Broncos Fans Start Problems In Denver Game

Posted by editor on August 27th, 2013 — Posted in Uncategorized

warrant for the arrest of Raiders defensive back Charles Woodson, a former Heisman Trophy winner and one of the team’s marquee players, is expected to be issued in Denver today in the aftermath of the wild snowball-throwing melee after Monday night’s game against the Broncos.

According to a Denver Police Det. Mary Thomas, Woodson will face charges for

throwing a hard-packed snowball into the stands and hitting a woman, apparently in the face.

The incident happened as Woodson and his teammates walked off the field at Mile High Stadium after the Raiders’ defeat in overtime.

Woodson was seen picking up one of the hundreds of snowballs that rained down on the Raiders sideline during the second half, and holding it until he was nearly to the tunnel leading to the Raiders locker room.

Then, in front of thousands of Broncos fans, Woodson turned and rifled a throw toward some hecklers in the East Stands. The snowball hit a woman who was cowering behind a blue-green blanket. The snowball struck with a loud smack, and although it appeared to hit her in the shoulder, reports yesterday indicated that she had been hit in the face.

Raiders players, who spent the second half of the tight game dodging snowballs, believe that if Woodson is charged, so should the many Broncos fans who pelted the Raiders players.

“There should be a lot of arrest warrants out in Denver,” said reserve running back Randy Jordan, who said he dodged a snowball coming directly at his face.

The Woodson incident was only part of the postgame free-for-all story. The Raiders’ 330-pound right tackle Lincoln Kennedy went into the stands and punched a Denver fan who the offensive lineman said had hit him in the face with a snowball.

“I did something very unorthodox,” Kennedy said Monday night. “I got hit by a number of snowballs and then got surrounded by a number of drunk fans and lost my temper.”

The fan has been identified as Jason Linn, a 27-year-old mechanic from Frederic, Colo. Linn said that he intervened when Kennedy was chewing out his brother, Rob Linn. Kennedy said that Rob Linn was the person who threw a snowball at him, hitting him in the face and opening a cut on the bridge of his nose.


Kennedy went after Rob Linn, somehow clearing a six-foot chain- link fence and pushing into a crowd of angry, shouting spectators, and grabbed him.


Kennedy said he tried to talk to the fan. “I wanted to tell him that was not all right,” he said afterwards, but the situation quickly got out of control.

Although Jason Linn insisted that he was simply sitting in the stands, reporters saw him shouting at Kennedy at least twice. The second time Kennedy punched him in the face, dropping Linn to his knees. Although the Broncos fan was up on his feet quickly, the crowd surged in around Kennedy, who pushed his way down the steps and out of the mob.

As Kennedy made his way to the locker room, snowballs rained down from every part of the east and north end of the stadium.

Kennedy was not arrested, but Linn was handcuffed and led away by security guards.

The snowballs were made of heavy, slushy snow that was hard packed. When they came flying down from the third deck, they struck the ground with a resounding thud.

During the game, many on the Raiders sideline were hit, including head coach Jon Gruden, who called it “target practice” yesterday. No one was seriously injured.

Defensive lineman Grady Jackson said some of the snowballs that landed near him “had D-cell batteries in them — you know, the big ones.”

“A lot of people were concerned for their own safety late in that game,” said Gruden, who said the NFL should consider added security in games in which recent snowfall creates plenty of ammunition.

In one of the NFL’s darkest memories, a 1995 game at the Meadowlands had to be forfeited by the New York Giants when intoxicated fans rained icy snowballs down on theSan Diego Chargers. Some 15 people were injured and a member of the Chargers equipment crew landed in the hospital after he was hit in the head.

In Denver yesterday, critics were second-guessing the city for not clearing the snow out of the stands before the game. The notorious South Stands, where some of the rowdiest Broncos fans sit, was swept clean of snow, but the rest of the stadium provided plenty of snowball material.

Raiders players said there seemed to be no inclination by security officers to spot the snowball throwers and remove them from the stadium. And once the game ended and the really ugly incidents began, at least some of the on-field police officers rushed to the tunnel to the Raiders’ locker room to get out of range of snowball throwers.

“The cops were running past us yelling, ‘You guys better get out of here,’ ” said Jackson. “I was thinking, ‘I thought these guys were supposed to take control here.’ They were just looking out for themselves.”

Gruden said he expects a league investigation, and some of the Raiders were requesting an apology from Broncos’ officials.

Despite the pending arrest warrant, Woodson will almost certainly not have to appear in court in Denver, and reports out of the Mile High City yesterday indicated that he might be able to clear the citation by paying a fine, perhaps as little as $25.


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