Would a Cowboys fan give money to a Redskins fan asking for spare change? Would an Arkansas fan stop to help a Texas fan who had car trouble?
Two Cal State-San Marcos professors have tried to find answers to such questions in an ongoing study that could be completed this year, and so far they've learned a few things about fandom and human behavior.
According to Gary Warth of the San Diego Union-Tribune, business professors Vassilis Dalakas and Ben Cherry conducted their first study in November of 2012, when Cherry posed for two days as a panhandler in Mission Valley, changing every hour into a shirt that had a Chargers logo, a Raiders logo or was blank.
"In all honesty, we thought that the novelty in the way of collecting data was very appealing to us," Dalakas told the Union-Tribune.
The experiment resulted in situations not usually encountered during academic research.
According to Cherry, people driving past yelled "Chargers, yes!" when they saw him in the San Diego shirt. When he panhandled in an Oakland shirt, some people yelled "Raiders suck" or "That's what you get for being a Raiders fan."
"I was very nervous when he was wearing the Raiders shirt," said Dalakas, who watched Cherry from a distance.
In the end, Dalakas said they saw definite bias against the Raiders, but not the favoritism they expected toward the Chargers.
A follow-up study in 2013 exposed a group of Georgia students to a picture of Cherry's wife, Julie, wearing a gray shirt and looking in need of help while standing next to a car with its hood up. In one photo, the gray shirt was changed to show a Georgia Bulldogs logo. In another photo, the shirt had a Florida Gator.
In the first classroom survey, most of the students said they would stop to help her while she was wearing the Bulldogs logo, but wouldn't if she wore a Gators shirt.
"It blows my mind that the shirt I'm wearing somehow tells something to somebody that would make them not want to help me," he said. "I think that's the story of the Raiders/Chargers. It's not that the Chargers shirt makes me want to help you more, it's that the Raiders shirt makes me want to help you less."
Not to mention the skull-faced helmet and spiked shoulder pads.
Can't quit you
Jason Gore just can't quit golf. He's tried, repeatedly, to walk away from the touring life of a professional, but he hasn't found a way out.
A long-time grinder with just one PGA Tour victory on his resume, Gore earned his PGA Tour card for this season after finishing ninth on the Web.com Tour money list in 2014, an unexpected reward after years of languishing in the middle of the pack.
Gore said he's looked for other jobs, including applying to become the golf coach at Pepperdine University, his alma mater. He didn't get the gig.
"I applied for the Pepperdine coaching job and, I think I've said this before, but apparently I wasn't the guy that was going to further the Christian mission at Pepperdine University," Gore said Saturday during a news conference at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C.
At 41, it would be kind of hard for Gore to jump headlong into a new career, so he came to a conclusion.
"I tried to give it [golf] up and couldn't even do that right," Gore said. "I basically came to the fact I'm unemployable, so I better start playing good golf."
Not a bad plan. Gore shot an 8-under 62 Saturday to take the lead at the Wyndham Championship and finished Sunday's final round with a 69 to finish second to Davis Love III and earn $583,200.
Gore needed almost every penny and most of the 300 FedEx Cup points he earned to keep his card and qualify for the PGA Tour's playoff series, which begins this week. Gore moved from 166 to 98 on the FedEx Cup points list. He started the week at 156 on the money list and needed to get inside 125 to keep full playing privileges, which he did by moving to No. 89 with $1,054,313.
"I'm very, very lucky to be able to do this for a living," he said.
What was Jason Gore's only PGA Tour victory?
The 84 Lumber Classic in 2005.
Sports on 08/24/2015
Print Headline: Raiders fans left penniless in San Diego