There is a Silver-and-Black lining to Saturday’s Raider Invasion at Sun Devil Stadium: supersecret sources tell Brownie Points that East Valley police saw a 40 percent drop in crime from the hours of 7 to 10 p.m., while the spray-painted, spiked-shoulderpad-wearing, badly-in-need-ofdental-work-looking disciples of Al Davis were rejoicing over a onepoint preseason win over the Cardinals.
OK, maybe not.
But the stats from Saturday night’s game, which featured a half-full building of 35,070 fans, indicate the streets were a safer place to be:
• More than a dozen arrests (Arizona State University police said the final numbers were still being tallied), including one spunky lad, sitting in a section that resembled a cast party from the HBO show "Oz,’’ wearing a Tshirt proclaiming "(Expletive) all Raider haters.’’
• Over 20 stadium ejections, including one Cardinals fan who bled from the nose so profusely that it took maintenance men more than five minutes to mop up the residue.
• At least three injuries, including one poor guy who was trampled during one lower-level melee and left the stadium strapped to a backboard.
And the regular season is still two weeks away.
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
How odd that Cardinals receiver Nate Poole’s first touchdown catch in Sun Devil Stadium since last December’s "Viking Funeral" win over Minnesota was nullified because — sure enough — replays show Poole didn’t get both feet in bounds.
"The people in Minnesota are probably saying, ‘I told you so,’ because they are finally getting that overturn they missed out on,’’ Cardinals quarterback Josh McCown joked.
Have the Vikes shaken it off?
When NFL Films featured Poole’s catch that knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs as part of its highlight package at April’s NFL meetings, Minnesota owner Red McCombs heckled the screen — and commissioner Paul Tagliabue — in front of his peers, howling that his team was robbed.
• Not sure about you, but I never saw the whole priest-blindsiding-the-marathonrunner-at-the-Olympics thing coming. So, how long before the IOC asks Paul Hamm to give that poor tackled runner his gold medal "in the ultimate sign of sportsmanship’’?
• Attention local memorabilia hounds. Barry Bonds, who hit home run Nos. 695 and 696 on Sunday, will be at Bank One Ballpark on Sept. 10, 11 and 12. So will the Arizona pitching staff (hint, hint). Babe Ruth hit his 700th homer off Detroit’s Tommy Bridges, and Hank Aaron got his 700th off Philadelphia’s Ken Brett. Following anagram logic, Arizona’s Brian Bruney is a likely candidate if Bonds stays hot.