Raiders

LAPD outlines security plans at Dodger Stadium

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LAPD outlines security plans at Dodger Stadium

April 9, 2011
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LOS ANGELES (AP) A vicious attack on a baseball fan is focusing attention on security problems at Dodger Stadium and drawing promises from the team and the city that more police will be on hand during games.They are hoping to avoid a repeat of the season's first game, when two men in Dodgers attire attacked a 42-year-old man wearing rival San Francisco Giants gear in the parking lot. A week later, he is still in critical condition. Police are still looking for the assailants, despite a 150,000 reward and sketches of the suspects."These two individuals are not true Dodger fans. They are common criminals," Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said at a news conference Friday, his first public comments on the beating.
COMMUNITY: How to help the Stow family
The attack, however, has focused attention on security problems at the ballpark, and the intense - sometimes bitter - rivalry among Dodgers and Giants fans.More officers will be dispatched as part of increased security announced Friday. City officials and the team said the additional officers will stand guard at the next home game on April 14.To fans concerned about their safety, McCourt said: "I hear you loudly and I hear you clearly."The team turned to Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck for help and hired former police Chief William Bratton and his New York security firm to plot a safe future for fans at one of the nation's most historic ballparks.McCourt, Beck and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa all promised changes that will ensure a safe, family-friendly, fan-friendly environment. Many of the changes will be in place before the April 14 game against the St. Louis Cardinals.Among the changes are LAPD officers in uniform who can eject or arrest troublemakers, including season ticket holders, and enforce the ban on tailgating or drinking in the parking lots. The team will pay for the additional police, although the price hasn't been set yet.Eventually, there will be license plate scanners, observation towers, increased lighting and undercover operations throughout the stadium.Team officials said they were reconsidering their plan to sell half-price alcohol at six games this season.They also promised to look at prices and serving sizes for alcoholic beverages, as well as when to stop serving alcohol, Dodger spokesman Josh Rawitch told the Los Angeles Times."There will be zero tolerance for misbehavior at Dodger games," Beck said.Some types of trash talk also will not be tolerated."If people are making comments that inherently incite violence, then you've got to go," he said.That will be good news for Erick Gustafson, 43. He said some fans were out of control. At a game last summer, he and his son were waiting in line for tickets when some fans shouted insults at his 10-year-old boy because he was wearing a St. Louis Cardinals shirt."He was all excited, he made some money and bought his own jersey," Gustafson said. He didn't want the boy to face similar taunts on the way out, so "in the sixth inning, I said let's go.' It was just for my son's safety."Radio talk show host Tom Leykis said he stopped going to Dodger games in October 2009 after two fans recognized and taunted him for eight innings with "nonstop vulgarities," then followed him up the stairs.He called security and two officers arrived and talked to the men, who he called "drunken stockbrockers," but did nothing more because they professed their innocence, Leykis told The Associated Press."We've got HDTV. I don't need this and I stopped going," said Leykis, who offered 50,000 to the reward fund to find the men who attacked Giants fan, Bryan Stow, last week.Stow was bludgeoned and kicked as he left the ballpark after the Dodgers defeated the Giants. He is still in a medically induced coma at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, and his family is accepting emailed well wishes from thousands of baseball fans.The rivalry is more than a century old, dating back to when they were both still in New York.The Dodgers moved into Chavez Ravine on April 10, 1962, four years after both the Dodgers and Giants moved to California from New York. Today Dodger Stadium is the third oldest park in the majors.In the win-loss column, the Dodgers and Giants are almost even. Each team has six World Series titles. Head-to-head, the Giants have won 1,172 games and the Dodgers have won 1,152.The Dodgers haven't won a World Series since 1988. The Giants are reigning world champs.On Opening Day, a plane flew over the stadium, trailing a banner that said: "Dodgers still suck ... from SF champs fans."While losing stings, the public feud between McCourt and his wife, Jamie, over ownership of the team hasn't helped the Dodgers or their fans' image of the team."The minute you start hearing news about your favorite team beyond the sports pages, you have a problem," said David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California Sports Business Institute.Not everyone is afraid. Sergio Courtney, 38, of Los Angeles, said he's been going to Dodger games since he was 5. He never felt unsafe and he doesn't now, he said.Plans for massive police presence are overkill, he said, recommending observation towers."They don't need a whole police force, just a couple eyes in the sky," he said.The next game between the teams will be Monday night, when the Dodgers visit AT&T Park in San Francisco for a three-game series. The Giants said they always have increased security for the Dodgers series.On Friday, Stow's picture with his two kids was shown on the main centerfield scoreboard at the Giants-Cardinals afternoon game. The crowd began cheering: "Beat L.A.!"

Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots

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Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots

MEXICO CITY – Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City:

1. So you’re saying there’s a chance

The Raiders aren’t stacking wins as they’d like. Nobody in the AFC West is, either. The Chiefs lost another one, meaning the AFC West crown remains within reach. They’re two games back in the division and one back in the wild card race.

