The backstory behind those third-deck signs at the Oakland Coliseum

The plan was hatched over some beers at Kingfish.

My childhood friend, let’s call him Dander, is in town visiting from Portland for the first time since the pandemic, so he’s been getting some of us together to catch up. I met him and our other friend from back in the day, Mango, at Kingfish around 5 o’clock. It was my first time there since they removed the plastic, see-through COVID barriers at the bar and brought back the popcorn machine, so I knew it’d be a good night.

“Wanna go to the A’s game?” I asked.

They both said yee.

“Did you guys see that vid–” I asked before getting cut off.

“The blowjob?! Dander just showed me!” Mango said.

“Well, if we go, I gotta get a video of the seat for RickeyBlog,” I said. “That shit was hilarious.”

“Dude, we gotta make posters!” Dander said.

“There’s a Walgreens right there …” I said.

Another friend of ours, Hound, was getting off work and meeting us soon. As we smashed popcorn and had a couple brewskis, we workshopped the most blowjob/baseball double entendres we could, just dying at the possibilities. Once Hound got there, we stopped by Walgreens for posters and sharpies and made our way to the Coliseum.

As soon as we pulled into Lot A you could tell it was gonna be a tiny, tiny crowd. A perfect storm, really – a lowly A’s team in late August against the Miami Marlins on a Monday night. We missed the first inning as we made the posters, but the game was secondary at this point. We had three posters and ended up with five slogans:

– Play Balls!
– Keep Your Head In The Game
– Don’t Blow It!!
– Just Blow It! (with a poorly-drawn Nike swoosh)
– These Seats Suck (S/O @Sandlot408 for the line)

Got $10 Treehouse tickets and walked through security no problem with the signs and no one asked to read them. As we stopped to get our first beer, we ran into some RF Bleacher fans who busted up laughing when they saw the signs and we took pics with them.

“People love the signs!” Dander said.

We made our way up to hallowed Section 334 with the signs and it was a beautiful Oakland summer evening up there as the sun was setting. During every commercial break we held up the signs and it didn’t take long for them to get noticed, since there were only a couple thousand people there. A group from the Treehouse hollered at us and asked us for pics. Eventually they came up to the third deck to laugh about the signs and take photos with them.

I can’t stress how empty it felt in there. At one point we yelled at A’s left fielder Tony Kemp and center fielder Cal Stevenson and they both acknowledged us immediately.

Clearly the posters were noticed by security, because they came up about the 3rd or 4th inning and told us we had to go back to our real seats. This wasn’t security in the blue windbreakers, this was security in the A’s polos and earpieces, so you knew it was a big deal! They didn’t confiscate the signs, just booted us from the section and told us to go to the Treehouse if that’s where our tickets were.

“For what?” we asked. “The signs aren’t even vulgar. You guys just don’t have a sense of humor!”

“I have a good sense of humor,” said one security guard.

“No you don’t! You guys probably don’t even get the joke! This is hilarious!”

“We’re just doing our jobs.”

Honestly they were super nice about it, but it was like six security guards to the four of us, I dunno what they were expecting to transpire. We were literally just making a joke.

I got a text from one of my friends in the RF Bleachers that we had seen earlier and they invited us over. As I walked over there, a security guard started following me and threatening to call the police.

“Please! Call the police! I haven’t done anything,” I said as I walked toward the bleachers.

She tried to stop me from entering the bleachers, which has never happened before. Usually it’s pretty free-flowing to get into Section 149, especially on nights with tiny crowds. I sat down in a seat and then another security guard called me over and told me to bring the sign. A head security guard pulled a fast one on me and asked for my ticket then said, “OK let’s go over here and figure this out,” and pulled me aside behind the bleachers, where there were now about 10 security guards circled around.

“This is hilarious to me,” I told her. “We didn’t do anything wrong. Those signs aren’t vulgar or profane at all.”

They studied the signs for a while (PLAY BALLS! and THESE SEATS SUCK), called up their supervisors, confiscated the signs and let us go, but not after a stern talking-to about the sacred rules of the Oakland Coliseum!

“You agreed to a code of conduct when you bought this ticket!”

So we went back to the Treehouse for the last few innings of the game, which was an absolute stinker of a 3-0 loss.

As we rose up the escalator on BART for our ride home, someone spotted us and yelled, “Hey! It’s the Blowjob Boys!”