By: Jeff Riger
The place is a football stadium that is used for baseball when the Raiders are not in action. There is no character, no passion and definitely nothing unique about watching a baseball game in Oakland. Or is there? Recently there has been a movement by the fans to make the Coliseum more of a home field advantage. It started with a select group residing in right field who attended every game, even when nobody else was coming and it has grown to sell out proportions.
It’s called the Balfour Rage!
When A’s closer Grant Balfour is called upon to close a game in Oakland the DJ at the Coliseum jams Metallica’s “One” and the whole crowd head bangs along.
I got my first whiff of the Rage last Wednesday afternoon when the A’s were just about to sweep the Rangers and take home an improbable AL West Title. I was watching the game on the MLB Network who was getting the game through A’s TV station CSN. Instead of going to commercial in the middle of the 9th inning, CSN stayed with the broadcast while Balfour came in and the place went bonkers. For almost 4 minutes, fans broke out the air guitars, yelled lyrics to “One” and got ready to party.
I admit it, I loved it!
I recently had a chance to talk to Balfour about the Rage and what it means to the 34 year old veteran?
“Yeah they are awesome” Balfour said. The closer went on to explain “There is a group of them that got it started and it’s almost like it got to the point where the whole stadium is doing it. It’s just a trend that is kicking on there in right field and I appreciate the guys that they come out every game. They’re there and it’s about the fans because they make the atmosphere, that’s what gets all of us going and without them it’s just another baseball game in an empty stadium so they are awesome to come out like that.”
Watch the Grant Balfour video below and then make sure to get ready for the Rage as the Tigers try to win one more game in this ALDS series to punch their ticket to the ALCS for the second consecutive season.