harm, no foul, no investigation. However, the NFL will probably figure out some to use Tuesday’s skirmish to justify keeping fans farther away from training camp practice action. So, thanks for that, helmet guy!
“I am just glad no one took their helmets off,” said Mark Davis, who apparently didn’t notice Jones-Drew.
According to Jason La Canfora, Davis is probably interested in moving to L.A. and pretty much idolizes Jerry Jones. It’s hard to summon much skepticism over either report from JLC.
The Star-Telegram and CBS Sports mentioned how Davis said, “Nothing better than Raider fans.” However, there’s no video of Davis saying this, and there aren’t enough reports that include this quote to determine whether he said that as a direct response to the fans’ reaction to the brawl (“Way to swing those helmets, Raider Nation!”), or if that was just a remark about so many Raiders fans attending a practice that also featured “America’s Team.”