Yesterday I attended only my second NFL game. What a game to choose, with the home team winning in the last 3 seconds with a come-from-behind field goal. Field goal kicker Robbie Gould made 6 field goals on 6 attempts. Field Gould, anyone?
Now to the economic point, which my friend, co-author, and fellow attendee Charley Hooper pointed out: This was a stadium in which there were at least 50,000 people and it was, as far as we could tell, completely peaceful. Many of you probably think: what's the big deal? Of course it was peaceful.
But that's the point. Of course it was peaceful. Fights are the unusual even at a Raiders game. And it's the "of course" that's so striking. Charley quoted Matt Ridley's claim that when 100 chimpanzees are around each other, there is sure to be fighting and pretty quickly. What's different about humans is that we are increasingly learning to get along with strangers. All around me were people wearing various 49er bits of clothing--T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, and hats. But interspersed among them were people wearing clothing with Tennessee Titans insignia. I saw zero taunting, let alone outright fighting. (I could have done without the playing of the banjo song from the movie Deliverance when the Titans came onto the field.)
Instead, everywhere there was cooperation. Both times I went to the men's restroom, I was in a line that was at least 50 people long. (By contrast, there was no queue for the women's restroom.) The line moved along nicely. And there were lots of peaceful exchanges of money for beer, food, and my favorite, water.
By the way, we had to go through a metal detector. The TSA could learn a lot about manners from the employees who checked us.