That, above all else, will keep the Raiders motivated after a disastrous loss to New England.

“We're professionals and to me, so long as you have hope, you keep your hope, you keep hope alive,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “So, we'll continue to scratch and claw and fight for everything we can.”

The Raiders can harken Lloyd Christmas from “Dumb and Dumber.” So you’re saying there’s a chance.

The Raiders will only stay in it if they start a prolonged winning streak. There’s a chance do that on an upcoming two-game home stand. They play Denver and the New York Giants, respectively, in Oakland over the next fortnight. Those teams have five wins between them.

Wins can’t be assumed with the Raiders team, with the inconsistency and mistake-prone play to lose to anyone.

Fight remains in this group. They’ll continue to push, especially with a 9-7 record being a legitimate playoff contender. They haven’t played worthy of such consideration, but remain hopeful a switch gets flipped.

“We are who we are, we're not going to turn on each other, we're not going to turn on anything about what we do,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “Obviously, we know that our culture and everything that we do works, because we have seen it work.”

2. Receiver corps becoming a weak spot

The Raiders have a talented group of receivers lacking consistency and production. That was the case on Sunday, when pass catchers hindered offensive flow and scoring opportunities.

Seth Roberts was the biggest offender. He had a drop, a false start and lost a fumble near the goal line with the Patriots up 14-0 late in the first half. Roberts had 12 yards in his pocket but held the ball one-handed, away from his body fighting for more. Marquis Flowers knocked it free and Patrick Chung recovered.

That was the turning point, a true 10-point swing. The Raiders lost a chance to reach the end zone, and allowed New England to get a field goal as the half expired.

“That was a major turn of events,” Del Rio said.

The slot receiver wasn’t the only receiver who stalled the Raiders offense. That group had five drops, according to Pro Football Focus, including two from Michael Crabtree. Johnny Holton wasn’t credited with a drop, but he had a perfectly thrown deep ball clang off his helmet and shoulder pads.

It’s a bad night in a bad year for the Raiders receivers, who haven’t been producing.

3. Lopsided score keeps Marshawn from going BeastMode

Running back Marshawn Lynch was the only player who had a good Sunday. The bruising back ran roughshod over New England’s front seven, right from the start. He totaled 67 yards on 11 carries, and seemed primed for a big day and a higher-than-usual carry volume.

He and the Raiders run blocking was consistent, allowing him to reach the second level on several occasions.

The lopsided score, however, meant the Raiders had to abandon the ground game.

“I thought we ran the ball well early,” Del Rio said. “I would like to have ended up with 30-plus rush attempts in the ball game, but you got to stay within reasonable amount of the score in order to stick with the run.”

The Raiders were down two touchdowns in a flash, and were three scores behind at the half. That forced Derek Carr to chuck it towards an unreliable receiver corps. That method proved inefficient and never created the big moments.

Lynch has run well since returning from a one-game suspension. He has 25 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games. If there’s a positive to take from Sunday’s beat down, Lynch’s efficiency might be it.

Del Rio calls out NFL for Raiders losing home games to go abroad

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AP

Del Rio calls out NFL for Raiders losing home games to go abroad

MEXICO CITY – The Raiders have played in Mexico City the last two years, and have given up a home game to do it.

You already know head coach Jack Del Rio’s stance on the matter. He doesn’t like it. Not one bit.

The NFL announced Sunday morning that Mexico City will host games annually through 2021. The Raiders will be on the short list to return during that span.

“They’ve done a nice job for us over the last two years,” Del Rio said. “If it was a road game, I’d enjoy it. If they stop making (international contests) our home games, we’ll be fine.”

Hate to be the bearer of bad news Jack, but the Raiders will keep giving home games away. That’s expected each year until the Raiders formally move to Las Vegas.

The Raiders might not come back to Mexico for a third straight season, but could host a game in London next year. The NFL sent four games to the United Kingdom this year.

The Raiders have a massive fan base in England and Mexico, which makes them an attractive option to play abroad.

It might make financial sense for the team and the league to expand its base beyond borders, but the football people don’t find it fun.

The Raiders had more fans watching Sunday’s 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca, but it’s no substitute for playing in Oakland.

“I think the crowd down here is pretty excited for the Raiders, so we appreciate that,” Del Rio said. “When you travel four-and-a-half hours, you’re not at home. We appreciate the hospitality and the good people who came out and supported us, but it’s hard to call it a home game.”

This one, especially. The Raiders had overwhelming support last year’s game against Houston, but Patriots fans were a large and vocal minority. They had plenty to cheer, as the Patriots waxed the Silver and Black over four quarters.

It’s hard to say the Raiders had a home crowd this time around, with plenty of noise when they were on offense.

“You know what, traveling down here, I think it was like four hours or something like that, and getting here, I think that hospitality was great, but it really wasn't, it wasn't the Coliseum,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “It didn’t have that feel. Now, we loved playing here, we loved coming down here and playing, but it felt more neutral.”