Raiders' Big Game Provides Brief Distraction From Tragic Fire - NBC Bay Area
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Raiders' Big Game Provides Brief Distraction From Tragic Fire

Oakland fans at Ricky's get their minds off the deadly blaze that has affected their city

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    Raiders' Big Game Provides Brief Distraction From Tragic Fire
    NBC Bay Area
    Raiders fans gather at Ricky's in San Leandro for the big game Thursday night. (Dec. 8, 2016)

    When you go to Ricky’s in San Leandro, get ready to be swallowed up by Raider Nation.

    It was a raucous crowd lined up outside the sports bar at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, eager to get in to watch one of the Raiders' biggest games of the season thus far, a showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs.

    By the time the game ended, the general mood was sour, as the Raiders suffered a 21-13 loss. to their AFC West rival.

    It also was a big game for Oakland fans, who had a chance to get their minds off the horrific warehouse fire last week that left 36 people dead.

    "In times of crisis, sports has a great facility for healing," longtime Oakland sportswriter Dave Newhouse said. "What’s happening with the Warriors, the Raiders, it takes people’s minds off things."

    Fans agreed.

    "It takes away from all that negativity and brings some positive to the town," Raiders fan Alonzo Drew said about the Thursday Night Football game.

    Bar owner Ricky Ricardo said indeed the game, although taking place halfway across the country in Kansas City, provided a pause.

    "It's a positive thing," Ricardo said. "People were looking for something positive instead of a negative thing. And this is positive, their team winning and playing."

    While the Raiders have been winning, all Bay Area sports teams have been showing a lot of heart for victims of the tragedy in Oakland. Along Interstate 880, just past the Coliseum, motorists will see a huge sign that says "Oakland," with the "O" in the shape of a heart. And underneath, "#oaklandghostship."

    The sign pays tribute to those who lost their lives in the fire and their families.

    A sign near the Oakland Coliseum.
    Photo credit: NBC Bay Area

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